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A Stranger for Christmas

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  478 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Two old ladies face a lonely Christmas in a California nursing home. One of them still believes in the goodness of people. Now she intends to prove it with a phone call to her children. And so begins this very special story about love, family, and miracles. As these two women put the true meaning of Christmas to the test, something completely unexpected happens. It may cha ...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by St Martins Mass Market Paper (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

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Lynn Demsky
Dec 27, 2015 Lynn Demsky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
“Two old ladies living in a Southern California nursing home decide to test the premise that any good family with Christmas spirit would invite a stranger into their home for the holiday. Myrna and Florence invent an elderly woman they call Genevieve, who is purportedly living in a convalescent home in Idaho, and phone Myrna's five adult children to ask them to invite the fictional Genevieve to celebrate with them. But each of Myrna's offspring, in turn, has a plausible excuse to turn down their ...more
Sonnet Medrano
Feb 19, 2016 Sonnet Medrano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This sweet, short read is like a piece of chocolate silk pie: able to be finished in one sitting, rich enough to be completely satisfying, leaves one knowing they'll eventually go back for seconds. The premise is simple: a conversation between two old women who live in a nursing home and don't expect to see their far-away families that Christmas dream of being taken in by a family for just the one day. Skeptical Florence bets kind-hearted Myrna that if she were to call up any of her grown childr ...more
Jenni
Jan 30, 2011 Jenni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenni by: Loni
A delightful, heart-warming, poignant story. No surprise that it made me tear up. Quick, easy read for a warm pick-me-up amidst the hustle / bustle of Christmas. This main characters in this book are elderly, but it still appealed to my teenagers. In fact, my mom read this to us a few years ago, and my kids requested that I read it again to them this year.
Rachelle
Dec 08, 2008 Rachelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*This story is thought-provoking and a genuine joy to read! Pearson’s descriptive writing ability pulls you into the story and allows you to experience the events right along with the two old ladies. I always love a book that can make me laugh and make me cry. This book has a great mix of both and a sprinkling of Christmas nostalgia we all need.
Amelia-Irene
Jun 25, 2015 Amelia-Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How would test your children (in their 30s/40s) to see if the lessons that you tried to teach them, by example, really took?

Myrna can no longer travel back to Idaho, for the Christmas holiday & is missing her family fiercely. Her nursing home roommate, Annie, is "betting" that her kids won't do something, & Myrna is betting they will. And so starts a series of phone calls to Myrna's kids...

How will they react to what the ladies are asking? Will they or won't they?

Is should be a must re
...more
Valerie
Dec 22, 2014 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very uplifting and inspiring. I enjoyed it so much when I started it that I started over part way through and read it aloud with my husband. We laughed and we cried. It was awesome! Ironically, our daughter called two days later asking if she could bring a friend home from college to spend Christmas with us. We chuckled and said, "Well, of course!"
Denise Spicer
Dec 02, 2015 Denise Spicer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
A sweet Christmas story about two old ladies in a nursing home. One, a widow, has wonderful memories of many past Christmases with her family; the other wishes she could finally experience such a holiday.
How a loving family meets this challenge leads us to a surprise ending which touches the heartstrings.
Mary
Nov 11, 2007 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves the true meaning of Christmas
This is a great book to read during the holidays. It is about 2 elderly ladies in a home in California and one is bitter about Christmas as she has no family with which to spend the holidays. Her roommate says that her five children and their families would gladly take in a lonely elderly person for Christmas and the bitter woman wagers that they would not be so willing. Most of the book is spent with the elderly mother calling ech of her children and asking if they could take in her 'imaginary' ...more
Pam Herrmann
Dec 04, 2015 Pam Herrmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short Christmas story about two ladies in the nursing home who make up a story to see if their children understand the true meaning of Christmas.
Vicki
This fun Christmas story is a classic to me, weaving all aspects of Christmas into a current Christmas tale. Well worth reading over and over.
Pat Tucker
Well worth reading this story about two women in a nursing home and a bet they make keeps you wondering until the end how it will turn out.
Barbara Madsen
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and wonder what I would do if asked to bring in a stranger for Christmas.
Etta Mcquade
A nice Christmas story, and I was completely taken by surprise at the ending.
Janice
Aug 04, 2011 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love to read Christmas stories. As I am the caregiver for my almost eighty year old mom who has Alzheimer's I could relate to this story about elderly people who don't want to be alone for the holidays. It was a delightful story that reinforces the meaning of Christmas and teaching our children to reach out to others. It would be a good story to read with your children at Christmas time. And then invite an older person who does not have family close by to celebrate Christmas with you. What a g ...more
Cynthia Bower
Jan 23, 2016 Cynthia Bower rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Very touching, easy to read story.
Kristine
Oct 01, 2015 Kristine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Good reminder not to neglect those we love, not only at holiday times but regular days too.
Carrie
Dec 11, 2014 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick feel-good read for Christmas
Elaine Jorndt
Dec 06, 2014 Elaine Jorndt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect Christmas read - don't miss it!
Christine
Dec 08, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it
A heartwarming "quick" Christmas read.
Sandra Moffatt
Nov 15, 2014 Sandra Moffatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great Christmas story
Rachelle
Cute, quick read.
Sue
Dec 20, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cute book.
MM
Dec 30, 2015 MM rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute!
Rachel
Jan 03, 2013 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I intended to read this during advent, but of course never got around to it. I've been looking for a book to add to our yearly Christmas time traditions. It's due back at the library this week so I picked it up to read tonight.

Quick read - only took about an hour.

I didn't hate the book, I just didn't love it either. The story line was repetitive and unimaginative.

I would put it in with the "feel good" Christmas books.
Susan
Dec 20, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: Elaine Jorndt
Short, cute Christmas read..
Helen
Dec 13, 2007 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carol Lynn Pearson readers
Home teachers, Jody and Pete Pratt brought this as Christmas offering (with Jody's magnificent homemade wheat bread!) on Tuesday afternoon and I read it last night after going to the Roof at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building with the Castleberry Family. It was a sweet book---I guessed the surprise ending which of course made it not much of a surprise---but it is sweet.
Kristine
Jan 07, 2008 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Christmas. . .
This book was very sweet, although the ending was a little predictable. What I identified most with (since my kids are nearly adults) was Myrna's desire to find out which of her teachings had been internalized by her children. Because I am a sucker for all things Christmas, I loved the ending (even though I'd figured it out long before I read it!).
Jocelyn
Jan 14, 2011 Jocelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
such a sweet story, heart warming and can be read in a couple of hours!!! My dad is in a care center and I'm so glad we decided to go the DAY of Christmas rather the day or two after. He acted like he didn't care, kept saying that Christmas is for kids, but deep down I think he really cared!!!
Denise
Apr 25, 2012 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Christmas stories and A Stranger for Christmas is a quick read with a wonderful story. If you haven't read it I would highly recommend that you do.
Laura
Nov 20, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Two old women in a nursing home wonder if a family would welcome a stranger into their home to share in their Christmas celebration. One believes it could happen, and the other doesn't. They determine to find out which of them is correct. This is a very sweet story.
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From http://www.clpearson.com/about_me.htm

In fourth grade, in Gusher, Utah, I won four dollars in a school district essay contest on “Why We Should Eat a Better Breakfast.” And yes, this morning I had a bowl of my own excellent granola, followed by a hike in the hills near my home in Walnut Creek, California.

In high school I began writing in earnest. I have now in my files a folder marked “Poetry,
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