In the beginning of Mimi Barbour's "Together for Christmas," I thought it strange and unlikely to be holiday-worthy. Marcus Chapman, a sour accountant parked on a bench outside the vicarage bemoaning his life meets with Abbie Taylor, who in the cold, is struggling to cover rose bushes in the dead of winter. Strange, maybe. But when Abby pricks her finger on a thorn and faints to the ground something way beyond strange occurs. Her spirit leaves her body and enters into the body of Mr. Chapman.
Now we're talking strange. Oh, but it gets better, much better. Marcus hears a voice that he perceives to be close to him. However, close isn't exactly the right word in this case. What he's hearing is Abbie's voice that is actually coming from inside of him. And, they can and do converse as if they were seated next to each other on that very bench.
I could tell you the entire story, but I'm sure Ms. Barbour would prefer that you read her book on your own. What I will tell you is that as I continued reading I was struck with the magical beauty of this tale and how cleverly Mimi wove the true meaning of Christmas into every page. Characters quaintly resembling Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Scrooge-like disposition of Marcus giving way to real expressions of caring and charity, a woman's heartfelt underlying story of sacrificing a child out of love, a nativity presentation that will leave you breathless! All of this personifying the spirit of Christmas for me as I have never experienced it before. Or at least not in a very long time! Gift yourself with "Together for Christmas" today. You'll be so glad you did!