Tag Archives: 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour

Christmas and Cousins by Joy DeKok

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world. We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!

Christmas and Cousins

by Joy DeKok

I got a small doll with a high chair and other extras. My brother got a car race track. As much as we enjoyed the presents, it was the cousins that mattered most.

We were gathered at Dorothy and Lee’s house where they lived with their three boys. My cousin Sheila was there and so was our Grandma. My uncle and dad enjoyed the race track and played with it more than the boys. My brother was a cowboy that year and our cousin Scott an army guy. Sheila and I were pretend mommies and best friends.

We were allowed to stay up late and while that sounded good, I tend to get a little on the goofy side when over tired.  I was nearing exhaustion, but nowhere near ready to give up unless required to do so.



As adults do when watching the kids they love, the noticed how we’d grown – we were like stair steps– Randy the oldest to Scott the youngest. Tallest to shortest.

Lining us up for a picture was a bit of a challenge. We were all agreeable and obedient, but one of us had a problem. Me. I could not stop laughing and nothing funny had happened. I was alive and happy and tired and out of control.

For a moment driven by the need to take a deep breath (and after a stern parental look) I’d been able to stop giggling. Then, it happened. I heard Randy laugh. Then Steve. Then Sheila. Well, then it was my turn again and I was worse off than before – I now had back up! 

We enjoyed our family, our gifts, and the yummy food, but the best part was the line-up of laughing cousins.

Joy DeKok and her husband, Jon, live in Minnesota on thirty-five acres of woods and fields. Joy has been writing most of her life and as a popular speaker shares her heart and passion for God with women. In addition to writing novels, she has also published a devotional and several children’s books.

Visit Joy online at: www.joydekok.com, www.raindancebook.com, www.believe4kids.com and www.gettingitwrite.net. 


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Christmas in a Box by Humorist Pat Snyder

Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!

Christmas In a Box
by Pat Snyder

Hallmark tells us what Christmas should be like, and I’ve tried my darndest to replicate it. But try as I might, the memories I create are not always the ones I intend.
Take, for example, the Christmas breakfast box.  The idea was a timesaver, I thought, an easy way to feed the family on Christmas morning.

“Box breakfasts this year!” I announced to my boys, who at 2 and 6 had no idea what I was talking about., and headed off to a bakery to purchase empty white boxes – the kind puffy glazed doughnuts and iced pink cupcakes come in.

If you liked this story, click on cover to purchase an even better story by Pat Snyder!

One would think that the bakery boxes would have spoken to me before I even left the store.

“Fill us right here!” they should have said. “Just go with the doughnuts.”

But no. I was young, still navigating Marriage #1 (there were ultimately two) and intent on creating clever traditions unique to our little brood.

Instead, I took the flat paper creatures home, fit Tab A into Tab B and proceeded not only to fill them but to personalize each one with homemade felt cut-outs reminiscent of the recipient’s interests.  It was a laborious process involving eight boxes, enough for ourselves and two sets of eager grandparents who could not be dissuaded from watching the opening ceremonies on Christmas morning.

“This will be so much simpler than cooking,” I cooed, as I scissored golf clubs, golf balls, American flags, flowers, hamsters, bicycles and roller skates and glued them on the boxtops.  No need to repeat the process, I told myself.  I would simply re-use the boxes.

Inside would go hardboiled eggs, oranges, candy canes, and sausage biscuits wrapped in foil.

The kitchen counter, piled high with the boxes on Christmas morning was, to be sure, an impressive sight, and the first year everyone raved about my cleverness.  The second year, I recycled them – same boxes, new breakfasts – and so on, until the boxes were finally lost in a move. Mysteriously.

It touched me last Christmas when one of my boys, now grown, asked the other, “Whatever happened to the breakfast boxes?”

“Aw, they miss them,” I thought.

But when the two of them looked at each other and started doubling up, laughing like crazy, I knew something was up.

“How long were you going to keep using those boxes?” they howled, and went on to paint a vivid picture of boxes lined in foil to cover up grease stains and other ghosts of Christmases past.

“It’s a wonder we didn’t all die!”

Then they asked if I’d do it again, resurrect those breakfast boxes after almost 30 years.  Of course, I said yes.

Pat Snyder is a recovering lawyer and mother of three from Columbus, OH, whose new book, The Dog Ate My Planner: Tales and Tips from an Overbooked Life, includes the Frantic-Simplifier story and other light takes on the too-busy life. Find her online at www.PatSnyderOnline.com.

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How to Light Up the Heart of a Three-Year-Old Boy by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

 Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!


How to Light Up the Heart of a Three-Year-Old Boy

 by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Parents and grandparents always wonder what will most delight their kids and grandkids.  What should they get them for Birthdays?  For the Holidays?  Should we buy what delighted us as children?  Should we really cater to their Santa or Chanukah lists?  Should we go with what is ‘in’ this year? 

These are important questions and all I can say, is listen to the kid even if it seems strange!  We did when our grandson was three.  We knew he loved to help his mother vacuum.  We had noticed that many times when we visited.  But it still surprised us when he asked for a vacuum.  A vacuum?  Who ever would want one?  I would love to give mine up if someone else would just magically appear and vacuum.  Why would a tiny kid want one?  Wouldn’t he rather have some trucks or a train set?  “No.”

All he kept asking for was a vacuum.  Did toy stores even have vacuum’s for kids? 

We decided we had no choice.  Off we went to look.  And indeed we found a vacuum that looked just like his mom’s except it was half the size. We were amazed.  It was a little pricey, but hey, he is our grandson! 

So we bought it and wrapped the box and appeared on Chanukah.  He didn’t have a clue what we were bringing. 

After lighting the candles and singing, we brought out the presents.  There were a few other presents first and of course some for his baby sister who was happy to just rip off the paper.  Finally the big box was brought out by his parents and handed to him.  I will never forget his face when he ripped off the paper and saw a picture of a stand-up vacuum on the box.  There was such joy in his eyes and his grin was as wide as could be.  He looked at us with love and recognition that said that even as a three-year-old, he realized that sometimes only grandparents, not parents can really get it right. Then the magical second passed and he ripped open the box. 

Soon the vacuum was plugged in and he was busy.  Off in a dream world of cleaning and pushing and doing what only a kid could experience.  We were so happy that we had hit it right.  We kept looking at him and loving every second of his eager pretend cleaning, even though he no longer had eyes for us. He was sweet though and did turn and look at us and smile every once in awhile.  Even the noise didn’t bother us-because of course, no good mechanical toy, is without its sound effects! 

That was a great Chanakah!

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is the originator of The Enchanted Self(R). She has been a positive psychologist in private practice and licensed in the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts since 1981. She is currently in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.  

She is the author of The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! and There Comes A Time In Every Woman’s Life for DELIGHT.   

Her newest book, The Truth, I’m Ten, I’m Smart and I Know Everything! is another first in positive psychology. Written by a ten year old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has been able to imbed lots of positive truths that we all need to remember and live by, regardless of our age.  

The girl’s edition, titled: The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) debuted February 2008 in bookstores nationwide. You can get your copy now at www.enchantedself.com.

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