Read Christmas on Jane Street: A True Story by Billy Romp Wanda Urbanska Online


The warm, wonderful, real-life tale of the family that brings the Christmas spirit to life on a street corner in Manhattan.Every holiday season for nearly twenty years, Billy Romp, his wife, and their three children have spent nearly a month living in a tiny camper and selling Christmas trees on Jane Street in New York City. They arrive from Vermont the day after ThanksgivThe warm, wonderful, real-life tale of the family that brings the Christmas spirit to life on a street corner in Manhattan.Every holiday season for nearly twenty years, Billy Romp, his wife, and their three children have spent nearly a month living in a tiny camper and selling Christmas trees on Jane Street in New York City. They arrive from Vermont the day after Thanksgiving and leave just in time to make it home for Christmas morning—and for a few weeks they transform a corner of the Big Apple into a Frank Capra-esque small town alive with heartwarming holiday spirit.Christmas on Jane Street is about the transformative power of love—love of parent and child, of merchant and customer, of stranger and neighbor. The ideal Christmas story, it is about the lasting and profound difference that one person can make to a family and one family can make to a community.A lovely, lovingly illustrated little gem of a book, this delightful tenth anniversary edition of a beloved Christmas classic tells the poignant, inspiring story of an unforgettable family and the warm, wide circle of friends who have welcomed them to the neighborhood....

Title : Christmas on Jane Street: A True Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061626425
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Christmas on Jane Street: A True Story Reviews

  • Dianne
    2019-05-15 18:02

    This is a nice little holiday read, perfect for when you need a quiet hour with a cup of tea in the midst of the all the Christmas chaos. I have a few of these small Christmas books that I like to re-read every year, but this one is new to me. The title was vaguely familiar though and I'm wondering if there might have been a tv movie with the same name. It's a pretty good plot for a holiday movie."Christmas On Jane Street" is a true story, and that always makes things a little more interesting, but the writing in this one was lacking a certain something that might keep it off my "favorites" list. I find I'm sometimes disappointed with stories that are told "with" an authour who is helping get it down on paper. They feel a little stiff to me.Favorite or not, it's still a good story with all the requisite elements for a satisfying Christmas story: family relationships strained and restored, friendly neighbours coming to each others aid and children testing the boundaries and spreading their wings. It all adds up to a low level of sappiness that is more than tolerable in a Christmas story. If you can watch "It's A Wonderful Life" with it's off the charts sap level and enjoy it, you'll be fine with "Christmas On Jane Street".The corner of Jane Street and Eighth in New York City is where Billy Romp, his wife and three children set up their Christmas tree stand every year. They live on the tree lot in a tiny camper from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve and become part of the neighbourhood where they are welcomed and taken care of by local residents and shop owners. This is the best part of the story to me. It's reassuring, life-affirming to read how generous and helpful people truly want to be even when there is no material reward in it for them.The story centers around Billy and his relationship with his oldest daughter. Like all parents he's having difficulty letting go of the tight control we keep over our kids when they are little and he feels the pain we all feel when they begin to step away from us and out into the larger world. I'll leave it at that and let you discover the rest for yourself.I enjoyed this book. I do wish I had waited till tomorrow to read it though because our first big snowstorm of the season is coming and this would have been the perfect book for a snow day. I think it's time to move my Christmas books up from the bottom shelf and see what I can find for a lovely long day of reading and watching the snow fall. That sounds quite picturesque but in truth we usually get a wicked wind that drives the snow sideways past the rattling front window and we often lose our hydro in a storm. That, however, is reality and I don't think I'll consider it right now. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.

  • Cheri
    2019-04-24 20:59

    Vermont Tree farmer Billy Romp, his wife, daughter Ellie, sons & dog climb into the family camper each year for one month, leaving Vermont to sell their trees at the same corner in Greenwich Village. At the end, they return home to Vermont, but every year they seem to become more and more of the extended family network of the families on Jane Street. This story works because it is a true story, but Billy Romp humbleness in the end overcomes the brewing conflict with his young teenage daughter. It is less the lesson that the daughter learns than the one the father learns about having the kind of family he wants to have, and what that means that he needs to change in himself to achieve the best relationship with his daughter. Sweet, charming and a fast read.

  • Suzanne Skelly
    2019-05-15 18:16

    An absolutely charming Christmas tale based on a real family and their memorable holiday experiences.A Vermont Christmas Tree farmer transplants his family each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve to a Christmas tree lot on the corner of Jane St 7 8th in Greenwich Village. it is a story og how people "reach out" to others - particularly at this time of year. A tale of a family who learned a lot about life working side by side. This is one of those books I'll keep and read over each year. A feel good book.

  • Janet Hoffman
    2019-05-22 16:05

    This might be tied for the worst book I ever read. What is the point? Very contrived. The best part is the post-log where the author discusses his daughter's struggles as an adolescent and young adult. Truly not my cup of tea!

  • Cheryl
    2019-05-08 14:54

    I loved this little book. I fell in love with family and want to go visit 8th and Jane the next time I am in NYC!

  • Stacei
    2019-05-12 16:04

    A wonderful quick read for the Christmas season. Touching story of a father daughter relationship. Loved their gift philosophy. Would be a beautiful tradition shared with your family.

  • Linda
    2019-05-09 23:15

    A light quick read about a father bonding with his daughter. It's a secular Christmas story.

  • Dawn Maylor
    2019-04-28 21:12

    Total manufactured drama. I enjoyed the description of the Christmas tree operation. The main character was annoying. He couldn’t allow his eight or nine year old daughter to enjoy the ballet? Does a child have to learn the hard way that nice things need to be earned? Sure but he didn’t have to be such a jerk about it.

  • Gloria Overholt
    2019-05-21 16:11

    A nice holiday read; enjoyed it.

  • Willadale Meeks-Smid
    2019-05-03 15:58

    There were times when I got frustrated with Billy for not understanding his daughter Ellie, but all-in-all it was a very good book.

  • Carole
    2019-04-27 19:48

    I loved this book! Just a really nice story that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and get you in the Christmas spirit. Plan on reading it again next year.

  • Virma
    2019-05-02 15:15

    Nice short story about a dad letting go of his daughter.

  • Barbara Brimhall
    2019-05-19 21:49

    A fun story. Not a book you would read twice.

  • Denise
    2019-05-21 16:59

    Very satisfying Christmas story

  • Judy
    2019-05-03 17:08

    This short memoir is a lovely Christmas read about a Dad in a somewhat self-created crisis, who learns to take a step back and appreciate his family as individuals, rather than helpers in the family business. As can be imagined, he learns the "true meaning " of love and the spirit of Christmas. Recommend for a quiet winter evening during the Yuletide.

  • Libby
    2019-04-28 23:00

    This small volume is a pleasant enough read, especially at first, as the true story unfolds. The Romp family sells Christmas trees in New York City every holiday season, from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. What makes it even more interesting is that they live in Vermont, and travel in a camper to the Big Apple, and they live in the camper on Jane Street, where they sell their trees.I enjoyed the charming, anecdotal tone in the first half of the book or so. But it's a slim book, and quite of bit of it from the halfway point to the end is about the author's struggles with his pre-teen daughter. Is she pulling away from him? She's not including him in things! She just walked past and didn't even look at him! She's dressing in fancy clothes, does that mean she doesn't love her family anymore? He grounds her, she rebels more. Oy. While I give him points for honesty--what parent hasn't felt rejected by a teenager?--it felt unpleasant to read about, and I didn't like him very much through most of that. They reconcile and he buys a single rose for his wife to apologize for acting like an ass but I can't help but wonder if his wife felt like I did by that point: too little, too late, pal.Adding to the fact that the family is welcomed with such love and generosity by the year round residents of Jane Street, free food, a place to shower (remember, they are living in a camper), electricity, Christmas gifts, etc. The author professes to want to live a "simple" life and would this be possible, if he didn't get all this help every year from New Yorkers looking out for his family? Pretty challenging for wife and three young children, to be taken away from home every holiday season to live in a camper on the street. The author does compliment his wife but then there's that night...the night he buys her the rose...her ONE night out with friends during the entire time they are there...when he pouts and pulls away and says he doesn't want to go to the one party the wife gets to enjoy. Oy. I kept putting myself in her shoes and...again, wasn't feeling the "holiday charm" at that point in the book.Caring for a young family of 5 living in a camper on a city street for a month every winter... I'd like to read a book by the wife!

  • Natlukens
    2019-05-06 20:03

    Meh... I don't normally read this kind of thing, mostly I'm not into true stories, but I was considering getting it as a gift for someone and decided to at least check it out first. I didn't plan on even reading it. I don't know really what to say about it. I was drawn into actually reading it because the idea of growing Christmas trees in Vermont (I assume they grow them? They never mentioned where they got them i don't think) and then living in New York for a month to sell them intrigued me. This is an odd family dynamic, at least the way it is illustrated in the story. For the first half of the book the wife seems to have nothing to do with the tree business or the interpersonal relationships between her husband and children. She's just off cooking all day? And why don't these kids go to school?? It is basically about a father and daughter disagreeing over something and the father over reacting. The girl wants to do something special with her friend and doesn't really understand the pretenses that her father is putting on her or the reasons why it isn't possible. The whole thing makes you wonder what is being left out and what is being fabricated. I don't really consider this a heartwarming story especially if you read the 10th anniversary edition that I read with the added on epilogue written years later(view spoiler)[ in which the daughter that has been the subject of the story gets pregnant at sixteen. Nice to have an update but it sort of changes the idea I had of all of it.(hide spoiler)]I decided not to buy this as a gift for someone after all after reading it only because the subject matter and story didn't seem like it would fit the person i intended to give it to. A short little book about a charming family but a little long winded in places considering how short it was.

  • Julie
    2019-05-25 20:15

    A Vermont farm family spends a month each year in New York City selling Christmas trees. This month makes up a major portion of their annual income and sometimes the father becomes a bit to focussed on the sales. This story takes place in one of those years. The family is experiencing financial problems and simultaneously their daughter is starting to grow up and develop a sense of independence. When Ellie starts to show an interest in things that her father considers trivial, he starts to experience unexpected, but he fully believes, justifiable anger. This book is the story of that month and how the family reconciles and celebrates a meaningful Christmas together. For most of the book the father comes off as a bit emotionally unstable in his resistance to his daughter's desire to see a ballet. He has personal justifications for it, plus it's a stressful time financially, and watching kids get older can be tough especially when a parent doesn't see it coming, so in reality it was an emotionally unstable time for him. Ultimately parents aren't perfect and I suspect most will relate to the story on some level. I just didn't find it a very interesting story, much of it felt forced, the resolution was weak. Learning about Christmas tree was interesting, but only a tiny part of the story. There were Christmas trees, presents, snow, the Nutcracker, Christmas parties, and what I presume was a happy ending, but it wasn't what I really want in holiday read. I've read non-fiction books about Christmases during WWII and fictional murder mysteries that were more uplifting and filled with Christmas joy.

  • Louise
    2019-05-07 23:08

    Story Description:HarperCollins|October 27, 2008|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-162642-5The warm, wonderful, real-life tale of the family that brings the Christmas spirit to life on a street corner in Manhattan. Every holiday season for nearly twenty years, Billy Romp, his wife, and their three children have spent nearly a month living in a tiny camper and selling Christmas trees on Jane Street in New York City. They arrive from Vermont the day after Thanksgiving and leave just in time to make it home for Christmas - and for a few weeks they transform a corner of the Big Apple into a Frank Capra-esque small town alive with heartwarming holiday spirit. CHRISTMAS ON JANE STREET is about the transformative power of love - love of parent and child, of merchant and customer, of stranger and neighbor. The ideal Christmas story, it is about the lasting and profound difference that one person can make to a family and one family can make to a community. A lovely, lovingly illustrated little gem of a book, this delightful tenth anniversary edition of a beloved Christmas classic tells the poignant, inspiring story of an unforgettable family and the warm, wide circle of friends who have welcomed them to the neighborhood. My Review:I can't really add much to the synopsis above that would tell you anything more other than to say the family learns a valuable lesson this particular Christmas. Especially the father. This was a really great feel good story and made for a perfect couple hours of reading. Highly recommended.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-04 21:08

    I'm sorry to say that I did not like this story, although I kept reading it because it is so short (about 100 pages) and I hoped to find more to like. I think the problem is that the authors set out to create a Christmas classic, but in the process created too many stereotypes, even though the book is based in the author's life. The story is told in the first person, from the perspective of the father, Billy Romp, and that creates two problems: First, the author is looking back on a lesson he learned after he has learned it, and so there is some cognitive dissonance as his more mature self and the person he was at the time the story takes place. And that person is not much fun, with his blinders to the mistakes he's making as a parent and his all-work-no-grace attitude toward life, along with his forceful attempts to guide his daughter, which just put a damper on everything. It's hard to read the story when you don't like the narrator much, or become impatient with him and want to give him a good talking-to. Second, because of the first-person narrative, the reader does not get to know what the daughter, Romp's wife, the other children, or their acquaintances and friends are thinking, and that would have filled in a lot of gaps and enriched the book greatly. So if I had been Romp's editor, I would have suggested a third-person omniscient point of view to make the story deeper (and longer).

  • Jessika
    2019-04-25 17:08

    I'm a little bit late on this Christmas read (or early, depending on how you look at it), but it's one that caught my attention this year at the library, so I thought I'd check out a copy and see what I thought. This was an easy, heartwarming read. It's definitely ideal for reading during an afternoon when you might need a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas. I stretched this out over a couple of days, but I could have definitely read it in a day. It's not very long, and it's a small-sized book with pretty wide margins. So, like I said it lends itself to reading during Christmastime, when there's not always time for long reading. I liked this story, but it was nothing earth-shattering. This is just one man's simple story of coming to terms with his little girl growing up during one Christmas spent in NYC selling Christmas trees. I don't have any children of my own (at least not yet), but as someone who has always considered my dad as one of my best friends, I thought this was a touching story. There were a couple of times when I thought the dad was being sort of a jerk, but that's kind of the point of the story. The conclusion was sappy, but I think that's to be expected when you pick up a Christmas story. While I enjoyed this little book, I don't feel compelled to re-read this or make it a yearly tradition. I'd recommend it if you're looking for a simple, short and sweet Christmas story.

  • Brittany
    2019-05-03 18:17

    So, I was feeling the story initially. It's a true story of a Vermont couple and their three young kids who go to NYC every December to sell Xmas trees. This is definitely story worthy. I always wondered about the people selling the trees so it gives u some insight into their lives. Also, who doesn't love hearing about NYC at Xmas? However, the middle part of the book started to piss me off. The dad gets all pissy about his daughter wanting to see the Nutcracker even when she raises the money to go. He is real country and acts like this is some serious high living. He comes off ignorant and jerky when he tells his kid she shouldn't spend money on fleeting moments. Say what???....this is what makes life--cultural experiences and memories that you'll always remember (and that will get you a book deal, guy). Anyways, he realizes he is a psycho dad trying to control his daughter (whats up with some dads being not feminist and trying to keep a "daddys little girl" creepy think going?) as she grows up and differs from him. It ends with realizing he needs to let her by herself and apologizes to her. They then go do some wholesome Xmas activities that to be honest seem embellished for a better story. Apparently, the couple is now divorced and his daughter got pregnant at 16 and has been through some rough spots.

  • Bridget
    2019-05-23 21:03

    This is a short book, but very interesting and enjoyable. The Romp family has been coming to Jane Street in New York City for years. They arrive the day after Thanksgiving in their camper, and stay until the end of the day on Christmas Eve, selling Christmas trees, wreaths, and bows from their Vermont farm. The book details one particular year, when Billy (the father) feels that his eldest daughter Ellie is moving away from him and the family, suddenly having different interests and values. He details how it changed the whole family dynamic, and what he discovered about himself and his family, as well as the people they have come to know each year during the holidays.If you want a holiday book that evokes the best of New York at holiday time, as well as a simple story about a real family, you'll enjoy this book. I found their life during the time they were on Jane Street each year to be fascinating, and I could see myself rereading this on a regular basis. At the end of the edition I read, there is an afterword, where Billy catches us up on what has happened to the family since then. It all makes you want to go out and buy a Christmas tree from his family!

  • Laura
    2019-04-30 18:06

    I read this book in a few short hours during the Christmas season. If you need an easy read one night to escape the shopping-wrapping-decorating frenzy, this might be the book for you. I felt the writing was a bit simple and sappy, and a small family issue was blown up into a book. And I can only assume the kids were home schooled since they took a month off each year, and no mention of school exists. But this was an odd enough issue for the author to address since so many people are obviously confused about that situation.When I bought this book, it would explore the NYC characters more, and their interactions with the family, instead of just providing the backdrop. I thought that part of the book fell short. First published in 1999, the anniversary edition was published in 2008, and the afterword gives you information about the family since the first publishing. It was nice to know what happened to them after that Christmas.The little illustrations are great, I loved their style, and I think they worth a mention.All-in-all, it was OK, but I think there are better Christmas books out there.

  • Cynthia Archer
    2019-05-09 18:00

    A quick, but wonderful Christmas memoir. The Romp family is a real family that sells Christmas trees each December at a stand on Jane St. and 8th Ave. in Manhattan. The father tells the story of one year that was particularly special for him and his daughter, Ellie. She is growing up and no longer seems enamored by everything about her father. Sensing her growing distance as a threat, her dad tries to hold on to her through discipline and pressure. Unable to forcibly control his headstrong daughter, Billy is finally persuaded by his wife to take a closer look at his motives. I really enjoyed reading this title during the Christmas season. It is a short book that I could read in a day. The neighborhood setting is delightful, as are the people who obviously look forward to the Romp family and their annual campout on their corner during the weeks preceding Christmas. As a parent, I found important lessons to learn seeing through the eyes of this special family and this pivotal year in their lives.

  • Tracy
    2019-05-12 19:11

    This book read like fiction, with effortless simple yet descriptive prose, telling the story of a family from Vermont who spend their Decembers in Manhattan, selling Christmas trees. The main focus of the book is the story of Ellie—the eldest of the three Romp children (and only girl), eleven years old at the time the story takes place, eleven and already seeming on her way to becoming an adult—and Billy, her father, with whom she is very close (though not so much that December). I felt that this tale is one of those subtly inspirational ones, told with family values at its heart, but fortunately lacking any preachy tone that maybe some other inspirational stories—especially the ones involving faith of any kind—may have. I really enjoyed reading this book, and I am sad that it was such a fast read because it was so good. I would love to read more about this family and all of their endeavors and successes.

  • Lindaharmony
    2019-05-09 15:12

    Every year right after Thanksgiving, the Romp family drives from their Vermont farm to Greenwich Village and spends December amid the bustle of the city, living in a camper and selling Christmas trees at a sidewalk stand. Over the years, they have developed strong friendships in their second home. It is a treasured family ritual and is vital to their economic survival.The year recounted in this book, Billy Romp has trouble accepting that his daughter is growing up. The conflict threatens to spoil the season for him but ultimately teaches him "the true meaning of Christmas" and, more importantly, what raising children is all about."True meaning of Christmas" stories can be treacly and contrived, but this one is charming and unusual. It's a pleasant way to spend an evening in December.

  • Beth
    2019-05-18 18:54

    Enjoyed this short nonfiction book about the Romp family who traveled from Vermont each December to sell Christmas trees on the corner of Jane Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. The family (Billy & Patti Romp and their 3 children) lived in a trailer on the lot, and the book is full of the kindnesses of their neighbors who let them borrow apartment keys to take showers, provided food, and embraced them into their community. The book was written in 1998, and an updated ed. was released in 2010. The story covers a Christmas when the father (Billy Romp) is feeling estranged from his tomboy daughter, Ellie, who is 12 and growing up. I was saddened to read online about recent changes the family has undergone, but various members of the Romp family are still selling trees in NYC.

  • Amber
    2019-04-26 19:10

    This book has become one of my holiday traditions. I don't even remember how I came across it, but I check it out every year around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I love this tiny treasure because it's quick and easy to read and packs a powerful punch. If it's a warm and touching holiday story you're after, this is the book for you. And guess what, it's true! The Romps are an ordinary farming family portrayed in a romantic, loveable light. For ten years they've travelled from their Vermont home to sell Christmas trees in NYC from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Their sales could make or break their year, but what's important are the life lessons learned on one particular trip, the one on which this beautifully packaged story is centered.

  • Donna Barnes
    2019-05-05 14:55

    This is a short read (150 pages, small book) that has very strong themes -- esp. to a father in raising his kids (could be mother, as well) --- I think it would also be a good read for a kid, too, because of the strong themes, but it especially talks to the parents. It's a true story , and the epilogue gives an update on the real life people in the past 7 years, since the book was written in 2005. It has a Christmastime storyline, so I'm esp. glad I read it during the holiday season --- made the story even better. I recommend this, esp. sitting by a cozy christmas tree with a mug of glug!