A Truly Unique Christmas Book: Carving Angels

Diane Stringham Tolley has written a delightful Christmas book for the whole family, Carving Angels.  If you  are one of those people who collect a new Christmas book each year you might want to place this book on the top of your list.  Following is an interview with Diane:

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What is Carving Angels about? 

Carving Angels is the story of an elderly elf who has lost his way.

Papa Adam was for many, many years, Santa’s chief carver. Then he began to lose his sight. Finally, profoundly blind, he put away his carving tools forever.

For ten years, he marked time, waiting to die.

Then his youngest granddaughter, Amy, appears, bringing with her a chunk of wood. She gives it to her beloved Grandfather along with a request for one more carving, just for her.

At first, Papa Adam refuses, tearfully citing age and infirmity.

But Amy believes in him.



Finally, because of the faith of one small girl, he finds the courage and strength to try.

And he succeeds.

He carves an angel.

Realizing that he is not useless as he had so long believed, Papa Adam begins carving again.

And teaches his beloved Amy.

Meanwhile, the North Pole is buzzing with concern over Santa’s antiquated, dilapidated and downright dangerous sleigh. The myriad problems have become so severe, that the citizens of the community are starting to fear for Santa’s safety.

It is in this unusual climate of fear and doubt that Papa Adam devises his greatest plan.He and Amy, the two members of the community considered most handicapped, will carve a new sleigh for Santa.A beautiful sleigh.A secret sleigh.And they succeed.By doing so, they, and the other citizens of the North Pole realize that, sometimes, the only thing holding us back is ourselves.That with a lot of love and encouragement, anything, even the miraculous, is possible.

What was your goal in writing this story?


Each of us has our own unique gifts and challenges. But everyone, anyone can contribute. How often to do we look at someone and judge them too feeble, too old, too young, too handicapped to give.Carving Angels explores the idea that, with understanding and encouragement, even those among us deemed weak, are capable of accomplishing amazing feats. Of making wonderful, life-changing contributions.

What do you hope people take away from this story?


I hope people, once they’ve read Carving Angels, never look at a ‘handicapped’ person in the same way again. Never dismiss them as second-class. Non-entities.Stupid.But see, instead, the divine strength and beauty that is within us all.


 Why did Papa Adam give up carving? Blindness contributed, but was that the

only reason?

When he lost his sight, Papa Adam lost all confidence in himself. For so long an independent and contributing member of North Pole society, he was not prepared to handle the changes and challenges that his blindness brought. It was easier to do nothing than to possibly fail.


Why did Papa Adam take up his knives again for Amy, when he wouldn’t for

anyone else?


Of all of the citizens of the North Pole, only Amy truly believed that Papa Adam could still carry on as a carver. The other elves loved him and wanted the best for him, but all, Papa Adam included, accepted the ‘fact’ that a blind elf could not continue to work as he had been working.


How did the community, at large, regard Papa Adam? Little Amy? How is this



The other members of the community loved both Papa Adam and Amy. They treat them kindly and serve them cheerfully and without hesitation.


What is the status of the reindeer in the community?

The reindeer are the kings of the community. Their every wish is fulfilled without delay. They are the one integral part of the Santa story that can’t be replaced. Or done without.


How does the community handle problems? What does this say about them?


When there is a problem, the entire community knits together to form one cohesive unit. They worry together. Work together. Resolve together. What concerns one elf, concerns all.


How does Papa Adam feel about family?



Family is at the center of his world. His utter despair at the beginning of the book is made more pronounced by the fact that he refuses to associate regularly with his youngest son and family.


How would you describe the inhabitants of the North Pole? Santa? Mrs. Santa? Beany?


If I could use one word to describe the inhabitants of the North Pole, it would be “Cheerful.” They are a happy group. Infinitely comfortable with their lives and their duties. Kind, caring people to whom every member of the community is someone to be loved and served.


Normally, what sorts of stories do you enjoy?


I like stories where someone changes for the better. Where overcoming obstacles and difficulties creates a better person.And a happy ending.Mystery, suspense, romance, fantasy, science fiction. All are favourites, as long as good wins and someone improves.

IMG_1666color cropped.jpg                                        Diane Stringam Tolley was born and raised on a ranch in Southern Alberta, Canada. Educated in Journalism, she is the author of countless articles and short stories and several e-novels. And when not writing, she is sleeping. She and her husband, Grant are the parents of six children and live in Beaumont, Alberta, Canada.




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