Monday, November 2, 2015


It's almost that time of the year. The sound of wrapping paper tearing, families gathering, and all that puffy white stuff floating gingerly from the sky. Unless you live where I do and it comes down bolder-size served on a torrential wind.

It's the holiday season. Yes, I know if you're an American you're already thinking "Geez, it's not even Thanksgiving yet." And I agree.


Because from the moment I first read this book I knew I had to share it with you.

A Rare Nativity
Amazon * Deseret Book

A Rare Nativity (32 pages) 
by Sam Besson 

Publisher: Ensign Peak
Released: September 8, 2015
Format: Hardcover

Description: We have all heard the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, and we have all seen the traditional Christmas crèche. Now, author Sam Beeson and photographers Nina and Terral Cochran combine these two classic Christmas icons to create A Rare Nativity. Upon reading the first lines of the book, it is clear the narrator holds a bitter grudge as he sends his enemy crude and discarded gifts: On the first night of Christmas I gave my enemy a briar from a tanglewood tree. On the second night of Christmas I gave my enemy two rotten eggs. Night after night the gifts pile up shards of glass, rusty nails, gnarled twigs, and more. What the narrator s enemy decides to do with each of these odious gifts is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. The photographic creation of the rare nativity at the end of the book is both a work of art and a wonder to behold.


My Splats: Internally Moving & Powerfully Self-Reflecting!

Most people are familiar, at least on some level, with the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. It could be surmised as a playful countdown of gifts given in successive order until Christmas morning. But in reality, the true meaning of the song are hidden beliefs of the Catholic faith to help young children during a time when it was illegal to practice or teach the faith. A Rare Nativity takes the latter even farther.

The story is written in a similar rhyme and rhythm, yet it's really worlds apart. At the onset, it's easy to see the narrator of the story has ill feelings toward another person. He is hurt, angry, and cold. Vengeance has infected his heart, and by the sound of it, it's probably just due. But whose duty is it to exact vengeance?

The reader is taken on a journey of self-reflection and put into the shoes of this narrator. A dark place has taken of his mind ... and his heart. Unspoken words flow from the text - What would you do? There's concentration on the offense and the pain it's caused the narrator, but then ... a moment, one that gives the narrator pause and shifts his gears - the offender asks for forgiveness.

Well, this throws the narrator into a tailspin of which I'm not going to share for fear of giving too much away. Just know that despite this being a short read (I think it took me five minutes, if that.), it is extremely powerful. The images are simplistic, yet move the soul, and the words give the reader a chance to reflect on pain caused by another. How did we choose to receive that pain and in what vain - with an open or closed heart? And if it's with a closed heart, who does that really damage?

One final note: the ending is brilliantly poetic and stirs the heart. Every home should have a copy for the holiday season.
About the Author Sam Beeson gives himself annual writing assignments. In 2005, he wrote a poem a day. In 2007, he wrote about his wife every day. In 2015, each day he wrote a handwritten letter to someone new. Sam teaches high school English and loves reading the journals of his ancestors.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from <a href="" target="_blank">I Am A Reader</a> and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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  1. I hadn't even heard of this book, so thanks for the heads-up. Years ago, I tried writing a picture book about the true meaning of The Twelve Days of Christmas, but it didn't work for me. Glad someone has delved into that and given it a unique twist. Intriguing stuff!

  2. Clever take on the story. Now I want to see the creation at the end.

  3. Great review. This is the first I've heard of this book.


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