- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Harmony (October 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553418556
- ISBN-13: 978-0553418552
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (487 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle Hardcover – October 28, 2014
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A Woman's Day Book Club Pick
"The book's simple prose and profound message will fill even the Grinch-iest hearts with Christmas spirit while affirming the age-old adage, it really is the thought that counts." --USA Today
"A funny, knockout-moving new memoir...Read it, share it, pay it forward." --The Good Life
"[A] touching true story." --Women's Day
"A feel-good story guaranteed to move you." --Good Housekeeping
"Inspiring readers throughout the country and around the world this holiday season." --The Dayton Daily News
“THE 13TH GIFT is the kind of Christmas book whose message is much bigger than the holiday. This memoir is written from the heart and for the heart.” --Jason Wright, New York Times bestselling author of Christmas Jars
“I loved The 13th Gift—a truly heartfelt and intelligent book. Joanne Smith deftly reconciles the difficult terrain that ranges between the Christmas we all want and the tragedies of life that sooner or later beset us all. Highly recommend it to all, but particularly to those that are dealing with recent losses and don’t’ know how or if they will ever find their way back.” –Greg Kincaid, author of the bestselling Christmas with Tucker and A Christmas Home
"The beautiful story told in The 13th Gift reinforces how the most precious gifts at Christmas are when people give unconditional love and support and it proves how compassion and a kind heart can change lives. Acts of kindness can create a legacy that lives on from generation to generation." --Laura Schroff, New York Times bestselling author, An Invisible Thread
“If there ever was a roller-coasterish page-turner of a Christmas book, this would be it. As a veteran devourer of Christmas stories short and long, fictional and true, I mistakenly assumed I'd encountered every conceivable plot variant in the genre. Turns out I was dead-wrong. Joanne Hurst Smith's wondrous story hit me from so many directions, playing on the strings of so many emotions, that it left me limp at the end Quite simply, it is a masterpiece.” --Joe L. Wheeler, Ph.D., author of the bestselling Christmas in My Heart® series
"The 13th Gift has a touch of magic in it. It's a lovely story that proves we can recover from any loss, strengthened by the blessings of others. It's a classic for the Christmas season--and all seasons." --Glenn Plaskin, author of Katie Up And Down The Hall: The True Story Of How One Dog Turned Five Neighbors Into A Family
"For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas memoir about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family's history into a time of strength and love." --Book Reporter.com
About the Author
Joanne Huist Smith is a native of Dayton, OH. She earned a bachelor's degree in English at Wright State University and worked as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News. She is the mother of three and grandmother of two.
Top Customer Reviews
When gifts start showing up at their doorstep (along with cute little verses that I lvoed), the mom is initially quite upset. Upset in a way that I really didn't understand until about half way through the story. These gifts from strangers brought a holiday to her that she was trying desperately to erase from her life. A holiday that brought so many bittersweet memories with it.
Thankfully, her youngest won't let her throw the gifts away, and even manages to make a game of trying to catch Santa in the act. Slowly but surely these gifts - one for each of the 12 days before Christmas - begin to draw the family not only into the holiday spirit, but it brings them back together. For the first time in a long time, they find themselves working on a common project - a who-dun-it (in a good way) type of mystery.
In the end, things are still not normal, but the family has learned to come together to deal with all the things life throws at them. They have also built some amazing memories together that they continue to share through the years. This is what a Christmas story should be all about.
The thing about the gifts is that they weren't expensive, they were just thoughtful reminders that the family wasn't alone. And somehow, it worked. These daily tokens helped the family survive their very first Christmas after losing husband and father. In fact, the gifts were the seeds they needed to grow a new set of memories and to begin to live again instead of safely survive.
And in the retelling of their own story, their is a subtle reminder that this is something all of us can do. After the funeral is over, the grief remains. Families still struggle. Life feels like it may never be the same. Are there subtle little things we can do to reach out to others to give them hope?
I do not know that I will choose this specific method to share hope this Christmas, but I will be encouraged to find personal ways that I can share.
Each family member was dealing with the loss in different ways. Her oldest, Ben, seems to have withdrawn from the family while daughter Megan has become the peace maker. Middle child Nick is weary. Then thirteen days before Christmas, a poinsettia appears on their doorstep with a note that it is from their true friends. Threatening to just let it sit outside and freeze in order to help avoid the holiday altogether, Megan talks her Mom into bringing it inside. Each day a different gift arrives and through them comes healing to the family as they try to discover the identity of the giver and how to celebrate Christmas and still honor the memory of their father/husband while making new memories of their own.
If you know me at all, it will come as no surprise why I chose this book. It is a Christmas story of course! I loved the way the author spoke from her heart and walked us through her grieving process with honesty. However, I would have preferred she left the language out of it. I can't be convinced that anger/frustration/grief must lead to cursing. Would I recommend this book? Yes, with a disclosure. I loved the tradition her friends began and wish I had thought of it when my children were home to help pass it along. However, I think I might just start it myself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely love this book. I actually read this from borrowing it from a friend and loved it so much decided to purchase it for my sister for her birthday. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Baby
Joanne Huist Smith’s husband passed away a few months before December. Depressed and unable to participate in the Christmas cheer, her youngest of three children worries that there... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ariesgrl
Book was a good read during the holiday season. Really makes you think what family is all about.Published 3 months ago by CAROL PAGE
the book is very touching but yet inspiring at the same time. I heard Joanne speak this week and she is a great person. can't wait for the movie!Published 4 months ago by Ann O.
Wonderful book. It's hard to put down because you want to find out what the next gift will be and who is giving them.Published 4 months ago by Liz
Wonderful, from the heart, true story! A good Pre-Christmas book for the family.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer