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The Christmas Box

(The Christmas Box Trilogy #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  23,676 ratings  ·  1,862 reviews
This inspiring holiday tale tells the touching story of a widow and the young family who moves in with her, and the ways in which they discover together the first gift of Christmas and what the holiday is really all about. Written by the author as a token of affection for his daughters, The Christmas Box has captured the hearts and minds of over a million readers.
Hardcover, 125 pages
Published November 2nd 1995 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1993)
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Data An inspirational tale about the true meaning of Christmas. About a young family that finds a 'fairy tale' living arrangement, and how they respond to…moreAn inspirational tale about the true meaning of Christmas. About a young family that finds a 'fairy tale' living arrangement, and how they respond to the gifts they receive (in particular an antique box that was meant to hold a bible).(less)

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,676 ratings  ·  1,862 reviews

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If you follow my reviews, you know that many of my nostalgic reflections involve my time working at Waldenbooks in the 1990s. That is no different with The Christmas Box. For those of you who might be familiar with the history of this book, that should come as no surprise. Released in 1995, this short hardcover was a staple stocking stuffer for many years (and may still be). We had stacks of copies a couple hundred high and kept a display at the registers to encourage add-ons. During the month ...more
Dec 17, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Someone just dropped off my "present" from the Relief Society. It's a copy of The Christmas Box. This is almost as bad as when the "gift" distributed at church on Mother's Day is a pamphlet about how good mothers should behave and then the dads get Snickers bars on Father's Day. At least they didn't leave a candy bar for Dan along with The Christmas Box for me this time. I bought a copy to read for a book club (and when I expressed my opinion as to the merit of this book at said book club, I ...more
Cindi (Utah Mom’s Life)
I read The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans yesterday afternoon. The best thing about it was that it was short. I feel a little like Elaine from Seinfeld when she hated the highly acclaimed "English Patient".

There must be something wrong with me. That's the only explanation, right?

Don't get me wrong. It's a sweet story. A sad story and a good reminder of what is really, truly important--especially at Christmas. I get the message. I gave my babies extra hugs last night.

So, maybe my real
The Christmas Box is a moving story about the meaning of Christmas. In this tale, it is children and the time parents spend with their children. Time can never be replaced, and time itself is truly the most meaningful and memorable gift of all. This story definitely urges the reader to reexamine priorities in life. Very beautiful and heartfelt.
"When I wrote The Christmas Box, I never intended to publish the story-it was simply an expression of love for my two young daughters, Jenna and Allyson.
Dec 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Usually, I'm not the type of person to cry over books. If I read something particularly sad, I usually end up sad for a little while, and then I'm over it. I'm not quite sure what it was about this book--but I ended up in tears. Sure, the ending was sad, but it was beautiful, as well. I have a younger brother, so the message that Mary was trying to make really hit home for me--about loving what we have because we don't know how much longer we'll have it. It's so true that oftentimes, everyone ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dtb-book
What a beautiful story and great reminder about what the holiday season really should be about.
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another heart warming tale that touched me from Richard Paul Evans. I finished this book and then logged on to reserved the next one at my library. His writing style imparts a simple path to truths that we take for granted. His exposure of those truths provide genuine opportunities for emotional awakenings. I think his stories are amazing. I like his work as much as I have enjoyed Mitch Albom. Take an afternoon and reflect on the true meanings he shows us in one of his books. You will surely be ...more
Bodosika Bodosika
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short read but an interesting short read....I give this 4 star.
Dec 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This was a really sweet book. I loved the lesson learned of the true gift of Christmas, and the love that was shared between these people. It was a really fast read and very touching, I thought that it depicted the true meaning of Christmas in a wonderful way. We have all been given a wonderful gift of eternal life, and we should all acknowledge that fact on more than the occasion of Christ's birth.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Hallmark channel Xmas movies
I can't believe I read this corny book. When it was first published, someone gave it to me, and I must have been bored because...I actually read the thing. It's short and simplistically written, a very quick feel-good read. I forgot all about it until now, which really says it all: It's an unmemorable book, one of those Christmas stories dripping with sentimentality--exactly like the goofy Christmas movies the Hallmark channel airs every Christmas season. It's only goal is to warm the heart.
Peter Monn
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this would be corny but I really loved it! My full review will be up on my booktube channel at
Amberly Crowford
Dec 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
I'm aware that this is now some sort of Utah-Cult-Classic, but I hated this book. It was way too sappy and way to warm and fuzzy for my liking. I probably gagged all the way through it. No offense to the whole children-dying thing that the book was trying to portray, I'm super sad for dying children, but.....
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
SUMMARY: Since it was first published, millions of people have been touched by the magic of The Christmas Box, a holiday classic that is as beloved in our time as A Christmas Carol was in Dickens's. When Richard Paul Evans wrote The Christmas Box, he intended it as a private expression of love for his two young daughters, Jenna and Allyson. Though he often told them that he loved them, he didn't feel that they could ever really understand the depth of his feelings until they had experienced the ...more
Raegan   Ralls
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone and everyone.
Shelves: read-in-2014
Anyone that can read should read this book. This book has changed my life in a way words can't describe. You will just have to read it and find out yourself.
This was the first and only book that has made me cry. I don't know whether it was tears of joy or sorrow. A little of both I think. Makes you think about life. This book teaches you the true meaning of Christmas. To love and to cherish your family while you still have one. For love is eternal.
Kym McNabney
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before I purchase or read a book that I purchased on a whim, I go to Amazon and read a few reviews. Typically, a couple of the five star as well as the one star reviews, getting a feel for both spectrums. The few negative/one star reviews that I read for THE CHRISTMAS BOX, didn’t deter me. Why they believe the book to not be good wasn’t concerning enough. The second thing I do is go inside the book and read a few paragraph to get a feel for the authors writing style.

If there was ever a book I
Christina Claypool
This was a reread of this inspiring now classic Christmas story. Grateful that I took time to read it again, despite the hectic demands the Christmas season can produce. In the last couple decades, so many Christmas novels have followed, but this one is a gem that is a forever keeper.
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a total sap and bawled through the whole ending. It was good, but I was glad it was so short! Nice for the holidays.
Maureen DeLuca
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great short " get in the spirit" of Christmas book !!
Trina Williams
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-books
Read this book in one setting and cried my eyes. Definitely a reality check at the end of the day!
Vanina Jepperson
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touching story on the true meaning of Christmas and on how our families should be a high priority in our lives. The ending was absolutely beautiful.
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
If you’re looking for a quick read by the Christmas tree, this is your book. I feel like it could have been a lot better if the story was fleshed out a bit, but on the whole, it was okay.
K.D. Absolutely
34 days before Christmas! I just finished my first book hoping to start myself feel that Christmas mood!

I have around 10 Christmas-related books in my tbr shelf. Some of them, like Jan Karon's Shepherds Abiding and the two other books included in Charles Dicken's Christmas Books were from last year's horde. But I picked this one, bought only recently, as my first this year since I read and liked Richard Paul Evan's Grace: A Novel a few months back. Wiki says that this book, The Christmas Box
Honestly I thought this book was very... unprofessionally written. Evans would describe the setting with gigantic words and vivid colors that would jump out to you, but yet he could not describe people's actions correctly.

I felt like this story was less of a story and more of a review. All it did was tell. It was like reading a book about water marine animals- full of fact, lack of showing.

For example;

'Jenna looked up sadly.'
'Mary paused thoughtfully.'
'Mary looked up sadly.'
'She asked
Sean Smart
I was a bit disappointed overall. It was written well and I have read worse but it came across (to me at least) as a piece of American Evangelical Christian stories, similar to those Left behind novels that came out a few years ago and therefore I could not connect to it, nor feel very comfortable with it, although the story it self is fairly harmless. Not too much to do with Christmas it self either, more to do with a family situation.
Karen Hogan
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you aren't looking for great literature. Instead you need a heartwarming, makes me want to cry book, that helps you try to make sense of your world. This faith-based book about re-finding the true meaning of Christmas tugged at my heart strings, but also made me examine my own priorities in life. It's a nice little story(only 120 pages), but worth reading and owning.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read, well written, and convicting as a parent to not get caught up in being too busy all the time, but to make time for our loved ones, especially our children. Our children will grow up and we might miss out on their little lives. I can see myself reading this again next Christmas.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really wonderful Christmas story, read 1st time around 20 years ago...... was just as good now as then, it's about the greatest gift of all for Christmas, recommend this short novel very highly. Just noticed that there is a second series, need to order it! Have some Kleenex handy....
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
sometimes his books only make good movies.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book quite a few years ago and knew that this was a special author. I have read most, if not all, of his books over the years. In fact, during a recent move, I parted with most of the books on my bookshelf, but the RPE and the Nicholas Sparks all made the move. They are just special books that I love to share with friends and reread over time. This time, I read the Christmas Box aloud to my daughter. She looked forward to a chapter or two every evening and fell in love with the ...more
Jan 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Evil People
I never read this book, but I did see past of the movie. The woman scares me. It all started when I had a dream that I was in the dentist office and I was in the chair and she came in and asked, "you want your christmas box?" I said no, and she started the drilling. I remember that she was ugly, and scary and that I was strapped in and she drilled all over the place and there was blood and pain and I woke up in a cold sweat. That sense of helplessness is the worst part. She will always ...more
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When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author. His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. He has since written ...more

Other books in the series

The Christmas Box Trilogy (3 books)
  • Timepiece (The Christmas Box, #2)
  • The Letter (The Christmas Box, #3)
“The smells of Christmas are the smells of childhood” 148 likes
“Denial, perhaps, is a necessary human mechanism to cope with the heartaches of life. ” 68 likes
More quotes…