The Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Alan Milne is a wonderful Christmas story showcasing the true meaning of Christmas. This story captured my heart from the very beginning and didn’t let go. I laughed, I cried but mostly I just loved this story. I often think that the meaning of Christmas is really lost today in the hustle and bustle of shopping and planning. This book shows us how important it is to take the time to do something for someone else and in turn bringing the true spirit of Christmas into our lives.
The book opens on the day after Thanksgiving when Mo and Aaron’s father announces that they are going to head to the mall and visit with Santa. While there an elf gives them a sheet of paper and tells them to write their Christmas wishes down so that they’re ready when they get to see Santa. Well the two boys fill their sheets up with every toy imaginable. Finally they get to see Santa and he finds their lists totally unacceptable and tells them that he can show them how to get “the best gift they never wanted”.
Santa turns out to be Dr. Ringle, a pediatric oncologist at a children’s hospital. He has the boys come and volunteer at the hospital as elves in the evenings before Christmas. Their first job is to hand out candy canes and a sheet of paper so the kids can write out their Christmas lists. The boys meet many very sick children but become friendly with two in particular, Madhu and Katrina. Through meeting these children and planning for a Christmas pageant, Mo and Aaron truly learn what Christmas should be about along with doing a lot of growing up in the process.
This is a quick read, on my eReader only 91 pages but in those pages it’s such an amazing story that you just won’t be able to put it down. I really do recommend this one for Christmas reading this year. It makes you sit back and realize what should be important this Christmas and it also makes you think about how lucky most of us are that are reasonably healthy.
To end, I’d like to share a few quotes from the book…
- ‘The only gift is a portion of thyself.’ —Ralph Waldo Emerson (pg 71, eReader edition)
- ‘Somehow, not only for Christmas but all the long year through, the joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you. And the more you spend in blessing the poor and lonely and sad, the more of your heart’s possessing returns to you glad.’ —John Greenleaf Whittier (pg 79, eReader edition)
- ‘But Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it —you feel it, you know it, you believe it’. (pg 88, eReader edition)
My Thanks…to myself for purchasing this book for my Sony eReader.