Philip Gulley takes us to Harmony, Indiana, at Christmastime as inspiration strikes the inimitable Dale Hinshaw. Always looking for a way to increase the church's profit margins, Hinshaw brainstorms a progressive nativity scene that will involve the whole town, complete with a map like those for the Hollywood stars. Neither Pastor Sam Gardner nor the other members of the Harmony Friends meeting express any enthusiasm for this idea, but Dale is unstoppable. Meanwhile, Pastor Sam has his own concerns: he's having his annual argument with his wife, and he's worried that the four-slotted toaster he bought for her may be too lavish a gift.
Amidst the bustle of the season, the citizens of Harmony experience the simple joys and sometime loneliness that often go unseen. Sam comes to the realization that Dale, in his own misguided way, is only trying to draw meaning from the eternal story of Christmas. "In this unsettled world, it is good to have this steadiness -- the Christmas Eve service, the peal of the bell. . . .There is a holiness to memory, a sense of God's presence in these mangers of the mind. Which might explain why it is that the occasions that change the least are often the very occasions that change us the most.
About the Author
Philip Gulley is a Quaker minister, writer, husband, and father. He is the bestselling author of Front Porch Tales, the acclaimed Harmony series, and is coauthor of If Grace Is True and If God Is Love. Gulley lives with his wife and two sons in Indiana, and is a frequent speaker at churches, colleges, and retreat centers across the country.
“A true holiday treasure. Gulley is the master storyteller of small town life.”
-Lynne Hinton, author of Friendship Cake
“Gentle, humorous, heartwarming ... the lessons of Harmony leave a lasting impression on readers’ hearts.”
-Lynn N. Austin, 2002 Christy Award winner and author of Hidden Places
“The perfect stocking stuffer...but read it yourself first.”
-Roxanne Henke, author of After Anne
“Gulley’s beloved Harmony series takes a festive turn with this delightful novella.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fans who love these quirky characters ... will rejoice at spending the holidays with them.”
“[A] hilarious and thought-provoking little gem that has the potential to become a new Christmas classic.”
“[A] memorable glimpse of an old-fashioned holiday.”