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Book Jacket

160 pages
Sep 2005
Baker Publishing

Startling Joy: Seven Magical Stories of Christmas

by James Calvin Schaap

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Do you remember the magic of Christmas for you as a child: the decorations, the tree, the gifts, the Christmas pageant, the carols, and the Christmas story? Somehow that magic fades for many of us as we age, but James Calvin Schaap recaptures the magic in Startling Joy, a collection of seven short stories about Christmas. Schaap explores the various aspects of Christmas with a sudden twist or epiphany at the end of each story. He gives us a fresh look at Christmas without gushing sentimentality, but with a sudden spring of hope and joy.

In each story, Schaap successfully indwells his main characters so that we forget that he is a college professor, but see only a young girl freshly viewing the importance of the Christ child, a weary children's home worker, the mother of a pregnant teenager, or a self-centered actor. Schaap subtly slips in a thought-provoking lesson rather than slaps us in the face with it.

Some of the stories will make you laugh, some will make you think, and some will make you cry. But in each case, Schaap leaves behind him: Joy! Hope! Christmas! -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Who knew you could find Christmas in . . .

A bold bus driver
A passionate mother
A daughter reluctant to return to church
And other unlikely, imperfect people?

Between pageants and parties, stores and stockings, the quiet moments of grace are often overlooked. But these simple moments in complicated lives will pull you in, bring a smile to your face, and remind you of the real spirit of the season-the spirit of love, the mark of grace. Each story illuminates a miracle moment in a messy world, enough to make you believe in Christmas all over again.