The Christmas Star

12 Dec

The Christmas Star

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins

Synopsis:

Can the broken heart of a child be healed by an unexpected Christmas letter?  Robert Reed gave his life for his country in the early days of World War II.  His sacrifice was honored when his widow and son were presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor.  At Christmas, the final decoration Marge Reed hangs on the family’s tree is that medal.  Rather than being a symbol of honor for young Jimmy Reed that shining star represents loss, pain, and suffering.

Yet a message delivered by one of Robert’s fellow soldiers and a mystery letter found in a Bible put a father’s sacrifice and faith into perspective and bring new meaning to not just the star hanging on the Christmas tree but the events of the very first Christmas.  Then, when least expected, a Christmas miracle turns a final bit of holiday sadness into a joy that Jimmy has never known.

Thoughts:

As you open the pages of The Christmas Star, you will be swept back in time to the December of 1945.  Ace Collins captures the essence of days gone by with his wonderful use of nostalgic details and descriptions.  This is a captivating tale that is sure to be enjoyed this holiday season! 

While the small town of Ash Flat, Arkansas gears up to celebrate the first Christmas after the war, Jimmy Reed is feeling less that celebratory.  Embittered by the loss of his father, Jimmy begins to run with wrong crowd and soon finds himself in a situation beyond his control.

However, the events that transpire are a beautiful illustration of hope and faith.  The Christmas Star is a touching story that will warm your heart.  I encourage you all to read this special book! 

Click to enjoy an excerpt from The Christmas Star!
 
 

Please continue reading to enjoy my interview with Ace Collins. 

 
CollinsAce
 

1. The Christmas Star is set in a small town in Arkansas during the Christmas of 1945.  What inspired you to write about this time in history?
 
The first Christmas after World War II was a remarkable holiday. Imagine the joy in families reuniting. Many fathers were seeing their sons and daughters for the very first time. The message of the 1942 hit single, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” as being realized. But put that in context with the reality of those whose loved ones had died in World War II and their reunions would not be coming this Christmas or any other.  Those contrasting emotions made this time period rich with drama and a perfect platform for the story.
 
2. The star that adorns the top of the Reed’s Christmas tree is the Congressional Medal of Honor.  What are some special things that adorn your Christmas tree?
 
We have many ornaments that go back through our family history that we used on our trees. I also always have a tree with blue lights as a way of being reminded of my Grandmother Shell who only put blue lights on her tree and beside the tree are angel chimes just like my Grandmother Collins always set out each holiday season.
 
3. The themes of faith and hope are beautifully woven throughout this story.  What do faith and hope mean to you?
 
Faith for me is believing in things you feel in your heart but can’t see with your eyes. Hope is vehicle that runs on faith. You can’t have one without the other.
 
4. Jimmy Reed receives a joy greater than he has ever known.  Please share with us one of your greatest joys. 
 
Buying Christmas presents and delivering them to children who otherwise would not get a gift are what brings me the most joy. Seeing faces light up when they are surprised makes me understand the power of Matthew 25:35-40.

Thank you, Ace!  Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Ace has also shared a special character post for us to enjoy.  The following is Jimmy Reed’s letter to Santa.

 

Dear Santa,      

All my friends just want normal gifts this year. Audrey wants the newest Sinatra record and John wants a new coat. Matt has the most way out list and it includes a 1940 Mercury Coupe. But I don’t want anything that you can bring on a sleigh or make in your shop, unless you actually have the power over life and death. You see my dad died fighting in the war. You might have heard about it. He fought off a whole batch of Japanese soldiers so that hundreds of his fellow Marines could escape to safety. While they got out through the jungles or by using Army Air Corp planes, my dad held his ground. He died alone.      

Everyone says Robert Reed is a hero. They even gave Mom and me something that pretty much guaranteed that he was all that and more. They call it the Congressional Medal of Honor and it means so much to Mom that she hangs it on our Christmas tree each year. Can you imagine a star on your tree being a stand in for someone you love and will never see it again? It may be wrong, but I’d rather have had all those Marines die that day in 1942 in The Philippines than have my dad die saving them. So I wish I’d never seen that medal.      

So this Christmas, almost four years after he gave his life for his country, all I’m asking is that you give me my father back. I’m not just asking just for me. I’ll asking for my mother too. She might even miss him more than I do. You see our lives are empty without him. And now as I look toward Christmas 1945, with the war over and peace on earth being so much more than just a saying, and with all my other friends having their fathers come back from the war, my heart is breaking.

So Santa, if you can’t bring my dad back to life, I ask you to please make Christmas go away. Please make it disappear so that I don’t have to see that star on the tree and realize just how lonely and lost I am. You see, I don’t want to celebrate the fact my dad died a hero, I just want to have him be a regular guy who can still put his arms around me and assure me everything will be all right.                                                                              

Sincerely,                                                                          

Jimmy Reed

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Abingdon Press.  All thoughts expressed are my own and no monetary compensation was received.

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