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Christmas Lights    by Christine Pisera Naman order for
Christmas Lights
by Christine Pisera Naman
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Christine Pisera Naman, author of the charming Caterpillar Kisses (tales of kindergarten life), now brings us short, sweet, and poignant holiday vignettes - each featuring a different woman - in Christmas Lights. It begins as Katherine visits her husband on Christmas Eve. Though he suffers from dementia, she spends time with him every day and is rewarded by a 'flood of understanding' as she realizes what he meant when he told her, 'I saw my father today.' She heads home for a family get-together.

Julianna, youngest of six sisters, chases a rambunctious four-year-old through a church basement, earning her service hours. She's having a hard time, when Jason Green 'who somehow had no idea she was alive' shows up. Working together with their charges, they get to know each other better, and her heart dances.

After a fight with her husband, Adrianna leaves him, prays in the church, and falls asleep there after following tradition by writing a Christmas wish and nailing it to the cross. When she wakes up, her wish is gone - but there's another there instead.

Cassandra visits her Baby Bear's room and finally comes to terms with grief. Victoria meets all kinds of people in her new neighborhood - including her gorgeous neighbor - after a storm blows the nativity scene off her balcony. Alexandra anxiously awaits news in the mail and instead receives a message from beyond the grave. Isabella is called to pick up something very precious at the airport. Then all these women head to a traditional Christmas Eve celebration.

The jacket blurb mentions that the author is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Christmas Lights could equally well be entitled Chicken Soup for the Christmas Soul. Though unabashedly sentimental, these tender tales are the perfect pick-me-ups for moments when the materialism of the holiday season seems overwhelming - but do make sure you have a hankie at hand.

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