A Little Christmas Love

Merry Christmas! Hopefully, you are celebrating the joy of Jesus’ birth with your family and friends. My gift to you this year is a new flash fiction story. It is called A Little Christmas Love.

People often ask me where I come up with story ideas. This story started when a friend told me that his adult daughter was lighting the advent wreath at her new church. She would be the designated single person to light the wreath. I’d never heard of a “designated single person” selected for the honor, but the idea sparked and wouldn’t leave me alone. And as usual, the question I asked was “and what if…” This is where my stories happen in the “what ifs.” In a novel, I say “and what if” or “but what if,” and the answer leads to the next turn in the plot.

Life can sometimes feel like we are journeying through the “what ifs,” but with God, we can have faith and ask Him for discernment. “His word is a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path.” (Psalm 119:105) My prayer is that in the coming year you will lean into God’s word and onto Jesus for your direction. “For His yoke is easy and His burden light.” (Matthew 11:30) It may seem simple or even naïve, but why do we have to live complicated, stressful lives? Jesus offers us joy and peace even in struggles. This coming year, I’m choosing to claim that joy in a simple life. Of course, that may be harder than it sounds, and maybe it will be, but what peace it could bring. Will you join me? How will you find the simple in this complex world?

If you are interested in more short, short stories, click here to check out the new edition of Spark Magazine, where you can read my story A Royal Surprise.

         Cassie strolled along the stone path leading to her new church. Boughs of garland, dotted with holly berries framed the windows of the chapel. Her heart quivered, unable to settle on an emotion. She went from joy and expectation for her future to sadness and loneliness on this first Christmas away from her family and her hometown. But she loved this church. It’d felt like home from the first day she stepped into the quaint place of worship, and the people welcomed her with a warmth that had assured she had made the right choice.

At the heavy, wooden doors, Cassie paused. “Dear Lord, thank you for this family. Help me be gracious.”

Cassie pulled open the door and stepped inside, colliding with a knitted wall. “Sorry.”

“I’m sorry, please excuse me.” The man wearing the red and white striped sweater stepped back. He tugged at the neckline. “I was going to step outside for a while and cool off. I love my grandmother, but this wool sweater she made me for Christmas is better suited to the Tundra than South Georgia.” He grinned, meeting Cassie’s gaze. A dark curl fell forward tapping his arched brow. Adorable.

Tingles flitted over Cassie’s arms, and she shivered before she could stop herself. “Anything below sixty degrees is freezing to me.” Cringing, she pivoted. Where had he appeared from? She may not have met every person in the small town, but she’d certainly been introduced to every potential husband. The ladies of the church had made sure of that.

“I … um … I’m lighting the advent wreath.” Cassie continued down the aisle. “I’m the single woman, and—” She clamped her lips shut. Why did she say that? Now he would think she was desperate. She inhaled, holding her breath. Surely, that was enough to scare him off.

“Really?”

Maybe not.  She exhaled, grasping a pew.

He stepped in front of her and lifted his hand. “Then, I—”

“That came out wrong. I’m new to town, and Mrs. Lightfoot asked me to light the wreath as the designated single.”

And that hadn’t sounded any better.

He wrinkled his brow, dropping his hand to his side.

“Anyway I’m supposed to meet her, Mrs. Lightfoot, and her grandson, Little Johnny. He is apparently the only person available to team up with me. I’m sure he’ll be adorable and hopefully, steal the show.” She shrugged. “From what I hear, he is everyone’s favorite visitor—quite a charmer.”

He chuckled, shaking his head.

“What? Is he horrible?”

“Not horrible, but maybe not as wonderful as he’s been made out to be.” He hooked his thumbs in his pockets, rocking back on his heels. “Just give him a chance. He’s a nice guy.”

“Oh.” Cassie clasped her hands. A nice guy?  What was that supposed to mean?

Click here to read the rest of the story.

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