• Linda Ulleseit, author

  • NaNoWriMo!

Holiday Stories

The holidays are a festive time of year, perfect for writing about sensory details. There’s the scent of pine trees and pumpkin pie, the laughter of children and jingling of bells, and the taste of Christmas confections that only appear once a year, like maple fudge and peppermint bark.

Everyone knows that sensory details make a story rich and interesting, but first you have to have a story. The holidays are filled with memories of family get-togethers and fantastic presents. Maybe your family goes caroling or visits a neighborhood light festival. All of these are potential stories.

At our house we have a wooden Advent calendar. It is shaped like a Christmas tree, and has numbered circle magnets 1-24. Each day, you place an ornament magnet on the numbered circle. When the tree is filled, it’s Christmas Eve. My boys loved this calendar when they were growing up. They arranged the little ornaments in some undisclosed order, and were very precised about which ornament was put up on which day, and where on the tree it was placed.

Since they have grown up and moved out, the Advent calendar sometimes goes days without an ornament. They come home to visit in mid-December and are horrified, quickly placing the magnets to catch up. They are also disgusted when I place the magnets in the wrong order or in the wrong place. (Remember, I said they had a secret system known only to the two of them). All I know is, Santa is the last ornament, placed on the tree on Christmas Eve morning.

I know you have Christmas stories, and I’d love to hear them. It can be about family, traditions, or a great present you got once. Let’s get festive!

β™₯

On my Kindle: Laid Out and Candle Lit by Ann Everett

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50 Responses

  1. I love to write fantasy stories about the holiday seasons. It makes me feel cozy!

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    • I once had an idea (but I never wrote it) to write about a child growing up at the North Pole. Maybe he/she would aspire to be a toymaker? Or a reindeer caregiver? Then of course he/she would have to save Christmas somehow…

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    • Sometimes when teachers give me a prompt to write about my Christmas I can never stop because I say all the things we did since we spend so much time together.
      One Christmas when I went to India for winter break my grandparents barely knew what I was talking about. I told them about putting up a tree and decorating it with lights and then in the morning walking up to find presents under it. They asked my cousins what I was talking about and they explained it better. I was a little sad that Christmas would be different but when I woke up in the morning and went downstairs it was like I was in Christmas in the Park! There were three huge trees all lighted and decorated. I was so happy. I even got at least ten presents under each tree! I was so happy.

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  2. Christmastime, in my opinion, is the best time to write and tell stories. There are so many memories of this festive season, and its easy to put it into words. I probably write most of my stories during December.

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  3. Writing during the festive times is amazing. That is when you get the best ideas for writing the best stories you couldn’t write any other time of the year.

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  4. My family doesn’t really celebrate holidays so we don’t do anything special except for giving presents.

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  5. If I were to write a holiday story, I would include a character who tries to spoil the holiday, but messes up in many different ways. It’s just so funny!

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    • That’s a very nice, cool idea. Very creative! You should write a story about that and share it with the class. πŸ™‚

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  6. During December, there are many events to write about. If I wrote about a holiday story, I would definitely tell about the first time I went skiing and how I felt while going down on a huge slope.

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  7. On Christmas eve, my family would have a Christmas party! We would have everyone come and we would eat and open presents!

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  8. Hmm, last year my family didn’t celebrate Christmas. This year I don’t know if we are going to have a tree. We usually just go out to my cousin’s house and eat dinner. (Last year we didn’t do that either. Instead, we opened presents that our family gave us. Mostly, I open my parents’ presents first.) We don’t have any tradition on Christmas… 😦

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  9. During the Christmas time, I would want to write about many things. If I had to pick just one though, it would be when I first went snowboarding and how I fell so many times!

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  10. Every year, usually the day after Christmas, my family and I go to Reno, Nevada and stay at my cousin’s house there for a few days. Everyday it would snow in Reno so my cousins and I would go up to a mountain and sled down.

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    • I don’t usually go to Reno that much, but I did go a couple times before to go sledding. I can’t count how many times I messed up and tripped over the snow!

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      • Me, too. I don’t go to Reno that much. I’ve been there a couple of times, but that’s all. My family went to Lake Tahoe and I remember whenever my brother went snowboarding down, he jumped and left my dad to always catch him. I also remember laughing at him so much that I couldn’t snowboard for the whole day!

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  11. One holiday story I remember is when my parents and I went to Christmas in the Park for the very first time on Christmas Eve. It was amazing to see all those lights and decorations! I loved the little scenes they put up, like Santa and his 7 reindeer. But most of all, I adored the Christmas trees that the girl scout troops had decorated. They inspired me, and soon, I became a girl scout.

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  12. The family tradition that I love the most is the tradition that at three o’clock in the morning, me and my sister pop out of bed, wake up our parents, and rip open the presents. Other than that, we have something like you guys at our house. We have two plastic snowmen holding sticks. On the first day of december, we set up the stars that go on the sticks. They have numbers on them, and they tell us how long until Christmas. On the last day, when we’ve opened all of the gifts, we put a zero in the front, and that means that we are in the middle of another great Christmas.

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    • With my family, we go to church on Christmas eve at around ten o’clock and when we get back at around eleven my mom makes dinner, we eat and we go to sleep. We wake up at around eight or seven o’clock and we go and rip off the wrapping that hides our presents.

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  13. I agree, Christmas time is very exciting. In my house, we me and my sister decorate the tree ever year. It’s really fun to see all the little ornaments we made when we were little, and the ones we made recently. Our favorites a large snowflake made of small beads, a glass snowflake made of beads, and a gingerbread man my sister made in kindergarden. The gingerbread man smells really good so we always fight over who gets to smell it.

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  14. The harsh winds were huffing and puffing out air, as trees were swaying in the darkness in the street. Little children were all tucked into bed in there cozy warm house dreaming in their heads about what wonderful gifts Santa Claus might give to them. The living room in most houses had a tall, green christmas tree which had a bright yellow star placed on the tippy top.

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  15. Me and my family have a calender. When it is November 30th we fill it up with candy. When we started on December 1st we got a candy. So every day I do get a chocolate kiss from the calender. So when we have our last candy we know it is Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

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  16. πŸ™‚ I love your story about your sons and their secret “calendar”. It’s very comforting and it tells me that they love Christmas very, very much! πŸ˜€ In my family, we don’t have much stories about Christmas… I remember when I was little, I asked my dad for a Nintendo DS. He said that I would get it for Christmas. I was so impatient, but I consented. However, later I got persistent and kept on asking him if he could give it to me earlier. Finally, he pulled the box out from under the neatly decorated Christmas tree. I wanted to rip the wrapping paper apart… but Dad didn’t let me and he slowly peeled it off. Once the wrapping paper was all gone, I wanted to grab the DS package containing the little machine inside, but Dad didn’t really let me. I gave the box to me, but he told me I couldn’t play it until Christmas. I kept begging him and even my mom told him to just let me play it so that I would stop being so noisy and annoying. Finally, he agreed, but he was very reluctant and I could see the annoyance in his eyes. I pouted and said “Please?!” and he laughed and told me “Okay!” I wanted to say I was sorry, but eagerness just took over me and I took the DS away and played it with my brothers. πŸ™‚ It was a fun Christmas memory, and I will always remember it.

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    • My mother was always anxious like that for presents when I was little. She would shake her present really hard and tear little bits of paper off the corners. One year I wrapped up a broken flowerpot (I put her real present in another box). When she shook it, she thought she’d broken it! She was HORRIFIED. We all laughed on Christmas Eve when she realized what I’d done. She still shakes her presents, though.

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  17. A few days before Christmas, our family usually heads over to our grandparents house for a gathering. After dinner, our cousins and I sing Christmas carols to our Aunts and Uncles near the hot glowing fire.

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  18. In december, for christmas i usually go on vacation or stay home have a big party and open lots of presents

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  19. I remember that when I was six years old I didn’t tell my parents about what I wanted for Christmas. They were both upstairs sleeping and so they couldn’t even overhear what I was saying. I also knew that my parents were the ones who left all the presents by the christmas tree every year. However, the next morning when I opened my present, I got exactly what I asked for! Nobody knew about what I had asked for except “Santa.” I was dumbfounded!

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  20. That’s true, and even if you don’t celebrate Christmas religiously, you still DO a lot of STUFF on that day like shopping or inviting guests because it’s the holidays or just going to a fancy restaurant with your family. IF you didn’t do ANY of that (which is very, very unlikely) then there is still New Year to talk about.
    On New Year’s Eve, my family gets together and uses webcam for my grandmother in India and my cousins in Pennsylvania to watch the ball drop in New York. We all eat ice cream, drink apple cider, and make resolutions that we break on our birthdays. I just reset mine because my birthday is in February. Sometimes we even call our neighbors over and have a party, but none of the guests (other than my family and cousins who live here) ever do anything unless my cousin (who is in college) cheers them on or my uncle comes over from Philidelphia. There are eight of us in San Jose
    For Christmas, we all get together and make dinner. After eating that a homemade dessert or some sweets, we watch a really long, complicated movie until about 3:00 a.m. with mugs of coffee and tea for the adults, cups of hot cocoa for the kids, and ice cream. If we decide not to do that, we go shopping, watch a movie in the theatre, and eat dinner in a fancy restaurant.

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  21. When I was young, my mom and dad would always tell me this story:

    There was a very fat man with a white beard. He watches you while you are sleeping and when you are awake. He sees if you been naughty and when you have been nice. Timmy, a young boy, was a normal boy who did a lot bad stuff every year. He has been getting coal from Santa and he still hasn’t learned his lesson. He thinks the coal is a great present to get because he uses it to burn stuff. This Christmas Santa knew something has to be done right away, so he waited until Christmas to come. It was Christmas eve and Timmy got in trouble from his mom because he burn his mom’s night gown. Timmy laid in his room, waiting for tomorrow to get more coal to burn his MOTHER. He finally fell asleep. Santa walked in slowly, without a sound. Santa got his glove and put it on Timmy’s mouth. Timmy’s eyes opened up and he struggled to take a breath. Timmy finally stopped struggling and was still. Santa smiled with evil in his eyes and took Timmy with him. The next morning Timmy’s mother walked down stairs to make breakfeast and saw Timmy making eggs. “Timmy, why do you have a switch attached to your back?” said his mother. At least Santa made someone happy……. >:)

    I would cry whenever my mom and dad tells me the story.

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  22. Oh yeah… that was just a little Christmas tale that my family made up. I would go to lake tahoe and ski a lot

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  23. Speaking of calenders, we have something similar in our house. We have a little painted pottery penguin with a poem written on it. I might make a few mistakes, but I’m pretty sure that this is how it goes:
    Christmas is coming,
    warm fires will glow,
    hang up your stockings,
    only _______ days to go!

    So, every day we fill in the ______ with a number, and it just looks so cute with its little pottery Santa hat and the real marker with it. It’s standing on a piece of pottery ice with a hole to put the marker, so it’s very convenient, too. I can’t wait until it gets to zero! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

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  24. It is December. I see hear people putting up their trees. I smell the trees. i can hear people dropping ornaments. I can feel the snow dropping on my sholders. It feels so close to Christmas but it is so far away. I look at my countdown calender 30 days to go. It is almost Christmas Eve then Christmas Day.

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  25. A family tradition is every Christmas my cousins, uncles, and aunts would come for Christmas. They would come from San Diego and other far places. We would first have a family dinner and then relax or enjoy each others company. Then we would start to open presents! The little kids started, then us older kids. We would all thank the people for the presents and say good bye as the left.

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  26. Christmas is a fun time of the year. We receive presents and we give presents. I love Christmas. it is my favorite holiday. πŸ™‚

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  27. I also go skiing sometimes during Christmas holidays, but we are going in Jan/Feb this year. As for Diwali, we still have our lights up, and they look beautiful! There is my cousin’s birthday and my uncle’s birthday coming up, and there is also a religious festival called Dasara in December.

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    • Oh, I’ve never heard of Dasara. Tell me more.

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      • Well, it comes in late Fall, so it’s actually not really a Winter festival. It last for ten days and nine nights, and is called Navratri in southern India.It shows the victory of good over evil, and the tenth day is when good vanquished. The festival that’s known worldwide is Diwali, though this one is important, too.

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  28. Every Christmas eve my family lets each kid open one present. I would write about that in my story. I would also write about how every Christmas morning my family wakes up really early (or one of my sisters wake us up early) and open presents.

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  29. Christmas is my favorite holidays because we get a lot of presents. Last year in the first week of Christmas break we my family and I celebrate Christmas and we open presents. Then in the second week of Christmas break my parents and I went on vacation to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I have a good time getting a lot of presents and going on vacation.

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  30. I’ve never tried maple fudge. Could you please tell me what it is?

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    • Do you know chocolate fudge? Small squares of rich, chocolate sweetness. It’s creamy and really sweet. Maple fudge is the same, but with maple syrup flavoring. Very yummy and very fattening!

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  31. It sounds good, though. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜•

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