THE GIFT by Lila Ellexson Senter


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A collection of Christmas “Word Gifts”—poems, quotes, and short stories, accompanied by images from various artists—from debut author Senter.

As Senter explains in the introduction, she has been giving “Word Gifts”—as brief as a quote or as long as a short story—to family friends since 1984. Many of them are her own poems; others are quotes or excerpts from others’ work. All of them revolve around the Christmas season and the spirit of charity embodied by that holiday. Many are accompanied by Scripture, including bits of the Christmas story, as well as different translations of the Lord’s Prayer. Senter presents uncommon and unattributed Christmas tales, such as the “Legend of the Sand Dollar” (the shell’s star represents the Christmas star, and the five holes represent Christ’s wounds at the crucifixion), pairing them with her original poetry. A few of the reprinted excerpts may be familiar to readers, such as the analysis of the Lord’s Prayer by George Buttrick. The poems, which use familiar imagery and are reminiscent of hymns and carols sung during the season, include a few gems: “Awesome! God to earth via the cradle, / and Mary and Joseph rock him to sleep... / HOPE, his companion for thirty-three years / THEN begins his life of promises to keep.” Senter’s selection of quotes is varied and frequently inspired, as she reaches beyond the usual pool of Christian writers and quotes other writers, philosophers, and religious leaders (Sri Sathya Sai Baba, poet Christina G. Rossetti, Kahlil Gibran). The images—paintings, collages, photographs—all complement the text. All of the author’s proceeds go toward the endowment of a homeless transition shelter.

Likely to be a success among Christians looking for new Christmas material to share with friends and family over the holiday season.

Publisher: Xulon Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


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