From Publishers Weekly
Self-published in paperback during the Christmas season 1994, Evans's first novel quickly gained national media attention. Now the cleverly told tale, which the author reputedly wrote for his daughters and which revels in sentimentality, is available in hardcover. The story relates how a young couple, Richard (who narrates) and Keri, accept a position to care for a lonely widow, Mary Parkin, in her spacious Victorian mansion. As Christmas draws near, Mary becomes anxious about Richard's obsession with success and his failure to make time for his family. She urges him to reconsider his priorities, but he is always too busy to heed her advice. It is only when Mary is on her deathbed and her secret sorrow is revealed through the letter-laden Christmas box of the title that Richard realizes what she has been trying to tell him. The message concerns love, of course, and the strings Evans pulls to vivify it should squeeze sobs from even the stoniest of hearts. It's notable, however, that unlike many well-known Christmas tales (such as Dickens's), which carry that message in a basically nonsectarian manner, this is steeped in specific Christian imagery and belief as the author draws on the drama of Jesus as God's sacrifice for the world's sins, and of his crucifixion and resurrection.
Rick, Keri, and their 4-year-old daughter, Jenna, respond to an advertisement written by an elderly woman who is looking for a couple to work as caretakers and companions just before the holiday season. While moving in, Rick finds an old box that he is drawn to and one evening hears music coming from the box. When he opens it, he finds old letters that stirs his curiosity. That combined with reoccurring dreams of angels and Mary questioning what the first true gift of Christmas was, lead the reader on a wonderful journey of the joys and the true meaning of Christmas. And how if we get too drawn up in our own lives, we miss out on the lives around us.
Amazon: A Christmas Gift
Well what can I say , this is my favorite author and the Christmas box trilogy is my favorite of all his books! He has a great way with words and describing the people and places in his books.
Emotional story about what is important in life, with a Christian tie-in though the universal message of love and the importance of spending time with one's own family reach beyond the confines of religion. Easy, simple read, nice message, if overly emotional for some people.
Surprised it is categorized as a children's book... this is an incredible story that has inspired the creation of the Christmas Box Angel Statue. A lovely Christmas story!!