Needless to say, we had approximately seventeen dollars in our checking account, and what we lacked in money was made up in stress. The idea of buying Christmas presents, much less, purchasing a Christmas tree was far from a reality.
One night right before Christmas that year, my husband came home from a Men’s Game Night held at our church. When he walked through our front door, his eyes were downcast, his shoulders slumped in defeat. I worried something awful had happened to him in those few hours away from home. Had he been hurt? Had he heard bad news about the job?
Tim sat down beside me on the sofa and studied our sleeping baby cradled in my arms. “There was a big Christmas jackpot for the last man standing tonight. I made it to the very last round—to the very last hand—and I lost.”
My husband’s not an emotional man by nature—sincere, yes—but emotional? No. I never would have imagined him so upset over losing a card game.
He looked at me, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Every round I won, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to surprise you on Christmas morning—give you something so amazing because of all you’ve given me.”
And in my hormonally-sensitive, sleep-deprived state, sobs rolled through me like tidal waves.
But I wasn’t crying because Tim couldn’t buy me Christmas presents, or because we only had seventeen dollars to our name.
I cried because I realized in that beautifully raw moment that God had given me something I could never earn or deserve.
In my arms laid the blessing of new life, and at my side, sat a man who sought my happiness over his own.
No gift could outshine what God had already given me.
That December night long ago is a reminder that no matter what season of life we find ourselves in—whether it be lean or plentiful, sad or joyful, lonely or filled to the brim with family, our Savior's gifts are all around us.
And most of them are wrapped in the shape of the people we love.
Writing happy endings is easy. Living one is the hard part.
Georgia Cole—known in Hollywood as the “Holiday Goddess”—has made a name for herself writing heartwarming screenplays chock-full of Christmas clichés, but she has yet to experience the true magic of the season. So, when her eccentric grandmother volunteers her to direct a pageant at Georgia’s hometown community theater, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, she’ll be working alongside Weston James, her childhood crush and the one man she has tried desperately to forget.(Book description taken from Amazon)
Now, facing memories of a lonely childhood and the humiliation of her last onstage performance, seven years earlier, Georgia is on the verge of a complete mistletoe meltdown. As Weston attempts to thaw the frozen walls around her heart, Georgia endeavors to let go of her fears and give love a second chance. If she does, will she finally believe that Christmas can be more than a cliché?
Nicole has graciously offered up a copy of her novel A Cliché Christmas as a giveaway. Leave a comment below to enter!
Her debut novel, an Inspirational Contemporary Romance, All for Anna, has hit multiple milestones since its release in January 2013, including a 4.7 star rating on Amazon and more than 120,000 downloads on Kindle. She has since completed the Letting Go series and is over-the-moon excited about her new release, A Cliché Christmas, published by Waterfall Press, an Amazon Publishing imprint. A Cliché Christmas is available at Walmart stores nationwide and on Amazon.com.
Nicole Deese is represented by Jessica Kirkland of The Blythe Daniel Agency, and lives in Frisco, Texas, with her husband, Tim, and her two rowdy boys, Preston and Lincoln.