By: Carey Thomas
Illustrations by: Katie Kelly
Genre: Christmas, Children
Publication date: 12.6.2013
Date read: 12.25.2013
Summary: Mackenzie and Ben are two typical kids caught up in the glimmer of the Christmas Season until they are asked to help an elderly woman decorate her "Jesus Tree." While reluctant to help at first, their change of heart begins as the woman purposefully decorates her tree with docorations that remind her of Jesus. Each decoration tells the story of Jesus in a way that breathes new life into the meaning of Christmas. While admiring the humble tree, the old woman surprises Mackenzie and Ben with a Christmas gift they will never forget.
Usually at Christmas time I have a group of kids that I'm babysitting and we sit down on Christmas Eve (while their parents are working or doing some last minute shopping) and read Christmas stories, eat sweets, drink hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie. This year, sadly, I didn't have anyone to watch - but that wasn't stopping me from reading a few stories, but I did decide to wait until Christmas Day. I just happened to find this one for free and thought, why not?!?! From now on, I'm always going with my "why not?!?!" feelings.
This was such a cute book. I loved the drawings that were done by Katie Kelly - they were simple and, though not in color on my Kindle Paperwhite, still beautiful. The story itself gave me goosebumps. I had heard about the Jesus tree before, but "watching" as this lady introduced each new thing for the tree to two children, explaining how these things made her think of him - two children who were unwillingly helping her - was such a beautiful thing, especially when you could see how their attitudes started to change. My favorite part was the end, when they put the gifts under the tree. I wasn't expecting what happened. Definitely a good book for those trying to teach the meaning of Christmas to young children - or for those of y'all who are still children at heart.