"We don't need no charity," insists Big Sam Edwards. It's bad enough to have lost his job a few weeks before Christmas; the thought of "do-gooders" meddling in his business is more than he can bear. "I'll be watching if anybody comes around trying to leave anything at the door!" he warns.
But the mystery of a pile of gifts left anonymously, without any tracks in the snow, works a change in Sam's heart. The spirit of Christmas fills his home with joy.
Over the years, Sam becomes one of the most generous men in town. Yet his fondest wish goes unrealized: "I wish I could do something good and do it in secret so nobody would ever know."
And then one Christmas, he gets his chance—his secret act is even more gratifying than he ever could have imagined.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
GEORGE D. DURRANT was born and raised in American Fork, Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University and became a full-time educator. He is a master storyteller and loves telling stories to his eight children, thirty-four grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren. He and his wife, Susan Easton Black Durrant, live in the Rocky Mountains.
DAN BURR, an award-winning illustrator, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree in illustration from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Patti, are the parents of two children and live in Tetonia, Idaho. Dan has illustrated many children’s books, including The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, The Mansion, and The Christmas Train.
I confess, I thought I knew where this story would end up, but I was surprised by the ending. When Sam's family is blessed on Christmas with gifts and dinner after he lost his job, he doesn't want to accept it. But when he calls the sheriff in anger, the sheriff shows him that there are no tracks in the snow except his own. For the sake of his children, Sam eventually gives in and accepts the gifts and he takes the scripture shared to heart: "That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." Sam uses this scripture in doing many good deeds throughout the rest of his life, but he wants very much to do an act of service that no one every knows was done by him. And when his neighbors who have been so kind to him end up in serious trouble, he puts his life on the line to help. A beautifully illustrated story of true love and service that is bound to touch even the hardest heart.
I am currently working as a elementary school librarian which I love. I enjoy sharing books on my blogs of which I have two (Geo Librarian and LDS and Lovin' it). I also review for School Library Journal.