Thumb_rotator_lost_christmas Book Signing- Andrew Beckham's "The Lost Christmas Gift"
Saturday, December 14, 2013 | 02:00PM - 12:00AM
“The Lost Christmas Gift” transports readers to a long-ago time in the mountains of Colorado’s Western Slope. Two days before Christmas, on a traditional search for the tree t... Read More

“The Lost Christmas Gift” transports readers to a long-ago time in the mountains of Colorado’s Western Slope. Two days before Christmas, on a traditional search for the tree that will be “just right,” 11-year-old Emerson Johansson and his father become lost during a snowstorm on Rabbit Ears Pass.

The mysterious happenings of the night that follows are brought to mind again many decades later, when a package, having been somehow lost in the mail for 70 years, arrives, ironically, on December 23.

The old, now brittle paper with its antiquated postage stamps contains an exquisite gift sent by Johansson’s father from a place some miles from the front line of World War II in Europe. Photographs made by the boy with his new camera during the night they had shared, pictures thought to be lost those many years, now reappear, awakening memories.

Present and past overlap, and in the telling, three points of view create a magical connection with what has been. The boy, now old and a great-grandfather of four, recognizes himself in the drawings and watercolors. A second layer is interwoven through the pages of the extraordinary gift itself, and finally author Andrew Beckham entices the reader into a suspended state of disbelief and a wondrous Christmas story.

Nine years ago, during his annual ski touring visit of the backcountry near Rabbit Ears Pass, Beckham took photographs that would become part of the story Johansson asked him to write.

Beckham chairs the visual art department at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood, and his work is represented in collections around the country, including art and limited edition prints from "The Lost Christmas Gift" at Steamboat's own RED Contemporary Gallery.

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