The Christmas Blessing
When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby's father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant's paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don't know that she--or their grandson--exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma? Beloved author Melody Carlson pens a story of love, hardship, and reconciliation that will leave readers filled with Christmas joy.

The Christmas Blessing Details

TitleThe Christmas Blessing
Author
ReleaseSep 5th, 2017
PublisherFleming H. Revell Company
ISBN-139780800722708
Rating
GenreHoliday, Christmas, Christian Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Christian, Romance

The Christmas Blessing Review

  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What a delightful read! Carlson is a tricky author for me; I've enjoyed her work, but I've also run across several real duds. I'm glad to say that this book is the best yet that I have read...I knew when I read the synopsis and a review that it sounded like exactly my sort of story, and it went beyond even what I'd hoped. You come to care for all parties in the story—Amelia, baby Jimmie, Helene, George—and you want them to all have a happy ending. It's hard when they end up at cross purpose Wow! What a delightful read! Carlson is a tricky author for me; I've enjoyed her work, but I've also run across several real duds. I'm glad to say that this book is the best yet that I have read...I knew when I read the synopsis and a review that it sounded like exactly my sort of story, and it went beyond even what I'd hoped. You come to care for all parties in the story—Amelia, baby Jimmie, Helene, George—and you want them to all have a happy ending. It's hard when they end up at cross purposes and begin to drift even further apart...seems there's going to be only one decent solution for all of them. Be prepared to cry over this one, to hug it, to reread the ending at least once. It's that excellent! But I can't say why because of spoilers, you know...so you will just have to read it for yourself!Thanks to NetGalley for a free review copy. Positive review not required.
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  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    I grabbed up a chance to read this as soon as I read the synopsis. I love any story set during World War 2, and this one was really sweet! I really sympathized with Amelia and James story, and it's the perfect Christmas story!I really enjoyed seeing Helene's perspective throughout the story. At first I thought she would be painted in a bad light, but it was nice to see that even though she had her issues, there was a warmness about her. The baby being born out of wedlock seemed to be condoned. I I grabbed up a chance to read this as soon as I read the synopsis. I love any story set during World War 2, and this one was really sweet! I really sympathized with Amelia and James story, and it's the perfect Christmas story!I really enjoyed seeing Helene's perspective throughout the story. At first I thought she would be painted in a bad light, but it was nice to see that even though she had her issues, there was a warmness about her. The baby being born out of wedlock seemed to be condoned. I understand, yes, that once a baby is conceived we should love that child and that the child is never to blame, but the reasoning behind it didn't seem a problem to Amelia (the fact that James was going overseas, hence the time together).I thought the last couple chapters fell a little flat. Not because of how everything turned out (because that was great!!), but of how they were presented. Maybe moved a tad too fast to settle everything! But besides that and the occasional cliche terms, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author!*I received this from Revell in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    January 1, 1970
    Every year I wait for Carlson's Christmas book. Never know what to expect, but always loving the book. This year she did not disappoint me at all. This book was so worth the wait.I cried, I got so upset and then I was so happy and excited. This is a must read book. If you enjoy a good book filled with tons of emotions then you are in for a real treat with this book!I gave this book 5 stars to times and I can't wait to read it again next year. This book will be staying on my personal book shelf.T Every year I wait for Carlson's Christmas book. Never know what to expect, but always loving the book. This year she did not disappoint me at all. This book was so worth the wait.I cried, I got so upset and then I was so happy and excited. This is a must read book. If you enjoy a good book filled with tons of emotions then you are in for a real treat with this book!I gave this book 5 stars to times and I can't wait to read it again next year. This book will be staying on my personal book shelf.The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    Set during WWII when too many families are experiencing the loss of a son, husband, fiancee, brother or friend. Amelia, rather young and naive falls deeply in love with James, a navy pilot ready to ship out to the Pacific. They planned to marry before James leaves, but his orders come early, and Amelia is left with only the paperwork for the marriage certificate. When Amelia discovers she is pregnant, she is lost and alone, with her only support that of a friend who takes her and baby Jimmy in. Set during WWII when too many families are experiencing the loss of a son, husband, fiancee, brother or friend. Amelia, rather young and naive falls deeply in love with James, a navy pilot ready to ship out to the Pacific. They planned to marry before James leaves, but his orders come early, and Amelia is left with only the paperwork for the marriage certificate. When Amelia discovers she is pregnant, she is lost and alone, with her only support that of a friend who takes her and baby Jimmy in. Believing James is dead, she goes to his hometown hoping to connect with Jame's parents. When Jimmy becomes ill she makes a desperate decision, hoping to give Jimmy a better life. But in the spirit of Christmas, miracles are possible.
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  • Amanda Tero
    January 1, 1970
    If you want a feel-good, happily-ever-after story with a Christmas flavor, this fits the bill perfectly. Amelia's story is a gutter-to-glory story of a girl whose life is shrouded by clouds of darkness. The one element in this story that I would have preferred to be dealt with a little better was the fact that Amelia and James had a baby out of wedlock. It's mentioned that it was a mistake, but "they were going to get married anyway" and I just don't agree with that thought. According to the Bib If you want a feel-good, happily-ever-after story with a Christmas flavor, this fits the bill perfectly. Amelia's story is a gutter-to-glory story of a girl whose life is shrouded by clouds of darkness. The one element in this story that I would have preferred to be dealt with a little better was the fact that Amelia and James had a baby out of wedlock. It's mentioned that it was a mistake, but "they were going to get married anyway" and I just don't agree with that thought. According to the Bible, there are no exceptions to "the bed undefiled is honorable." So the fact that this story was about a single mom whose baby was born out of wedlock kind of put a damper on my enjoyment of it. Though I will say, though that was the element of the story, it was not at all detailed and spelled out. Just mentioned; I can appreciate that.There were mentions of God's will, praying to God, following God, and Him having the perfect plan. It did still feel like the spiritual aspect was a little weak. I realize there is only so much one can put into a novella, but for me it was lacking.The romance was very little in this book. It is more mentioned that things happened than detailing of emotions. So in essence, this wasn't really a romance book. I greatly liked the doctor. He was just full of kindness and goodness and the perfect father figure. Amelia was a sweet girl too. She just didn't make all of the best choices.Like I said, if you want just a sweet, short read, this is a good book for that. But I kind of can't overlook how the aspect of a baby from wedlock was kind of brushed over.*I received this book from Revell and happily provided my honest review*
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    The Christmas Blessing is the latest story by Christian author Melody Carlson. It is November 1944 in San Diego, California. Amelia Richards and her baby, Jimmy has decided to pack up and move to Rockford, Montana to be near Jimmy’s paternal grandparents. James Bradley is the father of little James and he passed away a month after he was shipped out. James and Amelia were going to marry on the first leave that he received, but his plane was shot down before that could occur. Amelia is spending t The Christmas Blessing is the latest story by Christian author Melody Carlson. It is November 1944 in San Diego, California. Amelia Richards and her baby, Jimmy has decided to pack up and move to Rockford, Montana to be near Jimmy’s paternal grandparents. James Bradley is the father of little James and he passed away a month after he was shipped out. James and Amelia were going to marry on the first leave that he received, but his plane was shot down before that could occur. Amelia is spending the last of her funds to get her to Montana in the hopes of a better life for Jimmy and herself (a family). The only hitch in Amelia’s plans is Mr. & Mrs. Bradley are unaware of Amelia and Jimmy. Amelia is not sure how they will be received. Will they be welcomed or turned away? Christmas is the season for miracles. Will Amelia’s dreams come true this Christmas?The Christmas Blessing is a lovely story. I found it to be well-written and to have a good pace (once you get into it—it starts off slowly). It is a short shorty containing under 200 pages (can be finished in just a couple of hours). It contains good messages (forgiveness, trust, power of prayer, faith) and has a heartwarming ending. My rating for The Christmas Blessing is 4 out of 5 stars. I did feel that the characters are not fully developed (fleshed out), the ending is slightly rushed, and the story is predictable (unoriginal). I missed the humor that is present in Melody Carlson’s other Christmas stories (Christmas at Harrigton’s and The Christmas Joy Ride). The Christmas Blessing is a charming novella that will appeal to readers who enjoy happily-ever-after romance stories.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    What does a girl do when she is alone, with a new baby to feed and has no money? She becomes desperate. Amelia Richards believes her fiance James (and father of her baby) is dead, killed in the South Pacific when his plane was shot down. She finds herself in the unenviable position of having no family to help her, a child out of wedlock and no money to support her infant son. Her only option is to approach James' parents for help. The only problem is that they have no idea who she is and when Am What does a girl do when she is alone, with a new baby to feed and has no money? She becomes desperate. Amelia Richards believes her fiance James (and father of her baby) is dead, killed in the South Pacific when his plane was shot down. She finds herself in the unenviable position of having no family to help her, a child out of wedlock and no money to support her infant son. Her only option is to approach James' parents for help. The only problem is that they have no idea who she is and when Amelia finds out they are rich and that Helene (Jame's mother) is someone known to be harsh and critical, she is hesitant to approach them. But then the worse thing possible happens - her baby gets sick and she becomes desperate.I love how the author integrated the birth of Jesus into this story! The Christmas Blessing is more than what I expected. I found myself actually crying for Amelia and was intrigued by the misconceptions of the people in town who misjudged Helene (Jame's mother). The growth of her character was wonderful to see.If you are looking to get yourself into the Christmas spirit a little early this year, then I highly recommend The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson. You will not be disappointed.
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  • Lori Parrish
    January 1, 1970
    Melody told a wonderful story which made a big lump grow in my throat to keep from crying. I enjoyed this story so much that it only took me a couple of days to finish. God works in mysterious ways does he not? I loved how things were able to be worked out. Especially at Christmas which is one of my favorite holidays.I think that it was wonderful and sad how Amelia received her Christmas blessing. It took quite a few things to happen for her to realize it. I specifically liked Dr. Bradley becaus Melody told a wonderful story which made a big lump grow in my throat to keep from crying. I enjoyed this story so much that it only took me a couple of days to finish. God works in mysterious ways does he not? I loved how things were able to be worked out. Especially at Christmas which is one of my favorite holidays.I think that it was wonderful and sad how Amelia received her Christmas blessing. It took quite a few things to happen for her to realize it. I specifically liked Dr. Bradley because he reminded me of my father in law who was kind and gentle and pretty much down to Earth. I miss him since I've lost him to cancer. He was my blessing in life and I didn't realize it until after he was gone.Helene was a piece of work. Reminds of someone I know. It kind of got me into the Christmas spirit!!I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own! I very strongly recommend this book
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  • Susan Snodgrass
    January 1, 1970
    I have long enjoyed Melody Carlson's 'Christmas' stories. They are not long novels, but they are rich and full of the love and feeling of the season. If you've never read one, you are missing out. Sort of like a Hallmark movie, they are. I loved it.*I was given a preview copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley. My review is my own honest opinion.
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  • Nadine Keels
    January 1, 1970
    Amelia and her fiancé James had planned to marry right away, but she hears that he's been killed in the war, shot down with his plane. Hence, Amelia can't legally claim the benefits of a war widow, even when she gives birth to James's child, Jimmy. With nowhere else to turn, Amelia seeks out James's parents--even though they don't know that she and Jimmy exist in The Christmas Blessing by author Melody Carlson.I've enjoyed a few World War II Christmas novellas in the past. Without reading much o Amelia and her fiancé James had planned to marry right away, but she hears that he's been killed in the war, shot down with his plane. Hence, Amelia can't legally claim the benefits of a war widow, even when she gives birth to James's child, Jimmy. With nowhere else to turn, Amelia seeks out James's parents--even though they don't know that she and Jimmy exist in The Christmas Blessing by author Melody Carlson.I've enjoyed a few World War II Christmas novellas in the past. Without reading much of the blurb for this one, I took a gander at the soft, Christmassy book cover and decided to check it out.I think this story has much that fans of nostalgic WWII fiction will enjoy. The plot is serious, but not too heavy, and the holiday theme is strong. Except for the very end, which may be somewhat rushed, I found the pacing to be steady, even a bit slow at points, as characters stop to think or re-think things over maybe a little more than necessary. However, I can appreciate a complete tale on the shorter side that doesn't hurry through or skimp on all the important parts.There's some "info-dumping" in the opening conversation, and although it's not unrealistic for a woman in Amelia's position to cry a lot, her sobbing loses some of its effect on the page when it happens over and over. Also, I hope this isn't something widely common that I'm just starting to notice in general now, but it seems that far too many sentences in the story begin with the word "And," until it feels monotonous. I'm not sure if this issue appears in the final version of the book; I read an ARC.Overall, it was refreshing to find a holiday tale that wasn't completely predictable to me, and I think many other ChristFic readers will like this one.__________Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
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  • Beckie Burnham
    January 1, 1970
    Melody Carlson is known for her heart-warming Christmas novellas, and many readers kick off the season with one of her new books. For the 2017 holidays, readers are in for a treat. The Christmas Blessing is part romance, part family drama, and all feel-good reading experience.In the midst of WWII, young mother Amelia Richards embarks on a life-changing trip with her 7-week old baby. From sunny San Diego, Amelia travels to Montana to find a family for her and her young son. But life is hard on Am Melody Carlson is known for her heart-warming Christmas novellas, and many readers kick off the season with one of her new books. For the 2017 holidays, readers are in for a treat. The Christmas Blessing is part romance, part family drama, and all feel-good reading experience.In the midst of WWII, young mother Amelia Richards embarks on a life-changing trip with her 7-week old baby. From sunny San Diego, Amelia travels to Montana to find a family for her and her young son. But life is hard on Amelia — first she has her funds stolen, then she and her baby, Jimmy, become ill. Desperate to provide for Jimmy, Amelia makes a hard decision. Will Jimmy and Amelia finally find a home?The Christmas Blessing is a quick read; I finished it in one day. But don’t think that it is not long on all the things you like about a novella from Carlson. Characters, especially Amelia and Helene, will capture the reader’s heart. Both women love their sons fiercely and are determined to protect them. The setting is perfect for a nostalgic Christmas read — small town Montana from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The quaint town, the snowy scenery, and the chill in the air will make you snuggle up in an afghan with a cup of cocoa or tea. The drama surrounding Amelia may be a bit old-fashioned, but not that different from struggles single mothers face today. Although Amelia’s plight seems hopeless, there is a definite happily-ever-after in store for her and the reader. Carlson also makes sure that faith in God is woven naturally throughout the book.If you are looking for a book to get you in the holiday mood, then The Christmas Blessing is a good choice.Recommended.Audience: adults.(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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  • Shirley Chapel
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome Christmas read. It has always been a tradition for me to read Melody Carlson's latest release for the holidays each year. This year I particularly liked the time era she used. I have always enjoyed WWII Christian Fiction and The Christmas Blessing did not disappoint. Amelia Richards decided to serve in the USO , as a hostess . She purposely did not become involved with any of the service men that came to the center. That is until the handsome Navy Officer James Bradley came in and asked Awesome Christmas read. It has always been a tradition for me to read Melody Carlson's latest release for the holidays each year. This year I particularly liked the time era she used. I have always enjoyed WWII Christian Fiction and The Christmas Blessing did not disappoint. Amelia Richards decided to serve in the USO , as a hostess . She purposely did not become involved with any of the service men that came to the center. That is until the handsome Navy Officer James Bradley came in and asked her for a dance. They became attracted to each other , which led to James purposing marriage to Amelia. They planned to be married before James shipped out 9 days later.Their plans changed when James was shipped out unexpectedly before they had the chance to get married. Amelia discovers that she is pregnant with James baby shortly before she learns that he is missing at sea. Left to face an uncertain future alone with a baby she can't afford to take care of she is forced to set out on her own in hopes of finding James' parents. Bad goes to worse for Amelia and her baby Jimmy. This makes for a compelling story as readers take this journey with them. Left in a desperate and destitute situation this unwed mother and her baby are left homeless and penniless. Readers are advised to have a box of Kleenex close by. This book will draw you in and it can be read in one day. The ending is totally unexpected and worth the wait. Excellent Christmas book. If you enjoy reading war time romance set in the 40s you won't want to miss The Christmas Blessing. I highly recommend it.
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  • Cafinated Reads Molly
    January 1, 1970
    Ms. Carlson is back with another emotionally moving Christmas novella. I love her Christmas novellas and will forever read them. She brings wonderful messages from God and mixes them into a captivating story line, and blends it all with characters that steal your heart and become your family til the end. This Christmas story is set during one of my favorite time periods to read about: WWII, and follows Amelia and her son. I loved how Ms. Carlson transported me back in time. I loved following Ame Ms. Carlson is back with another emotionally moving Christmas novella. I love her Christmas novellas and will forever read them. She brings wonderful messages from God and mixes them into a captivating story line, and blends it all with characters that steal your heart and become your family til the end. This Christmas story is set during one of my favorite time periods to read about: WWII, and follows Amelia and her son. I loved how Ms. Carlson transported me back in time. I loved following Amelia on her journey of pain and hope, and longing. The way I felt reading this book, seeing Amelia come to terms with her situation, seeing God work on her heart, really refreshed my own.If you love stories filled with hope, longing and an ending that will leave you wanting more from a superbly talented author, then this 5 star book is for you. Ms. Carlson delivers her readers a novella that you won't soon forget! Well done! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
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  • Kelly Bridgewater
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson is a sweet, short novel that takes place during World War II. While the idea of a novel that takes place during Christmas time and during World War II perked my attention, the novel didn't quite meet my expectation. I think because the novel is actually a short novella, it didn't ring well with me. Because of the short nature of the plot, the characters weren't really developed. There was so much more that could have been explored. Maybe actuall 3.5 stars The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson is a sweet, short novel that takes place during World War II. While the idea of a novel that takes place during Christmas time and during World War II perked my attention, the novel didn't quite meet my expectation. I think because the novel is actually a short novella, it didn't ring well with me. Because of the short nature of the plot, the characters weren't really developed. There was so much more that could have been explored. Maybe actually show the meeting of James and Amelia. Show their growing love. Show their conversations. When Amelia shows up in Rushford, Montana, the story rushes to an ending that I totally saw coming. I finished the novel in less than a day and wasn't happy with the predictable ending. If you enjoy stories with a happy, good feeling at the end, then this might be the book for you, but for me, I wanted a lot more to make the story more interesting.I received a complimentary copy of The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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  • Darla Damron
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book in one evening. It was a very emotional (yes I cried) story and pulled at this Momma's heart. I have read several of Melody Carlson books and I do believe this one is my favorite! I received a copy from Revell via Netgalley. Thank you Revell! All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own.
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  • Regina
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come!
  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this story, and the author had me walking with the young mother, and remembering that things were very different back in the ‘40’s and the stigma of being an unwed mother.You can see God’s hand in each event that happens here, and you will want to have the tissues handy. I did love the symbolism of the manger, and the catalyst of bringing the baby into the lives of his family, but what a sacrifice and love this mother does for her child.This is a quick reading novella, packed with strugg I loved this story, and the author had me walking with the young mother, and remembering that things were very different back in the ‘40’s and the stigma of being an unwed mother.You can see God’s hand in each event that happens here, and you will want to have the tissues handy. I did love the symbolism of the manger, and the catalyst of bringing the baby into the lives of his family, but what a sacrifice and love this mother does for her child.This is a quick reading novella, packed with struggles and love, and how everyone ends up just where they need to be on that magic Christmas in 1944.I received this book through Revell Publishing Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
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  • Wilani Wahl
    January 1, 1970
    A tender tearjerker with a happy ending story. Perfect Christmas story but also one that will be enjoyed any time of the year. It is well written and I loved the Inspirational aspects of the story. Would love to read more of this family.
  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    The Christmas BlessingBy Melody Carlson In this sweet story by Melody Carlson, we meet Amelia Richards, single mom to young Jimmy in the days of World War 2. One New Years Eve, she meets James, a young navy pilot. The two dance the night away and spend every minute available together. They plan to wed immediately, even getting a wedding license. However, on the eve of their wedding day, James is called back into service early. He is reported as dead two months later. When Amelia discovers she is The Christmas BlessingBy Melody Carlson In this sweet story by Melody Carlson, we meet Amelia Richards, single mom to young Jimmy in the days of World War 2. One New Years Eve, she meets James, a young navy pilot. The two dance the night away and spend every minute available together. They plan to wed immediately, even getting a wedding license. However, on the eve of their wedding day, James is called back into service early. He is reported as dead two months later. When Amelia discovers she is pregnant with his child, she decides to say that they were married and she is a war widow. However, she finds the deceitfulness goes against her beliefs as she struggles to raise her young son, Jimmy. When she finally reaches the end of her abilities, she decides to visit James’ parents, even though they have never met. She wants them to meet Jimmy but she is worried what they will say when she tells them who she is. Once she arrives in the small town that his parents live in, she is stunned to discover they have a large home and are very well off. She doesn’t want them to think she is trying to take their money, but she isn’t sure what to do. She is running out of options. When Jimmy gets sick, she does the only thing she can think of…She places him in the manger scene outside of their home and runs away. James’ family takes the young boy in, but has no idea he is their grandson. George, James’ father, is a doctor and he takes care of young Jimmy. Helene, George’s wife, is ecstatic at having a young baby in the house after her despondency since James passed away. She is happy to take care of him. When George has a young patient who is as sick as young Jimmy was, he learns that Amelia is the mother and they work together to discover the best solution to her dilemma. Since I don’t want to give away the good stuff, I will stop there. However, it is a great story. It made me smile, laugh, and cry. People who enjoy historical romances will find this to their liking, especially since a little Christmas is thrown in the mix! I received a free copy of this story from NetGalley for my honest review.
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  • Narita
    January 1, 1970
    I am always excited when Ms. Carlson publishes and new book and cannot wait to read it. I love the way she captures the true Christmas spirit in so many different ways. All stories are different and filled with faith and surprises. All my other books including this one stays on my bookshelf. I do not even loan them out!It’s 1944 and men are being shipped off to war at a moment’s notice. Caught up in whirlwind romances and knowing the possibility of being separated for years or forever, it wasn’t I am always excited when Ms. Carlson publishes and new book and cannot wait to read it. I love the way she captures the true Christmas spirit in so many different ways. All stories are different and filled with faith and surprises. All my other books including this one stays on my bookshelf. I do not even loan them out!It’s 1944 and men are being shipped off to war at a moment’s notice. Caught up in whirlwind romances and knowing the possibility of being separated for years or forever, it wasn’t uncommon for young couples to give into temptation. This is what happened to Amelia when she fell in love with James. She gives birth to his son only to find out that he is reported dead. She finds herself with no job and no money to provide for her child. She decides her only hope is to go to James’ parents for help. The problem is they have no clue that her and baby Jimmy even exist. Upon learning that his family is influential and wealthy she cringes at how they might react to her being an unwed mother? Would they believe her story? Will they reject her, and worse yet her son? Does she have any hope?Bravely she leaves California and travels to his hometown in Montana. There she faces heart wrenching difficulties and serious problems for her and her baby. Things go from bad to worse but she still struggles to go to James’ family. Finally a life threatening situation causes her to make a desperate decision but one made from the depths of love.My heart ached for Amelia as she struggled. I admired her true mother’s love and devotion, and sacrifices she made for her little boy. The story had many surprises and sudden turns. Ms. Carlson beautifully illustrated the true meaning of Christmas is an unusual and unexpected way. While Amelia was pregnant out of wedlock, her issue was in no way treated as acceptable or appropriate. Another 5 star book! Thank you Melody Carlson! I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
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  • Laura Lane
    January 1, 1970
    I've read several of Melody Carlson's books—The Christmas Bus, Christmas at Harrington's, The Christmas Angel Project, The Gift of Christmas Present, The Christmas Shoppe, and my favorite—The Christmas Joy Ride. Carlson's books are happy ending books just like Christmas books should be!The Christmas Blessing is set during World War II. It's a classic boy meets girl beginning with a whirlwind romance. Plans to marry, then an interruption by a call to duty. A few months later, girl is in trouble, I've read several of Melody Carlson's books—The Christmas Bus, Christmas at Harrington's, The Christmas Angel Project, The Gift of Christmas Present, The Christmas Shoppe, and my favorite—The Christmas Joy Ride. Carlson's books are happy ending books just like Christmas books should be!The Christmas Blessing is set during World War II. It's a classic boy meets girl beginning with a whirlwind romance. Plans to marry, then an interruption by a call to duty. A few months later, girl is in trouble, and she hasn't heard from boy for a long time.My Thoughts: This wasn't a feel good story to read. It had a melancholy feel, because, frankly, Amelia is in a very tough situation. She made some mistakes and is paying for them dearly. She is fiercely in love with her baby, which is a good thing, and wants to do her best for him. But, these are the 1940's, wartime, and things are hard for single moms. It felt hopeless and sad and lonely at times, then someone would do something kind and redeem the story. It was a bit more confrontational than I liked in a Christmas book, but somehow it seemed more real because of it. In spite of the melancholy, I found that I liked the book. I liked the depth of some of the main characters. Like every good book, there are some surprises. Like every good Christmas book, there's a happy ending. If that's a spoiler, forgive me, but we all want a happy ending at Christmas! This was a quick Christmas read. It's just right for a November or December night, or to tuck into your bag for those snatch reading moments. So put on some Bing Crosby, light a sweet smelling candle and settle in for a nice read. By the way, September is my usual time to begin Christmas reading and Christmas music. I used to start baking my cookies really early, but I don't bake so many anymore. The kids are older you know. If it's cold enough for a blanket, it's close enough to Christmas for a good book!
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  • Meagan Myhren-bennett
    January 1, 1970
    The Christmas BlessingBy Melody CarlsonIt's that time of year again when Melody Carlson comes out with yet another delightful Christmas story. This year is a journey into the past with a visit to 1944. Amelia Richardson is determined to provide a better life for her young son, one better than she had, but when she learned of James death in the war Amelia's left with few choices. She can continue on as she has been, hoping to find a new job. Or she can find James parents and let them meet their g The Christmas BlessingBy Melody CarlsonIt's that time of year again when Melody Carlson comes out with yet another delightful Christmas story. This year is a journey into the past with a visit to 1944. Amelia Richardson is determined to provide a better life for her young son, one better than she had, but when she learned of James death in the war Amelia's left with few choices. She can continue on as she has been, hoping to find a new job. Or she can find James parents and let them meet their grandson Jimmy. But with the war and the suddenness of their engagement, she is sure they have no idea that she exists. As James never got word of her pregnancy before his death she knows Jimmy will be a surprise to them. Hoping that Jimmy will provide an unexpected blessing to the Bradleys, Amelia leaves California for Montana. But when she is faced with unforeseen obstacles Amelia does what she must to ensure the best future for her son. But with Christmas soon approaching Amelia hopes that her son will be the Christmas blessing to the family who didn't know that he existed.Anyone who has read Melody Carlson's Christmas stories in the past knows that there are moments of sadness and even the possibility that the heart's desire will not be obtained. Well, it holds true with this book as well, but never fear the title is apt for this book as a Christmas blessing is indeed possible for Amelia and the Bradleys and at the heart of this blessing is a small unexpected baby.If you are looking for a sweet story for a few hours of reading during the Christmas season or even to get you out of the Christmas blues so many complain about pick-up this sweet book. At 166 pages this is a fairly quick read so you can squeeze it in if short on time or enjoy it over a long weekendI was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review ~ All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Mardell
    January 1, 1970
    THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2017Reviewing: The Christmas Blessing: An Uplifting Book by Melody CarlsonIf you are looking for a book to lift your spirits, The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson is for you. I was caught between the pages from the beginning and read it straight through. It is close to Thanksgiving in 1944 and Amelia Richards is determined to take her infant son James to meet his grandparents for the first time. The only problem is, they don't know about her or little Jimmy. She met THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2017Reviewing: The Christmas Blessing: An Uplifting Book by Melody CarlsonIf you are looking for a book to lift your spirits, The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson is for you. I was caught between the pages from the beginning and read it straight through. It is close to Thanksgiving in 1944 and Amelia Richards is determined to take her infant son James to meet his grandparents for the first time. The only problem is, they don't know about her or little Jimmy. She met James, a handsome Navy pilot and they enjoyed a whirlwind wartime romance. They had a license and were set to marry but just the day before the wedding, the Navy called him back to duty. A duty that would lead to his plane being shot down over the Pacific.Amelia and little Jimmy embark on journey by train from San Diego to Rockford Montana. Down on her luck, she makes a decision that will change their lives for good. She finds a resilience and strength that she never knew she possessed. Montana is very different than San Diego and all too soon Amelia learns that she is alone and broke. I found her courage and determination to do the best for Jimmy very admirable.Melody Carlson captures the human spirit so well. Each year I look forward to her annual Christmas book. I recommend The Christmas Blessing wholeheartedly and hope you will pick up a copy at your favorite bookseller. This book has found a spot with my Christmas Collection and will be read again as the season draws near each year.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    This is my third year of reviewing Melody Carlson’s Christmas stories and I always enjoy reading them. (Reviews for The Christmas Angel Project and The Christmas Joyride). Every year, she releases a Christmas story that warms the heart and gets the reader in the mood for the Christmas season and this book was no exception.The story follows Amelia, who lost her sweetheart in World War 2 after a whirlwind romance that produced a child. Her sweetheart, James, left for the war before they knew she w This is my third year of reviewing Melody Carlson’s Christmas stories and I always enjoy reading them. (Reviews for The Christmas Angel Project and The Christmas Joyride). Every year, she releases a Christmas story that warms the heart and gets the reader in the mood for the Christmas season and this book was no exception.The story follows Amelia, who lost her sweetheart in World War 2 after a whirlwind romance that produced a child. Her sweetheart, James, left for the war before they knew she was pregnant (or were married) and now she is setting off to find his family and introduce herself and her son Jimmy to them.I liked the plot of the story and the time period of World War 2, a scary and uncertain time, I imagine. I also liked Amelia’s character, she adored baby Jimmy and wanted what was best for him. My only qualm with this book is that Amelia states that she doesn’t regret having Jimmy out of wedlock and premarital sex almost seems condoned because they were planning on getting married the next day anyway. Something about that didn’t quite sit well with me. I don’t judge people for their actions or sins but I wasn’t fond of how sin was almost justified in this book (I always hold Christian books at a higher standard than secular books).Overall, this was a very sweet story that was paced well and had a great ending. I highly recommend it for fun Christmas reading!My Rating: 4.5 starsI received this book from Revell Publishing to review honestly.
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  • Caitlin Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Revell and Netgalley for the free copy of this novel. All opinions in this blog are my own.Let me start off by saying that this is a super quick read. I started it at 8 and was finished at 9:30. This is also the second Christmas book I have read this month, which is also quite shocking because I tend to be a scrooge. (Don’t like all the commercialization of the holiday)Carlson creates a cute, picturesque plot in this novel. This is the first novel that I have read by her, so I didn’ Thank you to Revell and Netgalley for the free copy of this novel. All opinions in this blog are my own.Let me start off by saying that this is a super quick read. I started it at 8 and was finished at 9:30. This is also the second Christmas book I have read this month, which is also quite shocking because I tend to be a scrooge. (Don’t like all the commercialization of the holiday)Carlson creates a cute, picturesque plot in this novel. This is the first novel that I have read by her, so I didn’t know what quite to expect. Right away, I knew that it was a great book to squeeze into an evening. The plot, though it had its twists, stayed on the surface and didn’t get too deep. I think I would’ve loved this novel more had it been double the size, and if the problems and relationships had been developed much more. I really wanted to dig into the characters pasts to help understand their motives better.I did like the family atmosphere that Carlson created. With the novel being set during the holidays, it created the closeness that is felt during Christmastime. It also showed that it can be lonely for some people. She plays on both of these aspects with the various characters in her novel.I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Christmastime reads or is in the need of a quick, feel-good novel. It is available on September 5.
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  • Sprinkles and Pink
    January 1, 1970
    This was a sweet Christmas read which can be read in an afternoon if you have a few hours. I enjoyed the story. I like stories about struggling single parents so I was engaged in the book right away. They story did not contain much romance, but was more about Amelia struggling to do what was best for her baby. The baby's grandparents played a prominent role in the book and I liked getting to know them. I liked George, the grandfather who happened to be a doctor, and his loving and capable approa This was a sweet Christmas read which can be read in an afternoon if you have a few hours. I enjoyed the story. I like stories about struggling single parents so I was engaged in the book right away. They story did not contain much romance, but was more about Amelia struggling to do what was best for her baby. The baby's grandparents played a prominent role in the book and I liked getting to know them. I liked George, the grandfather who happened to be a doctor, and his loving and capable approach to caring for Jimmy and his patients. Helene, the grandmother, has a reputation for being rather cold, but is really hurting inside and does have a good heart. Helene reminded me that we should be loving to everyone, even if they aren't especially loving toward us, because we don't know what they are going through.I would have liked to have seen the storyline about Amelia and James having premarital sex handled differently. I would have preferred to have seen repentance, forgiveness, and grace factored into the storyline. Since this is Christian fiction, I was surprised that this topic was handled as being condoned given their circumstances.I was surprised by the ending and I liked how the story ended. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING is a sweet novella that I easily read in a few hours. It is similar to a short story I read maybe a year ago by another author, but slightly different. Both involved unwed mothers who never married their soldiers before they were killed at war. Both contacted the man's parents for help with the baby. Both parents wanted to adopt the baby.... etc. The other story the heroine was a waitress, this one she's a hairdresser. Otherwise, pretty much the same. Including the twist a THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING is a sweet novella that I easily read in a few hours. It is similar to a short story I read maybe a year ago by another author, but slightly different. Both involved unwed mothers who never married their soldiers before they were killed at war. Both contacted the man's parents for help with the baby. Both parents wanted to adopt the baby.... etc. The other story the heroine was a waitress, this one she's a hairdresser. Otherwise, pretty much the same. Including the twist at the end. I loved James's father, he was a real sweetie. His mother wasn't near as awful as the one lady made her sound, and I was glad that Amelia landed on her feet when she arrived with nothing except the clothes on her back and her baby. Unexpected cash, cheap rooms, a job almost immediately, and of course, James' family. A feel-good holiday story by acclaimed author Melody Carlson that will be a welcome addition to anyone's reading list, and an ideal gift under the Christmas tree for an avid reader on your list. The local library would undoubtedly love to be a recipient of this book, too! I look forward to Ms. Carlson's annual Christmas story. THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING is not my favorite, but it is definitely good. I received a copy of this book free and all opinions are my own.
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  • Janelle Cole
    January 1, 1970
    I always enjoy getting my hands on Christmas books in late summer, kind of taste of things to come!!  I enjoyed reading The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson.  I have enjoyed reading and reviewing other Christmas novels by Ms. Carlson in the past, and this sweet book was a joy! {The Christmas Pony, The Christmas Shoppe and A Simple Christmas Wish} The setting is World War II, when a young woman, Amelia,  finds herself in a bit of trouble and is hoping to find a better life for her tiny baby. I always enjoy getting my hands on Christmas books in late summer, kind of taste of things to come!!  I enjoyed reading The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson.  I have enjoyed reading and reviewing other Christmas novels by Ms. Carlson in the past, and this sweet book was a joy! {The Christmas Pony, The Christmas Shoppe and A Simple Christmas Wish} The setting is World War II, when a young woman, Amelia,  finds herself in a bit of trouble and is hoping to find a better life for her tiny baby.  Her baby’s paternal grandparents don’t have a warm and inviting reputation but Amelia preservers past the rumors to do what she feels is the right thing.  I loved the sweetness of Amelia Richardson from the first page, and seeing her face struggles is hard, but seeing her courage shines through offers hope!Ms. Carlson's novels always take you on a sweet journey into another place with some of the most intriguing characters!  So often the way a person is perceived is not even close to who they are.  The Christmas Blessing goes pretty far to show us just that. Ms. Carlson’s books always make great gifts for under the tree, or a inspiring read during the Christmas season!NOTE : I received an ebook at no cost.
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  • Tima
    January 1, 1970
    Amelia receives the news that her fiance was killed in action. She's pregnant and has no where to go. It was a whirlwind romance and now she's left alone with a small baby. She makes the difficult decision to go find her son's grandparents. They don't know that their son, James, fathered a child, but maybe they can accept Amelia and her baby.This is a longer novella that is perfect for reading around the Christmas season. I was surprised several times at how the author twisted and wove the stor Amelia receives the news that her fiance was killed in action. She's pregnant and has no where to go. It was a whirlwind romance and now she's left alone with a small baby. She makes the difficult decision to go find her son's grandparents. They don't know that their son, James, fathered a child, but maybe they can accept Amelia and her baby.This is a longer novella that is perfect for reading around the Christmas season. I was surprised several times at how the author twisted and wove the story. It was sweet, heartbreaking, and inspiring. The doctor and Amelia were great characters. I was not fond of the doctors wife and felt that she wasn't ever portrayed in a good light, although the author tried to make her "good" in the end. The story between Amelia and James was told in memories and I wanted a bit more to that so I could understand what prompted Amelia to make the decisions she did. But overall, it was a sweet story that fits perfectly with the season. I think anyone who enjoys an inspirational story that centers around the birth of Jesus and what the season is really all about, will love this book. It would also make an excellent Christmas gift.I received a copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.
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  • Barb Klein
    January 1, 1970
    Melody Carlson has written a Christmas novel set during WWII. “The Christmas Blessing” is truly that. This novel is a very sweet and endearing story set to touch the heart of everyone who reads it.Amelia Richards receives news that her fiancé has been shot down in the Pacific theatre. He doesn’t know about the baby and now never will. Amelia is down to her last penny and decides that she needs to see James’ parents, tell them about their engagement and the birth of their grandson. She wants to l Melody Carlson has written a Christmas novel set during WWII. “The Christmas Blessing” is truly that. This novel is a very sweet and endearing story set to touch the heart of everyone who reads it.Amelia Richards receives news that her fiancé has been shot down in the Pacific theatre. He doesn’t know about the baby and now never will. Amelia is down to her last penny and decides that she needs to see James’ parents, tell them about their engagement and the birth of their grandson. She wants to live near them so that Jimmy will have family near. She doesn’t count on becoming deathly ill, or Jimmy being ill. She decides to leave Jimmy with James’ parents until she can get well and come get him. She doesn’t count on the parents’ wanting to adopt the baby and pay her off. The story just gets sadder and sadder, but then, just when the reader least expects it, the ending pops up and we feel good again. This is one of those feel-good stories that may bring your holidays a little boost.I received a complimentary print copy from Revell for reading and review. You can read this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-sz. Check out other book reviews at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com.
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