Present captures holiday enchantment

The Lost Christmas Gift by Andrew Beckham c.2012, Princeton Architectural Press $29.95 /$34.95 Canada 40 pages

This week's read

The Lost Christmas Gift by Andrew Beckham c.2012, Princeton Architectural Press $29.95 /$34.95 Canada 40 pages

This Christmas, you’ll find lots of surprises beneath your tree.

Some of them, of course, will arrive from Santa. Others will come in the mail from Grandma or a favorite aunt who lives far away. Then there are the be-ribboned packages that somehow manage to sneak under the tree, courtesy of someone special.

Emerson Johansson never expected a gift, especially not something sent decades ago. But in the new book The Lost Christmas Gift by Andrew Beckham, he received a box full of memories…

Two days before Christmas, a box arrived at Emerson Johansson’s house. It was wrapped in paper that was old and fragile and he was surprised to see his father’s handwriting on the outside.

His dad had been dead for years.

During the Second World War, Emerson’s father worked as a cartographer in France and, judging by the postmarks, Emerson knew that was where the box had come from, some 70-odd years ago. He wondered where it had been all this time. With excitement, he wondered what was inside it.

When he opened the box, he found a book.

Memories came flooding back.

It had been a special father-son outing, the kind that boys eagerly anticipate each year. They had set out to find the perfect Christmas tree; Emerson had taken his new camera to mark to the occasion and a flask of hot coffee to keep them warm.

It was a good thing, too, because the clouds rolled in about noon that day and it snowed very hard. Soon, Emerson and his father were lost and they knew they’d have to spend a cold night in a hastily-dug snow shelter.

But before they could huddle down for the night, Emerson saw something in the woods: it was a small man who carried twigs, and Emerson took a picture. Then they saw another man through the trees, who left some coal. The gifts were just enough to get them through the cold night.

As he looked through the book his father had made for him all those years ago, Emerson was amazed. His pictures — the ones he thought were missing — were in the book, along with drawings his father had made.

Drawings made with love. Pictures with Christmas magic behind them…

Okay, I have to admit that author Andrew Beckham had me there for a minute.

In his brief introduction to The Lost Christmas Gift, he says he’s known Emerson Johansson for years, which starts this delightful story off on just the right note. From there, we’re treated to a book-within-a-book and side-by-side, across the years comments about a special day shared and the incredible things that happened. I’m not going to give you one more hint here, except to say if you’re not a believer in holiday enchantment now, you will be when you’re done reading this tale.

This Christmas, start a new tradition by reading this exquisitely illustrated, wonderfully told story together with your family. For you and for them, The Lost Christmas Gift is the perfect holiday find.

Just Posted

Leduc RCMP seek older suspect in alleged assault

Leduc RCMP seek public assistance in identifying assault suspect

Permit rescinded by Ponoka County for cannabis production facility

Apparently miscommunication on water led to decision by council

Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

Lots of sessions happening in Rimbey

Central Alberta Foodgrains Project

70 acres seeded just northwest of Bentley

Rimbey 4-H member show lambs

Lambs popular part of 4-H show and sale

Trudeau touts economic record at Liberal fundraiser in Vancouver

The Prime Minister was in B.C. for much of this week

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Red Deer man arrested in connection with Leduc armed robbery

Leduc RCMP asking for public assistance after armed robbery – UPDATE

School bus crash in Edmonton sends 12 to hospital, 2 with broken bones

Alberta Health Services said there were no life-threatening injuries

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear Alberta murder appeals

Sheena Cuthill and her husband Timothy Rempel were found guilty three years ago of killing Ryan Lane

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Mayor says northern Alberta town still under threat from nearby wildfire

The blaze has now eaten its way through about 920 square kilometres of forest

Most Read