By Allie Pleiter
When I set out to write a book about an “imperfect Christmas,” I had no idea how far from ideal the Christmas of 2020 would be.
To be honest, it’s probably an overstatement to say I set out to write His Christmas Wish. It never really happens in such a deliberate way. Books reveal themselves to me. Usually bit by bit. Often slower than I’d like.
I’ve learned to trust that revealing, however. One of my favorite sayings is “God sees around corners.” God certainly saw around the sharp corner that 2020 has been for so many of us to send this book out to all the souls feeling lost and weary this holiday season.
As I wrote of Jake, Emma, and little Cole’s journey through sorrow to Christmas, the verse of the carol “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” kept echoing through my mind:
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
His Christmas Wish is one of the most powerful books I’ve written. But that doesn’t mean it fails to deliver the hefty dose of humor readers have come to expect from me. When I asked people to send me stories of living creche scenes gone awry, I was flooded with hysterical stories of errant barnyard animals, uncooperative or alarmingly honest child actors, and a host of other great material. After all, I believe that life’s struggles are best met with a laugh—even if we have to laugh through tears.
This Christmas will not look like others. There will be empty places at the tables. Miles will stretch long and hard between loved ones. Spirits are worn thin from the “painful steps and slow” that have made the climb through 2020 such a crushing load.
But…hope. And love. And redemption. And promise.
Jesus comes, hope is born, and we lift our heads in anticipation of the “glad and golden hours” just ahead. There are lighter times just around that corner God “sees around” so clearly.
When Jake and Emma declare their love to each other, he says, “It’s the whole Christmas thing, isn’t it? One light of love in a messed up world?” I believe that’s the essence of Christmas—the light of Jesus’ coming shines into our darkness and reminds us of the glory still to come.
If His Christmas Wish allows readers—even for a little while—to rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing, then I will know this book has served God’s purposes.I believe that life’s struggles are best met with a laugh—even if we have to laugh through tears @alliepleiter #ACFWBlogs #writetip #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Allie Pleiter writes fiction and non-fiction. The bestselling author of over fifty titles, Allie has sold over 1.6 million books around the world. In addition to writing, Allie coaches writers on productivity and speaks regularly on the creative process, publishing, and her Chunky Method of time management.