Photo by Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal
Photo by Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal

Sitting comfortably in his mother’s embrace, Nick Cummings, 11, holds a book in his lap, pointing to the pages filled with illustrations of a little boy whose features mirror his own: big brown eyes, a box cut of curly black hair and a sweet, charming smile. 

He opens to his favorite part in the story, when the character organizes a job fair and toy drive to help a classmate in need. Nick points to the book’s dedication on the front page, where he’s quoted: “I like this book because it makes me feel like Christmas. And I like feeling like Christmas.”

From the sofa in his family’s living room near Middletown, Kentucky, Nick says Christmas feels “warm and comfy and cozy.” 

It feels like family.

The book in his hands was written by Nick’s mother, Deedee. It’s about a boy who saves Christmas – a common enough storyline – but this one is different.After years of collecting children’s Christmas books, Deedee Cummings couldn’t find one with a character who looked like her son. She knew how important it was for her son to see a character he could admire. 

So she wrote her own.

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