On Strike for Christmas
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Reviewed by: Rebecca Camarena
Christmas is right around the corner, but in one small town there is the fear of not celebrating the day at all. The women of Holly want more appreciation, more help and want to be able to enjoy this wonderful time of year. Like a scene from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart, these women want their loved ones to have an epiphany and realize that it’s a lot of work for one person to do all the work involved in hosting parties, preparing for school events, buying and wrapping gifts, trimming the tree, sending out Christmas cards and doing holiday baking along with their daily jobs and regular housework. Bah humbug!
In a small little knitters group Joy and her friend Laura decide that the only way their husbands and families will appreciate them is for them to go on strike. They feel that if their husbands and families want Christmas then they will have to do it themselves. As Laura and Joy enjoy the first moment of quietness and respite from the hectic time of year they watch as their husbands handle things in a man’s world. To their astonishment they realize that the men don’t put the same emphasis on all the things they treasure and neither do they find the husbands handling things in quite the same way as the women.
A newspaper reporter catches the story and fueled by her articles the boycott soon takes on a life of its own. As Christmas day approaches and the men of the town are up to their limit in what they can handle Joy, Laura and their husbands work to confront bigger issues in their marriages. However, when more than one disappointments will bring the season to a halt it seems everyone could use a little holiday magic.
Sheila Roberts has created a wonderful example of what the spirit of Christmas is all about. Her characters bring to life all those issues between women and men and holiday celebrations. But, she takes it one step further and proves that with a little holiday magic, the sparkle of Christmas can be seen and felt by all.