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A Christmas Dress for Ellen
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A Christmas Dress for Ellen

4.52  ·  Rating Details ·  1,179 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
On Christmas Eve, 1927, in the prairie town of Hillsspring, Alberta, Canada, a young mother, Mary Jeppson, was getting her five small children ready for bed. Her heart was full of sorrow, for there was nothing to fill the stockings, and there would be only a little mush for breakfast. Mary had written to her sisters in Idaho, asking for help with such necessities as wheat, ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Shadow Mountain (first published 1998)
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Dec 15, 2010 Sara rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of my grandparents and my Aunt Ellen. We share this special story on Christmas Eve every year.
Dec 15, 2008 Jennybug rated it it was amazing
Nicole and I read this book together. We both gave it 5 stars, because we love the story and the illustrations. We like this story because it is a true story about the sacrifice and the service that people give at Christmas time.

A lot of people are willing to serve others at Christmas time, but how many are willing to sacrifice something that they really want. I made dinner to take to my aunt and uncle, he is very sick with cancer. I was making a chicken pot pie, this is Nicole's favorite dinne
Michelle Owens
Oct 08, 2008 Michelle Owens rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008-read, own
Well of course I absolutely love this book. It is about my great grandmother! When I was little, we would read this story every year. Of course it was exciting to hear that the story was published.
Dec 04, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
its a reminder of what Christmas means and what service can be. it is more than swinging by the store to pick up a package of diapers to add to the nameless donation pile. its rallying together, its pulling from your own resources, even when uncomfortable to lift the burdens of another.
Tara Lofley
Nov 14, 2009 Tara Lofley rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderful. It makes me cry every time I read it.
Cindy Davis
Jun 03, 2008 Cindy Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lds, christmas
Very heartwarming story. It was the last book my Mom was able to go and buy for me. So its very special.
Feb 11, 2015 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
I love this story, my mom reads it to us every christmas! I find that this book is wonderful for children because it shows how grateful we should be for the things that we have. I think that it also shows how grateful those children were for what they had, especially Ellen, and that we shouldn't take presents during christmas for granted. It truly shows how giving is more important than recieving. Also, I think that this story is something that can be shared with children of all ages, during Chr ...more
Jun 03, 2014 Mckinley rated it it was amazing
Story of kindness and cheer to warm the heart.

Similar Christmas picture books : The Gift of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall; An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco; Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck; Annikas Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis; The Christmas Miracle Of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski; The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden; Rosa by Leo Politi
Dec 17, 2016 Alex rated it really liked it
What I loved most about this book was the courage that was shown by the mother when she asked for help.
It made me think...
How often do we struggle, really struggle, but refuse to ask for help?
How often are we surrounded by people who are willing and wanting to help but don't know how?
So... be courageous and watch miracles take place in your life.
Jan 25, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
The story of how Christmas can surprise you is touching. It’s one Christmas story that I enjoy reading. Ellen’s view of life is changed by the decision of other to five.
James Biser
Mar 24, 2017 James Biser rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This is another inspiring Christmas story from President Monson. This tale is particularly good because it is true. It is also inspiring and gives excellent counsel on how to be a better member of Christ's Church. Again, everyone should take the chance to read this message. It is and excellent story about how love made a great Christmas.
Jan 02, 2017 KIM rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories

This short story is Love. Love of mother for child, love of family, love of friends and community, the love of God in all of us.
Dec 22, 2008 Lucy rated it really liked it
I needed a nice story to read at our Relief Society Christmas party and my sister in Canada immediately suggested this one. Having never heard of it before, I read its summary on and, from the convenience of my computer, ordered it.

It did not disappoint. Originally told by President Thomas S. Monson during the 1997 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, A Christmas Dress for Ellen retells of the Jeppson family's frozen and desperate 1927 Christmas. Living in Hillspring, Alberta Canad
Mary Etta
Nov 30, 2008 Mary Etta rated it really liked it
Today at church, a friend, Colene Oviatt, born in Hillsspring, Alberta, Canada read/told this story to us. It was delightful to hear tell much of it and at times read some. Its a wonderful little story of a family in dire straights from failed crops in her hometown, very little to eat, and very little coal for the winter. The mother confided her concerns to her sisters in Idaho asking for their help. Her husband makes the arduous 20-mile/3 hour round trip by horse drawn sleigh to Cardston to che ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Alissa rated it it was amazing
Ellen has lost all hope of Christmas surprises and joy. Her family is extremely poor and she can't see how they will get any presents. Her mother wrote a letter to some family in Idaho expressing their need for supplies to make it through the harsh winter and hoped it would come in time for Christmas. Through the goodness of his heart, the mailman and his son spent hours facing a blizzard to make it to the Jeppson home with goodies and cheer enough to last them all year. This is the perfect stor ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing
So far this is my favorite Christmas book we've read as a family for our "24 Days of Christmas Stories" program! Touching and inspiring, it's given us a great desire to perform a significant act of secret service before Christmas for someone. The artwork is beautiful! President Thomas S. Monson, current prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared this story in a talk he gave at the 1997 First Presidency Christmas Devotional. A perfect Christmas story that reinforces the re ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it
Always inspiring, the author of this story, Thomas Spencer Monson (the current president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) has chosen one of his beloved stories of friendship, generosity and self-sacrifice for this lovely children's book. As with all of his books, President Monson finds a way to encourage, uplift and share faith with his readers on their quest for a life with deeper meaning.
Dec 17, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who needs to remember that miracles do happen!
Recommended to Karen by: Deseret Book
LOVE this book. I love the story, the illustrations, and the feelings of Christmas. This is a little long for short attention spans. (my 4 and 9 year old sat and listened to the whole thing, but they are used to long stories.) This is a treasure to add to your family Christmas library.

Re-read in 2016. So beautiful.
Becky H.
Oct 07, 2008 Becky H. rated it it was amazing
I was drawn to this book because of the illustrations. So realistic and inspirational. This Christmas story will have you in tears and smiles at the same time. A mother struggles with the idea that her children will have nothing for Christmas but a very special mailman makes a special delivery just in time. Prayers are answered with the service of regular people.
Tanya W
I loved this book. The retelling of a real Christmas tale that would melt the hardest heart. If only I could have read it to my children without crying uncontrollably. It really touched me, it was well researched and beautifully written. This is a Christmas-time must read. I would expect nothing less from Pres. Monson.
Feb 10, 2015 Karissa rated it it was amazing
Tear jerker for sure! I love this sweet heartfelt story. It is inspiring and shows how selflessness can be such a blessing on a variety of ways from the postman's side and also the families and friends who gathered Christmas for someone in need. I was also struck by the mother's faith in still hanging the stocking and graciousness in her Christmas miracle.
My only hesitation is that I don't really like it when Deseret Book jumps on a chance to create a book out of a story told over the pulpit, but this one, I am grateful for. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story pure and moving. Reminds me of the many people in the world who don't have what they need unless someone selflessly gives.
Feb 29, 2012 Shirleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
Tender, sweet, touching story of a poor family at Christmas. Theme of the book: it is better to give than to receive, and also "when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are in the service of your God." This story was told by Thomas Monson at a Christmas devotional. It will become one of my favorite Christmas stories to read in years to come. P.S. - it made me cry.
Nov 26, 2016 CarolAnn rated it really liked it
I wasn't into Christmas this year. I survived Black Friday and all I could think about was just getting the gifts for my immediate family. I don't know why I read this small book if you can call it a book. It only had 10 pages. But it changed my outlook for this season. It's a great Christmas tale and if you want to be a Grinch don't read it.
Victoria Tracy
Feb 11, 2015 Victoria Tracy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
This book is a sweet story that expresses real love for our fellow men. It is a great reminder that though hardships may come our way, God is mindful and will send people to help. A great Christmas story for any family to own.
Jan 02, 2011 Chocoholic rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100-in-2010
This is thee sweetest story ever. And it's a true story which makes the miracle even more touching. I highly recommend adding this to your collection. You will feel gratitude for you blessings and be inspired to continue to have that spirit of Christmas all year.
Jan 03, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing
Each day in December our family read a different Christmas story before bed - this was probably the best. I don't know if it was my kids' favorite, but Jeff and I were both in tears. An amazing story.
Kathleen Anderson
Dec 18, 2010 Kathleen Anderson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Another Christmas classic in my collection. The story was first told at a First Presidency Christmas devotional, if I remember correctly, and then it was illustrated and published. A very nice Christmas story.
Missy Bryner
Dec 09, 2016 Missy Bryner rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations and a great message about the giving spirit of Christmas. I was holding back tears most of the book and couldn't hold them back the last several pages. This is one of my new favorite Christmas books!
Jan 31, 2008 Jan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone including children
This is a true short story of sacrifice and service that has become a favorite of mine and our girls. It is set in Southern Alberta, my home. In fact I know the the descendants of one of the families involved.
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President Thomas S. Monson has served as the 16th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since February 3, 2008. He had served as a Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church since November 10, 1985. Most recently, on March 12, 1995, he was set apart as First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley. Prior to that, on June 5, 1994, he was called as Second Counselor to P ...more
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