Viewing Review: The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel - Mothering Forums

The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel Edit
by Catholic Mama Combined Rating: 4.6
This book, written in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and illustrated by Jim LaMarche, is a beautiful story about a poor father and son who donate a Christmas tree to some construction workers after they let them use a spot near them to sell trees, and who are repaid many times over.
Pros Cons
  • bright, beautiful pictures
  • no violence
  • unconditional giving
  • teaches responsibility and giving back
  • Something that could be improved on would be to have sales from this book go to Habitat for Humanity.
A young boy who helps his father cut down and sell Christmas trees in 1931 learns a powerful lesson about charity. After they finish selling trees, they give the rest to nearby construction workers; "The best presents are the ones you don't expect." I cried as my son and I read this book and not just from the beautiful pictures: the charity throughout was very touching.

According to the back of the book, in 2007, the company that owns the Rockefeller Center began donating the wood from the annual Christmas Tree to Habitat for Humanity, which uses the lumber "to help families in need build affordable homes."

To learn more about the Christmas tree and the history of Rockefeller Center, visit

To learn more about the work of Habitat for Humanity International, visit
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