The year my first novella Christmas Rose was released, a reader sent me an e-mail asking about the picture of the little girl on the cover. Due to the fact that it reminded her of a special girl in her life, she had purchased a book for both of them. After commenting on how much she enjoyed the story, she suggested I write another Christmas novella, combine it with Christmas Rose, and make a holiday gift set.
Her suggestion set my creative process in motion. As I considered possibilities, I reflected on my youth. I grew up in Logan, Utah, a lovely town with a Mormon Tabernacle in the center. During the Christmas season, strings of large, multi-colored lights were draped from the Tabernacle and attached to a wire on the edge of Main Street. Since my home was a block away from the middle of town, this festive display, along with the store windows, lit up my December.
Center Street was a quaint street lined with interesting and practical shops. Recollections of Center Street and my hometown during the Christmas season became the inspiration and setting for my story. The lights and Christmas scenes that adorned shop windows, city streets, and the Tabernacle were not only pieces of my holiday memory, they were part of the awe and wonder I felt during the season.
Since Christmas Rose featured a girl as the main character, I wanted to write a story about a boy. However, I didn’t have an interest in a Christmas tale of a child who focused on his own Christmas hopes and wishes. The idea of writing about a boy who had never experienced Christmas intrigued me, especially if that child was placed in a town where the citizens focused on Christmas in a unique way.
As I wrote, I appreciated the opportunity to see Christmas through the eyes of a child who was experiencing the Wonder for the first time. I began to hope the simple tradition of Christmas Wonders could provide an opportunity to start a new family tradition in order to make memories which stand out among the gift-laden celebrations. I came to understand that focusing on the Wonders of Christmas, with gratitude, could be the catalyst to a more meaningful Christmas.
Last December I had completed Christmas Wonders and was looking forward to its October release when a mother invited me to meet her children.
“Who have we been reading about?” she asked when I joined them. The three children each replied with a different name Bessie, Fred, and Clestoncharacters in my novella, Christmas Rose. Their response delighted me.
Then one of the children said, “We read your book every year.”
Having my story read by families is a Wonder that fills me with increased gratitude for ideas and inspiration. I hope my book, Christmas Wonders, may be worthy of a place in your home and that you will enjoy it with your family.
I wish my readers a wonder-filled Christmas.
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“Have a wonder-filled Christmas,” people in Luke’s new hometown greet one another as Christmas approaches. With no memory of a Christmas celebration, ten-year-old Luke feels excluded from the tow…
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