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Posted December 18, 2007

Book: Choose Joy This Christmas: A Message From the Children of Girls and Boys Town
Author: Val J. Peter
Boys Town Nebraska. 2007. Pp. 111

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Christmas is a time to choose joy, say Val J. Peter, Girls and Boys Town executive director emeritus. That hasn’t always been easy for the children of Girls and Boys Town, whose Christmas memories are sometimes painful and shrouded in darkness.

In these pages our kids share their reflections on past Christmases, their thoughts on what Christmas gift they would like to give someone, and their favorite holy Christmas songs. They also tell how coming to Girls and Boys Town has helped them accept the happiness and love that Christmas brings. We’ve included uplifting letters from our supporters, who express their wishes for a happy holiday for all children and encouragement in their journey to find hope and healing.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The most expensive gift I can give is trust. It takes a lot for me to give trust to people because in the past, I have given people my trust and they have hurt me very badly. I am going to give trust to my best friend Ginger. To get this wonderful friend took a lot of trust. It is the most expensive gift I could give — Gabriella, Age 11

The gift I want to give that doesn’t cost any money, but is expensive is to smile every morning in this Christmas Season. Too often, I am grumpy in the morning. I will smile as my gift to everyone. — Jeff, Age 16

The gift I will give is a gift of gratitude to my stepdad. He has done more than my real dad ever did or ever will. It is funny how one man can come into a child’s life when she is five years old and make it all better. He is what people call an angel. He came down to earth to help my mom and me. He came to show us what love is. The Lord gave my mom a nice man that a little, disobedient girl needed so that I could give him love and gratitude. — Belinda, Age 12

Table of Contents:

1. Choose joy

2. Reflections

3. An expensive gift that doesn’t cost any money

4. Memories

5. Letters from friends

6. My favorite holy Christmas carol

7. Christmas lessons

8. Conclusion