• What a heart-warming story. It started my wheels turning about either my mom or dad and their gestures of compassion when I was a youngster. And your pics! Is it the holiday theme infused in them or are you doing something different? They look gorgeous. Thanks Susan.

    • Thanks Patricia, I am happy that this piece triggered those memories for you. :-). What is your most cherished memory?

      That is a good question. I uses more primary colors, darks skies and white at this time of year to showcase a brightness.

      • Hmmm. Hard to find one so far back. LOL. One of dad – a Halloween treat that made us three sisters go from sad to happy dancing, laughter. One of mom – a little fuzzier of when she came home from the hospital. One of me and my sisters – singing for our extended family.

        Aha! Primary colors and white makes sense for brightness.

        • All those sound like great memories Patricia. I just love that we can recall them all the happy emotions that go with them.

          Yep, primary color and white work every time in this kind of setting. 🙂

  • Mama G

    I read your post and am now listening to it again on the podcast 🙂 What a lovely story, you had such a wonderful Dad, I’ve said that before.

    I think kids today, my kids included, get too much… I find it hard to surprise them, because it’s want, want, want and – that wasn’t me as a child, it still isn’t now, and it’s how I’ve tried not to raise them?

    I remember one Christmas, I’d had… ok presents, but I knew I was waiting for something big, the BIG one. I got to the big box and I saw these big brown plastic legs. I was confused, about 7, and I asked Mum what they were, and she said ‘It’s an electric fire. To keep your bedroom warm’, I remember being simultaneously so disappointed but so not wanting to upset my parents. I gave them a huge hug and feigned this huge excitement at getting an electric fire… It was an electric keyboard. I wasn’t expecting it. And over the years I self taught myself to play quite well too!

    • Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for visiting. I know how busy you are. I agree kids today don’t have the same wonder we did at this time of year because of all the choices they have.

      That is such a great story. Do you still play today? I too learned how to sew on that little machine until I received a full size one years later. 🙂

      • Mama G

        Very occasionally, sadly. Finding the time is another matter, but my son has my state of the art one in his room, and he too is self taught, so history has repeated itself there, and it’s not going to waste 🙂

        I really wish I could sew… but after managing to stitch my thumb onto a placemat in school, I decided that it was safer to knit…

        • Time, there never is enough is there Michelle. I am happy to see that your son enjoys sewing the is pretty darn cool.

          Ouch, I have done that before oh man does it ever hurt. I can see why you would try knitting instead… LOL.

  • What a beautiful post, Susan. And such lovely illustrations! I’m glad you got the bike AND the sewing machine. There’s nothing wrong with being spoiled. 🙂 One gift I remember as being particularly cherished was the barbie-sized kitchen that I could play with and use my Kelly doll (we couldn’t afford a Barbie.) I had a lot of fun with that! Cheers & Happy Holidays!

    • Thank you Doreen, I so love that you enjoy my stories and illustrations. Yep ist was a pretty special Christmas for me all round.

      I love your memory and how it still resides with you today. it must have been very special indeed. 🙂

  • Arlee Bird

    That sounds like a dream Christmas. My parents were always good about giving me and my sibs a great Christmas. The bicycle I got when I was about 10 or so served me well for many years..


    Wrote By Rote

    • It was Arlee, In many ways it’s still a standout n my many memories surrounding this time of year. 🙂

  • Patricia Goodman

    Susan, what a wonderful memory to share with us. Thanks!

    • Thank you Patricia. It so makes me happy that you enjoyed my story.

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett

    Dad’s really do go to the end’s of the Earth sometimes to make their daughters happy 🙂 One of the presents I remember yearning for the most was a My Little Pony Cloud Shower. I coveted it to no end and was soooo happy when Santa left it underneath the tree. I always loved my Barbies too, and once when I took them swimming in the ditch in the middle of winter. One floated away, it was my dad who went out and broke the snow over the top of the ditch until he found and rescued the lost doll.

    • Aw what a sweet story Jeri. We have so many ans yet we give them only a cursory thought. To me they are our true treasures and something we should cherish. 🙂

  • Donna Janke

    Beautiful story. The Christmas present I remember most as a child was a walking doll. My sister and I both got one. Although I was excited about the doll, what made the gift particularly special was that my mother had sewn the dolls dresses out of the same material she’d used to sew Christmas skirts for my sister and me.

    • Hi Donna and welcome, Thank you. What a very special gift from you mom. I’ll bet the clothes for your doll were amazing. 🙂

  • Wow, what a great story! Based on the stories you’ve told, I’d say your father was a great man. I guess my fondest kid memory is when we got our Nintendo from Santa – my brothers were older than me (I was probably 6) so they were the most excited, but I definitely fed off of them.

    • He was Dan. I so miss you at this time of year. It was his favorite holiday and he went all out. The first Nintendo must have been exciting for you ( and your brothers). 🙂

  • I loved, loved that story. You are a born story teller, Susan, and your images are fantastic. It didn’t happen to me, but when I was a child my older brother pined for a bike. Christmas day arrived and no bike – he actually went down to the cellar and sat against the coal bin (yes, we used coal in those days) and cried. Our house was very small so there wouldn’t have been room for a bike under the tree. But my father got my brother and the bike was in the garage. I still have that memory of my brother forlornly sitting with his back against the coal bin.

    • Boy Jeannette, I am doing a happy dance right now. You have warmed my heart with your kind words my friend.

      That is a awesome story. What a magical moment it must have been for your brother when we realized his bike had indeed arrived. 🙂

  • Wow what a story, really a wonderful story and shows what a great dad you had for him to do that for you……..

    • Aw, Thanks Jo-Anne. He really was and I so miss him right now. 🙂

  • Catherine Aggarao

    Beautiful story, Susan. I thought I could postpone reading it until I’m done with my ‘to do’ list but I simply couldn’t leave the page until the last sentence. 😉 Your story offers a good material for Advent -‘never give up hope.’ Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Catherine. I am SOOO happy that you enjoyed my story. I hadn’t thought about how it fit into Advent but you so right. THANK YOU for visiting. Happy Holiday’s

  • Broadcasting Sunny

    sometimes I think parents are the kindest people in the world. thanks for such a beautiful story.

    • Hi Joanne, I couldn’t agree with you more. We forget that sometimes, but these kind of memories are a great reminder. 🙂

  • Carol Covin

    What a wonderful story. And, Dad’s present that year was he got to be his daughter’s hero. My sewing machine story was different. My Mom got me a sewing machine for Christmas when she was teaching me to sew. Dad objected. “She doesn’t need a sewing machine. She can use yours.” Mom replied, “She is 16. She will be gone in two years. She needs her own sewing machine.” And, I was forever grateful.

    • Hi Carol, He was a hero in my eye’s for sure. It sounds like your Mom was your hero in this case. Good for her. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Scott

    What a cherished memory. I pray my children remember their christmases like this also.

    • I’m sure they will Elizabeth. They are lucky kids to have you as a parent. 🙂

  • Debra Yearwood

    I just loved that story. I may even have gotten a little teary. 🙂 I just watched my husband pull a Santa move for our son last night. I wanted to roll my eyes and tease him for being a big softy, but I was grinning too much.

    • Thanks so much Debra. It is one of my fondest memories of Christmas. I love that your husband did that and that you grinned all the while… LOL.

  • Pamela Heady

    What a lovely story that just embodies the generous Christmas spirit that hopefully all get to enjoy as kids AND adults!

    • Hi Pamela. Thank you. I do too. It is something we need to keep in mind as we got about the holidays and all the festivities, don’t you think? 🙂

  • tawnyak

    Lovely story Susan. Putting it with the video of your drawings made it absolutely wonderful.

    My most memorable Christmas was when I was eight. It was just a few months after my dad died.

    Relatives took us out looking at lights on Christmas Eve. When we returned, we discovered that Santa had visited while we were away. I never found out the reason it was done that way, but it was fun.

    I remember receiving a typewriter. I immediately sat down and typed a letter to my second grade teacher, telling her how my dad was not here but we had had a nice Christmas anyway.

    As an adult, I can now understand why my mom cried as she read it.

    • Hi Tawnya, What a heart felt memory at a very sad time. I am sure your mom still remembers that moment too. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  • Jacqueline Gum

    Wonderful story! My most vivid memory is getting a grocery store! It was a stand-up thing with cardboard boxes of cereal and all kinds of food and check-out! It even had a cart. Ironic that the thing I hate most today is grocery shopping!!! But oh how I loved that little store!

    • Hi Jacqueline, Thanks so much. I remember those grocery stores. They were really fun. I didn’t have one but my best friend did and we played with it for hours. Happy Holidays 🙂

  • Adrienne

    Oh Susan, you have me in tears too! What a special Dad you have and how much he so loved you. That’s so wonderful that he did that the night before and so late too. What a special memory and I so appreciate you sharing that with us.

    I don’t have one I’m afraid but I did love Christmas. I love the innocence of it and how I looked forward to Christmas morning. Just spending time with my family.


    • AW, that is wonderful that I was able share my emotions with you Adrienne. They are very special to me. I love Christmas too, for all the memories and for what is represents. Happy Holidays my friend. 🙂

  • Hi Susan

    What a super Christmas story!
    My memory of Santa story was more of learning to get your facts exactly right. The only gifts we ever got from Santa fit in a stocking that was pinned to our beds. I was six at the time and asked for a Teddy Bear and a doll buggy. Well Christmas morning there he was poking his head out of my stocking and upon looking into the rest of the goodies in the stocking there was also a pink plastic doll buggy. I was disappointed, although I was determined not to show it. I figured I really messed up, because I should have been more specific as to what I wanted. My idea was a big cuddly bear and a big enough doll buggy to push my new bear and dolls around in. What I got was a blue plastic bear about 3 inches high with a little bit of rabbit fur glued on top, the arms and legs moved but this was not a cuddly bear! The doll buggy was also about 3 or 4 inches and although it was cute, it wasn’t really even big enough for my new plastic bear to sit in. I decided after that experience I would be specific about the size of whatever it was I wanted and I did not care who was going to get it for me, it just needed to be the size I wanted. The Christmas toy catalog became a very good tool for getting the point across, even if I didn’t get anywhere near my wish list…it is all about interpretation!

    Thank you for sharing your story.


    • Hi Mary, Thank you. Boy howdy, how right you are. You asked for something and it was delivered, just not in the size your mind had envisioned. The toy catalogs were a great solution to ensuring your parents knew your desires. 🙂

  • Niekka McDonald

    This is such a sweet story! I reminds me of my dad and him doing stuff like that for me and my sister. The weather was never a factor because we lived in Los Angeles but it was still very special.

    • Memories like these make the holidays very special, don’t you think Niekka. Weather aside, we all carry with us a set of memorable holiday events. 🙂

  • Jon Jefferson

    At my house growing up, the story was you got exactly what you wanted for Christmas. You just didn’t know that, that was what you wanted.

    When the girls were growing up I would go out and get them one gift special from me. It was special because even now I tend to only get one person a present, my wife. She loves giving presents and will start way ahead of Christmas time, usually in April. Where as, I tend to wait till the last minute to buy a single gift.

    • That is so true Jon. Sometime the present you hadn’t ask for is the very present you needed. I am a early gift shopper like your wife. My husband is the later… LOL

  • Mark Brody

    What a great post Susan! There is always that element of surprise that makes Christmas more special, and I love to hear stories of when the surprise was so positive!

    Thank you for sharing!!

    • Thanks. I believe your right Mark. Who does like a positive surprise and that is what Christmas does. 🙂 Happy Holidays, 🙂

  • Gifts weren’t usually very lavish when I was growing up. Money was tight, but expertly managed, so I never felt deprived of necessities. Even in the 1950s and 1960s, my parents weren’t very materialistic, but strove to provide us with things they thought were important. Dad was an artist (art teacher by profession) and my two sisters and I were all encouraged and provided with opportunities to pursue a creative outlet. For my youngest sister, it was art. For the middle sister, it was theater. And for me, the oldest, it was music. I had started playing the oboe in high school on a loaner instrument from the school (back in the days when the school district realized that music was important). However, when I was in 11th grade, my father took a year long position as a an exchange teacher in rural England, so we had to leave Philadelphia and I had to leave my oboe. One of the first things my father did after we were settled was to drive me into London to buy an oboe. I later realized that the cost of that oboe represented about a month’s worth of income for our family. My father wasn’t a very emotionally demonstrative person, but I knew that he cared.

    • Hi Suzanne, Money was tight for us as well, but when it came to Christmas my Dad pulled out the stops. This Christmas was usual and rare for me because I received two large gifts. I think that’s why it stands out so much to me, even today.

      That is a great story about your Dad and the Oboe. Do you still play?
      :-), Susan

      • Sadly no, but I’m pretty sure it helped me be accepted to a Williams College. It was/is a small school and they desperately needed another oboist for the Berkshire Symphony. Students were cheaper than having to hire ringers from the Albany Symphony.

        • Aw that’s to bad Suzanne. Time and interest do change what we do at times. Nevertheless, it at least got you into a great school. 🙂

  • What a wonderful story. It was so well written it bought tears to my eyes.

    I don’t have any Christmas stories but something cute happened yesterday with my grandson. Every Christmas Eve we would drive to my son’s house for dinner and later that night drive to my daughter’s to watch Jake open his gifts from Santa. Well he just found out that Santa is not real. So this Christmas Eve we are still going to my son’s and we are staying the night. I got a call from Jake and said that it isn’t fair just because I don’t believe in Santa that you and papa will not be here at Christmas to watch me open my gifts. My heart sank. So he doesn’t know it yet but we are going to drive up early on Christmas day and watch him open his gifts.This made me well up and smile.

    • Hi Arleen, Thank you my friend. That was so heart warming. When we lose the thought that Santa is real, I believe we morn the lose and want to get it back. You are your grandson’s tie to his past memories of Santa. Happy Holidays and have a great time with him. 🙂

  • maxwell ivey

    Hello susan; thanks for sharing your christmas memory. It was very ponient and made me cry. I told the groups i shared it with they will need cleanex. i can remember a big jim truck that my grandma nanny wagner gave me that i pushed around on my knees for more than a couple christmases. I can remember the oversized tinker toys designed to be easier for me to play with. i can remember that the best times always seemed to involve my dad because he was like a big kid who could find the fun. and one of the best ever was when a toy they got me to help with my vision turned out to be a favorite of all the kids. It was a game where you had to drop bombs from a toy plane on to targets below it. thanks for sharing. take care my friend, max

    • Hi Max, What wonderful memories. I can tell all hold a very special place in your heart. Hang on to them, they are avery special gifts that keep on giving and keep the magic alive. Happy Holidays friend. 🙂

  • Glynis Jolly

    You brought a tear to my eyes. What a wonderful story.

  • Cheryl Therrien

    What a lovely story and precious memory! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • Pat Ruppel

    What a special memory, Susan. I can see why, to this day, you would still well up with tears in remembering the love of your Dad and how it felt to receive it. They’ll remain with you forever. 🙂

    • Hi Pat, Yep I still get misty eyed when I remember that special Christmas and my dad’s sacrifice to bring his daughter that special gift. 🙂 I hope your holiday is memorable and awesome. 🙂

      • Pat Ruppel

        Ditto, Susan, on your holidays. Truly special memories close to your heart to hold onto.

  • Oksana Frewer

    Lovely Christmas story, sweet and happy! P.S. Pictures are awesome like always, my favourite ones today are a little girl in the shop and a blue bike!

    • Thanks Oksana, Our memories are special and truly our own, aren’t they? I liked to bike one too. 🙂

  • What a sweet and touching story of people caring for one another. As always, your video images also add quite a touch! Blessings to You

    • Thank you Michele. This time of year does bring out the best in us at times, don’t you think?

  • Pat Amsden

    Aww.. This made my eyes tear up.

    • It still does the same to me when I remember it many years later Pat A.. 🙂

  • John Barton

    Hi Susan,

    I resonate with “What did I learn? Never give up hope. You just never know when a deeply desired wish will come true.” That does happen! Thanks for another wonderful post.

    I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.

    As a gift here is my special private circulation of My Christmas Song Book to you – just click here


    ENJOY! Cheers.


    • Thanks John, It is something I think we all my need reminding of from time to time, especially when we think there is no hope. Happy holidays to you and your family as well. 🙂

  • Jen Weaver

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful memory and valuable lesson about hope. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Jen, Your welcome. I think we all have memories like these. What is your favorite holiday memory?

  • Along Came Mary

    I admit, I had a tear or afew in my eyes too! What a wonderful story, true to the Christmas spirit. It made me think of a funny story when I was quite little…I loved reruns of Little House on the Prairie & asked for a ‘wagon’ for Xmas, meaning, a covered wagon with horses 😉 But, I, oddly, got a red radio flyer–WTH?! I thought, I was so sad not to get my wagon like The Ingalls had, yet that radio flyer that I didn’t ask for went on to become my most favorite toy/activity!

    • Hi Mary, What a great story. It just goes to show that what we thoughts wasn’t a great or right gift can, in fact turn out to be just that. Thank you for your thoughts my friend, and have an awesome holiday. 🙂

  • Krisma M.

    That was an amazing story, Susan. Simple, heart-warming and drenched with lessons of hope. It made me want look back to my own childhood holiday memories. 🙂

    • Hi Krisma and welcome. Thank you. Our past is filled with stories we sometimes take for granted. What seems so simple to us is new and interesting to others. 🙂

  • Jacs Henderson

    I was so hoping it would be a happy ending !! Another beautiful story Susan, and love how you must have felt so treasured and special. I felt the same the year I discovered my bike under the tree 🙂

    • Thanks Jacs. As it was with you and your bike, it was a very special christmas and memory for me. 🙂

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