Dan Walsh's new (and timely) book is Keeping Christmas.
I love reading Christmas fiction in the weeks leading up to December 25th. Keeping Christmas was especially timely for me.
Judith and Stan Winters are empty nesters. But, for the first time, none of their three children can make it home for the holidays - Thanksgiving or Christmas. This affects Judith greatly - she has no interest in putting up a tree, listening to Christmas music or any of their usual traditions. Stan is not as affected - but he is worried about Judith as weeks go by and she is still uninspired - and depressed. Supportive friends Betty and Barney are also concerned.
Walsh has penned a story with it's roots in reality. It is incredibly hard to celebrate when family is scattered across the country. (Personally I thank goodness for Facetime!)
Through Judith's story, Walsh explores finding your Christmas spirit despite disappointments, finding new ways to celebrate and connect and thinking of others.
"What he did say was for those who loved the holidays to be mindful of those who found it harder to celebrate, and to do what they could to cheer them up. And he urged those who struggle to try to keep their minds on the 'reason for the season' rather than focusing on all the things that tend to bring them down during the holidays." Good words to take to heart.
Without giving much away, Keeping Christmas is also a love story and an exploration of friendship and family.
Keeping Christmas won't overly surprise you - the plot is somewhat telegraphed. What it will provide is food for thought, perfect for contemplating the coming holidays and how each of us can reach out and share the Christmas spirit.
It's a quick, easy read, at just over 200 pages. A heartfelt, heart-warming read, with a bit of a fairy tale ending. Read an excerpt of Keeping Christmas.