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A Gift to Last: Can This Be Christmas?\Shirley, Goodness and Mercy

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  589 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Can This Be Christmas?

On December 24, a crowded train is taking holiday travelers home for Christmas. But because of a snowstorm, this group of strangers ends up spending Christmas Eve together, stranded in a small New Hampshire station. Despite the cold and discomfort, they create an impromptu celebration that reminds them all what Christmas really means. A story that's d
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Mira (first published November 1st 2002)
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Anne Marie
This book had two stories. The first, Can This Be Christmas, was about a group of travelers stranded at a train station waiting for tracks to be repaired. This group of strangers will become friends after a day and night of waiting. Some questions and observations: when the snow stopped, why couldn't Cathy's daughter come and pick her up at the station since she was about an hour or so away? Shouldn't there be a station master always on duty? How can Clayton just leave? Memories flood back as to ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Nairabell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book combines two stories from Debbie Macomber: a stand alone focused on a group of stranded travellers and the fourth story in her Angels series (after A Season of Angels, The Trouble with Angels and Touched by Angels).

***Can This Be Christmas?***

A mismatched group of travellers have ended up on a packed train to Boston on Christmas Eve. Submariner Len is determined to get back to Texas to propose to his long-term girlfriend, recently widowed Cathy is heading to her daughter's for her firs
April Suter
Oct 10, 2011 April Suter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had two stories in it.

Can This Be Christmas? It is Christmas Eve and all are trying to get home but are stuck in a train depot. Len, a navy sailer, wants to propose to his girl in Texas. Cathy is heading to spend Christmas with her daughter and grandkids, her first Christmas without her husband. Matt hasn't talked to his family on the west coast for a couple of days because of a spat with the wife about him traveling so close to the holidays. Kelly and Nick are on their way to her pare
Julie Barrett
Jun 12, 2012 Julie Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Gift To Last by Debbie Macomber
2 stories about Christmas time.
Can this be Christmas? A handful of people have been rerouted from a plane to a train to get from Maine to Boston. They made it as far as New Hampshire and the train no longer can go further.
Rather than telling you about all the people involved I think this book is more about how the all come together and make the celebration a good one. How they can take
just the bare essentials and make them glorious. Not only do they each step up
Harriet Berg
Jan 06, 2013 Harriet Berg rated it liked it
1. Can This Be Christmas?
This book is the first in a collection of two that make up A Gift to Last. It is written as a slice of life. Several strangers are stranded on Christmas Eve, prevented from arriving at their destinations. In telling this story, the author writes each person’s situation and thoughts prior to and during the time they are delayed.
Usually, I enjoy Debbie’s writing very much. She tells a great story, dipping deeply into problems and solving them in a very strong Christian w
A quick, light, feel-good book. Includes 2 Christmas stories. In "Can This Be Christmas", several troubled travelers find themselves snowbound at a train depot en route to spend Christmas with their families. They manage to find the Christmas spirit, and through their shared experience, they discover how important their families are, and their lives are changed as a result. In "Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy", 3 angels make a project of a troubled scoundrel, and turn his life around.
Andrea Wright
Cute little quick read of two stories set around Christmas. The first story is a bunch of random people that you learn about and witness the Christmas spirit as they are all stuck in a train depot on Christmas Eve, very Hallmark moment. The second story is a bit more It's a Wonderful Life where an a-hole gets three angels that come down and try to teach him about being a better person and how it alters multiple lives in the end including his.
Apr 20, 2015 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Debbie Macomber is a good author when you want a fun, light read, especially around Christmas. It was fun and I like it, though I probably wouldn't read it again.
Such a lovely book especially the second story where the Author incorporated angels into the text.
Dec 02, 2014 Bj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely Christmas stories.
Patricia Solla
Jan 08, 2011 Patricia Solla rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Two interesting Christmas stories. The first Can This Be Christmas? is absolutely wonderful. Strangers stranded coming together to celebrate Christmas is the base of this tale. It short, sweet and amazing. The other story Shirley, Goodness and Mercy is one of the authors tale about three angels sent to help someone become a better person. Set at Christmas time this story too is nice but not as compelling as the first.
Sara Fitzgerald
Nov 26, 2012 Sara Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greg Bennett dislikes Christmas, he has a very troubled past and an even more troubled present and future. It takes Shirley, Goodness and Mercy to help him figure out what this Christmas stuff is all about.

A quick heartwarming read.

Sara Fitzgerald
"Rediscover the True Meaning of Christmas"
Author of Saving Savanna
Jan Mcleod
I did not think this was up to ususal Mcomber standards--something is missing. Even in the story about the 3 angels, they don't seem to have much intervention in Greg Bennett's life, and he is supposed to be a tough assignment. Of course, the mission turns out successful, but the usual appeal isn't there.
Dana Elaine Free
This was a great story about a bunch of strangers who are travelling on Christmas Eve and end up having to stay the night at a Train Depot. In the beginning they are angry and upset, but in the end they make the best of their situation. It turns out being one of the best Christmas's of their lives.
Mary Jane
Feb 08, 2011 Mary Jane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, mindless
Two Christmas stories-people are stranded in NH trying to get home and sleep in a train station and vintner on the brink of losing his winery donates his bone marrow to his son but he didn't know it was his son. Shirley, Goodness, Mercy were angels. Hokey Christmas stories.
Dec 25, 2014 Joann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book on Dec 23rd 2007. My mom passed that night and I never finished it. I just found it recently in box and decided to retread it . 2 great little stories!
Dec 14, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I love reading Christmas stories in December and Debbie Macomber always delivers. These two stories will warm your heart and remind you of the true gifts at Christmas.
This is the type of Debbie Macomber novel I enjoy most, simple stories about love, forgiveness, and a change of heart.
Seems so strange to me to put little bits of swearing into a "heartwarming" Christmas story.
Nov 30, 2011 Krystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing once again! Quick, quick read and two amazing holiday stories! Love them!
Mar 13, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't bad. It wasn't one of my favourites, but it was a fun, light romance.
Emily Higgins
Two Christmas stories with heart-warming messages for the Christmas season.
Dec 21, 2008 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to!
Debby Tjong A Hung
Dec 09, 2012 Debby Tjong A Hung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday-reads
Two wonderful short stories for the holiday season.
Nov 24, 2008 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romances
Two novellas in one book. Enjoyable but not her best.
Nov 18, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A couple of nice, sweet Christmas stories!!
Marie Godley
Jan 04, 2012 Marie Godley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The three fun loving angels always make me smile.
Aug 22, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice story to read closer to Christmas time.
Dec 27, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gotta love short uplifting Christmas stories!
May 05, 2011 Valerie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good read. Light and entertaining.
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Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 770 weeks on the New York Times ...more
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