Tag Archives: Christmas story

Holiday Memories: The Night Santa Tiptoed by Juanita Salazar Lamb

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!

The Night Santa Tiptoed
by Juanita Salazar Lamb

I was seven years old and it was the last Christmas I would believe in Santa for many years to come.  We were living in “La Colonia”, the projects in Oxnard, California. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and rolling over in bed, causing the rusted iron frame of my cot to squeak and screech as I tried to find a comfortable spot on the sagging mattress.  I heard the tip-toeing of footsteps across bare linoleum from the living room to the bottom of the staircase, where they stopped for a minute, then retreated.  I could see the glow of a light from downstairs, and knew with all my heart that Santa was busy laying out our Christmas presents.  I jiggled around in bed to make it squeak again, testing my theory of who the footsteps belonged to. Sure enough, once again I heard the tiptoeing  come to the bottom of the stairs, where they stopped then retreated.  I wanted so much to go down and see Santa, but I also knew he would disappear if I saw his face. And what if he hadn’t laid out my presents yet?  We didn’t have a chimney and I figured he wouldn’t want to get caught up in the power lines that rang along the roof tops, so I just knew Santa had parked his sleigh in the little patch of backyard next to the clothesline, but not too close to the garbage can. The bedroom I shared with my sister faced the front, and my brothers’ bedroom looked out over the backyard.  How I wanted to go into their room and see Santa’s sleigh, but just that afternoon my brothers had threatened me with my life if I EVER went into their room again.   What a dilemma: get to see Santa’s sleigh but not live to open presents; or never see his sleigh but get to enjoy Christmas morning?  Before I could make a decision I fell back asleep, dreaming of what Santa would leave for me under the tree.

Juanita Salazar Lamb is a member of the Latino Writers Collective who once again believes in Santa. Her most recent stories are included in the anthology “Cuentos del Centro: Stories from the Latino Heartland”. She is currently working on a novel.

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Holiday Memories: Grandma’s Home-Going by Dixie Phillips

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!

Grandma’s Home-Going
by Dixie Phillips

For as long as I can remember, the heart of my paternal grandmother and my heart were cemented together. I think our bonding began when I was a baby and my mother had to be hospitalized for extended periods of time. Grandma watched over me and even decorated her spare bedroom in soft pinks and light lavenders. She was the mother of four strapping sons and had always wanted a little girl. Ten years before I was born her only daughter was stillborn.

I never realized just how attached I was to my grandmother until she was diagnosed with a deadly disease. After her diagnosis, Grandma was forced to move from her dream home to a small, one-bedroom apartment. In her new apartment complex, other women were experiencing the similar problems; terminal illness, limited income, loss of spouse to death or a nursing home. A remnant of these women formed a weekly Bible study and Grandma became a faithful member. This band of prayer warriors became “kindred spirits” as they interceded for one another’s needs.

It was apparent by early November Grandma would not be with us much longer. Her spirit was strong, but her body was growing weaker. A few days before Thanksgiving, she had to be hospitalized. The cancer had metastasized to her lungs.

Word spread quickly among her little Bible study group that Grandma Eleanor was dying. Loving cards and concerned phone calls began pouring in.

I hurried to the hospital and hovered over my grandmother’s weak frame. There was a tap on her Hospice room door and an elderly woman appeared. In her arms was a brown paper grocery sack. She tiptoed to Grandma’s bedside, and stooped over the metal bedrail and planted a kiss on Grandma’s cheek. Grandma’s dark chocolate eyes twinkled when she recognized her friend.

“Mable, how did you get here?” Grandma asked.

“Took a cab, Eleanor. I just had to.” Mable chuckled, “It’s cold outside, but it was warm in the cab!”

“Oh Mable, you shouldn’t have come out in this bitter cold.”

“I had to, Eleanor! Christmas is coming. I wanted you to have your Christmas card and the gift I made for you! It’s all right here in my bag.”

Mable rummaged through her brown bag. She pulled out a bright red envelope.

“This one is from me to you, Eleanor!” She showed Grandma the card. Sunbeams splashed on the colorful card causing Mable’s eyes to squint.

“Let me read it to you.” Mable said,

What can I give Him poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I’d give Him a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I’d do my part,
I know what I’ll give Him,
All of my heart!

Tears glistened in Grandma’s eyes as she whimpered, “Thank you, Mable.”

“That’s not all, Eleanor, there’s more! Christmas is coming! I just wanted you to have your Christmas present a little early this year.” Mable gushed as she pulled out a small package wrapped in previously used Christmas paper topped with a recycled, red bow.

Grandma was too weak to open her special gift. Mable handed it to me. I carefully tore the paper off the small box and opened the lid. Peering back at me was a brown teddy bear holding a lacey parasol.

“Yep, it’s true, Eleanor! Christmas is coming, and I just had to give you your present a little early this year.” Mable reached for Grandma’s hand.

“Mable, thank you and all the other ladies for being my friend this past year. You tell our little group goodbye for me. Tell them I’ll be spending Christmas with Jesus this year.”

Scalding tears fell on Mable’s wrinkled cheeks. “I love you, Eleanor!”

“And I love you!” Grandma closed her heavy eyelids and drifted off to sleep.

Mable reached for me. We embraced. We wept. I thanked her for her kindness to my grandmother, walked her to the door, and said goodbye.

When I returned to my grandmother’s side, I wept quietly. I realized Grandma’s “home-going” would be soon. I looked at the brown teddy bear holding the lacey parasol. I reread Mable’s Christmas card,

What can I give Him poor as I am?

I had just witnessed these verses lived out before my eyes. A loving friend with meager means had given her very best to her dying friend. She even celebrated Christmas before Thanksgiving knowing Grandma wouldn’t live until Christmas.

I closed my eyes and silently thanked God for giving me such a wonderful grandmother, and for giving my grandmother a dear friend.

Grandma went home to be with Jesus two days after Mable’s visit. My grandmother was right. She celebrated Christmas with Jesus.

Dixie Phillips began writing seasonal plays for children in 1987. These delightful programs have been published by Abingdon Press, Standard Publishing, Eldridge Publishing, Evangelizing Today’s Child and Gospel Publishing House. One of Dixie’s children’s books, Stubby’s Destiny, was awarded the 2008 Best Children’s Animal Story by Books and Authors. Guardian Angel Publishing has released Angel Eyes, One Noble Journey and Baby Jesus is Missing. Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother and Stilts the Stork will be released in 2010.

Dixie also has a passion for writing God’s truths for adults. She has contributed to an award-winning devotional book and has ghostwritten books on marriage, health, poetry and personal testimonies. She is currently a topical curriculum writer for Randall House. Dixie is a pastor’s wife of more than 30 years. She and her husband, Paul, have four grown children and have served the Gospel Lighthouse Church in Floyd, Iowa, for 28 years.

You can learn more about Dixie’s books and the Phillips’ ministry by visiting www.floydslighthouse.com.


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Holiday Memories: My Revlon Doll – The Most Beautiful Doll in the World by Gale Laure

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!

My Revlon Doll – The Most Beautiful Doll in the World
by Gale Laure

Shoulder-length blond hair . . . deep-set blue eyes . . . pink lips . . . peachy skin . . . shapely legs . . . dangling diamond earrings . . . polished fingernails and toenails . . . and yes, she had boobs! Her dress was a rose-colored brocade with net on the neckline – the see-through kind -with a net sash that tied in the back. Her shoes were black velvet heels.

Before she was mine, I named her Connie. I saw her at Fred Miller’s store when I was a child of about five. It was love at first sight. She was the most beautiful doll I had ever seen. While my mother shopped in the store, I stood and stared at her. I could not take my eyes off her. She had the most perfect, angelic face. Her makeup was perfect. Of course, it should have been. She was a Revlon doll, a special doll, one of Ideal’s Revlon Dolls. It was as if she were looking at me. She was on a wire stand, holding her straight and tall inside an oversized open-faced box. My mother had to pull me away from her when it came time to go. I wanted her with all my heart.

Each week I would go with one of my parents to see her. She seemed to call to me with the imaginative voice of a five-year-old. She was high upon the shelf so I could not touch her or hold her – my perfect, beautiful doll.

The days counted down and Christmas was in the air. My sister and I always made a Christmas list on adding machine paper. I liked having a long roll to write on. At the top of my list was my beautiful doll, Connie.

Christmas morning arrived. Santa always left our Christmas gifts in our formal living room rather than the den. When I walked into the room, the sofa and chairs were covered in toys. I searched for Connie. There she sat in her box upon the cushion of the couch. I beamed. My father helped me pull her off her stand and out of the open-faced box. My hands were shaking and my heart was beating so fast. I took her in my arms. She was heavier than I had thought. Her plastic was solid. My father put Christmas music on the stereo. My father danced with my sister. My mother sat on the couch smiling. I danced with the most beautiful doll in the world – my Connie.

After that day for years when I played with my sister and friends, we always had beauty contests for our dolls. My beautiful Connie stood in line next to the other dolls. She was so beautiful, much more beautiful than any of the other dolls. In my creative five-year-old mind, Connie would smile at me with an assurance that she would win the contest. She always did.

While doing some research for this article, I found my beautiful Revlon doll. What a surprise! Connie is a special collectible doll!

During the writing of this article I realized something. Connie had dark blond hair and beautiful blue eyes just like my mother in my youth. Connie’s shapely legs, pink lips and peachy skin were my mother’s. The beautiful doll that captured my heart all those years ago was my mother. I had never realized that she was so beautiful because she was my mother.

I still have Connie today. She is sitting beside me as I write this article. Her dress has long since worn out. Her beautiful Revlon makeup – as I believed it was – has faded with time. The beautiful shoulder-length blond hairdo is mussed. The beautiful diamond earrings are not as bright. But when I look at her she is still the most beautiful doll in the world to me.

Whether I am five or ninety, she will always hold a special place in my heart, my beautiful Revlon doll – Connie.

Gale Laure, a native Texan, is the international selling author of Evolution of a Sad Woman, a mystery, suspense, thriller and romance novel .   She resides in a small suburban town in the Houston area with her husband and family.  Laure’s hobbies include genealogical research, movies, creating stories for the children around her, involvement in her church and people watching. She is busy at work editing her second novel, The Bunkhouse, and writing the sequel to Evolution of a Sad Woman. It is entitled Alana – Evolution of a Woman.  As mysterious as her book, Laure writes under a pseudonym.  Adamant about maintaining her privacy and the privacy of her family, she keeps her identity a mystery!

For more information about Gale Laure or her novel, Evolution of a Sad Woman,  visit www.galelaure.com or her blog  www.evolutionofasadwoman


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Holiday Memories: The Night I Woke Up to Saint Nick by Stephen V. Masse

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!

The Night I Woke Up to Saint Nick
by Stephen V. Masse

Our family tradition was to arrange the manger scene beneath the live Christmas tree in our living room. My mother had won the manger, and all the figurines were made of white marble, with a shimmering bisque finish. When we set up the manger, my mother would always put the baby Jesus figurine on the mantel, because he was not to be born until Christmas. It was Santa’s privilege to put Jesus in the manger.

I turned ten one week before Christmas. I could still taste the spicy ribbon candy that left our hands sticky, feel the pine against my face as I joined my four siblings in decorating the tree and setting up the manger. My father cut branches to reshape the tree, and the extras ended up in a crackling fire.

Christmas Eve in our family was a feast as close to heaven as one can find on earth, and I wish that every soul could experience something like it. Music from every corner of the world, from Italy to England, Russia, Spain and beyond! Our version of the traditional Italian fish feast began with stuffed calamari in a light tomato sauce over capellini pasta, then fried shrimp, smelts and eels that my father cooked diligently in olive oil, sampling with his glass of wine. Mom tended the oven, crammed with baked-stuffed shrimp, stuffed escarole, stuffed artichokes, and roasted chestnuts, all while fielding phone calls and directing traffic to and from the dining room.

In those days, our Jewish neighbors would drop in, and we would share stories and food, and they would give each of us kids an envelope. Mrs. LeBovidge had the most wonderful Austrian accent. She grew up in Vienna, and told us that her father used to get a tree during the holidays because he enjoyed the tradition. She said that during Hitler’s rise to power, troopers came to inspect the building. The non-Jewish neighbors took her and other Jewish children into their homes to protect them. But in the end, she and her sister had to flee. It reminded me of Joseph and Mary fleeing into Egypt to escape Herod.

After dinner we retired with dessert to the living room, fire blazing, Mom at the old upright piano as we sang Christmas carols and hung our stockings on the mantel.

Then, bedtime!

I woke up in the middle of the night to hear footsteps on the carpeted living room floor. My heart was pounding, mostly with the realization that for the first time in my whole childhood, I was wide awake while Santa Claus was in my house! There was no rustling of packages, only the footsteps.

I didn’t dare move, for respect of the Saint’s presence. Then I heard the unmistakable sound of the marble figurine of baby Jesus being drawn across the mantel. A few more footsteps, and then the sound of baby Jesus being placed in the wooden manger with Mary and Joseph, and with us.

Stephen V. Masse is author of A Jolly Good Fellow,  winner of a Silver Medal in the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards, as well as honorable mention in the 2008  New England Book Festival for best books of the holiday season.

Masse’s next book for children, Short Circus, is being released this winter.


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Book Review: For the Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone

Title: For the Love of St. Nick
Author: Garasamo Maccagnone
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Booksurge
Pages: 61 pages

Purchase your copy here!

About the Book:

Two California boys, coping with the loss of their mother, find themselves uprooted when their father, a Navy Commander, is transferred to a base in northern Michigan.  With the youngest boy continuously sick, the family must survive military life and the northern elements as they dwell in their little hunter’s cabin on  Lake Huron.  When the boy’s father, the commander, must leave prio to Christmas to fulfill his secret mission for the United States Military, the boys are surprised by a chance encounter that saves a life, and reunites a family.

My Review:

Garasamo Maccagnone weaves a nostalgic tale of two boys and their father living in a remote cabin out in northern Michigan while the father is fulfilling his duty in the military.  Immediately, the book grabbed me.  The characters became real to me as I journeyed through little Tiger’s life as he spoke of helping his little brother, Johnny, through illnesses as well as triumphs as they dealt with the terrible Michigan winters.  Hockey became the love of their lives as they tried to find ways to occupy their time despite the cold wintry weather.  What I loved about the book was the undying bond the two brothers shared – Tiger being the overprotective brother and Johnny being the child he felt he needed to take care of since the passing of their mother.  Maccagnone is a great storyteller which makes this the perfect Christmas gift this season.  For the Love of St. Nick is a page turner which you won’t forget.  Read a book excerpt here.

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