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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is heartfelt and inspiring; a must have!
Typically, one would find my wife and I having dissimilar tastes in what we read. She prefers to soak in the 'suspenseful heart-wrenchers', while I tend to enjoy more of the adventurous and humorous stories.

We do, however seldom, find a work of Literature that satisfies us both. "The Paper Bag Christmas" is one such gem that we discovered, love and have...
Published on October 10, 2006 by Kyle Doyle

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Wanted to Love This
I am at a loss at what to say about this book. At the conclusion, it will definitely make you tear up.On the other hand, it is deliberately manipulative. You may think that yes, many Christmas books (and movies for that matter) are, but this one seems excessively so.

The story is a simple one: Molar Alan and his brother Aaran are taken to see an unusual Santa...
Published on April 24, 2012 by L. M Young


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is heartfelt and inspiring; a must have!, October 10, 2006
By 
Kyle Doyle (Rexburg, ID USA) - See all my reviews
Typically, one would find my wife and I having dissimilar tastes in what we read. She prefers to soak in the 'suspenseful heart-wrenchers', while I tend to enjoy more of the adventurous and humorous stories.

We do, however seldom, find a work of Literature that satisfies us both. "The Paper Bag Christmas" is one such gem that we discovered, love and have added to our family collection. I would highly recommend you do the same.

Milne writes in such a way that you quickly become woven into the fabric of the story, hardly able to stop reading once you have begun. The experiences of the characters become personal and you share every tear and laugh along the way.

A more appropriate recommendation would be to buy two: one for yourself, and one as a gift for a loved one. You are guaranteed to want to share it after you read it. Buying them together will save you on shipping.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday story!, November 19, 2008
By 
A. Pohren (IA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The Paper Bag Christmas is a perfect example of the greatness of quality rather than quantity. Often it is very easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas, with all of the materialistic hype that revolves around the holidays. However, with The Paper Bag Christmas, author Kevin Alan Milne brings to light the true meaning behind this celebrated time of year. It is not what we get or even what we can give material wise, but rather what we can give of ourselves and in return receive the greatest gift of all - or rather, as stated within The Paper Bag Christmas, the gift that is "everything you've never wanted for Christmas".

Molar and his older brother Aaron, help a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Chris Ringle, by assisting as Santa's elves, in a very special hospital children's ward. Though Molar and Aaron do not voluntarily begin this task, they soon realize the happiness they can bring to the other children and develop some very special bonds with the children - especially a young girl who wears a paper bag over her head to hide her "ugliness" and a young boy whose religion does not celebrate Christmas, and who knows very little of it's true traditional meaning. Though these two children appear the least likely, they are actually the ones to forever change Molar and Aaron's lives - as well as many around them. Molar also learns the truest meaning of friendship as well as the fact that just a few kind words and gestures can mean so very much to someone.

The Paper Bag Christmas is a wonderfully beautiful and heart warming story that will bring laughter, as well as tears. It is a story that you will want to read again and again and also a story that you will want to recommend to others. There are few books that forever touch the heart, and The Paper Bag Christmas is one of those. I highly recommend this and know that it will make a beautiful addition to anyone's library.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Story, January 21, 2010
The Paper Bag Christmas
By: Kevin Alan Milne

As a book reviewer I am very seldom at a loss for words. I bought this book because I love Christmas, and after reading a review, I decided to buy it. I am having a hard time finding the words to do justice to this book. It is a beautiful story of two brothers named Aaron and Molar who discover, "The best gift they never wanted for Christmas." This book has made me smile and then cry at times. I can't recommend this book enough. All that I can say is buy this book, give yourself a present, as you will not be disappointed. I wish all parents today would do what the parents in this book have done. Teach their children it is better to give then receive. Then their children will say, "The best gift I never wanted for Christmas." I would like to say to the author, "What a wonderful gift you have for writing"

Whispering Winds Book Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Christmas Read of a Lifetime, August 15, 2011
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This review is from: The Paper Bag Christmas (Hardcover)
This is one of the most beautiful Christmas stories I have ever read and I collect Christmas books! This book is suitable for both adults and children above third grade. Tears will flow and and you will also laugh with the adventures of Molar and his brother Aaron as they volunteer in the terminally ill department of a children's hospital in the weeks before Christmas. As you meet the various individuals in the terminally ill unit you will rejoice in their perseverance and cry with their discouragement. One of the patients named Katrina always wears a paperbag over her head when Molar and his brother Aaron visit because she thinks she is ugly and no one would want to see her face. Hence, the title of the book -- "The Paperbag Christmas". However the book gives much insight into several other terminally ill patients like Madhu who is Hindu, but has a great interest in Christmas. My one wish would be that each of us and our children could somehow be Molar and Aaron and actually have the experience of volunteering in this terminally ill unit that the author writes about. We would all have a deeper understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. The next best thing is to get the book and experience this Christmas journey for yourself. It is a small book and could be read in a night or two. Most people will not be able to put it down and will probably read it in one night. This is a book to be shared with everyone and would make the most meaningful Christmas gift. Someone in Hollywood or the Hallmark Film Corporation is missing the boat by not buying the production rights to this book and producing one of the most wonderful Christmas stories ever!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of reading aloud, January 13, 2011
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At Christmas time in 2009 I received The Paper Bag Christmas as a gift. As an English Lit major in college followed my education with a teaching career in High School English " and became immersed in the action, the characters and the subject matter that flowed gracefully from one subject to another. I forgot to critique and simply allowed myself to enjoy the book. I was so pleased I decided that "the Paper Bag Christmas" would be my gift to the many members of my family who are all grown and married and in their respective vocations.
I am the 8th in a family of 13. As you can imagine I have many siblings. My oldest living sister is the mother of 8 who are all married and away living their lives, while my youngest sister the mother of 7, all of whom are now married and away livng their lives and raising their families. From the youngest to the oldest there are many, many, more. Waht does this have to do with the Paper Bag Christmas??? Very easy to explain. When I send a Christmas Book it needs to be able to satisfy the youngest (born in 43) and her children and her children's children and the oldest living (born in 1926) and her children and her children's children. And all the others inbetween. The Paper Bag Christmas has done that. So it is a book for all ages and all walks of life.
It would be a great movie for TV. Maybe by Hallmark. Several of the family members all share that opinion. Many read it aloud to the children. If a book can keep a listener's attention it is a great testimonial.

JAL
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming novella captures the true spirit of Christmas, October 14, 2008
Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne is a short, charming story about how one child came to understand the real meaning of Christmas and the depth of God's love. Mo and his older brother are recruited by Dr. Christopher Ringle to volunteer at the children's ward in the weeks leading up to Christmas by promising them that they will get the best Christmas present they never asked for in their time there. The two boys make their way through the unit making friends until it comes to a young girl, Katrina, who wears a paper bag over her head to hide the damage that her treatment has done to her face and a boy who doesn't believe in Jesus so doesn't expect anything from Santa. The kids put together a Christmas program that will change everyone who attends and all of the children as well. Milne captures the inherent cruelty and kindness that children bear so easily. Mo is utterly charming in his willingness to do whatever it takes to make Katrina a part of the group. The tragic ending is uplifting in the way only God can work things. It's the perfect book to help get you in the mood for the holidays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the holiday season., December 19, 2008
In the spirit of the holiday I consider The Paper Bag Christmas a MUST READ. True, it's an unusual title, however when you read the book you'll understand the significance.

The story is about two young brothers, 9 year old Molar (named after the tooth - his father is an Orthodontist) and Aaron, age 11. Like many children around the holiday the brother got caught up in the commercialism of the season and had a wish list a mile long (not unlike my 'tween daughter).

The day after Thanksgiving the boy's father takes them to the mall to meet Santa, who unbeknown to them Santa is really Dr. Ringle, a Pediatric Oncologist and also a friend of their father. Santa (Dr. Ringle) tells the boys to meet him at a local Children's Hospital where they will find everything they ever wanted for Christmas.

Once at the hospital the boys are assigned the task of playing Elves to Santa and assisting Santa. While at the hospital the boys make friends with some of the patients while getting ready to participate in the hospital's Christmas pageant.

Aaron befriends a young boy name Madhu who is in desperate need of a transplant. Madhu has lots and lots of questions about Christmas for Aaron and he wants to play the part of the fourth Wise Man so that he can give a special gift to baby Jesus.

Molar, or Mo, becomes friends with a little girl name Katrina. She's had many surgeries and as a result she is covered in scars. She's is a very sad and lonely little girl who wears a paper bag over her had so that no one can see the damage to her face.

Without giving away the ending (but I'm sure you can sort of figure it out) the boys finally learn what Christmas is truly about. It's not about the latest and greatest video game, or $120+ Ugg boots (hello my dear sweet daughter!). Christmas is about love, friendship, caring and giving. Just as the Wise Men gave gifts to baby Jesus, Katrina, Madhu and the other children at the Pediatric Hospital gave Mo and Aaron the great Christmas of all by showing them the TRUE meaning of Christmas.

This is one of those books that I like to refer to as a "keeper". I will be re-reading this book every Christmas. Let me forewarn you that this book will make you cry, but in a good way.

I recommend giving this book to anyone you know who is caught up with the commericalism of the holiday as a reminder to think about the real reason for this season. Please note that this is not a "religious" book but more so a book about hope, love, friendship and the greatest gift of all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful gift to readers at Christmas time, December 10, 2008
By 
What would you think if Santa Claus told you that you that you wouldn't get all the "stuff" you asked for, but you would get the gift you never wanted for Christmas? That's what a special Santa Claus told Molar and Aaron Alan when they visited him at the mall, the day after Thanksgiving in 1980.

The unusual Santa who "posed" as a pediatric oncologist and rode around in a colorful wheelchair enlists Molar and Aaron to serve as his elves in the children's ward of the local hospital.

Molar and Aaron are each given a special assignment. Aaron meets a young Indian boy, Madhu, who is Hindu and is in need of a liver. Madhu has an interest in the Christmas story and has questions galore about the meaning of the season. He wants to be the fourth wise man in the hospital pageant - and he ultimately gives the greatest of all gifts to the Christ child.

Molar's assignment is more difficult. Katrina is a sad and lonely girl who is dying. Her numerous surgeries have left her scarred and thus she keeps herself hidden from everyone.

Madhu and Katrina have a Christmas wish but the Christmas spirit touches all of the lives of those in the children's hospital. And Aaron and Molar experience their first real Christmas, one that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

The novella, The Paper Bag Christmas is just a feel-good story that will bring tears to your eyes, put a smile on your lips and fill your heart with love. And really, isn't that what Christmas is all about? The Christmas season lives through the story of a man who cared, children who believed and a hospital that became the stage for Christmas miracles that Christmas in Oregon in 1980.

Armchair Interviews says: The Paper Bag Christmas is a Christmas gift from the author to everyone. Our gift to the author--buy his lovely Christmas story and live the message all year round.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Christmas Fare -- Great story, Mediocre writing, December 6, 2008
By 
As the Christmas season rolls around, finding new (or new to me) stories with a Christmas setting captures my fancy. This year my habit got a start with a re-issue of a 2006 feel-good called The Paper Bag Christmas.

Nine-year-old Molar (named for his orthodontist father's favorite tooth) and his eleven-year-old brother, Aaron, are whisked away the day after Thanksgiving to see Santa at the local mall and present him with their wish list. What they found was the most interesting Santa with a more interesting suggestion. After they filled both sides of the paper given them to put "Everything I ever wanted for Christmas . . ." on, the boys are challenged to meet Santa at a local children's hospital where they will find everything they never wanted for Christmas.

Assigned as elves to help Dr. Christoffer K. Ringle (aka Santa Claus) bring Christmas cheer to a floor full of young cancer patients, Mo and Aaron find themselves in the perfect place to find the real meaning of Christmas.

With an international cast of characters like the Scottish doctor, the janitor/elf from the Bronx (the story takes place in Oregon), and an intriguing but wise patient from India, this little book is great holiday fare. Bring a box of tissues with you to handle the obligatory jerk of tears that accompanies any good Christmas story.

The Paper Bag Christmas is a heartwarming reminder of what Christmas is all about that struggles in the telling. The dialogue is a mixture of great and mediocre writing owing most likely to the fact that this is Milne's debut novel. The awkward writing found mostly in the conversational passages in which Molar sounds more like a boy of fifteen with a limited vocabulary than a nine-year-old with an advanced one do not distract from the story itself.

As regular reading I'd probably give this book only three reading glasses, but because it is the season and it is a Christmas book, and I did enjoy it very much, and I think anyone wanting to read Christmas fare (whatever time they want to read it) will want to read this book, I recommend it with four out of five reading glasses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what you need to put you in the Christmas spirit., November 22, 2008
By 
If there was ever a year when we needed a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas, this is it. The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne is just the book to help us reflect on that.

The book opens on the day after Thanksgiving with Mo and Aaron Alan going to the mall to visit Santa. One of Santa's elves gives them a sheet of paper to write their Christmas wish list on while they wait in line. Both boys fill up every line with every toy they can imagine. After waiting in line for two hours, they finally get to meet Santa, who takes one look at the list and declares it unsuitable. He offers the boys the chance to receive "the best gift they never wanted."

It turns out that Santa is none other than Dr. Ringle, a pediatric oncologist, and he has Mo and Aaron volunteer at the local hospital. They play elves to Dr. Ringle's Santa, passing out blank lists and candy canes to the patients. They have to keep returning to the hospital to collect the lists and practice for the Christmas pageant. While they're at the hospital, they make friends with some seriously ill children and through them discover the true meaning of Christmas. (There is more to the story than that, but I don't want to spoil anything for you.)

At 150 pages, this is a quick read, but it's so very good. It will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face. It will make you stop to think about the Christmas spirit and what you'd really like this holiday season. This is a wonderful book to share with your family and friends.
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The Paper Bag Christmas
The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne (Hardcover - October 29, 2008)
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