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A Christmas Gift

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In the tradition of The Cat Who Came for Christmas and A Child's Christmas in Wales, a wonderful story about the true meaning of love and family. Swarthout is the million-copy bestselling author of Bless the Beasts and the Children. Illustrated.
Paperback, 246 pages
Published December 15th 1992 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 113)
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Mar 23, 2010 Gheeta rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favorite stories to read in the winter. I read my original copy so many times that it finally fell apart. It's taken me years to hunt down another one--and I just finished rereading it.

This would be a good holiday read for anyone sixth grade and older (or could be read to someone perhaps in the third or fourth grade). For an adult, it could be read in a day or a weekend, easily. It is defintely worth the effort of hunting down a copy of this book for yourself, and per
Jim Esten
Feb 01, 2015 Jim Esten rated it it was amazing
A lovely Christmas story.
Dec 11, 2015 Pam rated it liked it
Three stars overall; 4 stars for the Christmas message of love and miracles.
Really more of a novella that was originally published in 1977 under the title "The Melodeon" and was made into a TV movie under a different name.
It is a fast read about a young boy who goes to live with his grandparents on their farm in Michigan for about a year when his parents can't afford to keep him due to the depression. While there, he begins his growing up and comes to know and love his grandparents.
A sweet Chris
Miles Swarthout
Jun 18, 2014 Miles Swarthout rated it it was amazing
A Christmas Gift is a reissue of a Doubleday novella originally published in 1977 under the title The Melodeon. The 1978 TV-Movie for CBS starring Joanne Woodward, Eva Marie Saint and Jason Robards was much altered from the original story and appeared under the title A Christmas To Remember. A condensed version of this same story also appeared in a Good Housekeeping December holiday issue under a 3rd title, "Journey Into Christmas." Finally Glendon and St. Martin's Press realized any Christmas s ...more
Nov 29, 2010 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
The season is Christmas, the place is a remote Michigan farm during the Great Depression, and the miracles are many and wondrous, from a city boy's initiation into the marvels of nature to a thrilling journey that leads to a strange encounter with an ancestor long dead. A Christmas Gift is a remembrance of the American past and of the love, sacrifice, and devotion that unite four generations of a remarkable family. On a stormy Christmas Eve, young James and his old grandfather decide to give the ...more

This Depression era story is anything but depressing: rich in hope, humor and intergenerationl discovery this charmer was originally
published as "THE MELODEON"--a small household organ. Thirtteen-year-old James has been shipped out to his grandparents' farm in Michigan, when his Philadelphia parents can no longer afford to provide for him. This city boy has a lot to learn in a rural setting, but he comes of age that special, unfortgettable Christmas Eve--when he learn
Jan 28, 2015 Lisse rated it liked it
One of my favorite books is Swarthout's, Bless the Beasts and the Children, so when my mom had A Christmas Gift among her many Christmas books this holiday season, I thought I'd give it a read. I enjoyed the story. Swarthout has a knack for telling stories from the views of coming of age boys. This was a quick read and a nice, uplifting Christmas tale if you are looking for one.
Dec 06, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
This us a coming of age story set in the depression. A young man and his grandfather decide to carry out the Christmas wish of the grandmother - to give their small rural church their organ. After she falls asleep the boy and his grandfather start the journey in a raging snow storm using a tractor and stone boat that is able to plow through the snow but not without incidents.

This is a sweet story of love and miracles and growing up.
Nov 28, 2014 Thebarrys10 rated it really liked it
Quick, fun read about a boy sent to live with his grandparents on a farm during the depression. He and his grandpa, in order to please and surprise his grandma deliver an organ in the middle of a severe snow storm on Christmas eve. I liked the cleverness of the author's writing.
Diane Wachter
Glendon Swarthout, RDC-M, V 5 1977, 9/85. A youngster tells the story of how his parents give a Melodeon to the church at Christmas during the depression when they have nothing to give each other. Okay
Chris Lindsay
Dec 10, 2013 Chris Lindsay rated it really liked it
I read this book when I was a teenager and remember loving it very much. Upon reading it again for my bookclub, it was apparent why I enjoyed it so much.

It's a short read, with the feel of a modern (1920s-30s era Michigan) fairy tale. The characters are few and are not well-developed. But this isn't the type of story where that is needed.

The main character, 13 year old James, helps his grandfather throughout an adventure-filled, night-time blizzard on Christmas Eve. And the experience allows t
Jan 01, 2012 Beth rated it liked it
A nice Christmas story. I have had this for a while and thought I has read it, but the ending was a surprise--so maybe I didn't finish it last time? This is a pleasant Christmas story to read with kids over the week or so before or around Chrismtas.

It was a surprise to leqarn that it is the same author who wrote Bless the Beasts and the Children. Long live the Bedwetters! I think of them whenever I read or hear about 'canned hunts' such as those at Savannah Dhu east of here--makes my blood boil.
Dec 24, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lynne
A soulful tale perfect for Christmas. In this beautiful story a young boy describes the transformative Christmas he spent with his grandparents, learning about what it truly means to give from the heart. Full of description about farm life during the Depression. Much of the vocabulary was unfamiliar to me. If you are looking for a book to uplift your heart this is an ideal pick!
Sylvi A
Sep 04, 2012 Sylvi A rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, endearing
A lovely and endearing read not just for Christmas but the entire year through. A touching tale for all ages about how a young boy sees love through so many different ways, his grandparents, the neighbors, and an unexpected surprise visitor. Love seeps through its pages. Go ahead feel a little unconditional love today!
Dec 25, 2010 Jeana rated it liked it
This is a short, sweet (yet a little heavy handed in message) Christmas story about a boy who is sent to live with his grandparents during the Great Depression. The main character was a little naive but had a sort of school-boy charm. It was a pretty good book.
Such a sweet story, and so nice to have a quick little feel good read during the busy times.
Jul 18, 2008 Eleanor rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story!!!! (I think it's true!)
Jan 10, 2009 Carel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Christmas stories!
Margaret Boehm
Jul 14, 2010 Margaret Boehm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very moving novel.
Sk rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2016
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Janelle marked it as to-read
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Lori S. Herman rated it it was amazing
Apr 17, 2016
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Glendon Fred Swarthout was an American writer. Some of his best known novels were made into films of the same title, Where the Boys Are, The Shootist and They Came To Cordura.

Also wrote under Glendon Fred Swarthout. Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.

More about Glendon Swarthout...

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