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Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices: A Holiday Novel of Hope and Healing Hardcover – October 15, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 114 pages
  • Publisher: HCI (October 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757300537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757300530
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,082,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The opening lines of this novella "It was a perfect life. And it was hard for Eric Sanders to imagine how things could be any better."speak to the fundamental problem with Allen's writing, which consistently violates the old adage about showing and not telling. The story is heartbreaking; while wrapping Christmas presents for his family, Eric answers the front door to find a policeman bringing the news that his wife and children have been killed in a car accident. On Christmas Eve, Eric distributes the gifts that he had bought for his family to other people, and then the story fast-forwards to several years later when Eric learns a lesson about how his gifts changed their recipients' lives. Although this is a sincere and well-intentioned tale of generosity, it is also saccharine, didactic and unimaginatively written. (Oct.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Author

I wrote Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices in an effort to give people a sense of hope in a seemingly hopeless world. As we try to find any degree of peace and happiness, it seems that negative forces are ever present ready to knock us down. But I am convinced that we can ultimately find contenment through service and through small acts of kindness.

I wrote this book from the heart...and my hope is that readers will open their hearts to its message.


More About the Author

The companion song to "Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices" is now available as an mp3 download on Amazon. The lyrics to the song, "The Spirit of Christmas," appear at a crucial point in the book. After the main character, Eric, hears the song, some amazing things begin to happen. There are heartwarming revelations and finally the promise of hope for the future.

In arranging and producing the song, I wanted to give it a real holiday "feel." So there are sleighbells at the beginning, a booming, oldtime chruch organ near the middle, followed by a snippet of house-to-house caroling by a childrens choir.

I hope you enjoy the song!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 45 customer reviews
The funny parts are funny.
Josiah B.
Allen draws out his characters so well, that it reads like non-fiction.
Egon Lundgren
This book is the ultimate Christmas story.
Hector Ryman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Josiah B. on November 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I love Grisham's legal trillers. But I've got to truthfully say tht I was disappointed with his holiday novel Skipping Christmas. A friend recommended John Allen's (an author I've never heard of, by the way) "Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices."

I've got to say this book is the best book I've read in a long, long time. The funny parts are funny. The sad parts are overwhelmingly sad. And when you're done reading it, it sticks with you. You find you really care about the characters. And as promised on the cover, the story (without being "pie in the sky") really does give you comfort and hope.

Bottom line: Skip "Skipping Christmas" read "Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices."
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By JB on August 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When a friend told me about "Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices" I thought she was exaggerating. Surely no book could be as incredible as she cliamed.

But to humor her, I read the book.

Now I'm telling people how extraordinary the book is.

It is a heartbreaking book, but it contains gentle humor (I like the scene in the hardware/toy store.) And as sad as the book is, it leaves you with a good,peaceful feeling...

If you don't believe me I don't blame you. But do what I did. Read the book and find out for yourself.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Egon Lundgren on January 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When you're done with this book, you look at it...it's a thin book. And you wonder, how did the author accomplish so much in so few pages.
The cover says that it is a novel of hope and comfort. This story definitely gives you hope and comfort...and a few smiles along the way. The story is also heartbreaking. (Allen draws out his characters so well, that it reads like non-fiction.)
When the story is over you feel uplifted. The heartbreak has been resolved. And you have a sense of hope.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "DJ" on February 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We recently had a death in our family. A beloved aunt passed away. Even though she was elderly (72) none of us were ready to let her go.

After the funeral I started thinking about the message of Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices--one of my favorite Chirstmas books. I re-read it and felt at peace. I realized that its message would comfort all those who were mourning the death of my aunt. I sent copies to my relatives. I heard back and they all said that the book helped them cope with the loss.

That's why I say that this is a book not just for Christmas.

I would like to thank the author for writing such a comforting book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By manny on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
One of my friends found out that I loved The Passion. She said, "If you liked The Passion, I think you'd like a book called Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices."
I countered, "Why would I want to read a Christmas book when it's not even Christmas?"
She said, "It's more than a Christmas book...just read it."
I humored her and read it. I loved it. Afterwards, I talked about the book with my friend and we compared the similarities with The Passion. Both depict suffereing and anguish...but both stories leave you with a quiet sense of hope.
"Got any other books you'd like to recommend?" I asked her.
She said, "Anything by C.S. Lewis."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By chuck howard on November 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices is very moving...it is very sad, but it contains touches of light humor. The sadness is very real and intense. But the light moments help move the story along. There is a glimpse of a young boy studying potato bugs turning into "BBs." There is the teenager with the battered pickup truck. The problem of picking out ripe cantaloupes is portrayed.
If you read any new Christmas book this year, I'd recommend Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices. It's unlike any other Christmas story. And if you're like me, you'll find that you want to read it again and again.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nils Lundgren on December 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Why aren't there more books like this? This is a book that is uplifting, heartwarming, and touching. There's no sex or coarseness. The violence that is referred to (it is not portrayed) is integral to the story.
The resolution at the end is a classic.
If they make a movie of this I will be the first in line!
Are there any other books by this particular John Allen? If so, please tell me.
(PS. Don't read the synopsis on the back cover. It gives away too much.)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Enid, a booklover on December 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This story has the luster of a diamond. And like a maney faceted diamond, there are many layers to this story. Every time I read Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices, I get something new out of it.

And like a diamond, this is a story that will endure the test of time.

I can't do justice to the story in a review. All I can say is read it yourself, and you'll know what I mean.

(This is the first review I've ever written.)
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