Story Weekend: Holiday Magic

Okay, I’m going to admit it. I can’t think of a personal story for this topic, but it was suggested by a friend and I think it’s a good one, so I’m leaving it up to y’all to share your own stories. Remember that anyone who comments on any of my blog posts before December 23rd at 10 pm EST is in the running for a $100 bookstore gift card, so I hope you’ll join in.

If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:

▪   The story must be true.

▪   Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.

▪   Avoid offensive language.


So what’s your Holiday Magic story?


  1. Bernie Brown on December 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    On New Year’s Eve 1966, I ate lobster for the first time and my husband proposed to me. That’s holiday magic! We’re still married.

  2. Amber on December 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Right before Christmas in 2003 my niece was born early at 30 weeks. She was in the NICU for 2 months before she got to come home, but it’s a miracle that she survived being born so early and she is a happy and (for the most part) healthy little girl that blesses us with her smile every single day.

  3. Shari Bartholomew on December 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Yesterday my husband gave me an early Christmas present. He is flying my mom from Chicago to Kansas to spend a week with us over Christmas. I have not spent the holidays with my mom for 13 years. So excited.

  4. Shannon Montgomery on December 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Our best Christmas memory is the year we spent the week in Red River, my children have lived near Ft. Worth TX their entire lives, and have never been anywhere with an abundance of snow. We rented a cabin, arrived on Dec 23rd with about 2′ of snow currently on the ground and covering the surrounding mountains. The night of Christmas eve it began to snow an additional 2′! The kids had the best time ever snowmobiling, sledding, snowboarding and of course the snowball fights. Definetly the best holiday memory ever filled with family magic.

  5. Joy Cook on December 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    As a sophomore in college, I was diagnosed with phebitis, admitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve and devastated to be spending Christmas in the hospital. On New Years Eve and still there, my boyfriend (now husband of almost 40 years) flew up to visit me. My doctor gave permission for him to visit until we rang in the New Year at midnight. It was the first of two Christmases in the hospital. The next one was when our daughter was born on December 23rd nine years later and I spent my second Christmas in the hospital.

  6. Karen Babb on December 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    When my oldest daughter Kimberly was 7 or 8 she had just sat down at the table to eat her Christmas breakfast. Kim was never excited about scrambled eggs, so she always took foreverr to eat them. While sitting moving her eggs around in her plate she said, “I wish that it would snow today”. In just a few minutes large, beautiful snowflakes were falling softly outside. Our entire family could not believe it! That was Christmas magic!!

  7. Katie on December 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    My Dad passed away somewhat unexpectedly 9 years ago. He always bought my Mom lots of presents for Christmas. He was sick for about two months before Christmas and passed away the first week of December. One thing he liked buying her was Longaberger baskets and a friend of ours sold them where he worked. Arrangements were made and Mom got a basket from Dad for Christmas. Our friend said she had kept it at work for him so Mom would not find it. I know it was wrong to lie, but Dad would have bought her the basket if he were alive. And Mom has something to always cherish. This is one secret that I will keep forever. P.S. Don’t publish this with my full name or email address, don’t want to chance it.

  8. Lori Cimino on December 10, 2011 at 5:49 am

    It was December 2000 that I met my best friend and future husband face to face after many months of long distance and online dating. He traveled by bus from Texas to Michigan just a couple of days before Christmas. Right away everything felt just right.
    I was a single mom with 2 sons and there was never money for Christmas. On our 2nd day together we went Christmas shopping for my kids. It was so much fun. Our family felt complete on Christmas morning.
    He was supposed to only stay for a little over a week but ended up staying almost 3. We knew this was meant to be. He had to return to Texas for his job and we put a plan in motion to have him move to Michigan. In May of 2001 it happened. We have been together since.

  9. Sheree Gillcrist on December 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

    The first year that I was maried was also the first Christmas that my dad wasn’t in the hospital in 14 years on Christmas Day recovering from a heart attack. That year the heart attack came early and Christmas came on time. Our Christmas ritual always included midnight church service with my mom but never my dad as he was of the ‘ The forest is my Cathedral’ state of religion. However that Christmas, thankful for the bounty of actually seeing his own Christmas tree he decided that he wanted to go to our small country church. The week before the one lane bridge that spanned the river between dad’s home and the church washed out and it was now to be a drive of over an hour which he was not able for. I started calling in markers from his friends who were also veterans and a half an hour before service began on Christmas Eve,dad looked out the window to see two Clydesdale horses hooked up to a sleigh with bells attached pull up in front of his home. It was snowing and the moon was out as we hunkered down under deer skin hides with thermos’s of hot toddies and tea and headed out through the stillness of the night down an old dirt road. Everything shone like diamonds but none could compare to the smile on my father’s face as the winter wrapped us up in her magnficient beauty. Church was what church is on Christmas Eve..full of hope and handshakes, love and longing and we sang Christmas Carols all the way home. My father never did ever spend another Christmas at home. It was written in the melting snow but that one Christmas was a fairytale, not for what we bought but for what we brought to the in a memory.

    • Diane Chamberlain on December 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

      Sheree, you cheated terribly on the length but that was worth every word. I’m glad for your father– and for you– that you had that special Christmas.

      • Sheree Gillcrist on December 11, 2011 at 8:47 am

        Sorry for my long windedness Diane. Christmas away from family and friends conguers up all kinds of ghosts:} I strive to improve.

        • Diane Chamberlain on December 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm

          It was worth every word, Sheree. I’m lenient with my rules!

  10. Diane on December 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Holiday magic in my childhood occurred with the enchantment of the miracle of the first snow, the gigantic candy canes we received at school, and the soft stream of glimmering colorful lights on the Christmas tree when I squinted my eyes. The expectation that a jolly old man with a long white beard would actually visit my house on Christmas Eve and leave me presents and the harmonious, captivating melodies of Christmas songs were enough to send me over the top into a delightful state, bordering on hysteria. Looking back now, as an adult, I see the real magic of the holiday was having two wonderful, selfless parents who took part in the spirit of giving.

  11. Nancy Cacciola on December 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    My Holiday memory is from 2006. I miscarried my twins at 18 weeks Christmas Eve. I was in the hospital and this was the first time I was going to miss Christmas with my kids, also the hospital would not let them visit. Late in the evening the doctor finally decided to let me go home even though he thought I should stay a few more days. I’m grateful that I was able to be home with family it made a very difficult time a little easier. Not the best memory but the most prominent one.

    • Diane Chamberlain on December 10, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      Nancy, I’m so sorry for you sad Christmas Eve loss and glad you were able to be with your family.

  12. Nancy Cacciola on December 10, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Oh also meant to say I just love the picture, cute doggies. 🙂

    • Diane Chamberlain on December 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm

      They were my sweet and tolerant Goldens, Chapel and Ben. My Shelties would never put up with this.

  13. Anastasia on December 11, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Christmas was always a magic time for me and my family. My oarents used to decorate a beautifull tree and also our whole house looked like an ornament bomb. Then on Ney Years Eve the whole extended family gathered at my house and at midnight we opened our presents (In Greece Santa comes in NYE). As we grew up spouces and grandkids were added to the family and the pile of presents under the tree grew bigger and bigger. Over the last years with the recession and everything we dont have enough money for expensive presents. Still under the tree there are still home made yummies, toys for the kids and everyone gets a little something for the new year

  14. Cindy on December 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. I have grown children and grand children so there are many Christmas Magic moments. I suppose I will write of where this all began. I met Mike in the summer of 1973. I was getting ready to start my Junior year of High School. We were complete opposites. He had graduated that May and was a wild boy. We dated for about a month, and then just quit. In August of 1974, he popped back into my life. We dated for a couple of months and he left to join the Army…breaking up with me for my own good. On Dec 6, he came home from basic training and asked me to marry him. Being a silly 17 year old school girl, I said yes. This was our first Christmas together. On Dec 27, 1974 we married. He went back to training and I stayed home to finish school. Like I said…3 grown children and 8 grandchildren later, well we will be celebrating 37 years of marriage on 12/27/11… and they said it wouldn’t last 🙂

  15. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on December 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    In December of ’53 I found wrapped Christmas presents that were hidden and became suspicious! On Christmas Eve I tiptoed down to the living room and spied my parents trimming the tree. Hmm, Santa didn’t do that either! I guessed I wouldn’t be getting the electric train with a whistle and real smoke I secretly asked Santa for; no one else knew I wanted one.

    On Christmas morning, before waking anyone, I snuck down to take a peek under the tree and to my surprise there was my train sporting a red bow. Stunned, I stood there staring while yelling up to my little sister and parents that Santa had been there. The magic had been restored!

    • JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on December 11, 2011 at 11:55 pm

      Upon arriving at the North Pole our 5 year old grandson was in total awe when Santa boarded the Polar Express and placed a sleigh bell into his hand. The look on his face was pure Christmas Magic!

      Santa also surprised Seth by leaving a Polar Express under his tree that year. Although it is two Christmases later, Seth is still talking about his trip to the North Pole when he was given a bell from Santa’s sleigh. The tree is up with the bell is hanging on it, a whistling and smoking train is underneath and the magic lives on, for both of us!

  16. Coleen Leszczynski on December 12, 2011 at 5:29 am

    My greatest Christmas memory was back in 2004 when I was diagnosed with a lung infection called MAI. I was in the hospital about an hour away from where I lived at the time and I was also in isolation, which meant that anyone that came to visit me had to dress up in biohazard wear, mask and all. My then boyfriend, now husband came to visit me everyday of the week that I was there and would stay until I fell asleep.
    That christmas, he came early in the morning and stayed until late in the night, and we had only been dating about 1 1/2 years. He certainly didnt have to do that.
    I come from a large family of 2 brothers and 2 sisters that are all younger than I am. My whole family came to hospital to visit me and held off on christmas until I got home a week later. It was so thoughtful of them.
    In those days of my hospital stay I fell in love with my now husband and knew he was the one for me. He has been taking excellent care of me ever since, although I am better and feeling great.

  17. Margo on December 12, 2011 at 10:43 am

    He proposed on her Nov birthday and they were married 6 weeks later at Cmas. All her Cmas Holidays were beautiful as a child and as an adult, the Holiday never failed with the beauty of snow, the sounds of Carolers, the smells of good food and being with a loving family…but, the magic of uniting with her best friend and soul-mate, at a time when everything is mystical, was by far the best memory…Colorado welcomed us on Cmas Eve and reinforced the beauty of nature and magic.

  18. Judi on December 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I was the oldest of 9 grandchildren and every Christmas my grandfather, a rural letter carrier, would make a little ceremony with the dollar bills that people had thanked him with. Sometimes he started with me, giving one or two dollars and he worked his way down to the youngest. Other times he started with the youngest. I was always baffled by the fact that he always received just the right amount. And then one year the “miracle” – he started with the youngest, gave her 2 dollars and worked up to me. But left in his hand were 3 dollar bills. I was rich!

  19. Raven Kostey on December 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    My favorite Christmas moment… hm..
    I guess that would be when I was around 12 years old. 2004 I suppose. Christmas morning came and went that day. We opened presents, me, my younger brother and my parents. People came to visit to see what gifts we had gotten, you know, your normal Christmas Day. At the time, I had Rabbits as pets. That evening my cousins and uncle and aunt came over for a visit. My younger cousin Amber asked me to show her the rabbits, so I took her to the den where the pens were. I started naming off the names of my bunnies and I would pick each one up at a time to let her hold them. All of a sudden, I put my hand in my little grey bunnies cage (Scooter) and felt a small warm bundle. I moved back the fluffy white material we gave them for beds and seen three little balls of pink and soft white fur. My bunny had given birth to three little babies on the span of Christmas Day. We named the little white one Snow, because it was born during the Winter, and we gave the other ones away to family and friends. It really was a great Christmas!

  20. Helen Kavanagh on December 21, 2011 at 2:36 am

    The last Christmas that my mom was alive she was too sick to order presents or wrap for everyone, so she was just going to give us all money. My mom was always big into Christmas presents and always got a ton for everyone. My husband, who is not a shopper at all, took it upon himself to go to my mom’s house, get the money, and do all the shopping for everyone so we would all have to gifts to open on Christmas day. The next Christmas was the first one without my mom, and my first one making the lasagna that she used to make. My brother said, “The lasagna came out great, Helen. Mom would be proud.”

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