Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.Click read more to find out why Kersten loves to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever...
Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right.
The goblins are coming.
I would like to share my own holiday tradition. Ever year, I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. Just in case you’ve never read the book, here is the description from Goodreads:
“The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain. So it surprised just about everybody when they decided to take part in the town's Christmas pageant. The Herdmans had never heard of the Christmas story, but the way they interpreted it, you'd think the story of Jesus came right out of the F.B.I. files. (They called the Wise Men a bunch of dirty spies.) It was a Christmas pageant to remember.”
The Herdmans commit various acts of arson and semi-criminal carnage…and still understand more about Christmas than the well-washed and Christian-mannered children who participate in the Pageant every single year.
I can relate. I was one of those children. Only I didn’t smoke cigars – except that one time when I took my brother’s cigar, and he got mad when I wouldn’t give it back and kicked me out of the tree house. I landed on my head and got a concussion. And the Herdmans are involved in arson, which I wasn’t— other than that one time when I participated in an activity which could have burned the whole city down, but fortunately didn’t and we got the fire out before anyone Official arrived anyway. It was a very close call.
But the real reason I love The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is that it shows the Christmas story through the eyes of someone who has never experienced it as our culture teaches it before. Someone who has not been exposed to the cleaned up, sanitized and Holy-fied story so often that they forget that it happened to real people in a real and gritty place. A real young girl, cold and afraid. A real baby who cried and pooped and shivered. A real young father, unable to provide a safe place for his family. A real Creator, risking his heart on this cold, dirty, unfair mess of a world.
Every year when I am struck to the heart with the realness of the Christmas story, I kneel before that baby. And, like the Herdmans, I offer up the very best I have.