Happy Christmas Eve!
When I think about Christmas and Christian romance, I think about my book Christmas in Abundance, a story of a young woman who spends her first Christmas without her family.
That reminds me of a Christmas I spent without my family, a Christmas that was very different from what I had planned.
In the summer of 1989, I took a job working as a copy editor at the newspaper in Wilmington, North Carolina. I worked nights, with Tuesday and Wednesday as my days off, and I had a little apartment fifteen minutes from Wrightsville Beach, where I lived with two adorable gray and white kittens.
I’m an only child and, since I didn’t have any vacation time yet, my parents were planning to fly in to spend Christmas with me. I marked their day of arrival on my calendar. I made Christmas cookies. I even bought a real tree and, remembering the kittens, decorated it with unbreakable ornaments and bows.
But that year, Wilmington got what was for it was a very unusual Christmas present—fifteen inches of snow.
I’m originally from Missouri, and I’d certainly seen fifteen inches of snow before. Back in Missouri, you waited a couple hours until the snowplows ran, then went on with life as usual. That wasn’t the way it worked in Wilmington! The town of about fifty thousand people shut down. One grocery store was open eight hours a day. One or two restaurants were open. Only the most major of the streets were plowed. And I was told the airport was closed “until the snow melted.”
Mom and Dad weren’t coming.
The whole county only had two road graders they were using as snow plows, so there was no way I was getting my Chevy Cavalier out of my apartment parking lot. The pipes in my kitchen froze, and I had to wash my dishes in the bathtub, which is no small feat in a tiny bathroom.
And yet, I still had to go to work. The assistant news editor was originally from the mountains and had a four-wheel drive. He drove around, picked up the copy editors, and we put out the paper. Then, once the paper went to press at midnight, he drove us all home. And each night I came home to a surprise. Either someone would have knocked the Christmas tree over or I’d find two little kittens, each hanging from a branch and mewing, my own feline musical ornaments.
All in all, December of 1989 wasn’t what I’d planned. Oh, it was exciting in a way, but it was also pretty lonely.
Christmas came anyway. God was there.
December 25th dawned as it does each year, full of His love, full of the joy of Jesus’ birth.
This year, whether you are spending the holiday with friends or family or ornery kittens or all by yourself, I pray first of all that you don’t have to wash your dishes in the bathtub!
More importantly, I pray that you will wake up Christmas morning and remember that God loves you. And remember that he’s given you the best present ever—Jesus.
In honor of Christmas, I’m giving away a free Kindle copy of Christmas in Abundance (one Kindle copy, available worldwide) to one person who comments. I’d love to know the most snow you’ve ever seen at a big holiday, and if it changed your plans.
If you’d like to be included in the drawing, please comment by Thursday evening, Jan. 2, 2020. One person who comments on this post will be chosen at random, notified by email, and announced in a Sunday edition.
*Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.*
About Christmas in Abundance
An art teacher avoiding Christmas. A single dad planning a holiday light show extravaganza. A yuletide clash between neighbors that might spark a dazzling romance.
Lanie Phillips has a quiet holiday planned. So quiet, in fact, that the only sounds in the house where she’s staying should be the clicks of her computer keyboard and the occasional bark from a chocolate Labrador retriever. No joyous choirs of angels, no jolly laughs from Santa, and no jingle bells—nothing to distract her from her master’s thesis or bring up painful Christmas memories.
But for the single dad who’s her closest neighbor, simple holiday decorations just won’t do. Kyle Mattox is determined to give his five-year-old daughter the best Christmas ever—one that includes an outdoor display lit with fifty thousand lights, activated in time to music shared through four giant loudspeakers.
When Lanie comes to complain that she can’t write with the lights flashing and carols blasting, Kyle realizes that—unknown to her—their circuits have crossed in the past. If he wants his daughter happy, he needs to keep that information to himself, keep the show running, and keep his distance from Lanie.
Christmas in Abundance is a contemporary Christian romance novella and is a companion story to the Abundance Series. It is a stand-alone book and is written to fit well at any point in the series.