12 Days of Christmas – Day 3 … ME!

Posts and prizes from Ruthie Knox, Robyn Carr, Leah Braemel, Cari Quinn, KA Mitchell, Molly O'Keefe, Jaci Burton, Anne Calhoun, Teresa Romaine, Samantha Hunter, Stephanie Sloan and Jill Shalvis at Happy-Ever-After USA Today.When Angela James first invited me to write a novella for her Red Hot Holiday Anthology for Carina Press, I immediately knew I wanted to honor one of my favorite Christmas themes. As you’ll read on my post over on today’s USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog (it will be up at 9 a.m.), my favorite Christmas story when I was little was The Gift of the Magi. I first listened to it on a very old walnut radio in my bedroom on Christmas Eve. I’m not sure who read it, but he sounded a lot like this recording…

We were living in an old Victorian house, built in 1877, complete with fireplaces in most rooms, huge sliding oak doors to separate a formal dining area from a living area for entertaining purposes, and even a vestibule. So O. Henry’s story, that cold Christmas eve captured my seven year old imagination completely. I didn’t realize it until decades later, but that was probably the first romance I’d “read.” And now that I think of it that was probably my first audio book too. ;) (If you’re not familiar with the story, you can download it for free from Project Gutenberg.)

Della and James are a poor newlywed couple who each want to give the other the perfect Christmas present. Della knows what she wants — a silver chain for James’ treasured gold pocketwatch. But it costs far more than the dollar and eighty seven cents she has to in her purse. Because she loves Jim so much, she sells her most prized possession, her hair. Hair that goes down to her knees. What Della doesn’t realize is that Jim has sold his prized heirloom pocket watch to buy Della a set of ivory combs to put in her hair. Even back then I found it so romantic that love could be so selfless.

I’ve been lucky — I found my “Jim” who is equally as selfless. He always searches for little trinkets and treasures and things he hopes I’ll treasure. And I do. Because they’re from him. No, I didn’t have knee-length hair to sell, nor did I have the need to sell it, but I would have if I’d had to. Because love’s worth it.

Since my story is set in the Haliburton Highlands of central Ontario where many artists reside and create their wares, I went to their annual Arts and Crafts show and bought three hand-crafted reindeer — one made from ash, one from cherry and one in walnut.

Just leave a comment in the comments section telling me your favorite holiday story and click on the Rafflecopter widget…

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27 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas – Day 3 … ME!

  1. I have always loved the traditional story of The Night Before Christmas….Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year…Thanksgiving Day coming in second…not because of gifts…but because everyone, family and friends come together…even strangers are friendlier this time of year…now my Christmas’ are more special….it’s also my little boy’s birthday…yayyy…and it was not even planned….
    I now get to share my favorite story with my boys every year….

  2. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. It’s a great book with beautiful Christmas pictures but the main reason is my niece. She loved books, still does but when she was little that was her favorite book. When she was three she had it read to her so many times that she’d memorized it. One day she and 2 other girls were laying on the floor my niece in the middle, book in hand, feet swinging in the air and she was reading the book to them. Page by page word for word spot on. Beautiful memory for me. Every time I pick up that book which I look for a new one every year prettier then the one I have I think of that seen and get emotional. Which by the way said niece who is now 29 tells me to stop being such a sap…sometimes I don’t know why I like her so much. Lol

  3. We have a tradition that goes back as far as I can remember. We all gather around my Dad on Christmas Eve so he can read us Twas the Night Before Christmas. That tradition has carried down to my boys and now they are included. We have pictures from every year with them on his lap listening. He was even able to do it last year although it was from the hospital where he spent 5 months fighting for his life. I knew at that moment that he would make it so it became a miracle for us all to hear his raspy voice reading to us that night.

  4. I have two favorite Christmas stories and they are both movies… It’s a Wonderful Life and A White Christmas. I don’t watch that many movies or TV but I love to curl up and watch both of these with my girls every year. My husband usually falls asleep. Typical man!

  5. I always ove watching the old Christmas programs like Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, A Christmas Story. It seems like life was less crazy during those times. I also love baking Christmas cookies and all sorts of baked goodies.

  6. I have to say it’s the old animated ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas.’ Strange, I know, but I just love that darn dog and the part where the Grinch’s heart grows so big.

    My Mom had an enlarged heart. Before she died we were watching the show and she commented that she was like the Grinch in that respect. The memory still makes me smile.

  7. I’ve always loved the Gift of the Magi too! But my favorite Christmas story is Twas the Night Before Christmas. It’s been a tradition to read the story every year at Christmastime. My Grandmother used to read it to me when she visited during the holidays. It wasn’t always on Christmas, because I have nine cousins and our families lived in 4 different states, but when she was there for Christmas, it made it extra special.

  8. i like the polar express and of course we have tto read Twas the night before christmas but I also like to throw in a new book the kids will love as a bedtime story ….wonder if captain underpants has a christmas one out yet lol

  9. I collect Oriental figurines, and always wanted an Oriental jewelry box. The first year we were married, my Husband bought me a beautiful one!! It was made out of cherry wood, and almost reminded me of of a treasure chest. The handles on the side, as well as the rest of the hardware was made out of brass, and the figurines themselves were made from mother of pearl!! The background was hand-painted!! When I opened the heavy package, not knowing what was inside, I leterally cried!! There was also a bracelet neatly tucked inside to start my collection, even though I had some pieces to fill up the drawers and other sections. It was a memorable year, and I still own it almost 30 years later!!

  10. A Christmas Story is my favorite! I watch it every year! I love it!!! The movie is so cute!! :D

  11. I’ve always loved the lighter stories like Rudolph and Frosty and they’ve been making some wonderful movies at Hallmark every year too.

  12. Well…I’m not a very religious person but I do love to listen to the Bible story (from Luke) on the Birth of Jesus. My husband reads it to me on Christmas Eve.

  13. When I was a kindergartner, I recited–from memory!– Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas at our Christmas program. That was a looooooong time ago. I’ve always loved that story. It’s my favorite. But I have to admit, your column reminded me of how wonderful The Gift of the Magi is.

  14. Favorite holiday story kid wise would be Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Not sure why, because I use to cry everytime, those other reindeer were so mean.

    Adult wise I just discovered it. It’s Unexpected Christmas hero by Kathi Macias. It’s not a genre I usually read, but I thought it was amazing.

  15. My favorite story is Rudolph and Twas the Night Before Christmas…but honestly it is hard to pick just one as I loved watching these again and again as my kids grew up…

  16. I love ” The Little Drummer Boy” and ” Alabaster’s Song”. Both have very special meaning to me. I watch every year!!

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