Tag Archives: A Christmas Story

Photographing Christmas


It has taken weeks to plan a family Christmas celebration at your house for everyone to enjoy and that time has finally arrived. You’ve had wonderful images in your head about the beautiful decorations, the incredible food, and the enjoyment of everyone’s company while sharing gifts with one another. What a great opportunity to capture these moments with your camera and remember this time for many years to come.

For the past several weeks there have been countless emails, texts, and phone calls all in an effort to find a day and time that everyone can come together for a short time. Should it really be that difficult? If it is, does everyone really want to be together or is that just a fantasy in your head? Where’s the aspirin?! I feel a headache coming on. Why do I fight with these decorations for so long? How did they get tangled together? When they were put away last year they were wrapped up nicely and carefully put into storage containers. Now it’s one big pile of wires and glitter. Get the cutters! I’m going to win this battle if it’s the last thing I do.

Tangled Christmas lights and electrical cords on hardwood floor

Who’s calling me now!? Great, it’s my mother saying she can’t make it at the time we agreed on earlier. More emails, texts, and phone calls to accommodate her. Just what I was hoping to do right now. Ouch!! I think I cut my finger instead of the wire. Got to stop the bleeding. Who used the last bandage and left the empty box?! Tissues and tape will have to do. There’s no time for a trip to the store, well maybe the ER for a few stitches. Later, I’ve got to get more presents wrapped right now. But first let’s get these lights put up outside. Drag out the ladder along with nails and a hammer to hang these stupid lights. Why am I starting to get dizzy up here? Ohh, there’s a small pool of blood under my ladder now.

What? Why am I laying on the ground? I’ve got to get these decorations up and get to the store yet. How come these lights aren’t on? And those over there are blinking? Oops, I cut the wrong wire. Enough, I’ll have to do this later. Good, here come the delivery truck. My online order has arrived just in time. That’s not the color I ordered. Too late now, better get it wrapped. I’ll have to exchange it later. Now for the trip to the store to get the last of the food. There’s the phone again. What’s my sister doing with her friend at the bar? She’s suppose to be here soon. Can’t deal with that now.

One more thing to get – cheese for the potatoes. Why is that space empty? Sir, do you have more shredded cheese?  Sir…. Sir?  HELLO! SIR! No more shredded cheese?! OH but you have that 5 pound block of cheese? Wonderful! Just what I wanted to do yet today – shred cheese. A few more hours to go before our wonderful guests begin to arrive.

Adam's Art

That snowman wasn’t laying on it’s side when I left. Now all the lights are off. Well Mr. Snowman. How would you like to meet my great oak? Here you go! That problem solved. Are these lights plugged in. Who unplugged them? Better plug them back in.  Who’s that screaming in the garage? Dad? What are you doing? Oh, you were working on the electricity for the decorations. Sorry, I didn’t know. Where’s mom? She’s getting her no good brother out of jail. THRILLING! Who’s pulling up in a taxi? Wonderful, it’s my sister.

That can only mean one thing? Yep, she almost tripped over the pieces of the snowman. What great fun this is going to be. Well, at least she’s pulling enough bottles from the trunk for us all. That is until she dropped the box and broke them while falling on top and slicing her forehead open. Wait! don’t pull away yet. Can you drive her to the hospital to get…?  Wait, Wait! Uh, Dad? you’re up. Never mind, I’ll do it? Here you get the cheese shredded inside for me then. Come on sis.

Unbelievable how busy that place was. Do they have more than one doctor? Back to the house for this amazing Christmas celebration. Now my mom’s here. Maybe she can help get things back on schedule. Or not seeing as how she’s crying while my uncle keeps insisting he’s been clean for weeks now. Not one hit of pot or anything. He accidentally tripped through the window to the police station. Those TV’s and computers in his truck belonged to a friend of his. How was he supposed to know he stole them? I’ve got to get in the house. Where’s all this smoke coming from? The ham is on fire! Quick get it out of there. No, don’t use water!


Can you deliver three large pizzas to room 121? Thank you. Maybe there’s some hope to get a few nice pictures of this Christmas still now that it’s a complete failure. At least the hotel has done a nice job of decorating for the holidays that will be a nice background. Why is this not taking pictures? Thanks brother for pointing out my blinking light that says low battery. Forgot to charge them again didn’t I. Are there any more bottles that survived the fall around?


For those hoping to get tips out of this article there’s probably not much here but hopefully you were entertained for a few minutes and have a much better Christmas story than this one.

On This Christmas


I can’t go any further! How can I stop? This little girl needs to get somewhere warm. We’ve been walking all night in this freezing weather just to keep from freezing to death. I thought I heard someone say it was going to be one of the coldest nights of the year with temperatures below zero. The feeling in my hands and feet left several hours ago. Sara has been shivering for hours. How could we possibly go on? She hasn’t had anything to eat since yesterday at the shelter. I wish they would have had a spot for us so Sara could be comfortable on this Christmas holiday. Just a little bit further. There is a mall near. I just need to get her inside for awhile.

Look at all these people hurrying to finish their Christmas shopping and get home to be with their families. Oh how I would love to be with family but they’re all gone now since the fire destroyed our house and took my mom and sister with it. And then a car accident killed dad a few years ago on his way see Sara at the park. I just don’t think I can go on. Resting in this snow bank wrapped around this child I can feel the snow and cold slowly taking our life. Is there a reason to resist any longer? Of course, she deserves better than this. I need to get up and move again. Just a few more steps. But nothing seems to move.

Ah warmth. Are we dead? I pry my eyes open to see someone has put a jacket around Sara and placed a blanket around me. Why is this person helping us? With the glow above he must have been an angel. There are sounds coming from his mouth but I can’t make out what he is saying. Finally I hear “eat?” and know this child needs some nourishment to continue on. So I accept the offer and with his help get Sara and myself into his car. What a glorious feeling of heat! Still unsure of where we are going I look back towards her and see a small amount of color entering her cheeks. For a quick moment I feel a sigh of relief and offer a prayer of thanks for this angel sent to help us in this time of desperation.

The Glow From Above

Arriving at a nearby sandwich shop I can begin to feel my fingers tingle. Something I have not felt in hours. Unsure if this was a kind person or cruel individual, we order something to eat. Maybe he should have left us. It would probably all be over now. Has his kindness just extended our misery? A little bit of heat will make it torturous to trudge back into the frozen white earth for another night of wandering just to keep some life. This must have been our fortune at this moment so I will take in some food and get Sara all she can eat to prepare for this night while I continue to figure out what we’re going to do.

Steve began to talk, asking us questions about where we’re going and how we got there. First asking Sara for her name and how old she was and offering the information that he has two daughters of his own. After finding out we had no where to go, he eagerly invited us to stay with his family on this Christmas night. I could possibly accept. He has done so much already and how could I face new people while wearing the same clothes for the last week and in bad need of a shower. No, we just need to get through tonight and hopefully a place will open up at the shelter. We’ll be ok I promised myself. Ouch! what’s that. Hey I can start to feel my tows again. I didn’t think I would ever feel those again. By this time Sara had taken off Steve’s coat and began to bounce around a little as the heat and nourishment entered her body. My face started to get a little wet as I realized we couldn’t give up. She has so much life in her.

After declining a few more offers to join Steve and his family he made another offer. A night at a hotel to recuperate. How could I possibly accept this? Beginning to again turn down his generous proposal I looked at this little child and realized I could not decline again. Hesitantly we joined him in his car and drove towards the nearest hotel. Holding Sara close I could see this gentleman talking with the person at the front desk and then another person entering the lobby. After several minutes Steve was escorting us to our home, carrying Sara, on this Christmas Eve. Unlocking the door, we entered a beautiful room with a bed for Sara and one for me. With all this space I couldn’t tell if this was a dream or if it was really happening.

Sara was laid in her bed and fell fast asleep. Steve wished us a “Merry Christmas” and disappeared through the door. I didn’t know how to thank this kind and generous person. Without him I would not be able to hold my little child again. Just as I was about to take a soothing bath there was a knock at the door. Oh no, it was too good to last. Will we need to leave this place? Slowly answering the door it was Steve again holding several packages. He quickly placed them near each bed explaining which ones where for Sara and even left one for me. Again he wished us a Merry Christmas and disappeared again.

With tears beginning to fill my eyes I glanced towards this beautiful sleeping child and noticed his jacket. Grabbing it I raced down the hall towards the exit to catch this angel. I met him near the door and offered the best hug I could thanking him for saving us tonight on this Christmas Eve. Tears were rolling off of both our faces as we waved good bye. I could hear Christmas music playing in the lobby which I hadn’t noticed before. That helped complete a day I couldn’t have imagined. Better get back to Sara and wait for her to awaken Christmas morning with gifts to open. Yes, Santa brought us both more than words could describe!

Exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Soon I began to dream – of a house for Sara to grow up in, people to share our lives with, and angels watching over us. A new beginning On This Christmas!


Just Another Christmas

A Wintery Christmas Eve

I really don’t want to be at work today. At least traffic was light on the way in this morning and the office is really quiet. What do you expect? Tonight is, after all, Christmas Eve. I use to really enjoy this holiday but every year it gets less and less enjoyable. All of the hours spent shopping at busy stores and trying to figure out what to get each person on a list that continues to grow. At least the internet has made shopping easier as long as you plan ahead a little. Focusing on the reason for the season – the birth of Christ would help make the season better until I found out that Christmas Day isn’t even the actual birthday of Jesus. The church chose to celebrate it on this day. Almost as if the church is trying to make this holiday all about them. It seems they have to find a reason to steal all of the celebrations and guilt people into attending. I’m sure I’ve got this mixed up somehow but that is just how it seems to me. So now it’s just another Christmas.

Should be a slow day around the office because so many people have taken the day off so I won’t be able to take care of things that require help from co-workers. Probably a good day to take care of things that have been on my desk awhile as low priority. Hopefully I can get out of here a little early and finish up my last minute shopping before going home and getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner at our house. At lunch time there wasn’t much going on so I decided to leave for the day to get home with the family to celebrate. As luck would have it, trying to walk out the door I get stopped to take care of a problem since there really isn’t anyone else around that can take care of it. Fortunately I have a few minutes so let’s hurry up and get this taken care of. An hour and a half later I finally made it through the front. Lunch is out of the question in order to take care of the last few gifts and get home on time.

Great, it’s starting to snow! This is going to make the afternoon that much more fun. Finally arriving at the store and the parking lot is full. After driving around the lot for several minutes a spot opens up and I take it. A quick glance at my phone highlights the fact that now I’m running late and need to hurry through the store. Like that is possible with all these people here! This is what they call battle shopping. Weaving in and out of other people, dodging shopping carts, working your way in between people to get to the shelf only to find the person ahead of you grabbed the last item you were looking for. Not quite as bad as black Friday but close. Some people consider this fun. Not me! Surprisingly shopping went faster than expected and all that is left is to check out with the cashier. This certainly helps put my timeline back on schedule until my phone starts singing telling me there’s a new text message. Yep, I need to fight my way through the store once again to pick up forgotten items for this evening. Patience is running thin as I’m in a hurry once again. Looking around the store it is clear I’m not the only one. We are all try to be cordial if only on the surface.

Racing towards the exit I can see the snow is still falling. The roads must be covered by now causing traffic to move slowly. Using my gloves to remove the snow from the door so snow doesn’t fall inside when the door is opened, I shove the packages into the car. Out of the corner of my eye I notice a woman bent down. She must have dropped something. After brushing the freshly falling snow from the rest of the car I open the driver’s door ready to get in when I see this woman again and she is still bent down. Another quick gaze at my phone tells me I really need to get going. A further look reveals a child with this woman. Walking towards the pair shows they are both wearing tattered sweatshirts and shivering. Not enough to keep warm in this wintery weather. Quickly my jacket is around the child and I’m running back to the car to retrieve what blankets there are in the trunk. Within a few minutes they are both wrapped in blankets trying to find any bit of warmth they can. Their thin, pale faces indicate they have not eaten in awhile so I ask if I might provide a meal in a warm place pointing to a sandwich shop nearby. A few moments pass and the mother hesitantly agrees bringing the first smile to my face this holiday season.

Driving a short distance we all get out of the car and go in to enjoy a quick meal and warm our fingers. They each order a full meal while I get a warm drink. While these two eat like they have not had anything in a couple of days I send a text to my wife admitting that I would be late tonight and apologizing. It’s almost as if I had just finished typing when there was a reply: “Another late night at the office? We really need you here! Your mom and dad will be here any minute.” I could feel the displeasure in this response but this mother and child are more important than another Christmas dinner right now. As the mother is finishing her sandwich I could see some color entering her face and the child was beginning to move a little more fluidly. The warmth had started thawing their muscles allowing them to relax a little. Appearing as though conversation might be possible I asked the child what her name was. She quickly responded with “Sara”. A few minutes more revealed she was 4 years old and really liked ice cream. I mentioned that I had two daughters with the youngest being just a little bit older than her.

Turning towards her mother I thanked her for allowing me to buy them lunch and asked where they were headed. She said they really didn’t know. This economy has impacted them greatly forcing them to leave their house and sell whatever they could to get by. Knowing this I asked if Sara and Michelle (Sara’s mom’s name) would like to join us for a wonderful Christmas meal and a warm, comfortable place to sleep. Michelle refused saying I had done enough already and they weren’t about to impose on my family further. I continued to press, inviting them to our home with no luck. Michelle did not feel up to meeting a bunch of new people in her present condition. Understanding this, I offered an alternative – how about staying in a hotel for the night with a warm room and place they could get a good night’s sleep? Immediately she began to reply “No” but then hesitated while looking at her daughter. Finally she agreed and we retreated back to the car.

The snow had continued leaving beautiful wonderland and slow driving making what usually would have been a quick trip to the closest hotel a bit more challenging. Inching along with the heater blowing full blast, their blankets started to loosen indicating Sara and Michelle were finally warming up. Finally we entered the parking lot and I pulled up to the front entrance. I walked up to the front desk and asked for a room while the other two hung back close to the door. Apparently the hotel was booked up for the night with nothing available. Pleading I asked if there was anything they could do. These two have been out in the cold for a long time and have no place to stay tonight. Again the reply was there was nothing available.

Feeling defeated heading back towards Michelle and Sara to tell them the news a gentleman spoke up “Sir!?” Turning around with a disappointed look I pointed to myself as if to ask “me?” He walked towards me and said his family had two rooms reserved for the night but that I could have one for these two ladies if he could get a cot to add to one of the rooms. Bounding back towards the desk with this kind man in tow we inquired about a cot for his room. After getting him and his family set up, one of his rooms was transferred to Michelle and Sara and at a nice discount thanks to the hotel staff. I shook his hand aggressively thanking him to whole time for the generosity of him and his family. As they headed off towards their room I spoke with a loud tone almost shouting “Merry Christmas!”

I walked with Michelle carrying Sara towards their room. Both were beginning to yawn as these weary travelers were warm and full. A nice shower and comfortable bed will be the perfect way to spend this wonderful holiday. Reaching the door Sara had fallen asleep in my arms bringing yet another smile to my face. Looking over towards her mother I could see she had the beginning of a smile also. Entering the room I placed this wonderful child on her bed and started for the door. Michelle thanked me for all that I had done on this Christmas Eve day. I was grateful for the opportunity and wished her a “Merry Christmas” while hurrying out the door as I was incredibly late for celebrating with my own family. Returning to the car I remembered the gifts I had purchased earlier. They should be able to open presents too I thought.

Knocking I could tell I surprised Michelle as she slowly opened her door to see who was there. Handing her the packages I whispered “Merry Christmas” one more time so as to not wake up Sara and explained which ones were for her and her daughter. There were tears beginning to well up in her eyes causing me to quickly turn away and say good bye one last time before those same tears entered my eyes. As I neared the exit I could hear the pounding of footsteps racing closer and closer. Turning around there was Michelle with my jacket saying that I had forgotten it. She wrapped her arms around me giving one of the most grateful hugs I have ever received saying “thank you for saving our lives today!” As tears began to roll down my face running into my ever smiling lips I thought” I didn’t save you, you saved me!” Michelle and Sara were two angels sent to remind me the meaning of this great holiday. This wasn’t just another Christmas. It was one of the best Christmas’s ever!

A Christmas Tree