Skip to content

Review: The Paper Bag Christmas

November 22, 2008


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.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2008 7:09 am

    This looks like a lovely Christmas treat.

  2. November 22, 2008 9:09 am

    I have never been a big reader of Christmas books…I don’t know, maybe it is just to busy a time of year. But this one sounds awfully good…

  3. stacybuckeye permalink
    November 22, 2008 9:44 am

    It sounds good, but also like it might make me a little sad.

  4. November 22, 2008 10:09 am

    Great review. My Christmas reading is usually books for the kids, but this one sounds like a good one for me.

  5. November 22, 2008 11:05 am

    This one is sure making its rounds and it does sound like a good read. It’s on my wish list.

  6. November 22, 2008 11:25 am

    This sounds like a good holiday book! Thanks for the review, Kathy!

  7. alirambles permalink
    November 22, 2008 11:33 am

    This one sounds so good! For kids? Not for kids? (My kids and I have been reading Santa Responds, which is, er, definitely NOT for little kids! They love it.)

  8. November 22, 2008 11:59 am

    This book isn’t for very young children, but I think it would be a great book to read with pre-teens on up.

  9. November 22, 2008 2:05 pm

    I’ve been seeing this one around a lot lately–glad you liked it! I’ll definitely have to check it out.

  10. November 22, 2008 5:21 pm

    That sounds lovely. Tears as in the good kind, as opposed to depressing-story tears?

  11. November 22, 2008 6:22 pm

    The tears are somewhat bittersweet. The story has some sad parts, but it is definitely uplifting.

  12. November 22, 2008 6:31 pm

    Sounds like one I need to get for me and my girl. Would be fun to read a Christmas book together. Thanks for the review Kathy!

  13. November 22, 2008 8:53 pm

    I love Christmas books that tug at your heartstrings. I’m a sucker for Donna VanLiere’s series. This one sounds good too!

  14. November 22, 2008 9:39 pm

    I had the same question as Ali, whether you thought it was appropriate for my older kids (10 and 12) … thanks for the answer!

  15. November 22, 2008 11:59 pm

    This book sounds lovely. I love Christmas themed books. Great review.

  16. November 23, 2008 12:08 pm

    Sounds like a tearjerker! I love a book that helps me get my priorities straight.

  17. Bobbie Crawford-McCoy permalink
    November 23, 2008 9:10 pm

    I love this book!
    Great review Kathy 🙂


  18. November 23, 2008 11:39 pm

    Shame on me. I don’t think I have any Christmas books lined up this season. This sounds like the perfect one though.

  19. November 24, 2008 11:35 am

    This sounds liked a wonderful book. Thanks for the review.


  20. November 25, 2008 1:46 pm

    Thank you. I needed a good recommendation. I keep seeing this one out there I can’t wait to read it.

  21. November 25, 2008 2:24 pm

    Oh this sounds lovely, I’ve been on the lookout for some good Christmas books.

  22. November 25, 2008 5:55 pm

    Sounds like a very touching book. Thanks for the review!

  23. November 26, 2008 10:01 pm

    Great review! This one’s in my TBR pile, and I definitely plan on reading it before Christmas. I like short, heartwarming stories like these around the holidays!

  24. November 27, 2008 2:38 pm

    I love these sweet Christmas reads. Sounds great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: