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Christmas in Harmony (Harmony, #2.5)
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Christmas in Harmony (Harmony #2.5)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,284 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Philip Gulley takes us to Harmony, Indiana, at Christmastime as inspiration strikes the inimitable Dale Hinshaw. Always looking for a way to increase the church's profit margins, Hinshaw brainstorms a progressive nativity scene that will involve the whole town, complete with a map like those for the Hollywood stars. Neither Pastor Sam Gardner nor the other members of the H ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 15th 2002 by HarperOne (first published October 1st 2002)
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Kathy Worrell  ツ
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Told from the pov of a local pastor.

A church is putting on a progressive nativity scene at Christmas.

Filled with outlandish characters and unruly animals.

Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Ok Christmas read. Some zany local characters keep it a little interesting. Good example of how Christmas can get out of control and the message lost. It doesn't the heart and enlightenment of a Christmas Box.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The best so far of a good series -- both wry and heart-warming. Reminds me a lot of Jan Karon's Mitford.
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
A sweet book, perfect for seating by the fireplace. Plus, it reminds you to be patient with those who can be annoying during the holiday.
Jennifer Pritchard
Well.......this was horrible but it wasn't good either. It didn't feel Christmasy and I'm glad it's over. Sorry Chris for making you read this with me. Every book can't be awesome I guess.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just love this series. It always makes me laugh out loud. Even though it's fiction many of these situations that Pastor Sam finds himself in are so believable. Enjoy!
Deb Hill
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I cried and laughed out loud as I read each page. I could not put it down! It is the 'Mayberry' of literature, although from the perspective of a minister, rather than a sheriff. The idiosyncrasies of the characters are hilarious. I cannot wait to read all of the other books in this series.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely leave you feeling good.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quiet little towns provide the best characters and funniest thoughts!
Raymond Bial
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like Gulley's other works, this pleasant and gently-humorous novella portrays the characters in the small fictional town of Harmony, Indiana. It is a sweet, uplifting book.
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Christmas comes to Harmony Friends, and the usual townfolk are all here, Dale and his big ideas for spreading the Gospel to the unwashed masses, Fern with her righteous and holy reasonings for not sharing her pew or straying from any tradition once put forth by her grandmother, the good, the strict, and the gentle.

This is a much shorter, faster read than the other harmony series...shouldn't take more than an afternoon of reading. Nothing heavy, but plenty of sweet moments packed into a few short
Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
I have warm fuzzy feelings just thinking about this book. It is a perfect Christmas "cup of cocoa."

In the book, the quaker church is sponsering a live nativity. My sister was here today (to see my husband in our church musicale. He was a shepherd, --Needless to say, the performance moved me to tears and violent inappropriate shaking during a church service)---but we were reminicsing about our experience with live nativites.

I have only seen one, when we lived in a small town in the Netherlands--
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
"My wife, modest and traditional, argues for reserve, while I, having witnessed the pain of unspoken love, elect to splurge. It is, I believe, in keeping with the season. God could have sent a lawyer who would scrupulously define the limits of love. Instead, he went for broke, and sent a child with whom He was well pleased. And had the good sense to tell him so. Christmas, I tell my wife, is not the time to hold back. It is the bold stroke, the song in the silence, the red hat in a gray-suit wor ...more
John Dobbs
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Easy to read, and very enjoyable for those reading the Harmony series. If you haven't read the series, you can still enjoy the story. There are heartfelt moments and hilarious moments that made me laugh out loud.

"In this unsettled world, it is good to have this steadiness - the Christmas Eve service, the peal of the bell, ... the saints burdened with concern. There is a holiness to memory, a sense of God's presence in these mangers of the mind. Which might explain why it is that the occas
Barbara M
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
The author, Philip Gulley, is a Quaker minister. This novel is about a church in the small town of Harmony planning to do a live nativity at Christmas time instead of their traditional Christmas Eve service. It's filled with a lot of interesting characters who are members of the church. Some of them are truly "characters."

It is a nice book to read by the fireplace if you are looking for something short, sweet and light to read - that will also make you smile! I would read another one in the ser
Dec 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I always make it a point to read one Christmas book during my holiday vacation. This one, written by a Quaker minister and accomplished author, was a blend of small town charm and humor reminiscent of A Christmas Story. My usual idea of a perfect Christmas story is one that fills my head with traditional Christmas hope and love, mostly to detract from what I usually see at Christmastime. This book did a little of that, but it mostly had me laughing. It was quick to read and an easy lesson that h ...more
Ken Bickley
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Philip Gulley is a pastor, and when he writes about the fictional pastor, Sam, and his wife Barbara, he must be including a few personal experiences. Of course, they are blown wildly out of proportion. (At least I hope they are.) The book manages to be uproariously funny and touching at the same time. Unlike "Skipping Christmas", it should be read as a tradition. The lesson of the book is that, no matter how much people try to spoil it, Christmas prevails. Read it anytime, if you didn't find it ...more
AngelaGay Kinkead
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
When this book arrived in the mail, it appeared to be a quick read in 7 chapters so I threw it in the car when I started my drive to Kansas. Started reading it aloud to my mother and brother, once a day following either lunch or supper, depending on my brother's schedule -- ending this evening, Christmas Eve. One chapter a day -- our small family together, a common experience, smiles, the occasional tear, and comments about "knowing" those characters and situations from a life-time of church-fam ...more
What a great book to read this time of year. As Pastor Sam Gardner reminiscences about Christmases growing up in the small town of Harmony, we get insight into the current changes his congregation are planning this year. Dale Hinshaw, wants to have a progressive Nativity scene instead of the usual Christmas celebration. This book is incredibly funny, especially when we find out how this Nativity scene affects the different people living in Harmony, including the Pastor. I thinks it's been my fav ...more
Dec 04, 2016 rated it liked it
I've been looking for some Christmas stories to read and this was short and sweet. I was left with an overall feeling of peace and calm after I read it. It looks honestly into what it takes to live in community with others -- especially those one or two people we wish we didn't have to live with sometimes. It never dives into the gritty side of humanity, but it has a simple beauty. Also, lots of church-folk -- each with their own idea of the best way to run things and a pastor that extends each ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this author! Philip Gulley writes with poignancy and wisdom and a perfect sense of tongue-in-cheek humor. Many times I laughed straight out loud as I became acquainted with the wonderful characters in this series about a Quaker pastor and his "flock" in the village of Harmony. Growing up in a small town, I understood and delighted in all the nuances of small-town living. I now own every book Mr. Gulley has written and I've enjoyed them all so much, I can't pick a favorite.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love this short little book. I typically read it every Christmas season. Why? Because it is such an easy read (and time is always limited) and I can relate to the characters and setting. The author's viewpoint is from a preacher and the characters are all nosy church-goers who tend to overrun the pastor and generally cause discord amongst the community. The progressive nativity scene in this story has had me laughing and in tears time after time.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you can read this book without laughing until your sides ache, God bless you. This book is one of the most HILARIOUS books I have ever read. I love the series Gulley has written about the town of Harmony. Yet, I believe this is my favorite of the series. Absolutely spot on with the portrayal of small town/small church life. Do not miss this book. Your book club will thank you - and it will be the best medicine you ever read!
Apr 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
My 2nd "inspirational" fiction of 2005. It was light, would be perfect around the holidays. I didn't get much out of the 84 pages, but it was a nice little story.

2017 update. I reread this at the very tail end of 2016; finished it on New Year's Day 2017. I actually liked it better the 2nd time around, so I raised it from 2 stars to 3.
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
Dec 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A must read every Christmas! One of my absolute favorites!

Reread 12/24/2011
O how I adore this book! I read it every Christmas eve! I get sucked in to the lives of the quirky characters and the hilarious lives they lead! I love it!

Reread 12/24/2012
Keeping the tradition alive with this magical, hilarious book! I love it every year! :-)
Kathryn French
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Garrison Keillor meets Father Tim- Harmony is an honest depiction of small-town small-church life everywhere. I spend every book in this series laughing in recognition and grateful for the insights Gulley shares. I thank Dale Brown and his "Conversations with American Writers" for introducing me to this author.
Greg Rothenberger
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holiday
A short, simple book, but one I enjoy every time I read it. It's slowly becoming a traditional part of my own Christmas. The craziness of Dale Hinshaw's progressive nativity scene, the church infighting, looking for the perfect gift (a toaster) and the perfect tree (got to have vertical integrity), it's all good. Harmony is the hometown I've never had.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Every year at Christmas, I read books I would normally not read. I do this because Christmas books in my library tend to be of the genre of book that does not thrill me for the rest of the year (that is to say, overly religious and sickeningly sweet). This was one of those. It is a story of a small-town Quaker minister and his town of quirky characters. Right, that about covers it.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A quick read--and a lot of fun. Highly recommended if you like books about small towns and their quirky characters. I definitely want to give this series a try. I really enjoyed Christmas in Harmony. Four stars.
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Christmas program and the church ladies' dilemma with the cookies - classic! Just love Phil Gulley's books. I read several of them to my 84-year-old dad in his last year of life. He loved them, too.
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Philip Gulley has become the voice of small-town American life. Along with writing Front Porch Tales, Hometown Tales, and For Everything a Season, Gulley is the author of the Harmony series of novels, as well as If Grace Is True and If God Is Love, which are coauthored with James Mulholland.

He hosts "Porch Talk with Phil Gulley" on the Indiana PBS affiliate WFYI television's flagship show Across I
More about Philip Gulley...

Other Books in the Series

Harmony (6 books)
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony, #1)
  • Just Shy of Harmony (Harmony, #2)
  • Signs and Wonders (Harmony, #3)
  • Life Goes On (Harmony, #4)
  • A Change of Heart (Harmony, #5)
  • Almost Friends (Harmony, #6)

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