Books · Reviews · Writing

SRP Review: Holiday Edition II – On Strike for Christmas, The Gift of Hope, A Christmas Jar for Santa

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

During this month, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts is one of my favorite types of Christmas theme novels. It’s where the hustle and bustle, the self-inflicted craziness we put ourselves through is challenged and ceased … at least for a period of time. This story follows the lives of some women — and their husbands — who have gotten feed up with being the only one in the household supplying the Christmas magic. After years of feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated, they go on strike and hand over the holiday reins of planning, cooking, shopping and decorating to their spouses. There is one character, a widow, who plays the role of the holiday spirit, so to speak. She helps the women keep perspective and also reminds them of their role in the way Christmases of the past played out. I really enjoyed the humor, the bittersweet moments, and the way everyone learned a lesson from the strike.

The Gift of Hope by Pam Andrews Hanson. This is a sweet, contemporary romance novella set during the Christmas season. It’s a of a young woman and a widowed pastor learning to open up to love. Hope lost her mother at a young age and saw the pain her father went through and how hard it was for him to love anyone else. Noah lost his wife and finds the holidays a struggle to get through as he raises his young daughter alone. Hope and Noah find themselves thrown … and drawn … together during the church’s preparations for the Christmas season. While the warmth and love of Christmas is in the air, both try hard not to open themselves up to the season in order to keep their hearts protected. Hope’s grandmother takes on a key role as the ‘holiday spirit’ as she opens her arms and home to others in the community and encourages not only falling in love but ‘falling into friendships’.

A Christmas Jar for Santa by is a short story told in a narrative style by an older gentleman recounting his time as a Santa Claus. It is a warm story told in an engaging voice as a man explains his reason for being Santa for decades. At this point in time, the gentleman is considering hanging up his Santa hat at the end of the season.  I don’t want to give away the ending, but a gift given to Santa has him reconsidering and remembering what the holiday is about.

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