“The stories are generally simple ones that are gently told, sometimes with an O. Henry-like twist at the end.”
—Louisville Courier Journal
For many adults, the Christmas season has become more of a spending spree than a religious holiday; a time of stress rather than a peaceful time spent with friends and family. Adults today have increasing responsibilities and worries, and as a result, much of the magic of Christmas has been lost for them. Gerald R. Toner, a great lover of Christmas, has produced a collection of masterpieces that remind us all that the real spirit of Christmas is based on love, caring, giving, and understanding—things that are often forgotten in the busy lives we lead.
From a judge who must decide which parent will get custody of a young boy at Christmas in “The Christmas Visitation,” to a little girl who only wants a crayon lipstick as her gift in “Lipstick Like Lindsay’s,” Toner compassionately and honestly depicts times when love is able to rise above life’s obstacles to give new meaning to Christmas.
The stories reaffirm for us the magic that Christmas holds, as in “The Promise Kept,” where an unspoken promise to an old friend is finally followed through, or in “Benefit of the Bargain,” where a child’s simple wish to have his grandmother with him at Christmas conveys the importance of family to a young schoolteacher. A young man overcomes his embarrassment in order to oblige an ancient couple with his caroling in “Caroling on Command,” and a father’s concept of Christmas is drastically altered by his son’s wish to attend a church service in “My Dad’s Idea of Christmas.”