Book Review: The 13th Gift

The 13th Gift
A True Story of a Christmas Miracle
by Joanne Huist Smith

After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children - especially with the holidays approaching. The cheerfulness of the season made her feel more alone than ever, no matter how much she wanted to reach out to her children and find some way to comfort them. But thirteen days before Christmas a poinsettia appeared on the Smiths' doorstep. The next day, another gift arrived... then another, and another. Each present was accompanied by a note with lyrics to the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas" rewritten to fit the gift and signed, "Your true friends." Although Jo resisted the intrusion at first, the gifts began to work a kind of magic on her and the kids. As they puzzled over the mystery together- who were the true friends? when would the next delivery arrive? could anyone catch the gift givers in the act? - their grieving hearts began to heal. In the days leading up to Christmas, the shattered family found a way back to one another. They decided that they could celebrate the holiday and honor all their loved ones by starting their own traditions of practicing kindness. The 13th Gift is a true story about the everyday miracles that can occur during the holiday season. It is a heartwarming reminder that with love, community and family even the most broken of hearts can be mended. 

Joanne Huist Smith is a native of Dayton, Ohio. She earned a bachelor's degree in English at Wright State University and worked as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News for seventeen years. She is the mother of three and grandmother of two. 

I absolutely love Christmas stories. They're always so heartwarming. I love the surprise factor that the 13th Gift has. If you like Forever Christmas and the Robertson Family Christmas then you'll like The 13th Gift. 

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