The Christmas Bus – by Melody Carlson (2006)

the-christmas-bus

Charles and Edith live in the small town of Christmas Valley, and usually close their bed and breakfast to visitors for two weeks around the holidays. But this year, not a single one of their grown kids are coming home. So Edith decides they will be open for business as usual. Their rooms are quickly snapped up by an elderly man, a quarreling couple, a mother with her little girl, and a nosy, domineering older woman named Myrtle who drives everyone crazy. On top of that, a young couple with a broken-down hippy bus parks in front of their bed and breakfast. Christmas goes from being a comfortable time with family to being an unpredictable but unforgettable time.

 

Excerpt from pages 72-73

“I heard there was a problem…” Edith spoke in a quiet voice as she took the empty stool next to Myrtle. She was well aware of the eyes that were watching her now. And she felt certain that they wanted her to get the crazy woman out of here, the sooner the better. Still, she didn’t want to do anything to rock Myrtle’s boat. That would probably just make things worse.

“Wasn’t much of a problem,” Myrtle said in a matter-of-fact voice. “I just wanted to set the children straight. Grown-ups shouldn’t be lying to children.”

“It’s just for fun,” explained Edith.

“Well, I told those kids that they should come to church and see the Christmas pageant if they wanted to know what Christmas was really about.”

“You didn’t?” Edith was horrified. What a terrible way to invite people to their church! Good grief, Myrtle might as well have been carrying a gun. No wonder Mayor Drummel was so upset. As far as Edith knew, that poor man had never set foot in church in his entire life. And this would probably set him back light-years.

“I did,” retorted Myrtle. “And I’d do it again if necessary.”

 

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