Tag Archives: Christmas

Haiku Friday – Bells & Ring

23 Dec

 

Happy Holidays everyone and welcome to another week of ‘Haiku Friday’!

 

Bells and Ring are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

I had a hard time with this week’s prompt words but I hope I did okay. 

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-haiku_Friday-Poetry-Santa_Claus-Christmas

Santa the Clown

by Vashti Q

Ring the jingle bells

It’s Christmas at the Circus

Candy cane hued tents

Santa’s loose trousers

Bulbous nose glittering red

Smile painted on white

~

Flower squirting green tinsel

Worn with playful elegance

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Haiku-Friday-Poetry-Christmas

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Christmas Brunch

20 Dec

Christmas_Day_Brunch

Photograph: Christmas Day Brunch at the Rosen Plaza Hotel

(^ Click play to hear song)

Hello, and welcome to my blog! I love receiving visitors, although I have to admit that I’ve been a bit “Bah Humbug!” this year. I’ve been slow getting into the Christmas spirit.

I recently watched the movie, ‘Lady in the Water‘ and I began to feel a spark of Christmas joy. The movie isn’t a Christmas movie but it has all the elements of a feel good holiday movie. I love movies where a diverse and interesting cast of characters come together to solve a problem. Some of my friends didn’t like it because they didn’t get it. Of course, this movie is pure fantasy and based on mythology but if you watch it with this in mind you will enjoy it.

Lady in the Water‘ is an American fantasy thriller that’s exciting, funny at times with some scary and suspenseful moments in between and it’s one of those movies that’ll leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I love it and highly recommend it.

You Deserve This: The meaning behind ‘Lady in the Water’

 

This is a favorite poem of mine by AJ Long of ajwrites57

Santa Sat

by A Long

Santa sat in calm reflection,
his heart was set in one direction,
Christmas day is near.

His opened list, he checked it twice
Who was naughty, who was nice,
Christmas day is near.

Soft white beard, stroked in thought,
Making sure no one’s forgot.
Christmas day is near.

Santa’s head chock full of names,
Who gets dolls and who gets games.
Christmas day is near.

Mrs. Claus feeds and stuffs her man,
To make him jolly as she can.
Christmas day is near.

Toys for Tommy, toys for Jane,
No one forgotten, it is plain.
Christmas day is near.

Mrs. Claus loves to sing,
Fa-la-la’s when bells do ring.
Christmas day is near.

Santa’s elves outdo themselves,
Stacking toys upon the shelves.
Christmas day is near.

Presents packed in his red sleigh,
Elves have worked night and day.
Christmas day is here.

Eight reindeer groomed and fed,
Rudolph waiting at the head.
Christmas day is here.

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
Christmas day is here.

The children, good as gold each day,
You-Know-Who is on his way!
Christmas day is here.

His pipe fit tight between his lips,
His red suit wrapped round his hips.
Christmas day is here.

Through the night sky his team flew,
On the way to me and you.
Christmas day is here.

On the rooftops, click-click-click,
Tiny hooves landed mighty quick.
Christmas day is here.

Down the chimney with full pack,
Stockings stuffed with Cracker Jack.
Christmas day is here.

“To All, A Goodnight!”

Eats your cookies, drinks the milk,
Up the chimney, smooth as silk.
Christmas day is here.

“Happy Christmas to all tonight
To all I wish a fond Good Night!”
Christmas day is here.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Christmas-Florida

Happy Holidays from sunny Florida!

 

My family celebrates Christmas Eve with lots of food, drinks, music and dancing. On Christmas Day we sleep in, and then enjoy opening gifts and a nice brunch of leftovers from the night before. So my post today features  delicious Christmas breakfast/brunch recipes. I hope you enjoy them!

You can prepare this delicious breakfast casserole the day before and bake Christmas morning. A great recipe from Allrecipes.com

Christmas Brunch Casserole

Christmas Brunch Casserole

If you’re like me you’ve gotta have bread! I ran across this beautiful and festive bread recipe at My Diverse Kitchen At first, I thought it would be too complicated to make, but Aparna gives you step-by-step instructions that simplify the process. I’m going to try it!

Golden Santa Bread

Santa Bread

I love pancakes and these look amazing! I got the recipe from Allrecipes.com

Grandma’s Gingerbread Pancakes

Grandma's Gingerbread Pancakes

Crumb Cake + French Toast = Scrumptiousness (is this a word? Hmm)

Cinnamon Streusel French Toast

cinnamon streusel french toast

If your family is like mine then you had a big Christmas Eve party with lots of food. This is a great recipe made from leftover mashed potatoes from Key Ingredient

Bacon Cheddar Potato Cakes

Bacon cheddar potato cakes

Feeling drowsy Christmas morning? The following recipes will wake you right up and get you going.

Delicious recipe from Williams-Sonoma

Mint Hot Chocolate

mint hot chocolate

Scrumptious concoction by Half Baked Harvest

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte with Chocolate Drizzle (Yummy mouthful!)

Toasted-Coconut-Chocolate-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-with-Chocolate-Drizzle

 Thank you for visiting!

Happy Holidays

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Festivals Around The World

23 Dec

Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog. Today is Writer’s Quote Wednesday and the day before Christmas Eve. The month of December is a very festive month for many families in the United States of America. The month is especially joyful for my family because  aside from the major holidays there are also six birthdays, including my mother’s on Christmas Eve! The month of December can get a little crazy but it’s also a month of blessings and good cheer. ❤

As excited as my family and I are about Christmas I’m sure there are other families around the world and here in the USA that are as excited about other holidays. This got me thinking about the different festivals celebrated that carry as much significance to others as Christmas and New Years does to so many of us.

Whenever we learn something new about other people, cultures, religions we become closer as a race––the human race. So I’ve listed several festivals celebrated around the world and in the USA. Click on a few and see what they’re all about.

 

Chinese New Year

Çocuk Bayrami

Holi

Raksha Bandhan

Purim

Chanukkah

Seijin No Hi

Shichi Go San

Up Helly Aa Fire Festival

Dia De Los Muertos

Diwali

Winter’s Solstice

Kwanzaa

 

Holidays

 

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog. Check out her weekly wrap-up every Tuesday and be inspired by all the quotes.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Happy Holidays!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – The Meaning of Christmas

15 Dec

Hello everyone! Welcome!

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog. Check out her weekly wrap-up every Tuesday and be inspired by all the quotes.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Christmas-grinch-Writer's Quote Wednesday-The Writer Next Door

Just a reminder, because some people do get so wrapped up (no pun intended) in gift giving, buying, and getting that they’ve forgotten what the true meaning of Christmas really is. So I thought this quote could be a cute mental note for all of us.

Happy Holidays!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – The Spirit of Christmas

2 Dec

 

miami_christmas_writer's_quote_wednesday

Hello everyone! Welcome. 😀 Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog. Check out her weekly wrap-up every Tuesday and be inspired by all the quotes.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Miami-Christmas

This year, since we have 5 Wednesdays in December, let’s celebrate each Writer’s Quote Wednesday week by finding quotes from authors about Christmas.

quote-Writer's Quote Wednesday-The Writer Next Door

I love the Christmas holiday because of the way it makes me feel. Most people around me seem to be more charitable, patient, tolerant, and empathetic during this time of year. There’s a spirit of generosity and goodwill in the air. There are twinkly lights and colorful decorations everywhere you look. That part of you that sings, laughs out loud, makes you smile for no reason, giggle at the silliest things, and allows you take things in stride––comes alive. Suddenly, you don’t sweat the small stuff and you look forward to tomorrow with hope. I wish the spirit of Christmas could linger all year long.

miami-christmas-the writer next door

Chrsitmas_Boats tREE_ON_bEACH_2 Santa_Hammock

Christmas in Miami 😉

Haiku Friday – Happy Holidays

19 Dec

Hello and happy holidays to everyone! Welcome to Haiku Friday. Today I’m posting some Christmas horror haiku. I’m actually in bed with the flu right now. It’s the fourth day so I’m feeling better. The last three days were bad. Maybe next year I’ll get the flu shot––maybe. Anyway, enjoy!

 

sallizard

Vampire Santa Claus

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Ö

Blood drips from white beard

burrows deep into the soil

Until next Christmas

Ö

killer-christmas-tree

Attack of the Christmas Trees

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Ö

Verdant crown

Pine needles like sharp quills fly

Grotesque man-tree trimmed in lights

Ö

 

 

happy-holidays-006

It’s That Time of Year Again! – 2014

15 Dec

Happy Holidays! 

 

 

Welcome everyone! It’s that time of year again! Is everyone ready for Christmas? I’m not but that’s okay. Ha, ha! Last year it took me a while to get into the Christmas spirit but it’s different for me this year. I guess I have a lot to be happy and thankful for––my dad is still with me, for one. That’s a biggy. Also, after a year I’ve finally found a house. It’s half the size of the house I used to live in but that’s exactly what we wanted and I couldn’t be happier with my cozy little home. Anyway, enough about me.

Even though I’m happy as a clam in high tide and busy with my new house I know it isn’t the same for everyone. So I decided to put together some fun and interesting posts and information that will hopefully inspire you in some way and put you in the holiday spirit. I hope you enjoy!

happy_holidays_christmas_family

 

I found this beautiful and inspiring quote by Edith Sitwell at Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress. I loved it and I thought you might too.

Edith-Sitwell-quote-vashtiquiroz-vega

Music always inspires me and Christmas music can really get those juices flowing. Tricia at The Good Mama put together a great workout playlist of 20 Christmas songs.

120-christmas-songs-to-add-to-your-playlist-pinterest

I also love movies and there’s nothing like cozying up to a great Christmas movie during the holidays. Maybe with a hot cup of cocoa baptized with a little brandy––or not, whatever. 😉 Erin, from No Bohn’s About It put together a great list of Christmas movies. Check it out!

christmasmovies2

Some people dread the winter months but there’s a lot of fun to be had. Her Campus gives us a great list of things to do over the winter. 25 Festive Things To Do This Winter

winter_activities_fun things to do_christmas break

Not everyone travels for the holidays. I plan to stay home this year and I’m sure many of you are too. I found a great article that lists some ways to enjoy the holidays at home. Apartment Therapy lists 9 Things to Do Around the House Just for Fun

Family Laughing with Presents

Children often get restless while on winter break. Parents often find themselves at wits end trying to keep them entertained. Tess from The Bold Life gives us 101 Things To Do With Children On The Holiday Break.  Hallelujah!

things-to-do-with-kids-during-the-holiday-break

Some people become depressed during the holidays for different reasons. One of the reasons being that they’re alone. Well, I found a great post that lists 10 Things to Do If You’re Alone for the Holidays. There’s a lot of pressure to be happy and in love during the holidays when in reality that isn’t the case for most people. Check out this post it’s very inspiring.

happy and single

single_and_happy

I found an awesome Christmas Bucket List on FIKED and I just had to share it. So much fun!

Meet-A-Real-Santa-Claus

What are your plans for the holidays? Are you staying home or are you visiting family? Are you single? If so how do you feel about being single during the holidays?

Cute Asian Christmas GirlThe-Royle-Family-Joes-Cra-007Christmas_holiday

Love to hear from you!

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Happy Holidays from Florida!

25 Dec

Merry Christmas from Florida!

I want to wish a joyous Christmas and wonderful holiday season to all my fans, followers and readers. Thank you for all your support and feedback! I enjoy your visits and love reading your comments. Love you guys! I’m going to share a cheery and Christmasy poem by my friend AJ from ajwrites57 . Enjoy!

 

 

Santa sat 

Santa sat in calm reflection,
his heart was set in one direction,
Christmas day is near.
Santa-Claus-santa-claus-loves-animals-pets

 

 

His opened list, he checked it twice
Who was naughty, who was nice,
Christmas day is near.

Soft white beard, stroked in thought,
Making sure no one’s forgot.
Christmas day is near.

Santa’s head chock full of names,
Who gets dolls and who gets games.
Christmas day is near.
Santa’s workshop in a flurry,
Santa pushed the elves to hurry.
Christmas day is near.

The North Pole filled with jolly hustle,
Santa laughs at frantic bustle.
Christmas day is near.

Santa’s Workshop

Mrs. Claus feeds and stuffs her man,
To make him jolly as she can.
Christmas day is near.

Toys for Tommy, toys for Jane,
No one forgotten, it is plain.
Christmas day is near.

Mrs. Claus loves to sing,
Fa-la-la’s when bells do ring.
Christmas day is near.

Santa’s elves outdo themselves,
Stacking toys upon the shelves.

Christmas day is near.

Presents packed in his red sleigh,
Elves have worked night and day.
Christmas day is here.

Eight reindeer groomed and fed,
Rudolph waiting at the head.
Christmas day is here.

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
Christmas day is here.

Santa’s Full Sack

The children, good as gold each day,
You-Know-Who is on his way!
Christmas day is here.

His pipe fit tight between his lips,
His red suit wrapped round his hips.
Christmas day is here.

Through the night sky his team flew,
On the way to me and you.
Christmas day is here.

On the rooftops, click-click-click,
Tiny hooves landed mighty quick.
Christmas day is here.

Down the chimney with full pack,
Stockings stuffed with Cracker Jack.
Christmas day is here.

“To All, A Goodnight!”

Eats your cookies, drinks the milk,
Up the chimney, smooth as silk.
Christmas day is here.

“Happy Christmas to all tonight
To all I wish a fond Good Night!”
Christmas day is here.

Christmas_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

I wish we could store some of the Christmas Spirit in little mason jars and open a jar of it each month throughout the year!

Christmas_presents_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Have a happy, safe and fun holiday season!

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A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

23 Dec
Muscle Santa Claus by _JULIANNA_

Muscle Santa Claus
by _JULIANNA_

 

Hello and welcome. In today’s post I am sharing a short story I wrote using these prompts: Santa Claus, Christmas tree, Magic and Clairvoyant child. I had challenged my friend and talented fiction writer Dyane Forde with the same prompts and she did a magnificent job. So I decided to challenge myself. Now, this is not a competition between me and Dyane. I was blown away by her story and wanted to challenge myself using the same prompts. You can read her story here. I hope you enjoy both stories. Thank you!

 

A Christmas That Almost Wasn’t

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

He had a crazed look in his bloodshot eyes. He staggered toward me, holding an enormous shotgun.

“Don’t move!” He waved the gun at me. “How did you enter my house?”

He continued to move in my direction, the barrel of the gun waving around like a banner. I was afraid it would go off by accident.

“Wait a moment!” I outstretched my arms before me.

He moved like a drunkard, expending tremendous energy with each step forward. I feared for my life. I retreated and bumped into the Christmas tree. The ornaments came crashing down all around me. I leaped forward to avoid getting hit by one.

“I told you to stay back!” His words ran into one another. “I mean it. I will shoot you!”

My foot stepped on an ornament, and I tripped forward. I heard the gun go off. Pain ripped through my chest, expanding like lava. A mist of darkness surrounded me, and I fell to the floor. The last thing I heard was the sound of a woman screaming.

“What have you done?”

*

“Mrs. Claus, your husband’s health is deteriorating. He may not be able to do his Christmas Eve rounds this year, or any other year for that matter, unless essential changes are made now.” The North Pole’s physician wore a grave expression.

“Oh, no! That would mean the end of Christmas!” Pepper Minstix’s cheeks flushed to match his berry sweater.

“No more Christmas?” Jangle began to sob.

Santa’s elves waggled and blubbered in despair.

“Shhh. Hush, now,” Mrs. Claus told the distraught elves. “Of course, Christmas will go on. We are going to do everything the good doctor advises in order to help Nick get better.”  She turned to the doctor. “Now, what is it you’d have us do?”

“First and foremost, Mr. Claus must lose weight,” the doctor ordered to a symphony of gasps.

“Santa Claus lose weight? That’s impossible!” Pepper shook his head.

“Nothing is impossible, my dear Pepper,” the doctor said. “Santa Claus can lose weight and regain his health if he gets help from all of you.” He pointed at Mrs. Claus and the surrounding elves.

“I do want to help him. I do, but how?” Jangle asked.

“Well, for starters, you elves can help by creating a gym where Santa can exercise every day. I charge all of you with the task of keeping him motivated.” The elves glanced at each other. “Mrs. Claus will have to cook healthier meals. Santa must eat a diet of lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and grains. It is the only way he will lose the excess weight and regain his health. It is the only way to save Christmas.”

Everyone  heeded the doctor’s advice. Mrs. Claus cooked food low in fat, salt, and sugar. Nicholas Claus was not thrilled with his new diet of mostly vegetables and fish, but he knew what was at stake if he did not do what the doctor ordered.

The elves got busy and fashioned a gym that would put envy in the heart of any man. Pepper and Jangle woke Santa at the break of dawn every day and accompanied him, grumbling and whining, to his exercise routine.

For months Santa Claus ate lean meats, chicken and fish, steamed vegetables, fruits and grains. He exercised every day in the gym the elves had built for him, and later, he was seen running up and down the snowy hills of the North Pole.

Santa Claus working out

Santa Claus working out

A week before Christmas, the doctor returned to see Santa Claus’s progress. What he saw caused his jaw to drop, his eyes to widen into saucers, and a large grin to form on his face.

“I can’t believe you are the same person I saw months ago.” The doctor grinned. “You don’t have an ounce of excess fat on you. You have completely transformed yourself.”

Santa Claus was no longer the rotund, jolly fellow of old. He was lean, muscular, and healthy. He passed his physical exam with flying colors. As a reward for all his effort, Mrs. Claus made him a new red suit to match his new svelte and youthful form.

Mrs. Claus

Mrs. Claus

Santa Claus was ready to do his rounds on Christmas Eve.

*

It was eleven o’ clock Christmas Eve. My wife and I had returned from a Christmas Eve party at a neighbor’s house. We left the party early because my wife can’t have two glasses of wine without wanting to first, take her clothes off, and then, fall asleep. I put her in bed, and the snoring began immediately. Damn, how such noises could come out of that pretty mouth, I’ll never know.

I wasn’t done drinking yet. I took a bottle of whisky from the fridge, where I had left it to chill. After I drank about one third of the bottle, I saw it: the large shadow of a monstrous man creeping around in our family room. I put the bottle down on the counter. I moved stealthily across the room and pressed myself against the wall between the kitchen and family rooms. I peeked around the doorway and saw him. He must have been nearly seven feet tall. He had muscles on top of muscles. My heart began to rush liquored blood to my head. My face was burning.

I could hear my wife snoring upstairs. I couldn’t allow any harm to come to her. I was so glad the kids were staying at their grandpa’s house. I ran as fast and as quietly as I could and grabbed my shotgun from the hall closet. I had to defend my home––that was all I could think about.

I ran into the family room and startled the big man. He dropped a large bag he’d been carrying. No doubt filled with my things. Things I had worked so hard to get.

“Don’t move!” I pointed my shotgun at him. “How did you enter my house?”

“Wait a moment,” he said in a deep, raspy voice as he walked toward me.

“I told you to stay back!” I pointed the barrel of my gun at his chest. He continued to move in my direction.

“I mean it. I will shoot you!”

“Wait! Wait, I . . . ”

I shot him.

He fell with a loud thump on my wood floor. My wife ran down the stairs.

“What happened? I heard a gun shot!” She turned the lights on in the family room. Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? When she saw the big guy sprawled on the floor in a pool of his own blood, she fell to her knees. “What have you done?”

“I killed Santa Claus.”

*

The doorbell rang.

“Oh my God! It’s the police!” My wife’s chest heaved as she panicked.

“No, I didn’t hear sirens.” I didn’t recognize my own voice. It was low and brittle.

“What are we going to do? How could you kill Santa Claus?” She sobbed into her hands.

“I didn’t know it was him. I didn’t recognize his silhouette in the dim light.” My entire body trembled. I was sobered by the jolt of seeing Santa pale and lifeless on my floor.

“Never mind that now.” She stared at me her eyes withered from crying. “What are we going to do?”

Someone jiggled the front doorknob. I grasped my shotgun, which lay on the floor. My wife placed a hand on my arm and squeezed. I sprang to my feet. I pointed the gun at the door. Was I really going to shoot someone else? The door opened. I lowered the gun.

My eleven-year-old son ran in. He didn’t stop to say hello to me, or even look my way. His eyes were fixed on Santa’s corpse.

“Oh, my!” My father-in-law paled as he walked through the door and saw the red-suited body lying limp on the ground.

Next, my fifteen-year-old daughter walked in. She did not say a word. Her hands were crossed over her mouth and her eyes were wide as she treaded lightly toward Santa’s body.

“He woke me up.” My father-in-law pointed his chin at my son. “He said I had to bring him home right away. There was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise. I had to bring him.”

My daughter stared at me with sadness and reproach. “He said you had done something awful and he had to make it better. I guess he was right.” She shifted her eyes to the gun I was holding. I instinctively moved it behind me. Her eyes narrowed.

“I, I didn’t . . . ” I couldn’t find the words to explain, and she turned away from me and stared at her brother.

We all hovered over Santa’s body now. My son was on his knees. His hands floated in circles over Santa’s head.

“What . . . ?”

“Shhh!” My daughter strangled my words and threw darts at me with her stare.

I gulped and stumbled backward. The bright red blood on the ground began to sparkle and retract toward Santa’s body until there was none left on the floor. A chorus of gasps ensued.

We gaped in awe as my son began to glow like a star. He placed his small hands on Santa’s forehead until he, too, began to glow.

My wife’s mouth moved, but words did not leave her lips. My father-in-law smiled as if he knew something no one else did. My teen daughter watched her little brother, frozen in place, hypnotized by the intense glow reflected in her eyes.

Santa trembled and levitated off the floor. Then he gently went back down. He began to cough. He inhaled deeply and opened his eyes.

Santa Claus lives again!

My daughter burst out laughing and my wife sobbed in relief. Her father placed a hand on her shoulder and grinned at my son. My little boy gazed at Santa Clause and smiled. I couldn’t move. I watched all of them through a blur of hot liquid pooling in my eyes.

My son got to his feet. He extended his hand, and the man in the red suit took it and stood. He looked at my boy with a familiar twinkle in his eye, and then they exchanged embraces. When they were done, they both looked at me. I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I fell to pieces on the ground; relief, happiness, pride, and love streamed down my face.

My son ran to me and hugged me. I held him tight. I didn’t understand how he knew to come home or how he did what he did, but those were questions to be answered at a later time. All that mattered at the moment was that my boy saved two lives this Christmas Eve—Santa Claus’s and my own—and he saved Christmas, too!

My wife joined my son and embraced us both and then my daughter, grandpa, and even Santa joined in. We held each other tightly and rejoiced in the Christmas miracle.

“Say it, Santa Claus!” my son yelled. “Go on, say it!”

“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

muscular santa

30 Creative Illustrations of the Christmas Man: Santa Claus

 

Happy Holidays!

 

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Dyane Forde’s Christmas Challenge

20 Dec
Author Dyane Forde

Author Dyane Forde

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to introduce today my friend and a very talented author: Dyane Forde

 

Dyane recently released her fabulous book The Purple Morrow. The Purple Morrow is a (light) Fantasy aimed at an adult audience. At the end of this post you will see the book cover, read a blurb from the book and there will also be information on how you can get your own copy.

 

Dyane Forde’s love of writing began with an early interest in reading and of words in general. She was always amazed at how linking words together in different ways had unexpected and pleasing results on others. People enjoyed what she created! This sparked a life-long desire to write all types of things, from short stories, novels, flash fiction, poetry…she enjoys trying genres and forms of writing which are different from what she’s used to; every story or book represents new joys and challenges. Dyane views writing as an amazing and intimate communication tool, meaning that it becomes a means through which she seeks to connect with others on a level deeper than intellect.

 

Knowing what a creative writer Dyane is and wanting to give you a taste of her brilliance I decided to give her a Christmas challenge for this post. I asked her to write a short holiday story using Santa Claus, Christmas tree, magic, and clairvoyant child as prompts (I know. I wasn’t easy on her), but I knew she was up for the challenge and she did not disappoint. So without further ado here is Dyane Forde’s Christmas story.

 

Oh! There’s a WARNING attached to this story: If you are overly sensitive, offend easily or are a hardcore Santa Claus fan who cannot stand the thought of viewing him in a negative light, DO NOT read this story.

 

 

Just Desserts

by Dyane Forde

Ö

He’s here.

The clattering on the rooftop followed by the clomping of heavy boots confirms it. After a flurry of grunting and neighing and the stamping of cloven hooves, the commotion on the roof falls silent. I must give the man credit. Sweet-faced and dolled up in red, white and black, the apple-cheeked hypocrite has trained them well. The team of massive, horned beasts cower at his every whim.

I narrow my eyes. He claimed he’d chosen me on a whim all those years ago. But it was righteous rage which had drawn me to him this holiday eve. That, and the voiceless cry of a child awakened in the dead of night by the shattering terror of a nightmare.

Huddling wide-eyed in the shadows cast by the multicoloured lights, that same boy, Ryan, watches me from across the room. Pine scents the air, and white-powdered garlands twist around banisters and snake along the edges of the door frames. In the far corner hulks the tree, gorgeously decked from the bottom up with all manner of holiday cheer, right to the garish star on top. It’s Christmas Eve and the fact fills me with more dread than joy.

Feeling for the child, I glide across the floor. Streaks of ice linger on the wood slats behind me. “Are you ready?”

The boy nods, dark hair flipping over a dark-brown eye. Even now, I’m amazed me he can see me. Very few can and, even then, doing so requires the help of a special ‘gift’. Ryan can’t speak, but he can see.

The clattering on the roof starts up again. The boy reaches for me but I back away. Ice crusts my slippered feet, spreading into glistening circles on the floor. “No, you can’t.” When he cocks his head to the side, I reach for the window and press my fingers against the glass. Frost blossoms from the tips, spreading outward in an etched, white coat. Ryan’s eyes widen with excitement and glee, but the trickle of ash suddenly dusting down from the chimney snares his attention, erasing the smile from his face.

“You remember the plan?” I ask him. “Don’t accept anything from him. Nothing at all, you understand?”

Ryan nods before dashing off to his spot.

Everything is ready. The plate of cookies and the tall glass of milk by the fireplace, the fire itself nothing but softly glowing embers in the grate. Christmas music plays softly over the radio. And snowflakes, fat as cotton balls, flutter past the windows outside.

He lands on the grate in a burst of soot and ash, cursing the closeness of the shaft. Squatting, he eases his rotund body out of the chimney and into the room. Oblivious to my child-sized spectre standing nearby, he brushes the soot off his coat and then stops to stretch the knots from his back.

He must smell the candy, for his beady black eyes flick towards the little table. Spying the milk and cookies, old St. Nick smacks his lips, readjusts his floppy red hat and hurries over only to slip and fall on the carefully concealed ice patches on the floor.

“Hello, Nick,” I coo, cutting off the string of curses spewing from his mouth. “Such bad language from someone who claims to adore children. One would think it’s bad for your image.” I kneel beside him, letting my hand hover over his rotund belly. Then heeding temptation’s call, I lay a finger on his coat.

“You!” He spits the word at me. Looking down, he grimaces and shrinks from my touch where a melting ice patch darkens the red velvet. “I thought I’d taken care of you ages ago!”

“Oh, no. One’s mistakes just don’t ‘disappear’.  They hang around, waiting for the chance to come back and bite you in the ass!”

“You’re not a mistake! You’re a menace!”

“If that’s what I am, then you made it so! I never asked for it!”

“Oh, but you did, you little devil. The moment you accepted my gift, you were mine.” He points with a finger. “Just like Ryan over by the tree. Children never refuse my presents.” Shifting, he pulls a beautifully wrapped package from behind his back. “Come here, son. Old St. Nick has something for you.”

Ryan looks at me and then at the gift. I shake my head vigorously.

Seeing he had the boy’s attention, Nick sits up and jiggles the box so it rattles. “Come now, boy. Don’t you want something from dear old Santa Claus? Aren’t you curious about what’s inside?”

We’d gone over the plan a few times but I should have known the lure of a gift from the man in red would be too much. Eyes fixed on the shiny wrapping paper, Ryan steps into the glow of the flickering lights and, arms outstretched like a sleepwalker, advances.

“You never could stop them from coming to me,” Nick says. “Children are all the same: easy as hell to trick.”

“How many have you swapped? How many parents have found gifts under the tree in place of their children?”

“Everyone likes my gifts.”

“No gift can replace a child!”

Nick laughs, a great booming trill. “How many? Lots! And like you, the stupid sprites run amok, filling the world with blankets of snow, bathing it in white!”

Ryan’s now only a few feet away. Nick yanks the box out of reach, replacing it with the open mouth of his great, big sack. Grabbing Ryan by the arm, he starts jamming him inside.

Ryan’s thoughts call to me. “Ja—!“

“Frost!” Nick screams. He drops the boy and the sack to grab his midsection. “How dare you!”

He charges, coming on like a red and black battering ram but I easily dodge his attack. Dancing around him like an imp, I poke him with a finger, laughing at the white patches forming on his coat, then poking some more, egged on by his irritated grunts. Finally, breathing hard, Nick quits lumbering around.

“You think saving one boy will make a damned bit of difference? I’ve been swapping for generations! If not this one, then the next–!”

“Not if I can help it, fat man!”

Nick gasps and goes pale. He looks at his chest, sees the flowers of blood forming on the white fur trim and pooling on the floor. I withdraw the ice knives, the red-coated icicles extending from my fingers gleaming in the fire and flickering lights. From the wounds, frost crackles across Nick’s body, freezing him solid.

I punch his face. He shatters. Santa-sicles slide across the hardwood floor.

At a slight touch from me, Ryan snaps out of the trance. Seeing the Santa pieces strewn about his feet, he smiles.

“You’re safe now, kid. How about you go on off to bed?” Waving a hand over him, I add, “And while you’re at it, forget about everything you’ve seen tonight.”

Ryan blinks. He stares as though seeing me for the first time until his eyelids droop and fatigue pulls at his face. Yawning, he heads for the stairs.

I walk over to the cookies, kicking aside the red, white and black chunks in the way. In three long gulps, I down the glass of milk.

And grinning, I bite into the thick layer of sugar frosting, savouring the sweet, sweet taste of revenge.

Evil Santa

Dyane Forde’s book:

Purple_Morrow_Cover-Final

BLURB: (A short description of the book)

 

The Rovers had been sent to decimate the Southernlands. Instead, they awoke its savior.

Ten years have passed since the Rover army tore through the Southernlands, leaving behind a trail of devastation and death. Most believed the attacks were random acts of brutality. The wise, however, knew the truth: the Rovers sought to destroy the one thing powerful enough to thwart their conquest. They were searching for the Papilion.

A new commander, bent on completing the mission left unfinished by his predecessors, leads the Rovers back into the Southernlands. Fierce and determined, he comes armed with a precious artifact and a secret purpose.

While the Southernlands reel under the new terror, the Purple Morrow, a harbinger of hope, appears to Jeru, an unsuspecting and solitary clan hunter. Finding himself enmeshed in a series of incredible events beyond his control, Jeru is compelled to take the first steps towards discovering his ultimate destiny.
dyane forde_writer
You can purchase Dyane Forde’s book, The Purple Morrow on amazon.com You can also buy it HERE and HERE.
Also check out Dyane Forde’s fascinating Blog: Dropped Pebbles
Gift a book for Christmas!

Gift a book for Christmas!

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoyed Dyane’s holiday story. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy Holidays!