Wintermas 2012: Time for a Vote!

It’s that time of year again—pre-Halloween, when the Christmas decorations start coming out.

I remember Ye Olden Dayes, when Christmas commercials didn’t start until the Halloween night horror movie marathons.  Hell, I remember Ye Evene Older Dayes, when Christmas didn’t start until Black Friday.


Anyway, getting into the spirit of Wintermas, it’s time for me to start thinking about my Very Heathen Critique Holiday Special.

Last year, as some of you may remember, I read Twas the Night Before, Jerry Jenkins’ Christmas romance about a grown woman who believes in Santa Claus.

This year, I have a couple of ideas…

1.  The Case for Christmas, by Lee Strobel

From the back cover:

Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, Lee Strobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger.  Join him as he asks the tough, pointed questions you’d expect from an award-winning legal journalist.

Lee apparently will come of a conclusion in a mere 84 pages.  So it’s possible that I could critique both this little bitsy book and…

2.  Christmas Town, by Peggy Gilchrist

This is an Inspirational Romance novel from Steeple Hill.

From the back cover:

Everyone was talking about the arrival of Jordan Scoville.  The millionaire had been raised in Bethlehem, South Carolina, the town his family still owned.  But Jordan hadn’t been back in over ten years, and rumor had it that the savvy businessman had returned in order to close down their little “Christmas Town” forever!

But that didn’t stop struggling single mother Joella Ratchford.  Everyone she really cared about lived in Christmas Town, and she was convinced that all Jordan “Scrooge” Scoville really needed was faith.  For surely the joys of the season would make him realize that it was up to him to save this town…and maybe find a happily ever after of his own.

Given my genuine and unabashed enjoyment of Christmas stuff, there is a good chance I might like this one.

Which brings me to my final point: whether I read one or both of these books, I will go into them blind.  Unlike the Underground Zealot and Babylon Rising series, I have never read either of these books.

And thus I leave it to you, my lovely and loyal readers, to decide what will be under the Heathen Critique Wintermas tree…


Posted on October 14, 2012, in Books, Christmas, Christmas Town, The Case for Christmas, Twas the Night Before. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. I voted both, but if you must pick I saw ‘Case for Christmas’. I love me some ridiculous Christian pseudohistorical nuttery.

  2. Read both, review the one that’ll turn out to be less boring. If both are equally entertaining… okay, I kinda want a romance novel more. On the other wing, you already did a romance novel, but no “journalistic investigations” yet. Maybe it’s time to try this particular brand of green eggs. Anyway, my vote goes for whatever is less boring.

  3. I wonder what ‘archealogy’ can say about which child was lying in a cript at an unknown location 2000 years ago. Or is the ‘child’ language just to connect it to Christmass, and is it about the adult life of Jesus too?

    Either way, I suspect most of the ‘evidence’ will come from the circle-jerking with the Bible and Mesianic prophecy studies. “ZOMG! The Bible clearly says that the child born there was the Mesiah! This is all the proof we need!”

    Love the bragging about the ‘tough, pointed questions you’d expect from an award-winning legal journalist.’ Translation: We just say this reporter is such a thorough and dedicated investigator, so you can trust him when he comes to the conclusion he already believed before he started this research. Also, that ‘tough pointed questions’ line sounds a lot like the introduction of Buck in LB, no?

    The second one… Eh, could be fun, but I suspect it’s gonna be a bit dull. I’m interested to see just what this Christmass town is? Is it just a festival they set up? Can’t be, because she describes people living in it. Is it the town of Bethlehem itself? Then how can even a millionaire just shut it down? Unless every single person rents his appartment and the millionaire buys all the property from the landlords, he can’t actually kick them out if they want to. Well, he could use his money and influence to lobby with the local authorities to pull all federal support and services for the town. But that’s the kind of thing RTCs like.

    So, a single mom is the good guy in a Christian story? Hubby must be dead. Even if he up and left her with no return adress, the RTCs in the audience would probably still blame the woman for making him leave. Well, at least there can’t be any doubt who the happily ever after for our Scrooge*. A single mom needs to get married ASAP, since she can’t be a parasitic wellfare queen and isn’t allowed to work herself.

    * Just like Jenkins, they can’t help themselves pointing out where they’re ripping their ideas of from. Too afraid we won’t notice how clever their references are? Well, I can’t complain too much, after our gaming nights when I DM, I cycle home with one or two of the gamers. I can never shut up about the ideas behind the adventure they just did either.

    • A legal journalist probably knows as much about archaeology as a botanist knows about stage-magic.

      I wonder what acceptable means of death for an RTC husband are. (If she went RTC after he died, that’s another matter.) Presumably he must have been a bad RTC, because otherwise the bad things wouldn’t have happened to him…

    • Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, Lee Strobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger. Join him as he asks the tough, pointed questions you’d expect from an award-winning legal journalist.

      Apparently, “How do we know there was a child in a manger?” is not a “tough, pointed question” that one would “expect from an award-winning legal journalist”.

      Although I have to admit, among all the dishonest losers known as Christian apologists, Strobel comes off as the most likable that I’ve encountered.

  4. I voted “Christmas Town”. Although I do love me some bad science/history, I can already guess that Strobel’s book will conclude that the child in the manger is Jesus! and that takes some of the fun out of it.

    On the other hand, a blend of awkward romance, small town vs. greedy land developer conflict, and The War On Christmas? That’s a recipe for hilarity that goes down smoother than eggnog!

  5. The Case For Christmas sounds kinda more fun to me.

    • I’ve seen it, but haven’t read it. If I ever find a used copy, I might do it, but I would want to do the whole series (I think it’s three books about the same guy).

      The books on the poll are books on my bookshelf, for my Wintermas convenience. 😀

      • Alright; I already did vote on the poll.

        Didn’t know it was a series, but, you can find it quite cheap (less than a buck not counting shipping and handling) unless you’re interested in supporting your own local shops, which is fine too.

  6. I kind of wonder if “The Case for Christmas” will even mention the fact that extremely similar stories to that of Jesus Christ had been floating around in the mythology of the general area from where it originates from for literally more than *two thousand years* before he was supposedly born. I doubt it, but it kind of makes me want to have it be the one reviewed so I can find out.

    Though the second one does sound interesting, too. Hmm . . .

  7. I’m voting for a Case for Christmas mostly because I’m not sure I can stomach the banality of romance fiction combined with the banality of “come to Jesus” fiction.

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