Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2021
3.5 stars--A LITTLE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by Sheila Roberts is a contemporary, adult, stand alone, slightly paranormal, story of women’s fiction focusing on kindergarten teacher/single mother Lexie Bell, and her elderly neighbour / widower Stanley Mann.
Told from third person perspective A LITTLE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT follows two intersecting pathways in the days and weeks before the Christmas holidays. Single mom Lexie Bell is new to town and doesn’t know many of her neighbors. A slip and fall at the local hardware store finds Lexie unable to navigate the wintery streets on her own, and finds herself dependant upon her reclusive and elderly but reluctant neighbor Stan, a gentleman who has struggled in the three years since the death of his wife. Lexie’s six year old Brock, whose only grandfather passed away one year before, is pulled towards the neighbor, bestowing Stan with the moniker of Grandpa Stan. When a single father moves in across the road, Lexis and Brock’s attention is pulled from Stan, and placed on the man with whom Lexie will fall in love.
Meanwhile, Stanley continues to grieve the loss of his wife but late night visits by the spirit of his beloved, push Stan out of his comfort zone, and in the proverbial arms of a potential new family. But Stan commits a Christmas faux pas, and Lexie must do battle with her son in the aftermath, pushing Stanley out of their lives until a potential tragedy strikes at the small Bell family.
A LITTLE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT is a slow building, sweet and impassioned Christmas story line somewhere in the tone between A Christmas Carol and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Stanley Mann and his wife never had children, and in this, Stan struggles with the social graces towards family and kids. When the spirit of his dead wife continues to make nightly visits in an effort to push Stan our of his ‘funk’, Stan’s only desire is to reunite with his wife, keeping to himself, shutting out the world around. The premise is heart warming; the characters are animated; the romance is virtually non-existent and only implied.