Tag Archive for: Christmas story

Warm Wishes and a Holiday Short Story

by Shari Randall

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

We’ve heard those words sung hundreds of times over the years and, yes, for me, this is the most wonderful time of the year. I love Christmas, every bit from wrapping gifts, to carols, to the delightful scents of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves as I bake my traditional gingerbread cookies. Hallmark Christmas movies? I’m in!

Another aspect of the holidays I love? Reading books set at Christmas. So when readers asked for a holiday story about the characters in my Lobster Shack mystery series, I was happy to oblige. I had so much fun seeing what Allie, Aunt Gully, and Verity would do when they met up with Dagmar Smith, Mystic Bay’s Queen of Christmas

Dagmar’s Festival of Trees is the highlight of Mystic Bay’s holiday season. In the story, she’s added a spectacularly decorated Nutcracker tree to her display and has asked ballerina Allie Larkin to help unveil it. But when Dagmar’s priceless diamond necklace is stolen in the middle of the festivities, Allie turns detective to unmask the thief.

It’s a fun short story you can enjoy in an evening. I recommend curling up with a cup of hot toddy as you read – recipe included with the story. It’s available on Kindle for only 99 cents, and it’s free for Kindle Unlimited readers.

Wishing you and yours warm and happy holidays.

Shari Randall is the author of the Agatha Award winning Lobster Shack Mystery series and, as Meri Allen, pens the new Ice Cream Shop Mystery series.


Special Gifts for the Holidays

Paula Gail Benson

the holidays, there is a lot of emphasis on gift giving. For most of us, it
means online or in store shopping and figuring out the heart’s desires of those
nearest and dearest to us.
the gifts of the holiday season are more subtle. The joy of hearing and singing
traditional music. The quiet realization that comes from a special moment while
watching a holiday program. The chance to see and reminisce with family and
year, I received a special gift while talking with my friend Margaret Davis,
who works with the children and handbell choirs at my church. Probably,
Margaret didn’t realize she was giving me anything. She just told me about a
story that had been very meaningful to her. And, for the first time, I heard
about “Why the Chimes Rang.”
Barnes and Noble Edition
In 1909, Raymond MacDonald Alden wrote the story. The
Baldwin Project (“Bringing Yesterday’s Classics to Today’s Children”) provides
an online version.
Several other versions are available through Amazon,
including a dramatized version.
The story is about a town with a large church that has
impressive Christmas chimes. Unfortunately, the chimes have not been heard for
many years. Every year, the townspeople would lay their offerings to the Christ
child on the church’s altar. They believed that when the greatest and best
offering was placed on the altar, the bells would chime.
One year, Pedro and his younger brother decided to go
to the church on Christmas Eve, to attend the service. On their way, they came
upon a poor woman who had collapsed in the cold. Pedro decided to stay with the
woman and help her keep warm until his brother could bring assistance from
the people leaving the service. He gave his brother a coin and cautioned him to
place it on the altar when no one was looking.
The brother arrives at the service and sees many gifts
being placed on the altar, including a book an author had been writing for many
years and the crown the king took from his own head. None of the gifts caused the bells
to chime. As the service was concluding, no one noticed the brother quietly
placing Pedro’s coin on the altar. Only when the chimes rang out did those
closest to the altar see the little brother creeping silently down the aisle.
Raymond MacDonald Alden was the son of author Isabella
MacDonald Alden (who wrote many Sunday School books) and Reverend Gustavus
Rossenberg Alden. Raymond became an English professor, writing books of
literary analysis. His “Why the Chimes Rang” has been compared with two similar
holiday stories, “Le Jongleur de Notre Dame” (a miracle story about a juggler
who becomes a monk and has no gift to offer the statue of the Virgin Mary
except his ability to juggle–when the other monks ridicule him, the statue
comes to life and blesses him) and “The Little Drummer Boy” (who plays his drum
as a gift for the Christ child). The Wikipedia article on Raymond MacDonald Alden provides information about his work and links to articles about the related stories.
I’m so grateful that my friend Margaret told me about
this story, for now it will become part of my holiday celebrations. It’s good to
remember in the hustle and bustle of the season that sometimes the smallest
offering can have the most significant effect.
May you all be looking forward to a wonderful holiday!