Christmas Miracles: Inspirational Stories of True Holiday Magic by Brad Steiger & Sherry Hansen Steiger was a rapid holiday read which I started just before Mark and I left for Halifax. With our plane’s delay I came within one story away from finishing it before we landed. In this collection the authors compiled stories, similar to the Chicken Soup for the Soul variety, but less weepy yet more supernatural and spiritual. The authors are both involved in the field of metaphysics and the paranormal so to the reader I say caveat emptor. To the Steigers’ credit they did not include stories that only had happy endings. The final story dealt with their own son’s death and was used to teach the reader about living life to the fullest and treating everyone with kindness. I could only wonder about Sherry and the guilt she must (still?) be living with, as it was a jeep accident with her at the wheel in a snowstorm that led to the death of her son Erik.
Two stories stood out in particular. The book drew me in because one of them was the very first story, where a new pastor was overheard insulting his congregation in a phone call where he exclaimed “I keep asking why I was sent to this godforsaken place!”. During his church’s Christmas Eve service, his congregation was visited by a mysterious singer who simply walked to the choir loft, sang from Handel’s “Messiah”, then left. No one knew who the woman was. The conclusion was that she was an angel, sent not only to spread the joyous message of Christ’s birth but also to teach the pastor that his new church was not a godforsaken place after all.
The second story I liked was about a man in his mid-fifties who still believed in Santa Claus. As a child he witnessed a mysterious light enter his house on Christmas Eve night. The light left gifts under the tree. After confirming that it could not have been his father, a relative or a neighbour, he believed it was the holy spirit of Christmas, manifest as Santa Claus, who brought gifts to his impoverished family.