The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith

Book description:

After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children–especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their “True Friends.” As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

My review:

This is one of those non-fiction books that reads like a fiction book.  Smith shares her experience with the sudden loss of her husband shortly before Christmas and the struggle of keeping her family together.  It is a very poignant book to read in that your heart breaks for the family and their loss, but it is wonderful to read about the random acts of kindness and the way they help the family cope with the holidays.

I really enjoyed the message of this book.  Sometimes it might seem like small, random acts of kindness don’t make much difference, so it was nice to read about what a huge difference the small gifts made to the Smith family.  Although it was nice to read about the Smith family beginning to recover from their loss, my favorite part of the book was at the end when the mystery or who was leaving the gifts was revealed.  It made the whole book more emotionally meaningful for me.

If you are looking for a great book that will help them focus on what really matters during the Christmas season should check this one out.  It will definitely remind you that family and serving others is far more important than the consumerism that has come to define Christmas.

I received a complimentary copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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