Holidays are not “happy” for everyone, and this is something I too easily forget.
Kathi Macias tackles a realistic aspect of holidays–homelessness–in her latest Christmas novel Unexpected Christmas Hero. This is not a feel-good Christmas story, at least not to start. I found it hard to read at first. The main character, Josie, is a mom with two young children who finds herself unexpectedly homeless because of some poor financial decisions her late husband made before his death. In a year’s time, she went from living the “American dream” and enjoying a robust Thanksgiving to scrounging for a warm, dry place to sleep for a night and eating a Thanksgiving meal in a shelter. Her struggles, fears and survival tactics are so realistic, I was stressed reading about her journey. I was also convicted about how little I think of others on those holidays and humbled by how casually I’ve treated the blessings in my life.
The young family meets Rick, a homeless veteran, who crosses their path many times and helps them when he can. The supporting characters in Unexpected Christmas Hero do the sorts of things I would hope every caring person would think of: taking people into their homes, sharing meals, offering rides, volunteering at homeless shelters.
Macias’s stories almost always leave me feeling uncomfortable in a good way and challenged in my beliefs and actions.
Watch the book trailer below, then read on as Kathi talks with Christian Speakers Services about the book and the “story behind the story” about the man pictured on the book’s front cover.