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Christmas Jars

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  8,435 ratings  ·  1,461 reviews
Where had it come from? Whose money was it? Was I to spend it? Save it? Pass it on to someone more needy? Above all else, why was I chosen? Certainly there were others, countless others, more needy than me...

Her reporter's intuition insisted that a remarkable story was on the verge of the front page.

Newspaper reporter Hope Jensen uncovers the remarkable secret behind the
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 17th 2005 by Shadow Mountain (first published October 1st 2005)
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
61st out of 678 books — 924 voters
A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Best Christmas Holiday Books
36th out of 316 books — 408 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Megan
Dec 06, 2008 Megan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tween girls who like Chicken Soup for the Soul
Recommended to Megan by: Bookgroup
Some books are well written. Others tell a great story. This book fails on both accounts

I'd describe the writing as downright painful and unimaginative. The characters are saccharine sweet, the things they say and do, uncomfortably cheesy.

Things that confirmed I was reading a Bad Writer:

1) Spends way too much time describing people's eyes, hair color and what they're wearing.
"He was salt and pepper gray, but mostly salt. His chin and nose were large and distinguished but not distracting. His ey
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Karisa
While it may not be written well, it moved me enough to start the tradition in our home. So I'm giving it 4 stars. I believe that everyone should read it, to get them motivated to make the Christmas Jar phenomenon a tradition of their own.
Selina
I picked this book to read with my girls over the holiday season and was a bit disapointed. It didn't engage either my girls or I and concluded with the typical happy, but cheesy, and predictable ending.

I do like the idea of a Christmas Jar, though. From personnal experience I know how quickly change can accumulate. This past summer I paid for our family vacation with extra money and any spare change stored in a jar in the cupboard. I do think I will get that jar out again and designate it for s
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Juliet
This story is all about giving and learning how your little acts could saved and helped someone else. The story is very enticing and it kept you reading on wanting to know the story behind the origins of the Christmas Jars.

I teared at one point because it was so sad. I could felt the regrets and sadness of Hope Jensen when she realized that she was late. (shall not elaborate more...if not it would spoiled your reading)

There is a twist in the book which I had already guessed the truth when I read
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Pearl
This is more proof that a bestseller list tells you diddly squat about how good a book is going to be. The same lists that produce legitimately awesome fare like The Kite Runner can also get you overly saccharine flops like Christmas Jars. Now, I like me some tearjerkers, but this book left me completely dry. Not once was I moved by this predictable, trite story, about a journalist who discovers a “mysterious” trend of people anonymously leaving jars full of money to those in need around Christm ...more
Christy
This may well be the worst little Christmas book you will ever read. It’s based on the silly premise that jars of money, given with love, will change lives. The writing is unbelievably bad. (Richard Paul Evans doesn’t come close) Strangely, this book was loaned to me by the same friend who introduced me to “At the Manger” last Christmas, which I plan to re-read, now that I’ve gagged my way through this one.
Pam
People might think this is a sappy book, but it has a great message and I recommend it. My husband keeps a big bottle where he collects money--maybe we should use it for something like this.
Melissa Frye
Christmas is magic. Christmas stories are magical. When we read a book with this particular holiday theme, we usually go into it prepared to suspend our disbelief. Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright is no exception.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads:
Where had it come from? Whose money was it? Was I to spend it? Save it? Pass it on to someone more needy? Above all else, why was I chosen? Certainly there were others, countless others, more needy than me...

Her reporter's intuition insisted that a rema
...more
Carla
OK, I must admit I am a sucker for Holiday books, for the Hallmark commercials and movies, for the happy ending.
The Christmas Jar is one of those books that combine all the above and make a great afternoon read. It is a story of giving, forgiving, the human spirit, and the things that link us all together. It is one of those books that make you take a look around, be grateful, be humble, and set out to do something good.
Hope Jensen was left in a booth at the holidays with a letter, the woman who
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Shaun
Every once in a while, you will come across a single passage in a book that summarizes the essence of the book in a few short lines. The following quote is such a passage as it captures my thoughts on Christmas Jars in one sentence.

He's an open book, thought Hope, of very cheesy lines.


Though this is meant to be an uplifting story that reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas, it seems rather weak and unremarkable when compared to the truly amazing things many people do for each other on a re
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Nandi Crawford
I HAVE to say something about this book; It's just a short little story but boy, do it pack a wallop.I will also say that on the first go around of the book, I couldn't get into it, but as time moved on, I caught the gist of it which is why I am reading it a second time. Its a couple of stories in a book, and since then, I have started two jars(one to keep, one to give away during the holiday season which is something I wanted to do for a while now).But to say that I was changed was an understat ...more
Lisa
Nov 20, 2008 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people that love Hallmark commercials.
Shelves: fiction-classic
I like the premise of this book because the true meaning of Christmas is doing good to others, especially those in need. Can you hear the "but" coming? The book was predictable, especially in the beginning and the characters seemed to be missing something--maybe unpredictability? So while the book was easy to read, the book didn't demand to be picked up and read. I like my books bossy and sassy.
The book had a good message and made me feel good in the end. This book would be best read with a kid
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Rayni
I was disappointed. Maybe I need to read it again, slowly. I have been saving my change though because of this book. I was in my congregation's Primary (children's organization) presidency & gave each member of the presidency a copy of the book as a Christmas present. The next year we used this as an ongoing Primary project. Each Sunday the kids would bring their change. They filled a large gallon pickle jar. At the end of the year, the Presidency then used the money to pick an angel off the ...more
Deborah
Apr 06, 2009 Deborah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: a romantic, anyone who likes fluff
I picked up my mothers books from the library and found this cute little one in the pile. It is by the same author as Wednesday Letters (which I enjoyed). This could be a Nicolas Sparks book, sweet story a wonderful lesson learnt, true love has no bonds, tears shed and happily ever after ending. It is a super fast read and you do not have to wait to Christmas. good fluff.
carolyn
Excellent book. It proves that it really is such a small world and that you never know how your paths may cross and be involved with others. More importantly is shows how much one small "good" deed done can affect and change so many lifes, including your own.
Laurie
Christmas Jars was a heartwarming tale of kindness and joy. Hope Jensen was found as an infant by Louise Jensen in a diner during her traditional Christmas Eve dinner (delayed by illness that year). After months of paperwork, Hope becomes Louise's adopted daughter and she is raised with gentleness and a serious work ethic. Always dreaming of being a world class reporter someday, Hope has worked hard in her small-town job and she dreams of stumbling on the story that will give her entry into the ...more
KWinks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
(Let me preface this by saying this is NOT a book I would normally pick up/read, but someone recommended this book because he said the main character and I had a lot of parallels. I think they mainly were basing it on the fact both she and I worked for a paper).

This book is a very feel good, sappy, fairly predictable tale about a girl who is gung-ho to get out into the world and take it over with her writing. Through her doggedness and the love of her adoptive mother, she makes her way through
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Wendy
One of the best Christmas books I have read!
This follows the story of Hope Jensen, who was abandoned in a fast food restaurant and found and adopted by Louise Jensen. She has a wonderful relationship with her adopted mother and has high hopes of being a successful news reporter. When her mother dies of cancer and her apartment is broken into on Christmas Eve, she is left a mysterious jar filled with coins and bills. Her reporter's instincts tell her there must be a story here. She finds other pe
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Dolly
Jan 02, 2013 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Christmas stories
I borrowed this book from our local library, originally intending to read it to our girls. Our youngest had no interest in this book, however, so I figured it would make a nice light read for me. It is a nice story, almost too nice, with characters that are just a bit too one-dimensional. The story is engaging, but lacks depth.

It's a quick read and is a good tale to read at this time of year, especially if it inspires you to start a jar of your own. I considered doing this myself, but I'm afraid
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Christine
Gosh I feel like scrooge doling out one star. But there it is.

The star is for the premise.

Why I didn't give it four more stars can be read on the blog.
Danielle
I read this when I worked for Church Magazines. Deseret Book would send over free copies of all of their recently published Christmas stuff in the hopes that we'd review it, or something. So, I read this in three hours one afternoon in my office.
It was schmaltzy, but what Christmas story isn't? And, truthfully, it inspired me to keep my own Christmas jar, and look for someone to help out at Christmas time instead of focusing so much on my own wants. I thought it was a great idea. Of course, it'
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Kristin
The writer lives in my area and is coming to my library, so I decided I better read this book.

I guess this was pretty good if you like those saccharine-type inspirational stories. However, I thought it was very contrived, the writing was weak, and the ending was WAY too conveniently-ever-after (though I guess that's standard for this kind of story).

Still, the Christmas Jar idea was very nice, and I can see how it would make people who read it think twice about the "meaning of the season." So tha
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Rachel
This book hits many of the standard "wring your heart string" marks, but it feels extremely amateur. The author told instead of showing, the prose was heavy handed (I'd rather feel touched genuinely than have an author indicate by his own character that I should be feeling touched; relieves me of the obligation), and every one was so - flat. Even happy families have their rough moments. And the Christmas Jar family is so quiet, so circumspect about their little family tradition- until a reporter ...more
Ginger Price
Lauren & Adam Maxwell started a tradition when they were married of collecting coins in a jar & this is what they would spend on Christmas. A few years into this, their young daughter stopped on the street by a young pregnant girl, crying, and the daughter gave the jar to her. Thus started a new tradition of giving the jar to someone in need.
Louise Jensen found a baby at Chuck's Chicken & Biscuits with a note. Louise took the baby home and later adopted "Hope". Every year they would
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Rachel
I thought this would be an uplifting book about helping others not only at Christmas but through out the year. I was sorta right. It did discuss and show that kindness should last the whole year but... the story was so depressing it was hard not to feel anything but sad when I put it down. It was a short read and I read it in 2 sittings. I stayed up late to finish it because I was so wrapped up in the story. It's good writing but it weighed heavily on my heart and was not what I expected.
M. M. Sana
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! It is very well written. I love the characters. It is a very short book... perfect for Christmas time, when things are hectic. I think it captures the true spirit of the holidays... The spirit of giving to those in need... or even opening your heart to new people. This book will definitely motivate you to begin a new tradition in your home. Who knows... you might just start a jar of your own to leave on someone's doorsteps.
Vicki
I agree- 3 1/2 stars.
Fiona
A heart warming Christmas read that makes you understand the value of caring and giving at any season. Holly loses her adoptive mother and the following Christmas her house is burgled , a jar full of money is left on her doorstep and as a journalist Holly feel the right thing to do is investigate how this came about and who started the tradition. I would highly recommend this short read and it is possibly a keeper for me!
Elena
I gave this book three stars, because I was going to be the Grinch and not like this book at all, despite the many great reviews. I felt this way all the way until maybe the last three or four chapters. It was slow and very predictable at first and I was already anticipating a boring ending, but it surprised me in the end. Although, I still don't see how it's going to be made into a major motion picture.
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Jason Wright is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author.

Jason is a weekly columnist for the Deseret News and Northern Virginia Daily and articles by Jason have appeared in over 50 newspapers and magazines across the United States including The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. He is the author of The James Miracle (2004); Christmas Jars (2005); The W
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More about Jason F. Wright...
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