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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What is the true meaning of Christmas? Is it the special day when everything you planned for happens perfectly? All the gifts are well wrapped and the most suitable for everyone on your list? The tree and the house are both decorated to perfection? And the turkey just right? I don’t think any Christmas is ever that perfect. No matter how hard we try, the spirit of the season sometimes has a funny bone attached to it which makes things go awry. But, in the end, it is the true meaning of Christmas that shines through.
Daphne Tarango’s collection of short stories, An Unexpected Christmas: Stories of the Holidays Wrapped in Miracles, Mishaps, and Mischief, studies the many possible foibles that make truly remarkable, but unexpected, Christmas stories. Some stories teach the lesson of the first Christmas, others touch the heart with the true act of giving to make Christmas special for everyone, even the less fortunate. And then there are the memory stories, like the elderly man who can relive his life by studying the ornaments on his tree. The story that particularly touches my heart is the first story that tells of a family down on their luck and a kindly lady who delivers gifts on Christmas to make the day something special to remember. I often spend Christmas Eve marveling at the memories attached to each ornament. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always compassionate, these stories will warm the heart of everyone at this special time of year. Each story is full of hope and the deeper meanings of what Christmas is all about.