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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Thirty minutes ago, I finished reading this to my children (all in one sitting!) My four-yr-old fell asleep, but the other two kids kept telling me "Just one more chapter!" During the last chapter or two, we all started crying and couldn't stop. At times, I could barely read the words through my sobbing. It is such a POWERFUL story of love. Even though young children may get bored with the first few chapters, keep reading with them. By the end of the fourth chapter, they will be begging you not to stop reading. They have asked me to buy them each a book of their own. I plan to do so, so that they may share this beautiful story someday with their own children. I'm sure that my family now has a new Christmas tradition: reading aloud "The Christmas Box."
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a "must read" for any parent, grand-parent, sibling, aunt, or uncle who has experienced the death of a child. One of my children died earlier this year, so my reason for reading the book may be different from other readers. While the book was sad, it was also filled with hope - hope that survives the separation of a parent and child, hope that never wanes or forgets! The story may be simple and short, but it is an enduring testimony (both personal to the author and for his fictional characters) of enduring love!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had enjoyed the tv movie of this with Richard Thomas and Maureen O'Hara, but never liking to read a book once I've seen the movie, I avoided picking this one up. Surprisingly, I won it while playing 'Dirty Santa' at a neighborhood party and felt compelled to read it. What a treat! This is one of the most heartwarming stories and probably the best by the wonderful Richard Paul Evans. Readers will be enchanted by the story of the young father who with his wife and daughter take up residence with an elderly lady in order to make ends meet. Instead of mere companions and housekeepers to the woman, they become dear and trusted friends. They, like the reader, are mystified by her past and want to know more about the Christmas box in the attic and the secret of the letters it holds.
This book answers the profound question, 'What is the first gift of Christmas.' As every parent knows, it is a parent's love for a child and without being overly sappy on the religion angle, this book beautifully illustrates God's love for His children in sending His Son.
Speaking directly to parents who have lost children, this book will appeal to everyone who believes in Christmas and the importance of cherishing family. For an uplifting renewal of your committment to yourself and to your family, read this book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful little story that is just the right length to read in a single sitting. That is what I did, and then I went back and read it again. The message of the story is two-fold. First, to remind us that the first Christmas gift ever given was not wrapped up and placed underneath a tree, it had nothing to do with St. Nicholas, but it was placed in a box. That gift was the Son of God that He gave to us because he loved us so much. God knew what was going to happen to his son, but he gave him to us anyway so that we would be saved from the devil. The second lesson was learned by the father in this story - to spend less time at the office and more with his family.
There were times when I had to wipe away the tears while reading this book. It really is very touching to see how an old woman adopts the family she has hired to take care of her aging mansion. In return, they grow quite fond of her and share many things with her. She shares her Christmas Box however and reminds the family what the true meaning of Christmas is.
Why 5 stars?:
A very touching tale to remind everyone what the true meaning of Christmas: because God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that all who believe in him may not perish, but have eternal life. The tale is just the right length - easily read in one or two sittings. The lessons apply to all seasons and this book should be read all year round, not just at Christmas time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Jody Maier, Riverfront Book Club, Yonkers, New York

The Christmas Box was the December selection for the Riverfront Book Club. Richard Paul Evans writes a modern allegorical story in an empathic and sensitive prose style that appeals to a wide audience of readers. This touching story's central message of parental love is expressed through Christian imagery of God sending Jesus to live in the world. But one does not have to be Christian to appreciate the sequence of mysterious events that lead the main character to a transforming experience in which he is called to reorder his priorities.
Our group concluded that the popularity of this author's books, comes from the intense emotional impact they have on the reader and the desire of the reader to seek refuge from the anxiety, fears, and uncertainites of modern living. Mr. Evans has an ability to express human emotions and vunerabilities in ways that are understandable and accessible to the reader.
This book has become a Christmas classic because it is not rooted in fantasy, but instead in a realistic portrayal of the human quest for hope, connection, and fulfillment.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
That is the question answered by this book that can only tug at your heartstrings in a fashion that Evans is known so well for. A quick read, it is the story of an older woman who hires a young couple to see to her immediate needs. Along with the job comes living quarters in the east wing of her Victorian mansion. What follows is a lesson from a woman who has learned the hard way what's most important in life. This book won't be a disappointment; it will certainly leave you with a tear in your eye and make you think about how the busy days you spend away from your family are "like trading jewels for pebbles". Kelsana...3/18/01
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'm not one for emotional literary melodrama and I've come across two reactions (mainly) to this book. Either one loves it and it brings a charming nostalgia or it is taken as a cheesy attempt at capturing Christmas via the tale of a bereft widow. Set in Salt Lake City, a family with young children moves into a quaint Victorian home (the likes of which I've never seen in dreary and overly suburbian Salt Lake) to care for an elderly widow, and discover this heartwarming old woman lost a child as a young wife. From there, the story loosely ties to the idea of life after death and how to heal through your grief of losing a loved one and how to appreciate your family while you have them. These are all appealing themes but I found this book to be quite commercial and a little too Disney meets the Lifetime channel. If you're into sappy books with overtly Christian themes this might be a good read. Otherwise, stick to Dickens for Christmas family narratives.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift, she calls me here angel on earth and knew I would like this book. She was right. I started it on Christmas Eve. We needed to get to church early, having a family of six, plus a grandfather, who all wanted to sit together. I read the book while we waited for the children's service to begin. I was immediately drawn into the book. When the attic was entered, I did not want to put the book down, but of course it was time for service. Christmas Day was a busy one with the children and I did not get back to the book until the evening when the day was winding down. Needless to say, I finished it and decided that it would become a part of the Christmas season each year. I enjoyed the book so much that I came on line to make purchases for friends whom I am sure will treasure the book themselves and look forward to reading it each year.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was very emotional, surprising and sad at the end. It keeps you in suspense because the family that lives with the old lady notices strange things happening in the house. For example, the family finds an open Bible with tearstains on the pages and the man hears music in the house, which comes from the Christmas box. I really liked this book. My favorite part in the story was the end. When you read it you will understand why the end is the best part. The strange thing about this book is that it is true. The man, who wrote the book, heard the music from the box and discovered the secret of the old lady that his family lives with. I would recommend this book to people who believe in angels and who like to read dramatic stories.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book showed you what really matters in life. Though it is sad it teaches a lesson that everyone should learn. It is a fairly short book that you'll never want to put down. I thouroughly enjoyed this fabulous book and it taught me a VERY important lesson, I'm sure it will do the same for you.
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