Tag Archive | holiday story

New Release: Christmas Joy by Samantha Jacobey

 

 

 

 

Christmas Joy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 4)

 

Samantha Jacobey

 

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

 

Lavish Publishing

 

142 pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life isn’t always sweet, even for girls called Candy.

 

Candice Parker married Gerald Ford on Christmas Eve two years ago following a massive blizzard. The year before that her family was left homeless when a fire burned their apartments to the ground. Fortunately, fireman Gary had been on call and led the team that rescued Lanelle and Dakota from the blaze.

 

Last year it all came to a head when Caroline joined their household as the nanny and housekeeper when she revealed the fire had been arson. Following the discovery, a sinister plot unfolded that almost killed them all.

 

To say Candy is dreading the arrival of this typically happy holiday would be an understatement.

 

However, she does have one thing going for her this year. Gary has convinced her to adopt rather than try for a baby of their own and a new addition will join their family just in time to change Candy’s view of Christmas forever.

 

Pushing through her self-doubts, Candy must embrace the desire within her to become Joylana’s mother and champion for life, but will she have the strength to be the mom she wants to be after all the hardships she and Daks have faced in the past?

 

 

 

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/wCciAB

 

 

Sweet Christmas Series: 

 

Read as a standalone or enjoy the whole series

 

 

❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶

 

 

Christmas Candy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 1) 

 

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/eC2V

 

 

❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶

 

 

Christmas Eve (Sweet Christmas Series Book 2)

 

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/bBeZu

 

 

❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶

 

 

Christmas Carol (Sweet Christmas Series Book 3)

 

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/JGU7Fg

 

 

❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶

 

 

Christmas Joy (Sweet Christmas Series Book 4)

 

Amazon Universal Link: http://geni.us/wCciAB

 

 

❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✶ ❄️ ✮ ❄️ ✶

 

 

 

Anyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations anywhere at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.

 

I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad Luck Christmas

Welcome Everyone!

Today is day 6 of the #12DaysofChristmas challenge, which means another holiday story. The inspiration for this story comes from the line, “six geese a laying.”

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“How can you hate Christmas?” Dana looked at Glen like he was crazy.

“I don’t hate Christmas.” Glen helped Dana string popcorn. “I said I have terrible luck with the holiday.”

In the short time Dana had known Glen; he’d made it clear Christmas was a bad time for him.

“You’re over exaggerating.”

“I am not.” Glen shook his index finger when he accidentally poked it with the needle. “Every year something goes wrong.”

“Like what?” Dana was curious to hear about his so-called misfortune.

“When I was eight, I was stuck in the hospital with tonsillitis.”

“Okay, that sucks.” Dana snuck a few pieces of popcorn from the bowl. “But people can get sick around the holidays.”

“Then there was the time I was in college and got stranded at the airport due to a snowstorm.”

“Again, it’s a common occurrence.”

“Then three years ago, my buddies planned a trip to a ski lodge.” Glen pulled a box of band-aids from the drawer. “My car broke down halfway through the trip. I ended up spending the night at a rundown hotel with stains all over the place. Then the auto shop couldn’t fix my car until Sunday and by that time I missed the trip.”

Dana felt sympathy for Glen upon hearing his bad luck. “Okay, so you’ve had some disasters. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again.”

Glen eye-rolled her comment.

“Christmas is a magical time. Who knows maybe this year your luck will turn around?”

“I doubt it.” Glen dropped the bandage as he tried to wrap it on his finger.

***

“There.” Dana hung the last popcorn string on the tree. “Tell me that doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit.”

A smile curled Glen’s lips. He had to admit, Dana did a good job with the tree. It made him forget about the bad luck that used to plague him.

“Maybe this is the year good luck comes my way.” Glen would love that more than anything.

The doorbell rang interrupting their decorating. Glen glanced at the clock, which said it was six o’clock. He wondered who it could be. He wasn’t expecting company.

Looking through the peephole, he saw a delivery man in a brown uniform standing on the porch.

“May I help you?” Glen answered the door.

“Are you Mr. Anderson?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I’ve got a delivery for you. Sign here, please.” The man handed Glen the clipboard.

Glen signed his name, then watched as the man walked towards the truck.

“What is it?” Dana came up behind Glen.

“I got a package.”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know.” Glen shrugged. “I didn’t order anything. I wasn’t expecting anything either.”

“Maybe you have a Secret Santa,” Dana teased.

“Did you do this?”

“No, besides I’ve got your gift at my apartment.”

“Here, you go.” The delivery man returned with a leather leash. He handed it to Glen before saying his goodbye.

Glen looked at the end of the leash to see six geese bundled together. “What the…” He gave the leash to Dana, then took off after the truck, yet the driver pulled out before Glen could catch him.

***

Dana broke off pieces of bread to feed to the geese. She was keeping them entertained, while Glen was on the phone with the delivery company.

“Yes, there’s been a mistake.” Glen peeked into the living room to see Dana playing with the geese. He whispered for her not to get attached to them.

The operator came back on the line. “Ma’am, my name is Glen Anderson. I received six geese by mistake.”

Glen listened to the lady. “Yes, my address is 408 Greenwood Drive. But the person’s name on the form is Ben Anderson.”

The operator put Glen on hold again, when she returned she apologized to Glen for the mistake. The geese were intended for Ben Anderson, who lived on Greenwall Drive. She told Glen they’d send a driver out first thing in the morning to pick up the geese.

“I can’t wait that long. They need to be out by tonight.”

“I’m sorry, sir. But all our deliveries have stopped for the night.”

“What am I supposed to do with six geese?”

“Make sure they have a nice, comfortable place to sleep. Give them plenty of water and make sure they’re fed properly.”

“Anything else I should know?”

“That’s all you need to know. It’ll only be for a few hours, then they’ll be gone in the morning.”

Glen thanked the operator for her help before hanging up.

“Are the geese staying?” Dana entered the kitchen. “If so, I’d be happy to spend the night to help out.”

“I could use your help.” Glen let out an exasperated breath. “Bad luck strikes again.”

“Oh, would you stop.” Dana threw her hands in the air. “You’re not the first person to have bad luck and you won’t be the last.” Dana pulled a plastic bowl from the cabinet. “Instead of whining about your misfortune, look for the positive in the situation.”

“What’s positive about six geese?”

“You have to admit they’re cute.” Dana filled the bowl with water.

“Yeah, they kinda are.” Glen looked into the other room to find the geese had disappeared. “They’re gone.”

“What do you mean they’re gone?”

“They’re not in the living room.” Glen began to panic.

“Relax, at least we know they’re still in the house.”

They split up to search for the geese. Scanning every corner, they looked for clues. Glen let out a giggle as Dana called, “Here, geesy.”

There was no trace of them in the living room, kitchen, or bathroom. So that only left the bedroom. Walking into the master bedroom, Glen was met with the sight of six geese lying on his bed. They were huddled together in the middle of the blue comforter.

Dana came in and awed at the sight.

“Looks like I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.” Glen wanted to throw a fit like he did every Christmas, yet Dana’s advice rang in his head. Instead of focusing on the negative, he had to look for the positive. The geese would make good company for the night.

Out of all the Christmas he’s had, this one would be the most interesting.

 

 

Special Gift

Welcome Everyone!

I know this post is a day late, but here’s a holiday story inspired by 5 golden rings from #12DaysofChristmas.

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Marge Dumphrey was at her wit’s end. Christmas was a week away and she was struggling to finish all the chores. Today, she running all over town to complete the shopping. Although, it was hard to do with three kids driving her up the wall.

After shuffling through a crowded mall to buy gifts and stocking stuffers, Marge herded her brood into the mini van. The last stop on their shopping expedition was the supermarket. Marge prayed they’d get through the groceries without any trouble.

***

Marge’s prayers went unanswered as the family walked the aisles of the market. Ryan and Rachel, Marge’s six year-old twins were running around picking up toys and candy. Whenever her back was turned, the twins would toss something into the cart. Marge would then put the items back when the twins weren’t paying attention. Tina, the eldest Dumphrey child was busy texting on the phone, while impatiently asking, “how much longer?”

Not soon enough. Marge thought as they headed down the last aisles.

***

“Another late night of working?” Marge pressed the phone against the ear as she pulled a pan of lasagna from the oven.

“I’m sorry, honey,” Steve replied on the other end. “But we could use the money.”

Steve had a point. Even though the family was well off, a little extra money never hurt. Before the kids, they were a two income family. Steve worked at a manufacturing plant while Marge was a department store cashier. After the twins were born, the couple decided it would be best for Marge to become a stay-at-home mom.

Marge thought working in retail was tough, but it was nothing compared to raising three kids.

“I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

Steve said that whenever he worked overtime, which had come frequently the past two months. It was hard on the couple, yet they made time for each other. Steve didn’t have to do anything romantic to make it up to her. All she wanted was to spend time with him.

“I’ll see you later tonight, baby,” Steve replied.

“Alrighty. I’ll be waiting up for you.”

The couple said their goodbyes before hanging up the phone. Marge began plating the slices of lasagna while thinking about Steve. She loved her husband; he always put her and the kids ahead of himself. That was his main priority.

Marge had no right to complain about staying home with the kids or doing household chores, Steve had the harder job. He was the sole breadwinner.

Marge’s moment of contemplation was interrupted by a piercing “Mom” coming from Rachel.

***

After putting the kids to bed, Marge retreated to the den. Her little sanctuary. Every night after the kids were asleep, she’d curl up on the couch to watch television or read. She’d kill time while waiting for Steve. At midnight, he’d come in, exhausted from work. The couple would have dinner, then talk about the day’s events. That was the best part of the day for Marge.

A hand touching her arm, jolted Marge awake. She opened her eyes to see Steve.

“Hey sweetie.” He kissed her forehead.

“What time is it?” She rubbed her eyes.

“A little after twelve.”

“I can’t believe I fell asleep.” She threw the blanket off her legs, then sat up.

“You look tired.” Steve sat beside her, then rubbed Marge’s shoulders. “Did you have a rough day?”

“It wasn’t that bad.” Marge shrugged.

Steve knew she was lying. The twins were a handful, plus Tina was going through the usual teenage angst. He didn’t know how Marge handled it all.

“Would you like dinner? I fixed lasagna.”

“You know I can’t resist your homemade lasagna.”

Marge went into the kitchen to heat up the food while Steve unpacked his backpack.

“How was your day?” Steve threw the dirty clothes into the washer.

“It was…good. Finished buying all the gifts, then got groceries for the dinner I’m going to cook.”

“Sounds like you had a busy day.”

“It wasn’t that bad.” Marge set the plates on the table.

“Did Tina help with the twins?”

“When she wasn’t busy with the phone, yes she helped.” Marge took a sip of soda.

“My overtime will be over soon and I’ll be home more to help out.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” Marge cupped his hand. “I can handle them along with the housework.”

Steve shook his head. He wished he was around more to help with his wife. Yet, she was one of the reasons he was working overtime. Marge did so much for the family and she deserved something special for Christmas.

***

Christmas Eve came and with Steve off of work, he was able to help Marge get the kids ready for Santa. They tucked in Rachel and Ryan, then shooed Tina off to her room. Once everyone was snug in their bed, Marge and Steve got to work putting the gifts under the tree. Marge put the wrapped items into separate stacks for the kids, then she placed two boxes in the front for Steve.

“I think Santa beat us to the gifts.” Marge arose from the floor to find her husband staring at the tree. “What to do you mean?”

“Look.” He pointed to the center of the tree.

Marge moved in for a closer inspection. Nestled next to their First Christmas ornament was a velvet box with a red bow.

“What’s this?” Marge carefully removed the box from the tree.

“Open it and see.”

Marge opened the box to find a gold chain necklace with five golden rings. Holding the rings up, she saw each one had a family member’s name inscribed.

“Steve…”

“You deserve it.”

Tears welled in Marge’s eyes.

“Marge, you may not think it, but you do a lot for this family.” He wrapped Marge in his arms. “You have the tougher job out of the two of us. You’re the one that keeps everything running. I don’t know how you handle the chaos.”

“It isn’t easy.” Marge giggled.

“This proves you’re a strong woman with a lot of patience.” Steve chuckled. “One I’m proud to call my wife.”

Steve hooked the chain around his wife’s neck. “I love you, honey.”

“I love you, too.” Marge cupped Steve’s cheeks, then kissed him.

True Meaning of Christmas

Welcome Everyone!

Today marks day 4 of #12DaysofChristmas and this story is inspired by 4 calling birds.

***

christmas-1813581_640

The Christmas spirit was in full effect at Miss Holly’s Winter Wonderland. Every year from November 1st until December 25th, townsfolks came to the amusement park. The park had everything from horse-drawn carriage to peppermint tea cup rides to a petting zoo with reindeer. There was something for everyone.

Macey Henderson was like your average fifteen year-old. Always glued to the phone, not paying attention to the world around her. As a child, she used to enjoy Miss Holly’s Winter Wonderland, but now that she was grown, she didn’t care for it.

Yet, that didn’t stop her mother, Brenda from taking the kids each year. Brenda was a Christmas fanatic and on the first weekend of December, she’d pack her children Macey and Caleb into the van to go to the amusement park.

Macey trailed behind as her five year-old brother, Caleb lead the way through the petting zoo. Macey’s eyes alternated between the phone and her family. Whenever Brenda turned, Macey made sure to hide the phone. That was one rule in the Henderson household, cell phones were not allowed during family gatherings.

Macey sent a quick text to her friends, who were enjoying carousing around the mall instead of being stuck at a kiddie park like her.

Boredom snuck in the longer they stayed at the petting zoo, Macey needed a breather.

“Mom, I’m going to go to the bathroom. I’ll be back.”

“Okay.” Brenda held Caleb up so he could feed a carrot to the deer. “We should still be here when you get back. If not, we’ll be at the light show.”

Macey waved goodbye then exited the tent. She maneuvered around the crowd of tourists before coming to rest at an empty bench.

As she relaxed from the tiring morning, Macey looked around the park. Everywhere you turned there was Christmas decorations or a person dressed in a holiday costume.

A penguin, holding a bundle of tree shaped balloons approached Macey offering her one of the inflatables, but she waved him off.

She continues sitting in boredom until a guy in a Santa suit sat beside her.

“You look like you could use some holiday cheer,” the elderly man replied.

“Get lost, creep,” Macey ignored him as she pulled out her phone.

“That’s no way for you to behave, Macey.”

Her head shot up at the mention of her name. “How did you know…”

“I’m Santa Claus.”

Macey almost believed him until she realized she was wearing a stupid elf hat with her name on it. “Yeah, sure you are.”

“You look down in the dumps. Tell me what’s wrong?”

“Listen here…” Macey stuck the phone back in her pocket. “I’m not spilling my guts to a complete stranger.”

“I’m not a stranger, I’m Santa.”

Boy, this guy really gets into his role. “Anyway, Santa. I’m fine.”

“Are you?”

“Yes.” Macey became annoyed as Santa continued to prod her.

“There’s no reason to be down, it’s Christmas.”

Again with the holiday spirit crap. “Look, I don’t get what the big deal is. It’s just a stupid holiday.”

“To you it may be just a dumb holiday. But to others, it’s a special time of year.”

“What’s so special about it?” Macey crossed her arms. “All people do is put up ugly Christmas decorations, wear stupid holiday shirts, and sing horrendous carols.”

Santa had a sad look on his face.

Macey looked at the man. “I didn’t mean to upset you.” Pangs of guilt flooded her. “I’m…I…I don’t…maybe you’re right I have lost my holiday spirit.”

“It’s not too late to get it back.”

Macey slouched her shoulder.

“I understand you’re getting older and the holidays may not seem like much. But to others it does. Just like your mom.”

Macey turned to him.

“Christmas is her favorite holiday. She loves decorating, cooking, and spending time with you and Caleb.”

Even though Macey was alarmed he knew so much about her family, she couldn’t stop listening.

“She feels like she’s losing you. That you’re not interested in spending time with the family no more.”

Macey’s guilt increased. She didn’t realize how selfish she had been. All this time, she was texting her friends claiming she was bored. Yet, she was missing out on this special outing with her mom and brother.

“Friends will come and go, but family will be with you forever.”

Macey thought long and hard about Santa’s words, he was right. Brenda did a lot for Macey and Caleb. Instead of being grateful, Macey acted like a brat. Christmas was her mom’s favorite holiday, and Macey was about to ruin it for her.

Macey looked around once more at the tourists. Everyone had a smile on their faces. That’s what the holidays were supposed to be about. Being with your loved ones and having fun.

“Thanks for your help, Santa.” Macey turned to find an empty space. “Where did he go?” There was no way he could’ve left without her knowing. She glanced around the park, yet didn’t see any sign of the mysterious Santa.

Macey didn’t know what to make of the mysterious stranger, yet she was grateful for his advice.

Glancing at the clock, she saw where it was ten minutes til one. Almost time for the light show. Macey was about to head to the show, when she decided to make a detour to the gift shop.

Strolling through the aisle, Macey picked out a stuffed moose for Caleb. Then she tried to find a present for her mom. She wanted something unique, something that fit Brenda’s cheery personality.

The song We Wish You A Merry Christmas filled the air. Macey followed the sound to the other side of the shelves. The sound was coming from a decoration. Four blue birds were standing in front of a snow-covered house.  When you pressed the button, they sung an assortment of Christmas carols.

The bird decoration was perfect for her mother.

***

After paying for her purchase, Macey walked towards the outdoor stadium. She spotted Brenda and Caleb at the snack stand, and joined them.

“Macey, you made it.” Caleb jumped from excitement.

“I wouldn’t miss it for anything.” Macey picked up her brother to give him a hug. “After the light show, maybe we can go on the carousel.”

“Can we?” Caleb pleaded with his mother.

“Sure.” Brenda paid for their snacks, then the three of them headed to their seats. As they were walking, Brenda spotted Macey’s bag. “What’s in there?”

“It’s a surprise.” Macey switched the bag to her other hand so Brenda couldn’t see.

“You seem like you’re in a better mood.”

“Let’s just say I learned about the true meaning of Christmas.” Macey wrapped her arm around her mother’s shoulders, while her other was nestled in Caleb’s small hand.

This is what Christmas was about. Enjoying every moment with family.

Christmas in France

Welcome to Day 3 of the #12DaysofChristmas challenge.

Today’s post is inspired by the line “3 french hens.”

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“Can you watch the bumps, please?” Yvonne situated herself in the seat.

“Sorry, honey,” Adam replied from the driver’s side.

“How much further?”

“It shouldn’t be too long.”

A smile pursed Yvonne’s lips. She wanted to raise the blindfold to see where they were headed. Yet, she didn’t want to ruin Adam’s surprise.

He’d already surprised with a trip back to France for Christmas. She thought that was enough, but this morning Adam announced he had another gift for her. One that would bring pure happiness.

It never seized to amaze Yvonne how romantic Adam could be.

She remembered the first time she met him. It was her first year in America, she was interning a local restaurant in Washington, when she spotted the dashing young man. She was so enthralled that she accidentally spilt wine on his shirt.

Yvonne thought that’d be the end of her internship along with her shot at romance. But Adam was understanding. He would later joke, “If you wanted a date, you should’ve asked instead of dousing me with wine.”

Even to this day, they still laugh about the incident.

Adam and Yvonne had a good life in Washington. He worked as a lawyer, while she was a chef at one of the finest restaurants.

Despite the glory Washington had to offer, Yvonne missed her home in France. Often she would think about the memories of living in the country, visiting her grandmother’s farm. That was the special memory Yvonne held dear.

Yvonne and her grandmother Ava had a close relationship. Yvonne loved spending time at Ava’s house. It’s where she learned to cook, which inspired her to become a chef.

When Yvonne wasn’t busy learning to make French cuisines, she and Ava used to go out to the barn. Ava had a gathering of animals, including goats, cows, and hens. Yvonne loved all the animals, but her favorite was the hens. She used to hold them in her arms, while her grandmother tended to the other animals.

Yvonne thought those moments would last forever, but sadly they came to an end when Ava passed away two years ago.

Yvonne was devastated. She returned to France for the funeral, yet she couldn’t bring herself to go to her grandmother’s house.

“We’re here.” Adam announced as he parked the car.

When the blindfold was removed, Yvonne sat in amazement at the sight of the wooden house and barn.

“This is my grandmother’s house.”

“Yes, it’s also my surprise.”

Yvonne thought it’d be sad coming back to the house, yet a feeling of peace filled her.

“You’re not upset are you?” Adam wrapped his arm around Yvonne’s shoulders. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”

“You did.” She sniffled. “These are happy tears.” She wiped away the watery streaks.

“Come, you have to show me the place.”

“But we can’t go.” Yvonne stopped Adam. “Remember, I told you my parents sold the place.” Yvonne’s cheery mood slowly diminished. “Besides, I doubt the owners would want us trespassing.”

“I don’t think that will be a problem.” Adam placed a key in Yvonne’s hand.

“What’s this?”

“The key to our new house.”

Yvonne’s mouth dropped. “You mean…”

“I worked out a deal with your parents. They knew how much you loved the place. Plus, they couldn’t bear the thought of seeing it in a stranger’s care.”

Tears began flowing again. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Don’t say anything. Just show me this around this lovely place.”

***

After giving Adam a grand tour and explaining the special memories she had of each room, Yvonne lead him outside to the barn.

“I can’t believe you bought this.” Yvonne couldn’t stop beaming since she heard the news. “This is an amazing surprise.”

“You talked about how much you loved it here.”

“There were a lot of good times in this place.”

“We’ll be making even more.” Adam hooked his arm around Yvonne’s as they walked to the barn. “I’ll have plenty time cleared this summer. We can spend a few weeks out here.”

“What are we going to do when we’re not here?” Yvonne started to panic. “Whose going to take care of the place?”

“Don’t worry, your brother Marco said he’d take care of the upkeep.”

Yvonne felt better knowing the place would be in safe hands while they were gone.

Opening the doors to the barn, Yvonne stepped inside. The building was practically empty with the exception for a few hay stacks.

“This is one of my favorite places. Grandma had all her animals in here.”

“I remember you talking about how you helped take care of the goats, then played with the chickens.”

“Those animals were her babies.” Walking around, Yvonne pictured herself as a girl. She would sit on the hay and pet on one of the chickens. “Grandma, I’m home. This place is ours. I hope you’re happy.”

A rustling sound behind one of the stacks startled Adam and Yvonne. Adam looked around for a weapon. He picked up a wooden plank before slowly moving to the hay stack. When he neared, three hens flew up, causing a startled Adam to fall.

Yvonne giggled, then helped Adam to his feet.

“I wasn’t expecting those suckers to be in here.” Adam picked straws of hay from his jacket. “I wonder how they got in.”

Yvonne looked at the three hens, who were nestled together on the ground. She then looked up at the sky, thinking it was a sign from Ava. “Thanks grandma.”

The End

A Special Christmas

Welcome Everyone to the #12DaysofChristmas challenge. Today’s story is inspired by the line, “My true love gave to me, two turtle doves.”

***

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A Special Christmas

The six-foot tree stood elegantly in the corner of the room. Strands of colorful lights lined every branch. Pam admired the beauty of the tree, so was glad they got an artificial one. Real trees were nice, but it was a hassle cleaning up after it.

The tree belonged to her husband, Rick. He bought it five years ago when he moved into his first apartment. The tree was still in good shape, yet Pam knew eventually they’d have to trade it in for a newer one.

This was a special Christmas for Pam and Rick. Their first as a married couple, and in their new home. Plus, there would be many other things to celebrate.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer played in the background as Pam heard Rick lugging the boxes of ornaments up the basement steps. Rick appeared in the living room carrying two cardboard boxes. He gently set them on the coffeetable, before collapsing on the couch.

“How many ornaments are in those boxes?” asked an out of breath Rick.

“First off, there’s about a hundred ornaments.” Most of the boxes were filled with family decorations, which had been passed down through generations. “Second, they’re not that heavy.” Pam picked up one of the boxes to show how light it was.

“Yeah, well. You didn’t have to sift through the top shelves to get them.”

“Whatever you say.” Pam didn’t want to cause an argument with Rick. Not at this time of the year.

“So are you ready to get started?”

“Yes.” Pam smiled. They decorated the tree plenty of times, yet this time it was going to be special. “Before we begin, we have to add the new ornaments.”

“More?” Rick’s eyes widened. “We have more ornaments. How many do we need?”

“Well, this is our tree. We have to make it our own.”

All it took was one look into Pam’s baby blues to turn Rick into mush. “Okay, so show me the new ornaments.”

Pam retrieved the paper bag from the end table. “Some of these came from our parents.” The first ornament Pam pulled out were two snow figures dressed in scarves and hats.

“Let me guess, my mom picked this one out.” Rick knew his mother’s eclectic taste when he saw it.

“Yes.” Pam giggled. “You have to admit it is cute.”

“Yeah, it kinda is.” Rick touched the brim of the snowman’s top hat.

“Why don’t we place that one in front towards the middle.”

Rick found a spot for the snow figures and delicately placed it on a branch.

“This one came from my parents.” Pam pulled out two turtle doves, whose pose was formed into a heart. “I have to admit it’s one of my favorites.”

“It is beautiful.” A smile escaped Rick’s lips. He wasn’t the type to make a huge fuss about the holidays, but when he met Pam all that changed. She enjoyed decorating and cooking. Seeing her happy, melted Rick’s heart and got him into the holiday spirit. “Do you want me to place this one next to the snowmen?”

“Yes, please.”

Rick hung the turtle doves next to the snowmen, then stepped back to admire his handiwork.

“Wait, there’s one more.”

Pam pulled out a tissue covered ornament, then gave it to Rick. “You should open it.”

Rick pulled back the paper to reveal a baby wrapped in a blanket, wearing a Santa’s hat. It took a moment for him to register the news. “Pam, does this mean…are we…”

“We’re having a baby.” She cupped his cheek.

“You and me are going to be parents.” Rick was in awe of the news. He and Pam wanted kids, yet he didn’t imagine it’d be this soon. Sure there were some nerves, but the excitement over being a father.

“Are you excited?”

“This is the best gift ever.” He wrapped his arms around Pam and pulled her in for a kiss. “When’s our little one due?”

“Not until July, but I couldn’t resist picking up this ornament.”

“This is the perfect way to break the news.” Rick held the baby ornament in his palm as he and Pam stared at it.

Together they placed it on the tree under the couple’s ornaments.

This year it was the two of them, but next Christmas it will be three with their new baby. This was a very special Christmas.