Christmas Blossoms

$17.95

About this item

Zhang Jian is a master artist of interior glass painting. He celebrated Christmas as a child before the Communist Revolution overturned his simple and beautiful world. But he never forgot the sights, smells, good cheer, and happy anticipation of that joyous season.

Familiarity with the enchantments of Christmas is a rare thing in China. Throughout his life, quiet Jian draws on this private inspiration to craft especially lovely Christmas ornaments for girls and boys across two oceans, bringing financial success to the glass works factory where he is employed.

After Midnight Mass, overcome with sacred emotion, old Jian designs and paints one last ornament with the intention of inspiring the men and women of his country to understand who they are in relation to the Christ child.

Christmas Blossoms is an impassioned and imaginative tale that explores the fascinating irony of our most cherished Christmas objects, both sacred and secular, produced by the artists and craftsmen of Communist China. In their imaginations, in the depth of their hearts, what do these artisans think of the mangers, the shepherds, Santa Claus, and Mother Mary? Of the star, the bells, the holly, and the Wise Men? Most significantly, what do they make of the Holy Child Who exists at the heart of the West?

A story for young and old, parents and children alike, this beautifully illustrated novella captures how the Christmas spirit endures and stirs hearts despite the antagonistic forces of commercialism and oppression—and it will touch your heart as well. Prepare to be swept away as you witness the precious moment when Christmas returned to China.

Cardinal Joseph Zen photo

"In this charming novel we are reminded of the flavour of Christmas even during so difficult times, like the ones of the cultural revolution in China. We have always to look at the Lord, even when we are in deep trouble, He is our strength and our hope."

Cardinal Joseph Zen
Michael Jordan photo

"Imagine the light of Christ shining in one Chinese artist's heart-- overcoming the darkness around him: Priscilla Smith McCaffrey does this in her simple, poignant , and beautifully told story about the significance of the Nativity."

Michael Jordan
Emeritus Professor of English, Hillsdale College
Dr. Timothy T. O'Donnell photo

"Priscilla McCaffrey has written a beautiful little masterpiece. It is a story which is rich in its profound insights yet accessible to all. It speaks of a true joy of Christmas and sweetly allows us to enter into this wondrous mystery with grateful hearts."

Dr. Timothy T. O'Donnell
President, Christendom College
Austin Ruse photo

"Faith stolen. Faith hidden. Faith preserved. A tale wonderfully told and beautifully illustrated."

Austin Ruse
Author, "Under Siege: No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic"
Fr. Gerald E. Murray photo

"The beauty of Christ’s birth is the inspiration for this touching story of an exquisite artist who makes that beauty visible in his delicate creations, but most importantly in his life-long love for the Child who came to save us."

Fr. Gerald E. Murray
Member of EWTN’S The Papal Posse
  • Pages: 64
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-64413-578-5
  • Product Code: 5785
  • Availability: In Stock
  • Publication Date: October 19, 2021
  • Categories: By Title, New Releases, Advent and Christmas
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book to lift your spirits
Christmas Blossoms gently shows how one person’s love of Christ carried him through the brutality of China’s cultural revolution and other losses; baby Jesus gave him strength and devotion. His legacy continues by his examples. This book is truly an endearing pleasure for all ages. After reading this book I called someone who I haven’t spoken to for over 20 years, somehow I also wanted to carry on his work.
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A beautiful gem of a book!
This little book is truly a gem. The story of a glass ornament painter from China and his Catholic faith that inspires his art is placed beside the sad situation that Christians have suffered in China over the years. It is a simple book but one that is beautified by the illustrations and the author's creative telling of Zhang's story. It is a book that I will treasure, read to the grandchildren and inspire prayers for suffering Christians everywhere.
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"AND JOY COMES IN THE MORNING." Psalm 30:5
Psalm 30:5 offers insight into the promise of Jesus' resurrection and renewal that after our darkest nights we can see joy in the morning. Priscilla McCaffrey's gift to us, Christmas Blossoms, is the joyful re-telling of the Birth of Our Savior from a different perspective than we're used to in the west. I started reading on All Saints Day and finished on All Souls Day after having assisted at Masses and praying in cemeteries. I felt an immense connection to three places, 1) Church Triumphant, 2) Church Suffering & 3) Church Militant because as the character Jian says, "There is always harmony in nature when there is three of something. It is nice to think of the Divine as a harmony and as a holy community..." Community. Does that not include those who have gone before us? “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy Jian reminds us, "when he attended the Mass of the Old Rites, he felt he was as close to his parents as he could be. He stood as they had stood, he knelt as they had knelt, he prayed as they prayed, and he bent his head with them in adoration." After Christmas Midnight Mass Jian goes home to secretly, but joyfully, paint another Nativity scene, glass ornament, a golden globe, to hang with the traditional plum blossoms, for the future Church. Jian falls asleep. "He never awakened from his dreams of snowflakes and plum blossoms." As joy DOES come in the morning! -Hilary McRee Flanery, Author of A Breath Of Home - poems from the Heart of the family: Requiem Press
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Beautiful and insightful
Not only did you get clear picture of the trials the Christians are going through in China, but it is a beautiful story of one’s Faith…all in one very short book. I bought several more copies to give as gifts.
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A beautifully crafted story with THE Christmas message of hope for readers of all ages!
Christmas Blossoms tells the humble story of a simple ornament painter in China whose Faith is his dearest treasure. This story sheds light on a reality that we, in our Land of the Free, fail to reflect on enough: Persecution- the very persecution that the Church has experienced in different ways and periods throughout history since it’s foundation. This story is uplifting and it renews the hope that Truth is passed down not despite suffering, but rather, it is purified and glorified by those suffering- whether it be a great martyr known to all or a simple ornament painter known to few.
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