Christmas mishaps and my newest release, A Christmas Tale for Little Women
I love family stories and Christmas, so I count Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel, Little Women, among my favorites. All three come together in my newest historical fiction release, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, the novella prequel to The Awakening of Miss Adelaide.
Ever have a Christmas turn out to be a colossal flop? Or do you remember one in particular that was almost magical?
One year in the early 1980s, our military family happily expected my brother’s family for Christmas. I felt somewhat like Adelaide in A Christmas Tale for Little Women. Had I remembered everything? Had I done enough? To be sure, I’d gone the extra mile to make the day extraordinary and expected nothing to spoil the joy.
I had gathered my recipes long in advance and purchased all the ingredients. Marked the calendar for baking goodies ahead of time and freezing, preparing certain dishes the day before Christmas, and noting which had to wait until Christmas morning. As a school teacher, I worked until three days before Christmas, and when the final bell rang at close of school day, I dived into errands and chores (the house must be spotless, after all) and baking and gift wrapping. I checked off my list—twice—and slept enough to get by. But by Christmas Eve when I greeted my loved ones at the front door, I was exhausted and felt as if I were moving in slow motion.
My Christmas script went something like this:
You made it! Come in and give me a hug.
Just look at you! My, how you’ve grown!
Luggage? Down the hall, first room on the right.
The kids? In the den.
Coats? Here in the hall closet.
Christmas gifts? Put them under the tree. The dog won’t bother them. (I hope)
Hungry? Here. Have a sandwich.
No! (play-slap a hand) You may not sample the pie. Not until tomorrow.
Amber, stop barking. Someone, put her up please?
Help in the kitchen? Heavens, no. Ya’ll go on and enjoy yourselves in the den. Or maybe outside?
Whew! (at bedtime) Got everything done. (I smile and close my drooping eyes)
My script the next morning:
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Time for breakfast! (and the beginning of my Christmas Tale, I would discover)
No, don’t go into the living room, son. Not yet.
Yes, you may take your plate to the den.
No, I didn’t forget your brother’s sneakers.
Hey! (play-slap a hand) You may not sample the pie! Not until dinner.
Dishes done. Let’s visit in the living room. Take any seat. I’ll be slipping into the kitchen to check on things … Don’t mind me … Gotta get the turkey on.
In kitchen: (Opening refrigerator) Every single inch of space taken. Move this out of the way. Move that on top of something else? Where’s the turkey? (Stomach flip-flops)
Open the freezer: There it sits. 25 pounds of buttery goodness … frozen solid as stone. (Stomach sinks)
(Scream) No! I didn’t!
Forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer.
8 mouths fall open. 8 foreheads crease. And 8 hungry stomachs rumble as 7 pairs of eyes stare at me.
“Tell me it isn’t so. I couldn’t’ve.” I poke a finger against a turkey’s breast, frozen solid.
Yep. I did.
How can I salvage this horrible day? Stores are closed. No restaurant within fifty miles is open in rural Alabama. (And no microwave in those days, friends.)
“How about the Officer’s Club, everyone? I hear they have a delicious Christmas buffet. Last one to the car’s a stuffed turkey!”
And so it went those 40 years ago. As it turned out, our son wore his mini-Army uniform to the Officer’s Club, and the general noticed. The next day his aide brought our son some flight wings he was willing to share with “such a fine young man”—all of 6 years old. Plus, my family who had driven hundreds of miles to share Christmas with us experienced something they never would again—Christmas with a military flare.
What would we do without holiday mishap stories? Or those Yuletides brightened by unexpected surprise? Which brings me to Adelaide Fitzgerald.
Broadview is attired for Christmas. Garland encircles the front pillars, and wreaths grace the doors. Candles glow in the windows, and bangles sparkle on the tree.
Rather than perform in a European opera or entertain dignitaries in her ballroom, Adelaide Fitzgerald is hosting two young girls—Camellia and Dahlia Evans–at Broadview, her estate on the banks of Rock Creek. These youngsters declined a Colorado Christmas to spend the holiday with their Auntie Addie. She must present these little women a Christmas like no other. Has she thought of everything?”
What would top off this Christmas in an extraordinary way?
Adelaide’s answer lies just the other side of Rock Creek. But what will it take to recognize it as the Christmas topper she seeks?
It’s Christmas 1912, and Addie’s about to discover the Yuletide topper of a lifetime.
A Christmas Tale for Little Women: https://amzn.to/30rNHm2 (1912 novella) is a prequel to The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: https://amzn.to/33ldpe8 (1918 novel).
I‘d love to give someone both Christmas Tale and Awakening Adelaide in ebook format. Just join the chat below, and your name’s in the hat. I’d love to hear from you.
~ ~ ~
Lord, please bless each word writers of faith pen for You.
Bless the readers in ways only You know they need.
~ For Jesus’ sake