Christmas: A Story


"In 1940 in the midst of a grim holiday season marred by the realities of WWII and the Nazi occupation of Europe, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote the tale of a little Dutch girl named Martha, who struggles to find meaning, love, and peace in a world of destruction and uncertainty after her father, Jon, is killed in the war."-  from Brain Pickings by Maria Popova

48 pages 9781168677457 Ages 5-9

Keywords: Christmas, Christmas story, historical fiction, World War II, military, Nazis, loss, war, The Netherlands, love, peace, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old


Originally published as a short story in Liberty Magazine. Set in the Netherlands, tells of the simple faith of a small, suffering family as they sustain themself against the evil forces of the oppressor.

Editor's Note: Original ISBN 9781163171813


This very short story is more like a vignette; it has a very simple plot and little character development. It takes place in Nazi-occupied Holland in 1940 and tells about a young mother and her daughter who are spending Christmas without their husband and father. The little girl has put a candle in the window to guide the Christ Child to her door. They are visited by a German soldier who tells them that there is no hope in the legends and powerlessness of religion. The story evokes the spirit of Christmas that is “Hope.” The foreword by Elliot Roosevelt puts the story into its historical context, recounting the worldwide fear and devastation in the winter of 1940. He says that his mother’s message to the downtrodden people of the world was to have faith and do not despair. Freedom will again triumph.---from Alma on Goodreads

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