ONE IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS
Christmas is the season of miracles, but when blame and guilt keep two people apart, sometimes a miracle needs a helping hand.
Natalie Pearce loves Christmas so much she'd gladly make it a year-round celebration -- until her mother suffers a massive stroke while taking down the Christmas decorations. Natalie's guilt over not being there to help her mom soon builds a wall that separates her from the rest of her family, including her husband Daniel and their teenage daughter. As the next December approaches, the last thing Natalie wants to be reminded of is another Christmas season.
Will her family's tenacious love and an unexpected Christmas gift from her mother help Natalie mend the broken pieces of their lives?
NATALIE PEARCE IS 'REAL' -- A FLAWED WOMAN STRUGGLING TO DO HER BEST IN THE FACE OF MANY STRESSORS. SHE'S LIKE ALL OF US, TRYING TO FIND A BALANCE FOR THE MANY ROLES SHE PLAYS. SHE'S AN ARTIST THAT NEVER SEEMS TO FIND ENOUGH TIME TO PAINT, A WIFE WHO STRIVES TO MAKE TIME FOR HER LOVING HUSBAND, A MOTHER WHO IS NAVIGATING THE UNCHARTED TERRITORY OF THE TEENAGE YEARS, A DAUGHTER ANXIOUS TO HELP HER AGING PARENTS AND THEN, OF COURSE, THERE'S TRYING TO JUGGLE HER PART-TIME JOB AS A FREELANCE GRAPHIC ARTIST INTO THE MIX.
NATALIE THINKS SHE IS MANAGING JUST FINE UNTIL HER MOTHER SUFFERS A DEBILITATING STROKE. IT HAPPENS ON THE ONE DAY NATALIE REFUSES TO COME OVER AND HELP HER MOM. NOW SHE IS RIDDLED WITH GUILT, HAUNTED BY 'WHAT IFS' AND AS HER MOTHER LIES WASTING AWAY IN A HOSPITAL BED, NATALIE BEGINS TO CLOSE HERSELF OFF FORM THE VERY PEOPLE WHO LOVE HER MOST. IT ISN'T LONG BEFORE NATALIE STARTS LOSING GROUND -- FAST -- AS HER WHOLE WORLD FALLS APART.
ONE IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS COVERS THAT HORRIFIC YEAR SANDWICHED BETWEEN CHRISTMASES. THE YEAR NATALIE LOST EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF HER UNWILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT THE COMFORT OF LOVE FROM HER FAMILY, HER HUSBAND AND EVEN HER FATHER IN HEAVEN. BECAUSE NATALIE IS CONVINCED SHE'S NOT WORTHY OF THAT LOVE.
IT'S A HARD READ AT TIMES AND A PAINFUL ONE. I CRIED, MY STOMACH FILLED WITH KNOTS OF DREAD. I WANTED TO SHAKE NATALIE SENSELESS AND THEN SHAKE HER SOME MORE UNTIL HER SENSE RETURNED. IT WAS SO EASY TO STAND ON THE OUTSIDE AND SEE WHERE SHE WENT WRONG -- HOW ONE MISTAKE BEGOT ANOTHER AND THEN ANOTHER AND THEN ANOTHER UNTIL SHE HAD BOXED HERSELF IN AND HER STUBBORN PRIDE AND IRRATIONAL FEAR AND FEELINGS OF WORTHLESSNESS SEALED THAT BOX SHUT.
BUT WHAT WOULD A CHRISTMAS STORY BE WITHOUT HOPE? WITHOUT THE STRENGTH AND THE SUPPORT OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN? WITHOUT THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? MYRA JOHNSON HAS CREATED A REALISTIC CONCLUSION THAT DELIVERS HOPE. IS THERE A HAPPY ENDING? I'LL LEAVE YOU TO READ AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF.