The Christmas Shoppe
by Melody Carlson
Grand Rapids: Revell Books, 2011
In my annual quest for Christmas stories to help get me in the holiday spirit, it was a delight to discover author Melody Carlson. When eccentric Matilda Honeycutt, known for her odd hair, clothes, and hoarding habit, plans to open a Christmas Shoppe in Parrish Springs, the business community is very nervous. City manager Susanna Elton attempts to befriend her, even volunteering her mother-in-law and young daughter to help her get ready, but the true identity of the store remains a mystery.
When she opens for business, everyone's worst fears are confirmed - there are strange sayings painted on the walls and the shelves are full of broken, worn-out items that no one would ever want. Or would they? It turns out Matilda has a much bigger mission in mind than simply moving merchandise and her efforts will help bring healing to many in the small town.
This is a charming Christmas story. It is short (this is a plus in my world!) and a quick-read, but it will make you think about the areas of your own life that could use some healing.