Book Review Series: The Candyman Christmas

The Candyman Christmas

Based on a true story in 1906, The Candyman Christmas is a lovely, short story about a family struggling with poverty and grief at Christmas time. They live in a rural town in Canada, without much connection to their families nor their ward. They left two buried sons behind in Utah, and Catherine in particular is stricken with grief. Simply put, they are struggling to put one foot in front of the other, both economically and emotionally. And they are left with few resources to provide Christmas for themselves, their remaining three children, and their boarder and friend, Mr. Campbell.

The story is sweet and heart-warming, but surprisingly honest in its depiction of grief and loss – it doesn’t attempt to tie everything up tidily and in a pretty Christmas bow. Without giving away the ending, The Candyman Christmas illustrates the principle that Christmas isn’t just about celebrating the birth of Christ with feasts and presents, but about celebrating Him by serving one another. It’s about making the joy of Christmas felt for others, and for showing those we love the love of God through our actions and our compassion.

I love this story, and plan to read it with my family during our Christmas season. It’s relatable to children and adults, and the message is simple yet powerful. It’s a wonderful story for a Sunday night reading, or a Family Home Evening. It’s short enough to share in one evening (only 11 pages!), but long enough to really get a feeling for the characters and story. I wholeheartedly recommend adding this one to your holiday collection.

This is a part of the Exponent Book Review Series and Cyber Monday Giveaway. By making a thoughtful comment on this post, subscribing to the Exponent, or making a donation to Exponent II by sending a PayPal donation to, you will be entered into a drawing to win one of many books being reviewed! Check the intro post for information and terms. Entries accepted until the 5th of December 2015.

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Liz is a reader, writer, wife, mother, gardener, social worker, story collector, cookie-maker, and hug-giver.

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7 Responses

  1. Emily says:

    Always looking for more Christmas stories to add to our December rotation. This one sounds like a winner! Thanks for the review!

  2. Sal says:

    I look forward to reading this story for Christmas and think it might make a wonderful gift for the people I care about. Thanks for the review!

  3. spunky says:

    This sounds great, Liz! I like that its outside of Utah, but still tells an LDS story, too. Thanks for the review!

  4. Kmduff says:

    Short length is great. I’m intrigued.

  5. Kari says:

    I like that it sounds like this book reflects real life. Things don’t always end up with fairy tale endings. Thanks for the review.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. ElleK says:

    I love Christmas stories that are heartwarming without being saccharine, and this sounds like just the ticket.

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