education pathways

Home » Book Review » The Christmas Spirit–sharing Christmas

The Christmas Spirit–sharing Christmas

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


The Christmas Spirit

by Debbie Macomber

What could the pastor of Light of Life church and the owner/bartender/waiter/janitor of the Last Call tavern possibly have in common? They were childhood friends and they maintain their connection by meeting at Mom’s Place monthly for lunch. Pete is clean-cut and Hank looks a little rough and shaggy, but they both love Jesus and people.

Debbie Macomber’s The Christmas Spirit is a humorous romance that is as Christmasy as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. With only one week to go before Christmas, the two men decide to change places for a week because each thinks he has a harder job than the other. Walking in each other’s shoes teaches the men a lot of lessons about how to deal with all kinds of people with love and compassion and how to trust God. The pastor has to stand up to some tough characters including the Hell’s Outlaws, and Hank must confront the equally challenging Mrs. Millstone who dangles the large donation of a new roof for the church over the pastor’s head.

Both men are single so you can expect some romance. The women they are interested in have backgrounds that complicate their relationships. The waitress Millie might be unacceptable to Pete’s congregation, and the woman who has caught Hank’s attention happens to be Pete’s sister and the church secretary. Because of past pain, she has shut herself off to others with a superior attitude.

The story has a sweet format as Nana tells it to her two grandchildren who have come over to visit. Instead of a fairy tale, she tells them a real story. Eight year old Lance is good with that, but Nana has to promise to forewarn him if there is any kissing so he can cover his ears. Six year old Lily is delighted that there will be kissing. The plot progresses quickly with interludes in which Nana and the kids reflect on events in the story.

So many problems arise, some fun and some more serious. Characters must rise to the occasion to overcome biases, think outside the box, and trust God to work things out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Category: General Fiction, Romance, Women’s Fiction

Notes: This is a good book for anyone who feels “church people” are too stuffy or hypocritical.…or for any Christians still holding onto biases. After you read this, you may come away with a new understanding of how God’s love is meant to play out in our world today.

Publication: October 18, 2022—Random House (Ballantine)

Memorable Lines:

Never in all his days had he met anyone more self-righteous than Grace Ann Armstrong. The woman had her nose so far up in the air that she was in danger of drowning in a rainstorm.

In Hank’s way of thinking, Gracie was so heavenly minded, she was no earthly good. Life was black and white for her, unlike Pete, whose real gift was understanding human nature and accepting others for exactly who they were. Pete was never one to cram faith down anyone’s throat. He loved people, and anyone who spent time with him, even a short while, recognized as much.

“Doesn’t the church belong to God?” he asked. “Technically…yes, but…” “It seems to me,” he said, “if God is who you say He is, then it makes sense to me that He knows that the roof needs to be replaced and He’ll see to it.”


  1. WendyW says:

    This is a good one! Debbie writes heartwarming stories like nobody else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carla says:

    Love your review, Linda. By the time my name comes to the top of the list at my library, I will be reading this for Christmas in July. I love her Christmas books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh this sounds like fun, it’s going on my list! Thanks Linda and Merry Christmas!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gretchen says:

    I like the sound of this one, Linda! I’m adding it to my Christmas reads list.


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 )

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: