In Newfoundland and Labrador Christmas is a special time of
year. It is a time to gather around a festive table with family, to visit and
enjoy the company of old friends who haven’t been seen in a long time , to
enjoy the aura of peace and goodwill which emanates from brightly coloured
lights and decorations which are everywhere to be seen, to laugh and sing as if
yesterday never happened.
Above all, it is a time to exchange gifts which are symbolic
of the love they represent and the deep emotions they evoke. For many, such
tokens are practical and concrete, tangible proof of the feelings held in the
heart, of the passion that still remains. For the main characters in these
richly woven stories, the gifts they give are neither mundane nor hastily
chosen, but are the product of soul searching and profound inner change.
For old Levi Cohen, the gift becomes the perfect act of
gratitude to someone who did him a kind deed many years ago. For Rachel
Kearning, confronted with a loved one’s shocking revelation, the gift is her
deep and enduring love. And for Jimmy Blanchard, upon returning to his
hometown, the gift he seeks is redemption, for the criminal life of his youth
and the hurt and suffering he has inflicted on others.