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One Imperfect Christmas [Kindle Edition]

Myra Johnson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 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: 469 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1426700709
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (June 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,872 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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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18 of 19 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book.....
Published 15 days ago by KyLee
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice read
This story was a great representation of grief, family, and faith. Would definitely recommend others to read this book. Great!
Published 5 months ago by Yvonne Rios
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and quick read
Good story with relatable characters. This was a quick read, and an enjoyable plot with an array of reactions to a crisis situation. I would recommend this book.
Published 5 months ago by Leanna L Barber
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a love story!
This story tells about problems in families and how God can heal broken relationships. A read well worth your time.
Published 8 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Moving
This was a well written and warm story that stirred my heart. What else could you want from a Christmas book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by melindafk
1.0 out of 5 stars not much to say...
I found the story quite overly contrived around the main character's annoying, overdone, self-centeredness. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Barbara E Garrett
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable
Our book club read this book for our Christmas meeting. I found it difficult to take the book seriously as it was obvious from the beginning what was going to happen and the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Naomi Young
4.0 out of 5 stars great story
Was a great Christmas love story made me feel i was in some small town celebrating a good old fashioned Christmas.
Published 9 months ago by Sjoneschef
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome story!
This book couldn't have been better. I love that the story ended rather than set the scene for a continuation! Hope to read another of her books soon! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cassiegal
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good Christmas read

This was one really awesome Christmas read! When Natalie Pearce chose not to go help her mom take down her Christmas decorations, she never... Read more
Published 9 months ago by ibjoy1953
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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 Carolinas. The Johnsons share their home with two lovable (and very spoiled) 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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