An Endless Christmas
By Cynthia Ruchti
Worthy Publishing, 2015
An award-winning novelist’s heartwarming story about family and love lost, found, and finally truly revealed at Christmas.
Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says "no."
Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.
Legacy. Unconditional love. And not only unconditional love, but outrageous, extravagant love.
This and so much more is the essence of An Endless Christmas, one of the most memorable and endearing stories I’ve ever read. While its December Minnesota setting certainly invokes the Christmas spirit, this story gently unfolds messages that readers can take to heart every day of the year. Cynthia Ruchti is one of my favorite writers, for she always entertains with stories filled with deep characterization, lyrical writing, heartfelt emotion, and spiritual lessons that make life all the richer.
Stillwater, Minnesota . . . From its historical section with quaint stores, inns and Victorian homes, to the vertical lift bridge stretching across the St. Croix to Houlton, Wisconsin, Cynthia brings this picturesque setting to life. Be sure to check out Cynthia’s Pinterest board for some great images of all this area has to offer.
As Micah and Katie join the Binder family for an important family tradition, the Christmas week extravaganza at his grandparents’ cottage north of Stillwater, we are introduced to one of the most precious fictional families I’ve ever met. Katie, “the daughter of parents who ate conflict for breakfast,” yearned for a real family who could weather storms with their love intact. With his patience, tenderness, and steadfast love, God used Micah and his family to open Katie’s eyes to all that could be. This conversation between them is so meaningful . . .
Katie: “You do know that those people in there aren’t normal. Forgiveness is second nature to them. Nobody holds a grudge. The in-laws are indistinguishable from the children born into the family.”
Micah: “What if this kind of crazy love is normal and everything else is the warped way of living?”
Micah’s eighty-something grandparents, Dodie and Wilson, are at the heart of this story and the impact of their legacy is something to which all readers can cling. There’s also some incredibly moving scenes, such as the family’s burning of the year’s regrets in a bonfire, Wilson’s goodnight prayer/blessing to each family member, and the children’s delightfully funny Christmas play.
The best of stories leave me with much to dwell upon and apply. Here are just a few gems that spoke to me . . .
- Older family members are a blessing, jewels to be treasured.
- Family traditions are important, yet shouldn’t be held too tightly because “sometimes the detours turn out better than the original plan.”
- Contentment might not show up when making the choice to extend forgiveness, but it will come.
- Squeeze every drop of delight from life by staying present in the moment, “take life as it comes and cherish every moment, good or bad.”
But the message that touched me most is one which we can all apply daily . . . that we should never leave any unfinished business when it comes to our loved ones. That we should never have to rush to a sick person’s bedside with a need to express love, because that love has consistently been conveyed by words and actions every day.
It is my hope that all who read this review will find a copy of An Endless Christmas and cherish your family in a more meaningful way every day because of it. For beauty of narrative, the entire Binder family, and the way this story touched me . . . 5 stars! Highly recommended.
Drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry, Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of “hope-that-glows-in-the-dark” through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, and speaking for women’s and writers’ events. Her books have been recognized by Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Selah Awards, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award.
She and her plot-tweaking husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.
Connect with Cynthia online at cynthiaruchti.com, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Worthy Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review - and for making this giveaway possible.
To enter the drawing for An Endless Christmas . . .
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