“..a sweet, memorable tale of siblings and secret childhood yearnings that will ring true for anyone who remembers his or her own Christmases past.” -BookPage December ’02 Issue
“Upon reading Bill Duncliffe’s book “Christmas Past” consider your Christmas shopping done… this is THE BOOK for the holiday season. In fact, I do believe this book is the book to give for any occasion. I have never been so moved. “-
Kathy Patrick of The Pulpwood Queens
featured on “Good Morning America”, Newsweek, Time and the Wall Street Journal
“…full of humor, humanity and good old-fashioned Christmas memories … a sweet-souled, slim little volume that says “Merry Christmas” much better than a card.”
-Carolyn Howard Johnson
award-winning author of “This is the Place” and “Harkening: A Collection of Short Stories”
“Duncliffe vividly portrays his main character’s entire family in his christmas novel, “Christmas Past”. It’s those details that makes the story come alive as if the reader is right there in the McNeil household, on Christmas eve, as they anxiously await the fate of the patriarch’s job…This story is extremely visual, entirely realistic, and will make you reflect upon your own family and your own “Christmas Past”s…”
“The 1960’s. The last generation before the nuclear family began to atomize. A family in crisis. Christmas around the corner. Dave McNeil, 12-year old chronicler of his family’s adventure, takes you back for a touching, warm and humorous remembrance of the times and his remarkable family.”
“But, Santa or no Santa, presents were still on the dance card for this Christmas. I was enormously relieved when I digested my mother’s uttering (if not her cooking) since it meant that the presents had already been bought and that Dad’s job status, one way or the other, would have no effect on our, or more importantly my, Yuletide haul. Yippee!
The prospects of receiving the gift of my choice, so recently dimmed, now brightened again. My dream gift, the all-time, all-gift gift, the gift of a lifetime was the official, autographed model, All-Star, Triple Crown Carl Yastrzemski fielder’s glove. Indeed it was the dream gift, the all-time, all-gift gift, gift of a lifetime for well nigh every boy that age in those climes that year. Every boy-jack one of us had dreamed ourselves to sleep those last few months with the thoughts of the official, autographed model, All-Star, Triple Crown Carl Yastrzemski fielder’s glove gracing a hallowed place amid the mere flotsam and jetsam of other, lesser presents. It was widely known that possession of the sacred icon would make the inept invincible, the weak a warrior, the chump a champion.
The gloom and doom of our household that evening had cast a chilly wet blanket on the fire of my dreams. And yet, at the last moment, the last out, bottom of the ninth, just like the mighty Yaz leading the Impossible Dream Cardiac Kids to another improbable come-from-behind victory, my mother’s timely words had blown life into the still embers of my desire. Huge sighs of relief blew my chest up and down like a furiously pumping bellows.”