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When Mother Was Eleven-Foot-Four: A Christmas Memory

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This beautifully written holiday memoir follows the tradition of The Christmas Box and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It\u2019s the story of the author\u2019s mother, whose romantic nature and love for Christmas left a lifelong impression on her son.Mother is a tiny woman-4\u201911\u2019\u2019-except when life demands that she draw herself up to her "full height" of 11\u This beautifully written holiday memoir follows the tradition of The Christmas Box and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It\u2019s the story of the author\u2019s mother, whose romantic nature and love for Christmas left a lifelong impression on her son.Mother is a tiny woman-4\u201911\u2019\u2019-except when life demands that she draw herself up to her "full height" of 11\u20194\u2019\u2019. Christmas is one of those times. Father is opposed to celebrating Christmas, and every year the couple fights about it. And every year Jerry and the other kids eavesdrop nervously until their mother ensures that Christmas wins out. When things take a turn for the worst, Mother and the boys find themselves struggling with poverty and depressed circumstances. Mother tries to make the best of Christmas at first, but when she loses the holiday spirit, her young sons decide to do something about it. In their attempt, they discover the true meaning of grace.


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This beautifully written holiday memoir follows the tradition of The Christmas Box and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It\u2019s the story of the author\u2019s mother, whose romantic nature and love for Christmas left a lifelong impression on her son.Mother is a tiny woman-4\u201911\u2019\u2019-except when life demands that she draw herself up to her "full height" of 11\u This beautifully written holiday memoir follows the tradition of The Christmas Box and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It\u2019s the story of the author\u2019s mother, whose romantic nature and love for Christmas left a lifelong impression on her son.Mother is a tiny woman-4\u201911\u2019\u2019-except when life demands that she draw herself up to her "full height" of 11\u20194\u2019\u2019. Christmas is one of those times. Father is opposed to celebrating Christmas, and every year the couple fights about it. And every year Jerry and the other kids eavesdrop nervously until their mother ensures that Christmas wins out. When things take a turn for the worst, Mother and the boys find themselves struggling with poverty and depressed circumstances. Mother tries to make the best of Christmas at first, but when she loses the holiday spirit, her young sons decide to do something about it. In their attempt, they discover the true meaning of grace.

30 review for When Mother Was Eleven-Foot-Four: A Christmas Memory

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Murdock

    This was the first time in which I have read this particular Christmas book, but now having read it, I am confident that it will be added to my stack of favorite Christmas books that I read each Christmas season.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lou LaJeunesse

    This is a memoir. It tells the story off his mother at Christmas. It covers a grat many Christmases. It tells of diversity in family beliefs and the struggles of a large family whose children wee not just siblings but cousins who lived within the household. It tells of teaching the youngstrs the values they considered to be most important. It takes them through time and shows how being have-a-lots and going to have-a-kittlescan be a tough transistion for the heart and soul.. It shows the youngst This is a memoir. It tells the story off his mother at Christmas. It covers a grat many Christmases. It tells of diversity in family beliefs and the struggles of a large family whose children wee not just siblings but cousins who lived within the household. It tells of teaching the youngstrs the values they considered to be most important. It takes them through time and shows how being have-a-lots and going to have-a-kittlescan be a tough transistion for the heart and soul.. It shows the youngsters growing to realize what giving instead of recieving really means and that have-a-littles can actually have mor tha have-a-lots. I give it 5 stars and woould recommend it to any age reader.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    This true story about the author's childhood is both touching and full of joy. Jerry reminisces about his childhood Christmases. Their family is large - five siblings, three cousins, and his mom and dad. Jerry's mom is 'small on the outside but tall on the inside,' and she strives to make Christmas beautiful, memorable, and extravagant for her children. Then one year, things change. Their cousins go back to live with their parents, and their father leaves. There is no money for the type of Christ This true story about the author's childhood is both touching and full of joy. Jerry reminisces about his childhood Christmases. Their family is large - five siblings, three cousins, and his mom and dad. Jerry's mom is 'small on the outside but tall on the inside,' and she strives to make Christmas beautiful, memorable, and extravagant for her children. Then one year, things change. Their cousins go back to live with their parents, and their father leaves. There is no money for the type of Christmas they were used to, but the children decide to earn some money to give their mother a Christmas she will never forget. And they learn that the word extravagant doesn't always mean expensive. When Mother Was Eleven-Foot-Four is a sweet, nostalgic look at Christmas and what it means to be part of a family. Young children will like the pictures and get the general idea, but the larger themes are more applicable to older children and especially adults. This is a sweet holiday tale with a wonderful message about love and giving.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bobbi

    A short, sweet Christmas memoir that brought back sooo many memories of my childhood Christmases, even though those took place several years before those described by the author. At only 94 pages (and large print) it's a quick read, but I suggest you savor each chapter. I'm going to suggest it for my book club's December read, but if you're looking for a heartwarming, feel-good read, please don't wait until the Christmas season to pick up a copy. A short, sweet Christmas memoir that brought back sooo many memories of my childhood Christmases, even though those took place several years before those described by the author. At only 94 pages (and large print) it's a quick read, but I suggest you savor each chapter. I'm going to suggest it for my book club's December read, but if you're looking for a heartwarming, feel-good read, please don't wait until the Christmas season to pick up a copy.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    Quick read that I found in a random stack of books. It was alright – hard to complain about Christmas-themed stories. “More than once [my mother] told us that the inner personal freedom to choose something absolutely extravagant is the closest human beings ever come to understand what God must feel when he is being gracious.”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vivian Joyce Shuri

    This broke my heart What a beautiful story! It had so many parallels to my own Christmas memories that I was in tears and then overcome with joy as the message of Christmas sank in. What a magnificent storyteller!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anna-Marie

    Great story! The true spirit of giving and self-sacrifice is taught in this book. Definitely a classic Christmas tale for the whole family.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michelle McMorrow

    Short and sweet Christmas memoir with a fitting lesson about the joy of giving.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Crotty

    A wonderful little book to enjoy every year during the holidays. I loved it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Super easy quick read. Sweet story of love, selflessness and overcoming challenges

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amber Dawn

    Heartwarming A tear jerking reminder that Christmas is about what we can do for others and that its the time spent with the ones we love that makes it so magical.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Beth Pearson

    Well, maybe 5 stars is a bit high when I see it says "It was amazing". But, I love Christmas stories. And I especially love them when they aren't too sappy. I also love them when one of the characters thinks Christmas is of upmost importance and loves to celebrate it. As someone who has had a history of "blowing the budget" when it comes to Christmas and is married to a man who wanted to set the budget at $5 for stockings, I found complete justification in the Mother's opinion. "The inner person Well, maybe 5 stars is a bit high when I see it says "It was amazing". But, I love Christmas stories. And I especially love them when they aren't too sappy. I also love them when one of the characters thinks Christmas is of upmost importance and loves to celebrate it. As someone who has had a history of "blowing the budget" when it comes to Christmas and is married to a man who wanted to set the budget at $5 for stockings, I found complete justification in the Mother's opinion. "The inner personal freedom to do something absolutely extravagant is the closet human beings ever come to understanding what God must feel when he is being gracious....When we give someone else an extravagant gift, we somehow rise above ourselves, even if only just a little bit. We become better than we are, larger on the inside." I can't say I have ever felt Godlike at Christmas, but I have felt better then my normal self. It took me a long time to be willing to sacrifice all the glory to Santa Claus and understand what selflessness that takes. There is nothing like the excitement and pleasure one feels when they are giving a gift that they JUST KNOW is going to blow the receivers mind and they are going to completely love it. (Some of my favorite Christmas coups: whole collection of James Bond video's, a full length dress coat, a shotgun (from his gun hating wife). It is addicting! Of course, it is even more fun when you haven't "blown the budget", but I related to her on the years I have and the years I haven't. I don't want to put any spoilers in here, but It's a great little Christmas book. Just an hour or so read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Raegan

    Perhaps the best book of my year.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 94 pages...small pages and relatively large print made this a quick read. A good Christmas story, nice gift idea. I gave it only 2 stars because the storyline was very simple when the author could've given us a lot more substance. Chapter 4: "Something happened...during the summer of 1962...I'm not going to tell you what it was." That "something" completely changed the author's life & that of his family. The drama that occurred then is responsible for what made this book sound interesting in the fi 94 pages...small pages and relatively large print made this a quick read. A good Christmas story, nice gift idea. I gave it only 2 stars because the storyline was very simple when the author could've given us a lot more substance. Chapter 4: "Something happened...during the summer of 1962...I'm not going to tell you what it was." That "something" completely changed the author's life & that of his family. The drama that occurred then is responsible for what made this book sound interesting in the first place - a mother's struggle to keep Christmas alive for her children in the face of large obstacles. Then the author decided not to show us the obstacles. Seeing that drama unfold would've made for a much more interesting story. This book is good for readers who just want a short & sweet holiday story, a feel-good story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Flory

    This book is good for grades k-2, 3-4. but older grades can read it by themselves but younger grades will have to have it read to them. This book is good because it gives a very important lesson about giving gifts. It may not be appropriate for school because it mentions God and some parents will not like that. The genre is Contemporary realistic.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    There must be something wrong with my Kindle version because parts that I read about in other reviews were not in my version. In fact, it took me all of about 10 minutes to read it. It was like reading a children's book with lots of pictures. There were parts where the print was so small I couldn't read it and my Kindle wouldn't enlarge it! My curiosity is up, though, and I'd like to read what others seem to have read! There must be something wrong with my Kindle version because parts that I read about in other reviews were not in my version. In fact, it took me all of about 10 minutes to read it. It was like reading a children's book with lots of pictures. There were parts where the print was so small I couldn't read it and my Kindle wouldn't enlarge it! My curiosity is up, though, and I'd like to read what others seem to have read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kwhelan

    I'm probably a biased reviewer since Dr. Jerry Camery-Hoggatt taught two of my favorite classes in college. One of them was a narrative communication course where we learned to weave and tell a good story, and Dr. Camery-Hoggatt was one of the best. When I read this novella I could picture him telling the story, which made it all the more rich. Loved it, especially since I read it December 23rd and it is a Christmas tale. I hope we will see more of his stories make their way to print. I'm probably a biased reviewer since Dr. Jerry Camery-Hoggatt taught two of my favorite classes in college. One of them was a narrative communication course where we learned to weave and tell a good story, and Dr. Camery-Hoggatt was one of the best. When I read this novella I could picture him telling the story, which made it all the more rich. Loved it, especially since I read it December 23rd and it is a Christmas tale. I hope we will see more of his stories make their way to print.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    When mother and father have different ideas about Christmas gift giving, and both options have some merit, things can get complicated. This was the case in the authors family. The story was very interesting, but it was too short, and there were some events thst were hinted at which could have enhanced the story if they were expanded on. It does not take long to read, so I am glad I did.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robby Johnson

    It is charming and heartfelt. It is also too brief, more of a short story or personal essay. In addition, the author avoids a difficult subject matter by essentially saying "something terrible happened but I am not going to tell you what it is because it is not germane to the story" ... only leaves the reader feeling deprived and dissatisfied. It is charming and heartfelt. It is also too brief, more of a short story or personal essay. In addition, the author avoids a difficult subject matter by essentially saying "something terrible happened but I am not going to tell you what it is because it is not germane to the story" ... only leaves the reader feeling deprived and dissatisfied.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Touching book. Quite short. But good nonetheless. I sort of agree with prior reviewers about the author intimating something happening between his parents but noting a Christmas story not being the place to explain. I found the story worth reading and recommend others read it. It's only a couple hours of time. Touching book. Quite short. But good nonetheless. I sort of agree with prior reviewers about the author intimating something happening between his parents but noting a Christmas story not being the place to explain. I found the story worth reading and recommend others read it. It's only a couple hours of time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    This beautiful Christmas memory translates into a touching and poignant story with illustrations in a style similar to The Polar Express. A great addition to a traditional Christmas library. Note: there seems to be several versions of this book, one is a novella of about 90 pages and the other a children's picture book of 30 pages. This beautiful Christmas memory translates into a touching and poignant story with illustrations in a style similar to The Polar Express. A great addition to a traditional Christmas library. Note: there seems to be several versions of this book, one is a novella of about 90 pages and the other a children's picture book of 30 pages.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anne Marie

    I LOVED this ebook! I got this free while back on Amazon.com and it is such a cute little Christmas book. I don't know if this author has more books out but I will love to read more from him. He made me smile so much and laugh out loud. I hated when the book ended because I could have kept reading for a long time! I LOVED this ebook! I got this free while back on Amazon.com and it is such a cute little Christmas book. I don't know if this author has more books out but I will love to read more from him. He made me smile so much and laugh out loud. I hated when the book ended because I could have kept reading for a long time!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tiffeny

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Cute Christmas story that took about 45 minutes to read. The ending was unexpected for me. I really liked it up until the part when his parents got divorced, which of course really sucked. It had a feel good ending though. Definitely worth the time.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Meyers

    Lovely. This is a perfect little book to read when you're feeling nostalgic about Christmases past and long to put your Christmas present in the right perspective. The transition from being a gift receiver to a gift giver is a life-changing experience. Lovely. This is a perfect little book to read when you're feeling nostalgic about Christmases past and long to put your Christmas present in the right perspective. The transition from being a gift receiver to a gift giver is a life-changing experience.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book was a cute little story. The problem was that on my kindle it did not have all of the words. I think this was taken from a picture book. When it showed some of the pictures you were not able to read the words on the page so it skipped parts of the book and made it confusing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Short story. The author loves, admires and learns valuable lessons about life from his Momma!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    A nice christmas story that shows the importance of giving when you have nothing and how it can make a giant of your heart. A wonderful children's book. A nice christmas story that shows the importance of giving when you have nothing and how it can make a giant of your heart. A wonderful children's book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gwendalyn Willows

    A rather short story, but still very good! Author really makes you admire his mother

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tish

    A sweet Christmas story that will leave will warm your heart, leave you with a smile on your face, and possibly a few tears on your cheeks. It's a very quick read that you won't regret. I loved it. A sweet Christmas story that will leave will warm your heart, leave you with a smile on your face, and possibly a few tears on your cheeks. It's a very quick read that you won't regret. I loved it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    A short tale about love during Christmas time. A very pleasant Christmas read that will leave you with a warmed heart and perhaps a different perspective on gift giving.

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