After their own son died in a Christmas Eve car accident, Patricia and Mark Addison couldn't bring themselves to acknowledge the holiday. Years later, they're barely on speaking terms, passing each other like ghosts in the hallway of their own home. When Patricia, a social worker, is assigned to the case of a five-year-old whose mother has died a few days before Christmas, she at first shies away from a case that too closely parallels her own grief. But she doesn't have the heart to place young Emily in a foster home so close to the holidays, so Patricia brings her home for what she intends to be just a few days. What happens next is close to a holiday miracle. In author Donna Van Liere's capable hands, The Christmas Hope is a magical story of second chances that will stay with readers long after the ornaments have been put away.

Amy Scribner is celebrating the holidays with her family in Olympia, Washington.

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