The Christmas Cake is much shorter than a novella. It is a short story. In fact, this little story is much more than a piece of entertainment. It is allegorical in nature. Or to put it in more understandable terms, it is a word picture. A word picture helps us understand a concept that is difficult to grasp until someone makes a comparison with an item and shows you how they are similar and different. Word pictures are very effective ways to tell people how you feel, what your viewpoint is, or to teach a unique concept. I used to use word pictures when I was an upper elementary teacher. It’s very satisfying to look into someone’s face and see that they “got it” when you use a word picture to explain something.
You could also call this mini book a miniature sermon in fiction form. In any case, there is no finger wagging. When someone says something is “preachy,” take into account that preaching is usually teaching something. People pay to go to college classes where they are taught something. Most of the preaching I grew up with was that type of learning. That is a far cry from finger wagging, which I call nagging. There is no nagging in this story. It is a beautiful fiction piece of a mother with a destructive nature, and a daughter who loves the Lord Jesus spending time together on a Christmas Eve.
During their talk the mother unintentionally reveals that her former husband, Michelle’s dad, became a genuine Christian during his bout with cancer. That was 10 years ago, and Michelle hadn’t known! So even if her conversation with her Mom was distressing, she now had that comfort for her heart. But then, later she realizes she must somehow tell her Mom how to become a Christian herself. She asks God to give her the words she needs.
God gives her the illustration of the Christmas cake she is making for Christmas dinner. This is a wonderful word picture. I wish I had thought of this when I was teaching! In fact, this little story is a great tool to use if you are thinking of a way to tell someone what being a Christian is all about. And to top it off, the 100 year old recipe is included with the book. What a great bonus. I plan on making this recipe soon; it is very much like a cake recipe I had gotten from my own grandmother several years ago.
I encourage you to invite a friend over, bake the cake together and use the illustration in your conversation. Or use it to help your children and grandchildren understand why we need Christ as our Savior! Enjoy the book.