A good friend and my former high school English teacher — Sandra (Sandi) Fischer — has a new book — “Every Day is Christmas” — just in time for the holidays.
Her short stories and poems — many of which have seeds in her faith journey — explain with love and insight why every day, truly, is Christmas.
Tenderly illustrated by Becky Guinn, “Every Day is Christmas” is inspiring now and throughout the year.
A work of fiction, “Every Day is Christmas” sometimes weaves together true events with timeless Biblical truths. For example, in the chapter “Seeing Christmas Through the Eyes of Children,” Sandi reflects on the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy and retells the story of the child asking his mother why there was a line to see Santa at the mall, but no line to see Jesus? The song, “Where’s the Line to see Jesus,” was written by Steve Haupt and Chris Loesch and is performed by Steve Haupt’s daughter, Becky Kelley. It was inspired by their grandson, Spencer Reijers.
A long-time Kendallville resident, Sandi and her husband Craig retired to Dataw Island, South Carolina, in 2001, and in 2016 they relocated to Southern Pines, North Carolina. Her two previous books are “Seasons in the Garden” and “My Faithbook Messages: Devotions to Like and Share.” All her books are available through Amazon or for autographed copies and special deals for Christmas, they can be ordered directly from her at sandra-fischer---author.square.site or through her website sandifischer.com.
Also with ties to Kendallville is the artist, Becky Guinn, whose sister-in-law, Katherine Bilbee, managed Glad Tidings Books ‘N’ Gifts in Kendallville, the store Sandi owned until she retired. (When my “Funny Things Kids Say” books came out during the 1990s Sandi carried them in her store and hosted a book signing.)
Through Katherine, Sandi knew Becky’s life story and contacted her about illustrating the book. Sandi writes, “The email had barely rested in my outbox when Becky replied that she had been praying about what God would have her do next. He answered her prayers and mine!”
Continuing in Sandi’s words, “The beauty of Becky’s art speaks for itself, but what makes her illustrations even more remarkable is that her hands were amputated a few years ago. She creates all of her art with prosthetic ‘hands.’ Her life and work are a testament to God’s mercy and miraculous power, just like Christmas itself.”
Becky earned a degree in art education and was pursuing a master’s degree when she was named “Teacher of the Year” at Valley High School in Alabama in 2002.
The next day she had a heart procedure. She suffered an allergic reaction to medication, and all four of her limbs had to be amputated to save her life.
With God’s help and guidance, she returned to teach, completed her master’s degree and continues to paint using mechanical hands. After leaving her school position, she now tours the nation, going wherever God calls her to share her testimony and talent.
The color illustrations throughout the book capture perfectly Sandi’s and Becky’s timeless messages of hope, joy and love.
This new book and Sandi’s other ones make wonderful Christmas gifts.
Grace housholder can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org