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One Imperfect Christmas [Kindle Edition]

Myra Johnson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Graphic designer Natalie Pearce faces the most difficult Christmas of her life. For almost a year, her mother has lain in a nursing home, the victim of a massive stroke, and Natalie blames herself for not being there when it happened. Worse, she’s allowed the monstrous load of guilt to drive a wedge between her and everyone she loves—most of all her husband Daniel. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, her prayer life is suffering, and she’s one Christmas away from hitting rock bottom.

Junior-high basketball coach Daniel Pearce is at his wit’s end. Nothing he’s done has been able to break through the wall Natalie has erected between them. And their daughter Lissa’s adolescent rebellion isn’t helping matters. As Daniel’s hope reaches its lowest ebb, he wonders if this Christmas will spell the end of his marriage and the loss of everything he holds dear.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Myra Johnson launched her writing career in 1985 when she sold her first short story while taking a course through the Institute of Children’s Literature. Myra later joined the ICL staff as a magazine writing instructor, teaching hundreds of students the fundamentals of story and article structure, plotting, character development, and market analysis. She now writes full-time and is active in her church as well as local and national writers groups. Her manuscripts have placed in several contests. One Perfect Christmas won first place in the 2008 Winter Rose (Mainstream with Romantic Elements); Pearl of Great Price took third in the 2007 ACFW Genesis (Contemporary Fiction); and Autumn Rains won the 2005 RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript. Myra and her husband, Jack, have been married since 1972. Recent transplants from Texas to Oklahoma, they share their home with two love-hungry dogs and a snobby parakeet. The Johnsons have two daughters, both married, and five grandchildren. She currently lives in Broken Arrow, OK. Website:; Active blogger on and

Product Details

  • File Size: 651 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (June 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,893 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-wrenching and Real August 21, 2009
Myra Johnson's debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas, puts together all that is perfect about Christmas--family, faith, celebration of life and the birth of Christ. It also gives us a glimpse into life's imperfections--loss, guilt, self-doubt, and the pain of having a loved one suffer in illness.

Natalie Pearce faces the same frustrations many busy women do--the responsibilities of maintaining a home, trying to quell her temper with a husband whose job is top priority, and providing guidance for an adolescent daughter who can be a handful at times. Add to that a budding career for herself and helping out with her retired parents, and it's easy to see how Natalie falls into the "guilt" trap when her mother has a debilitating stroke. Blaming herself for not being there, Natalie erects a wall around herself, alienating her family and giving her father more worry instead of help in caring for the mom who's confined to a nursing home.

One Imperfect Christmas is a family's journey through broken marriage, misunderstood feelings, and the lengths to which a young teen will go to bring her parents together and be the catalyst for healing and peace. Warm and heartfelt, the writing is deeply introspective, and there were times I didn't like Natalie very much, but as we are all vulnerable to life's traumas, she was also relatable. Who among us is always likeable? And even more, who hasn't experienced the need for divine intervention more than a few times in our lives?
Myra's debut book is one to ponder, to reflect on our own relationships, and to celebrate the joys of Christmas.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Imperfect Christmas gives a perfect ending October 22, 2009
Myra Johnson's One Imperfect Christmas rings with truth--not every Christmas is a picture-perfect celebration. Sometimes life deals a blow, bringing even strong Christians to their knees. Natalie Pearce turned down her mother's request to help put away her Christmas decorations. When her mother suffers an incapacitating stroke, Natalie is ripped apart with guilt and spirals into depression, driving a wedge that rips her family apart. If you've gone through a heart-wrenching illness or loss of a loved one, you'll identify with the Pearce family as they struggle through their year of trial. Natalie and Daniel's marriage looks doomed to failure, even as their teenage daughter Lissa schemes to keep her family together. In the end, with God's help, Natalie is able to forgive herself, accept life as it comes and the healing love of family, her very own Christmas miracle.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Myra October 12, 2009
Myra Johnson's book, One Imperfect Christmas, was one perfect gift for myself. The holidays are just around the corner and it's always difficult for me since I lost my mother. I was immediately drawn to the characters in this book because their happiness and tragedies mirrored some within my own family. I could empathize with Natalie for the guilt she felt because I'll always worry, "Did I call Mom often enough", "Did I spend enough time with her" and "Did she really know how much I loved her?" Ms Johnson takes the reader into the heart of this family, through the good times and the bad, and reminds us how wonderful it is to be loved. I look forward to reading her following books.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wallowing in Guilt November 22, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The main characters spend most of this book indulging in selfish, stupid behavior, especially the female "lead" character who nearly destroys her life through her egocentric wallowing in guilt.

I know people behave like this in reality, but they are downright toxic to be around. I can not imagine any reason why I would care to read a novel--especially a moralistic, preachy novel--which spends nearly its entire length dwelling on this behavior.

The other characters spend too much time trying to manipulate each other, with foolish plots that would almost certainly have been discovered in reality far sooner than in the novel.

I had to force myself to finish this book, and the "resolution" was contrived, unbelievable, and a let-down.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yuck November 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am sorry - I couldn't finish it. When I find myself doing almost anything but reach for my Kindle because of the book I'm reading, its time to stop. I wanted so badly to slap some sense into the main character and slap her so-called "Christian" counselor. This is a Christian book, at least in theory, but up to the part I tossed it, God is mentioned only barely in passing and more in reference to church and desperate prayers. Maybe the book improved in all these areas sometime later but I wasn't willing to wallow through everyone's self pity and selfishness to get to it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Depressing October 31, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Christmas is a great Holiday. This book was so depressing, and the daughter most selfish. We all deal with crisis in our daily lives, but this book had not story line besides the mother dying. If the last few pages are supose to make up the Christmas story, It was major lacking. That is my opinion. I read alot of different books, I can and do like heartwarming stories, but this one was to lacking.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Holiday story with a happy-ish ending December 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story was just okay. I really didn't like any of the characters. I didn't connect to a single one. I was honesty frustrated with the lack of communication between Natalie and wonder they separated. They have the worst communication on earth! They both want each other back but refuse to say so...just terrible. Then their bratty, mouthy daughter Lissa thinks that meddling at Natalie's job to get her mother fired was a good idea. That was ridiculous. I can't believe that a grown adult (young, but grown) would go along with a 13 year old's idea to sabotaging her own boss. More ridiculousness... To top it off, Natalie just forgave her and Lissa without a second thought. Craziness. I guess lucky for Lissa her mom was preoccupied with her mother dying.

Honestly, this story dragged on longer than it needed to. It's suppose to be a nice "Christmasy" read. We experience Natalie basically breaking down after her mother has a serious stroke which changes her for life. Her marriage falls apart and her relationship with her daughter becomes strained. We see Natalie's family butting into her relationship. Her brother, Hart trying to create circumstances for them to be in the same place, while he had good intensions, it was still a little fake, most men don't do that kind of stuff. I'd expect that more from Hart's wife than him. I thought the scene when Daniel rode out on the old, fat, scary acting horse "Pokey" to see his Natalie and Lissa was hilarious.

I did feel a bad for Natalie's father, pretty bad losing a spouse to a stroke. It's like she's no longer there. It was so sad to read Belinda speaking to her husband so naturally, except it was in only her mind. She couldn't physically get the words out, instead her words come out as mumble/moaning.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great story of real life.
Published 2 months ago by Sally Fink
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Great book loved reading it characters are perfect GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT book No complaints this is just the greatest imperfect Christmas if you have not read... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Esthermay Bentley-Goossen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best books I've read!
Published 4 months ago by Terry Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good story on life lessons learned from decisions made at stressful times.
Published 5 months ago by Kelly L Zielie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It was a lovely story
Published 5 months ago by Jaycie A Wright
2.0 out of 5 stars Not to Read at Christmas . . .
A difficult, distressing book to read. It did not increase my "Christmas Spirit."
There was a great deal of anger, and many actions that damaged relationships. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Val
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
A great fast read and just what I needed this Christmas.
Published 5 months ago by Karen
3.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't the super cute, happy book I thought it would be
It as ok, but I didn't really want to read a book about a separation. Wasn't the super cute, happy book I thought it would be.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Easy to read story, I loved this book. I will most likely read it on another Christmas. Worth the read
Published 5 months ago by Teresa G
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This was an enjoyable easy read.
Published 5 months ago by Teresa G
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More About the Author

Myra Johnson's roots go deep into Texas soil, but after surviving five icy winters and blistering summers in Oklahoma, she and her husband now enjoy the milder weather of the Carolinas. The Johnsons share their home with two lovable (and very spoiled) rescue dogs.

Myra's most recent novels comprise the Till We Meet Again historical romance series from Abingdon Press: WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (winner of the 2014 Christian Retailing's Best Award for historical fiction), WHISPER GOODBYE, and EVERY TEAR A MEMORY. Her debut novel, ONE IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS, was a 2009 release from Abingdon Press.

She has also written for Heartsong Presents. AUTUMN RAINS (2009) won the 2005 RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript and was named a 2010 ACFW Carol Award finalist. In November 2011, AUTUMN RAINS, ROMANCE BY THE BOOK, and WHERE THE DOGWOODS BLOOM (Heartsong Presents romances set in Missouri) were re-released as a Barbour 3-in-1 collection entitled GATEWAY WEDDINGS. Other recent Heartsong Presents titles include A HORSEMAN'S HEART, A HORSEMAN'S GIFT, and A HORSEMAN'S HOPE.

Myra writes full-time and is active in her church as well as local and national writers groups. Married since 1972, the Johnsons have two beautiful daughters, two terrific sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren.

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