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Back to Christmas

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Find out what happens when the elf in charge of labeling humans naughty or nice tries to save his job at the expense of a family that's forgotten the meaning of Christmas. An Audiofile Magazine Earphones Award winner!

Back to Christmas is a story readers of any age can enjoy, and one parents will love reading with their children and grandchildren. Join twelve-year-old
Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published December 18th 2013 by Well-spoken Books (first published December 10th 2011)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016, holiday
So. Christmas, amirite?


If there's any holiday that makes me queasy, it's this one. I didn't always used to be this way, but after a few decades experiencing The Most Wonderful Time of the Year as an adult, I've turned a tad sour.
Depending on what time of the day you catch me in December, I'll either look like this:




And, occasionally (if I look happy), this:


So, to say that this is not the kind of book I would normally pick out for myself, would be a massive understatement.
I mean, sweet
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Krumwerth’s used to be a happy family who got along and loved each other. They made time for one another and cared. Things have changed, life has gotten in the way and other things have been more important than family. The Krumwerth’s have made there way on the naughty list again this year. And they have one chance to get off of it.

Marmel the elf is the elf in charge of categorizing the naughty and nice. He doesn’t have any hope that the Kruswerth’s can get off the naughty list, no matter
Robin (Bridge Four)
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tis the Season and so I wanted to try something new that would possibly be good for the entire family including my nieces. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen most of the Christmas movies out there what feels like hundreds of times. So, I thought I’d give a book with a disgruntled elf, Santa’s brother and a Family who have lost their
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Is it true, sir? Is it true you might be losing your Christmas spirit?"

The Krumwerths have been on the Naughty List for the last two Christmases and are in real danger of being put on the Permanent Naughty List. Marmel is an elf whose Christmas spirit is flagging. He thinks the Krumwerths belong on the list.

"The children fight with each other incessantly, and they constantly argue with their parents and lie to them. The parents have no time for their children and never have a good word for
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very cute novella about a family that has a lot of work to do to get themselves back to what used to be a loving, supportive clan. A bah humbug elf is assigned to help them but does not have any hope of making it happen. A great Christmas lesson of how to shed all of our gadgets, that we think we can't live without, and getting back to basics. Sometimes the Christmas spirit can be found in the strangest places. This would make a cute Hallmark movie and is a good family car listen.

**second year
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun Christmas story! A little girl meets Santa's head Labeling Elf. Can she get her family off the naughty list before its too late? An excellent story that I plan to read every Christmas.
Given to me free for an honest review. I'm glad I had a chance to listen to it, although this isn't my typical read. Santa Claus, his organization, & all were well done. Enough of the old with some new, bright, shiny bits added that really helped the story.

The narrator, Ralph Lister was quite good, although I was a bit surprised by the British accent since both the author & setting are USA. It worked really well for the story, although he can't do a southern accent at all. The wording
This book was so cute! A great Christmas story that I can see being made into a movie.

Marmel, head labeling elf he is in charge of labeling the naughty and nice and he is in a tizzy because Santa changed the rules and now no one is on the naughty list but Marmel has found a whole family (The Krumwerth’s) that he thinks should be on the permanent naughty list, no more chances they are just bad, bad, bad, at least according to Marmel. However Santa wants to give them a chance to redeem
❆ Crystal ❆
Review for audiobook ~ 2.5 stars story 5 stars narration

This audio book copy was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
The story was cute with a relevant message.... put down the electronics and be a part of the family. I give it 2.5 stars.

The narration by Ralph Lister was magical and enjoyable to listen to. I loved the narration.

In short, it's about an entire family who is about to be placed on The Permanent Naughty List and an elf who is losing his Christmas spirit.

What a great Christmas novella! This was exactly what I was looking for! I think this would make a wonderful Christmas movie!
Joan Roman Pavlick
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to everyone
Recommended to Joan by: Provided by author
OMG I loved it! Is what I sent the author halfway thru the book that is barely 3 hrs long. That is how enchanted I was by this cute Christmas story. I have to admit I am a sucker for a good Christmas story! and as with all Christmas stories yes it does have a happy ending! It was the journey getting to the end from the beginning that was so much fun! Dennis Canfield well thought out storyline and I did laugh out loud a few times. Found myself smiling knowing some of the young kids I would say 5+ ...more
Aug 22, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Twelve-year old Amanda Krumwerth and the rest of her family are in constant communication with everyone except each other, thanks to their mobile phones. social networks and online games. It’s gotten so bad that all of them have been on Santa’s Naughty List for the past two Christmases. So, if they’re on the Naughty List again this Christmas, they’ll be on it for the rest of their lives.

Marmel, Santa’s Head Labeling Elf, would love nothing more than to see the Krumwerths go onto the Permanent
Ashly Lynn
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a light, uplifting Christmas story.
Recommended to Ashly by: Goodreads Giveaway
This is a story about a family that has been put on Santa’s naughty list for the last two years. If they’re put on the list again, Santa’s elves will have no choice but to put the family on the permanent naughty list, and nobody wants that. The head labeling elf is eager to do his job and put the family on the naughty list, until he discovers he might be losing his Christmas spirit as well. In one last valiant effort to save both the family and himself, can this elf avoid such travesty in time ...more
Karen O'Brien-Hall
Please bear in mind, yours truly has no children, so it really is my inner child writing this review ….. and young Miss Me loved Back to Christmas.
It’s Christmas Eve minus 1 day and Mamel, the Elf Supervisor of the Lists Department in Santa’s workshop, has to deliver the news to the Krumwerth family that this is their third year on the Naughty list.
They used to be such a pleasant family, what happened? Unless they can turn around their lives in 48 hours they will remain on the Naughty list
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This is a cute little story that all ages can enjoy. Family, friendships, joy and the secular meaning of Christmas that is fun for everyone. Though not Christian based, it is appropriate for Christians too.

Marmel, the elf, is in charge of the Nice and Naughty List. Through the years, he's lost his prospective on his job. The Krumwerth family has lost all their Christmas spirit in the midst of everything electronic. Everyone is self-centered and there is no joy in their home. Can the elf, the
The Krumwerth family is in deep trouble but they don’t even know it. Why you ask? Because they are on Santa’s naughty list for what will be the third year in a row. And everyone knows that that means they got on each other’s last nerve with bad behavior for the last time. After three years on the naughty list in a row, you are destined to be on it for all eternity. No more Christmas spirit and no way to get back on the nice list.

The head sorting elf, Marmel, gives Santa the bad news. But Santa
Tonja Drecker
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a tale of Christmas magic with all of its childish and heart-warming delight.

Marmel is one of Santa's elves, and it's his job to oversee the Naughty and Nice list. This year, thanks to Santa's change of rules, Marmel's only able to convince Santa that one family deserves to be on the list. . .and this family is about to go on the permanent naught list. As is his job, he visits one member of the family, Amanda, and warns her of the predicament. The family still has a chance to thwart
Susan Page
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lovely little Christmas story, perfect for reading with young children. Marmel is the head labelling elf, responsible for seeing that everyone is out on the correct list, the good list, or the bad list. He discovers that one whole family, the Krumwerth’s, have been put on the good list, in accordance with Santa’s new guidelines, but they have not been good at all, for the third year running ... which means they will be on the bad list permanently unless they can change in the next two days. ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is an utterly charming Christmas story which can be enjoyed by the whole family every holiday season. There are some nice lessons and little reminders for everyone to be a little kinder and a little more thoughtful not just during the holidays but all year. I especially enjoyed the reminder that in our current world where everyone is glued to their electronic devices and ignoring everything and everyone around them -- even
Julie Barrett
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield
Read a previous years version and now this one as it's been updated:
It's a very different book than the last version. This one is mostly about how people are placed on the naughty and nice lists.
Part I love the best are when the elves intervene and the technology no longer works and after standing in lines for hours they do work.
Love also how the family gets to know things about one another because they have/make the time to actually talk to one another,
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Amanda is visited by Marmel the elf, she’s more than a little concerned that her family is slated to end up on the Permanent Naughty List. It’s up to her to help her family turn it around and work together to remember what it feels like to be nice before it’s too late.

I really enjoyed this one. I think it would make a great Christmas movie, and is a nice reminder to families and young readers that
Carol Dass
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-read, arcs

Simply delightful! I loved the story and the message within it. The Krumworth family was in danger of being permanently on Santa’s naughty list. They have been on the naughty list for two years, and the third time will remain on the list permanently. They argue, are distracted by their electronic devices and care for no one except themselves. However, there is a small chance they can be saved if they complete three tasks. The story has elves, flying penguins, magic, and a great message. All ages
Louise Pledge
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful story! I couldn't put it down! It first looked to be a children's story, so I planned to save it till my grandchildren were here... but then I just kept reading. It's a story for ALL ages! Did you ever wonder, as a child, if you were on Santa's naughty or nice list? Well, the elf in this Christmas tale is in charge of those lists. But which list does HE belong on? I would so love to see this as a Hallmark movie!
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
This was a good book about Christmas that I think would be a fun family read on snowy winter nights! An elf is in charge of the naughty and nice list. He finds a family that is on the verge of becoming permanently naughty. They must put aside all distractions and focus on family to make a change. The characters in this book are fun and entertaining, and I like the spin on Santa and Christmas.
Ann Marie
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I thought I was going to be reading yet another Christmas book ... Judging from the title and all! Of course, it was a Christmas book! One which I absolutely enjoyed from the preface to the very last comment from Santa himself!
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Back to Christmas is a quick, fun read that should appeal to readers age 10 and older. It reminds me of a modern day Scrooge type tale. It would make a great family read aloud!

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2020-read
I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest review.
I thought that this was a really cute story. Because it is such a short story, I can't really talk about anything more than what's in the summary without giving more away. It was a quick read, and it is something that I will enjoy reading to my kids. I will definitely be adding it to our collection. I do think it was pretty obvious what Marmel's problem was, and the ending was as expected, but it was still a cute
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story about a horrible family who is going to be put on Santa's permanent naughty list by an elf who is running out of his christmas spirit. There are a few parts in the story that didn't flow well but the story itself is very enjoyable.
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield is an entertaining holiday tale about a family that has lost their holiday spirit due to gadgets, devices, and other electronic media. The family is threatened with being placed on the permanent Naughty List unless they do three acts of kindness in two days. To help the family find their way off the list, Santa enlists the help of an elderly elf who has also lost the meaning of Christmas himself, and the help of his brother who lives in the South Pole who ...more
Rosa Cline
This was a First Reads Giveaway Book winner for me; and I SO appreciate the opportunity to be able to read it and get it! This WILL be a yearly tradition for me to read every year from here on out! This is a 'gentle' book that any of the family would enjoy for any ages (although the older children and adults will FULLY understand what Mr Canfield is writing about). While you're reading this book you can stop and think about things in your own lives at this time of year; a time when you were ...more
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My wife and I live near Chicago, Illinois with our two daughters. I am a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Commerce, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

I became interested in writing when my older daughter played 'Wendy' in 'Peter Pan,' and the theater needed someone to 'fly' her (that is, pull the rope to make her fly above the stage). That was my
“I want to be remembered for doing something good.” 1 likes
“Sometimes, crazy is exactly what we need.” 0 likes
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