Guest Post: Cole Family Christmas

I met Heather at BEA this past May of 2010 and I just thought she was a brilliant book gal!  I loved talking book clubs with her as we are both in a long standing book club and I enjoyed sharing ideas to make our club reviews more involved.


I’m so glad Sheila gave me the chance to post at her blog because now I can tell all of you about a wonderful Christmas book you’ve probably never heard of.

The Cole Family Christmas is a children’s book about one Christmas in the real life Cole family, circa 1920. Papa Cole is a miner in the mountains of Kentucky. He and Mama Cole have 9 children, ranging in age from 1-year-old to 18 years old. The family isn’t rich by any stretch of the word but they do have enough, and that’s really all they need.

This particular Christmas Mama and Papa tell the children they can write to Santa and ask for one special thing from the Wish Book (aka the big catalog). However, just a few days before Christmas, a huge snowstorm blows in. Will Papa make it home from his extra shift at the mine? Will Santa be able to make it with their special gifts? And how can the children make amends for breaking one of Mama’s treasured possessions? What will this Christmas be like for the Coles?

I love this book! It is a wonderful tale of family love and it is well worth reading, both for adults and for children.

One thing that makes this book extra special to me is the relationship between the authors. Hazel Cole Kendle is the youngest of the Cole children and the only surviving one as well. Jennifer Liu Bryan is married to Hazel’s grandson. Jennifer wrote the book based on stories Hazel and her siblings told over the years. What a wonderful collaboration between generations!

If you are familiar with my blog (Age 30+ … A Lifetime of Books) you know that I have a great relationship with my grandparents. What you may not know is that I write down all the stories they tell me in the hope that one day I can compile them into an informal book for the rest of the family to enjoy. Knowing what I do about the authors of this book made me love it even more, and inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing with MY grandparents.

I have to add that I loved the illustrations by Jennifer Julich. Not being an artsy person I don’t really know how to describe them except to say that they conveyed the characters in a realistic but still fun way. They are perfect for this book.

To learn more about this wonderful book you can check out The Cole Family Christmas website.

Are there any Christmas books you love that no one else seems to have heard of?  Please share them in the comments!

Stop in and see Heather at Age 30+ A Lifetime Of Books


7 thoughts on “Guest Post: Cole Family Christmas

  1. laurelrainsnow – The illustrations are really lovely – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

    amymckie – Things like that often add a great deal to my enjoyment of a book.

    Ryan – I hope your son likes it too!

  2. I remember hearing a lot of good things about this book last year. You’re post is a nice reminder for me that my kids might enjoy this Christmas book.

  3. I love your idea of gathering grandparents’ stories into a family book. Maybe add some of their best recipes too…? Family stories and old family recipes are to be treasured always.

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