Keeping Christmas


One of my guilty pleasures this time of year is reading Christmas novels. I love having the excuse that I need to review them! Because of my reviewer/blogger status, I have had the opportunity to read all of Dan Walsh’s Christmas novels and am so thankful that I was introduced to his books. “Keeping Christmas” is another winner from this excellent author who always manages to touch my heart.

A story about empty-nesters Stan and Anna who are spending Thanksgiving and Christmas without their children for the first time, “Keeping Christmas” resonated with some of my own feelings this year. This is also the first year that my daughter will be over a thousand miles away for the holidays and like Stan and Anna, there is really nothing I can do but make the best of it. So yes, it was very easy for me to empathize with Anna.

For much of the story, I was not sure how much Stan even cared. He was so wrapped up in his excitement over the new fishing boat he and a friend planned to buy. But ol’ Stan surprised me and I thought his gesture was wonderful.

As always, Dan Walsh has written a touching story that examines the depths of human emotions. I heartily recommend “Keeping Christmas” as well as each and every one of Dan’s other novels. Do yourself a favor and give them a try.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Stan opened the ugly ornaments box and pulled out the top three ornaments, the ones wrapped in green paper, the kids’ favorites, and set them on the coffee table. He picked up the first one, the biggest one–Anna’s blue pinecone–and began to unwrap it. Without thinking, Judith walked up, stopped him, and gently took it out of his hand. She wrapped it back up, set it carefully in the box. Then picked up the other two ornaments, put them in the box, and closed the flaps.

“What’s the matter?” Stan said. “Did I do something wrong?”

“I don’t think I can do this.”

Nothing is more beautiful than family

For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it’s looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can’t bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure, the ornaments were strange-looking–some were downright ugly–but they were tradition.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan’s only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments . . .

Dan WalshDan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift and The Restoration Series with Gary Smalley. He has won three Carol Awards, and three of his novels were finalists for the RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he’s busy researching and writing his next novel. Learn more at