The Question of Christmas

Written by Benjamin J. Denen

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The author begins his story in the prologue by pondering the question about the true meaning of Christmas and how its meaning has been transformed over time. Then he transports the reader back to few days before Christmas in the 1980’s when he was a twelve year old sixth grade student.

Spencer takes us on a detective adventure with his two best friends, Josh and Tiffany. This Christmas would be a lean one for Spencer’s family as his father has lost his job, and the family faces financial distress due to mounting medical costs. Spencer’s older brother, B.Jack needs heart surgery due to complications related to his Down’s Syndrome condition. The adventure begins when Spencer observes a stranger moving in to a long abandoned house down the street. For some reason, he senses a strange connection. That night hearing about the robbery of a valuable dagger from the museum in Chicago, Spencer is sure he recognizes the stranger in the police sketch shown on TV as that thief.

The three inseparable friends spend all their waking free hours following the man named Alejandro Rojas. When they spy him trying to sell something to Mr. O’Flannagan in the antique store, they are determined to break in to find the dagger as evidence of the crime. I will not spoil the story; of course, the plans go awry. Is Mr. Rojas guilty and what is his connection to Spencer’s town? Will the children be caught and punished? What will happen to B.Jack?

This novella of less than one hundred pages is well written. The reader will draw his own conclusions about what Christmas truly means, but the author’s conclusion is that Christmas is love in action and should be practiced all year round. This tale does not have a biased view. It is just a though provoking feel good story appropriate for tweens, teens and adults of all ages. Highly recommended!

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