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on December 8, 2008
This was a beautiful inspirational heartwarming story. Michael and Anna are a lovely couple who are truly in love. I think that the author handles the subject of infertility in a compassionate and understanding manner. My only complaint is that I wish Anna had been a stronger heroine. I was disappointed when she thought she had cancer, but wouldn't do anything about it or talk to anyone about it. Also, I was disappointed when she didn't approach Michael about some doubts that she was having. Despite the fact that she is not a strong heroine, this is still a very good story and a quick read.
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VINE VOICEon November 18, 2008
Anna and Michael have everything they want in life except for one thing: a child. Now approaching her forties, and after trying almost every option, it looks as if that door appears to be closing for good. Just when Anna is ready to accept her fate, she fears that she has the same symptoms of an illness that claimed her mother. Worried that this is the last Christmas she will ever spend with her husband, she tries to do everything in her power to give him the best possible Christmas. She sacrifices what she cherishes the most to make him happy.

This is a sweet modern retelling of the classic story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. It makes one wonder if you knew this was going to be your last Christmas what would you do to make it one to remember for your loved ones. I really liked the way that Anna wanted to do everything to make her husband happy even to the point of giving up what she loved the most. It's refreshing to see a Christmas story where the focus is on others and not on one's own self. I also appreciated her outburst during the mom's group as people need to be aware that couples without children are not always childless by choice. The only negative thing about this book was the way that Anna acted when she first thought she had cancer. If someone has had a history of cancer in their family and they start to believe they have the same symptoms, now is not the time to be a protector from bad news. She should have told her husband immediately and gone to see a doctor. Even if funds were short, this was not something to push back. Further more by keeping such an important secret like this from her husband would also hurt their relationship in the future. Other than that, it is a great way to spend an afternoon to get yourself ready for the holidays. This is a wonderful addition to the Christmas short stories that Melody Carlson has written throughout the years. It's a story that takes only a day to read yet the spirit of the Christmas season will remain with you throughout the entire year.
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on December 17, 2012
Even though this book follows the "The Gift of the Magi" storyline, I still wasn't sure about the ending. The description of the book led me to believe that someone was going to die at the end. (Spoiler) No one did. I thought the book was a real downer, even if it did have a happy (or somewhat happy) ending. With all the books out there I want to read this Christmas Season, I feel like I wasted my time on this one.
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on September 30, 2014
As other reviewers have pointed out, you can see the Gift of the Magi ending a mile away. That's okay, though. What made this story fall flat was that it seemed to get bogged down when Anna kept ruminating on her suspicions that she had ovarian cancer and that her husband was being unfaithful to her. The author seemed to be trying to stretch out the story by having Anna constantly thinking about how people would react to her death, and the reader begins to feel like a yo-yo when Anna can't seem to make up her mind as to whether her suspicions about her husband are valid or she is just being foolish. The author could also use s little more variety in her use of imagery. For instance, it seems that her characters are always trying to navigate lumps in their throats. Still, you might enjoy this story if you like light, Christmas romances, with the emphasis on light.
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on January 10, 2013
Absolutely loved this story. My heart identified with the characters. my heart broke with the main character as she dealt with her fears alone and as she vowed to give her husband one last Christmas to remember. I absolutely loved the happy ending.
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on January 1, 2016
While not her best Christmas story, it was still good. Usually the ending is very unpredictable, but I saw this one coming early on. All the characters are well defined and the story will draw you in. The people and events are all believable and the story flows well. A nice reminder of Christmas love.
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on January 1, 2013
This was a cute love story/Christmas Story. It had a really happy and predictable ending. The characters were nice to read about. Although, I don't know too many teachers who get off for 3 weeks at Christmas time. It was a pretty quick read. Although, I read another mini novella in between reading this. I gave it 3 stars. Good to just read for fun and relaxation around the holidays. I received it free on the Kindle awhile back!!
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on July 19, 2013
Christmas is my favorite holiday in so many ways but the reason I love it is because of the true meaning of it being Jesus' Birthday. I really enjoyed this story. Our family is also fight cancer badly and there have been several and s poo on. I have even had 4 cancer surgeries myself and had 7 miscarriage also. I can really relate to Anna. I figured way back in the story that she was pregnant but I so Love the way you put this story together. And most importantly this was such a good book and I had a hard time putting it down...LOL. Thank You Melody Carlson.
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on January 18, 2014
This is a story to warm your soul. As a woman who has been unable to carry a child to term, this story really spoke to me. Yes, as you read it- you know where it's going- and that makes the read even better. Christmas time is for miracles and joy and love. And reading a book for a couple of hours in the afternoon is a break from reality. So go ahead, take a break and enjoy!
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on January 6, 2013
Michael and Anna seem to have everything - a house, Michael's started a business, they're
healthy, and they have each other. However they want a baby. At Thanksgiving, they have
their families over - her brothr David and his wife Celeste are expecting a baby, but David
doesn't seem as excited to be a father. Her sister Meredith is going through her own
issues. Then after feeling sick for awhile, Anna thinks that she is dying from ovarian
cancer from her symptoms, the same thing that killed her mother. So she decides to
make it the best Christmas for everyone. A wonderful retelling of the Gift of the Magi.
Worth a read.
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