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A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories That Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit Paperback – November 6, 2012
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"There is no doubt readers will readily relate to the emphasis and stories included because they are so down to earth and similar to many people's Christmas experiences...It is an easy but very enjoyable read."--Ed Spann, former dean, Dallas Baptist University
About the Author
MIKE HUCKABEE hosts the popular talk show Huckabee on Fox News Channel and The Mike Huckabee Show each weekday on Cumulus Radio and presents “The Huckabee Report” commentary three times daily on six hundred radio stations. He served as lieutenant governor of Arkansas from 1993 to 1996 and as governor from 1996 to 2007. During the 2008 presidential race he came in second place for the Republican nomination. His previous books include the New York Times bestsellers Do the Right Thing, A Simple Christmas, and A Simple Government. He and his wife of thirty-eight years, Janet, have three grown children and three dogs.
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"Patience" - Mike recounts his impatience with the long wait to open Christmas presents and his lack of understanding the postponement of joy. In his mature years he has come to terms with the fact that anticipation helps him appreciate things more. The lifetime spent on this broken earth filled with all of its shortcomings, problems, and pressures will help us appreciate Heaven much more when we finally get there.
"Sacrifice" -Mike shares his passion to become a Beatle and details his life-long love of guitars. We share his joy at getting his first guitar at age 11 and are privy to the sacrifice his parents made to order this from the JC Penney Catalog. He relates what he learned about sacrifice and how the greatest sacrifice of all, God's gift of Himself, is still the foundation of every Christmas.
"Loneliness" - This was my favorite entry and the most moving of all the stories he recalled. He details his urbane and sophisticated Uncle Garvin from Houston. The last Christmas they spent together was Mike's most meaningful, not because it was a happy one, but because it wasn't. A young Mike learned the real meaning of Christmas is not giving toys but giving God's grace in person to someone who is no longer in a position to give back.
"Family" - This chapter centers on a quote from Isaiah, "Look to the rock from which you were hewn; to the quarry from which you were dug." We learn about Go-Go, his maternal grandmother, and the large gatherings of diverse personalities which is still the embodiment of Christmas traditions.
"Traditions" - Mike learns why we love traditions---because they are a connection to our past, give us a sense of security about the uncertainties of our future. He also learns they don't have to be fancy or costly; they just have to be consistent. Whether it's a tree-cutting family trek, baking cookies, or decorating the tree with the same ornaments year after year, the comforts of tradition are constants in our changing lives.
"Crisis" - As a newlywed, he learns about the most precious gift of all. His wife Janet faces spinal cancer and the prospect of death at age 20. The young couple learned God's greatest gift is not to remove us from crisis, but to walk us through it. True faith is tested not in the joyful times, but in the hard ones.
"Hope" - The Huckabees receive a true Christmas miracle when Janet gives birth. They learn that out of the depths of despair can spring hope and affirmation and the reader will also learn what the Huckabees have been topping their tree with ever since.
"Stability" - In this biographical sketch, the reader learns how the Huckabees became homeowners and how Mike got his first big career break.
"Limitations" - When attempting to put a tricycle together on Christmas Eve, Mike got an unforgettable lesson in pride and learned it's ok to admit we need help. He came to learn that Christmas is about accepting he was incapable of putting his own life together and would always need God's help.
"Transitions" -Mike discusses the milestones in his life, his career changes, his decision to act on his original goal of entering public life, the bias of the media, and his presidential bid. He reminds us to focus always on what truly matters---faith, family, freedom.
"Faith" - Mike writes affectionately of his father and how this hard-working role model taught him not only how to live but also how to die.
"Rewards" - Mike discusses his years as Governor of Arkansas and though his Christmases were much more complicated, he learned that God loves us when we have nothing and He loves us when we have a lot.
As the title suggests, this collection of twelve Christmas Stories from Huckabee's life do celebrate the true Holiday Spirit. Not all of them will move the reader to tears, but they all have a moral and in a few instances it's easy to see the source of the former Arkansas Governor's conservative philosophy. This is the story of a man who lived the American Dream and moved from real poverty to the highest success that hard work and trust in God that only America offers all its residents. This is definitely an inspiring read even for the Ex-Governor's political opponents and people who simply don't like him. Some messages transcend mere politics.
Dr. Stanley E. Toompas, Optometrist
& Author of, "I'm the One the Other Isn't"