Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On The Second Day of Christmas: Susan Meier

Favorite Christmas memory? Wow that’s a tough one. I come from a family with eleven kids. Christmas mornings were chaos! Christmas Eves, however, were quieter with all of us sitting in front of a newly decorated tree, speculating about whether or not we’d get the gifts we’d wanted.

Of course, not all Christmas Eves were quiet and calm. One Christmas Eve, we had to travel twenty miles into the city. We were smart kids so we knew we were being taken Christmas shopping. One of my parents would lead us through the store and the other would follow behind, secretly buying the gifts we ooohed and ahhed over. (If it sounds fun, that’s because it was!)

But something happened. As we were driving along, the car’s water pump broke or maybe it was the fuel pump. My dad found the part and luckily had a brother who only lived a mile or so away from the junkyard (we bought secondhand in those days) and he drove into my uncle’s garage to fix it.

As my dad worked feverishly to get it installed, we sat in the backseat of the car, talking amongst ourselves. There were at least six of us at the time, maybe even eight. In the days before 24-hour Walmarts and credit cards, the older kids knew the stores closed at nine and it was after eight. The clock was ticking.

We also knew our parents weren’t made of money. Had the part cost too much? Was all their money gone? Would we even get presents?

It was after nine by the time Dad got the car fixed and we drove home in silence. We went to bed even more silent. Our parents hadn’t even driven by the local department store. No point. Time had run out.

The next morning, we awoke bleak. But my brother, the first one downstairs, yelped with joy. Santa been there!

We raced downstairs and under the tree were tons of gifts. It was a miracle…or maybe there really was a Santa.

Years later, we recognized the gifts we got were all little things bought at the local drug store that stayed open until eleven. My dad had probably gone out after we went to bed.

But, though small, some of those gifts were my absolute favorites. I remember the pop beads and the medical bag with candy pills. Yet I can’t remember things I got in years when my parents had tons more money to spend and more time to shop. It was the joy of the miracle of it all that made everything more memorable.

It’s that kind of Christmas joy that I tried to capture in the Christmas story I wrote last year – and the book I sent for the 12 Days of Christmas basket – THE MAGIC OF A FAMILY CHRISTMAS. The heroine’s a widow. The hero’s a rich guy who doesn’t realize how alone he is. They come together when she gets temporary custody of her deceased neighbor’s son, Harry. She desperately wants to prove herself so she’ll get permanent custody, but she’s never had a child…or a difficult past…and she really isn’t sure how to handle Harry. But the hero was a boy himself…and he also had an unexpectedly difficult past. She turns to him for help with Harry and Harry makes a few wishes of his own. Not just for Christmas treats, but for real parents and a real home.
I think Christmas is all about magic. And love. But if you think about it, real love is magic of a sort, isn’t it?

Happy Holidays! And good luck to you all in the basket drawing!

You can catch up with Susan at her website: http://www.susanmeier.com/

To enter the contest, send an e-mail with the subject line of MIRACLE. One entry per person per day, please!


  1. Wonderful story! My memories about favourite Christmases are always related to persons I've celebrated them not the presents I got. I love all the commotion and feelings of fellowship with my siblings. To me Christmas is all about the feelings of joy and love.

  2. WOW - that is the sweetest Christmas story I've ever heard. Can't wait to read your book.
    Far too many good books out there at the moment.

  3. I agree with both of you Christmas is about companionship, appreciating what we have, enjoying our friends...and there are too many good books out there now! LOL

    It isn't just a matter of finding the money to buy all the great books I want to read...there's also the time factor.

    But it's an embarrassment of riches in the bookstores right now! We're very lucky to have so many fabulous books this holiday season!


  4. Sounds like a wonderful story and what a great cover.

    Thanks for making our holiday season a great one for reading.

    Peace, Julie

  5. Thanks for sharing that special memory, Susan. I could just imagine sitting in the car with you, waiting, hoping and then knowing it was too late. And then the Christmas miracle the next morning. It is such a special season. Look forward to reading your book.

  6. Thank you, Julie!

    I love Christmas books! I hope I get to write one every year. Right now I'm working on a real hum dinger for 2011!


  7. Bev

    My parents were big on Christmas miracles. Because some of us were way older than others, they had to work overtime to keep the big kids from spoiling the Christmas fun for the little ones.

    So they were always doing things that caused the older kids to think, Hum...Maybe there is a Santa.

    Everybody always believes feeding and clothing 11 kids was the tough part...but it was the little things like keeping Santa alive for decades that were probably toughest!


  8. Hi, Susan. Thanks for sharing that memory with us.
    My memories are of all the time we get to spend with family, fun and the joy. Looking forward to reading your book.

    Merry Christmas.

  9. Colleen3:23 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories with us!!! :)
    Your book sounds wonderful... love books that involve kids...

    Happy Holidays!

  10. Anonymous4:48 p.m.

    From Kaelee

    I loved your memories of Christmas Susan.

    There were 4 kids in our family. I had a brother and sister who were older than me and a younger brother. My older brother had rattling and squeezing presents down to a fine art and spent most of his time guessing what was in the parcels under the tree. It would have been okay if he just worked on his own gifts but he did it to all of them.

    Then it was just the younger two kids left at home and my younger brother turned detective. He could find a present hidden anywhere in the house or garage. If the present was wrapped and under the tree he could use a razor blade to open it up and then he would wrap them again. Unless you looked real close you could never tell they had been open. I will never forget the year he dragged me out to the garage and climbed up into the rafters to show me the luggage set my parents had got for me. I had a hard time trying to be surprised that year and the following year I told him I didn't want to know what I was getting ahead of time.

  11. Thanks for the great memory, I really enjoyed it! Your book looks very good.

  12. Kaelee

    I loved your story! My brother was a peeker too! It was god-awful when they'd spoil the fun by saying...Somebody got a Barbie doll...and then we'd wonder which of us it was.

    Men, huh!


  13. Great story. It is what Christmas is all about - love and family
    debby236 at att dot net