Merry Christmas from C.H. Armstrong Books & Blog

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IMG_5517About four years ago at this time, my (now) 11 year-old was so excited for Christmas that — in his rowdy play with our boxer —  he knocked over my Christmas tree. It still stands crooked and, try as I might, I just can’t seem to get the crooked side moved into the corner “just right” so that the whole world can’t tell that it’s crooked. At the time, I was angry — but today I think it’s hilarious. Even though my tree leans noticeably to one side, it makes me smile to think of the antics of a small boy and his dog at Christmas.

It’s Christmas Eve now and that small boy no longer believes in Santa. I’d give anything to go back through time and let him knock that tree over again!

Today I’m wishing all of you a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! To those who don’t celebrate Christmas, my sincere wishes for joy and happiness go to you and your family for whatever holiday you do celebrate. It doesn’t really matter whether we call it Christmas or Chanukah or Ramadan or Kwanza or some other name…all of it means the same thing: Joy, Peace, Love and Good Will! To each of you, I wish you all of these things.

In honor of Christmas, I leave you with a short passage from the first chapter of The Edge of Nowhere which, appropriately, is all about Christmas and the near demise of a Christmas tree.  Enjoy!

IMG_1636(P.S. I had planned to post a photo of our Christmas tree, all wrapped up in  the glory of its own lights and surrounded by gifts, but that same boy who knocked over the tree so many years before decided to “save energy” by unplugging the lights.  Rather than risk knocking the tree over again by wedging my adult body between the tree and the wall, I figured I’d wait for the tiny little body of that boy to wake up and plug them back in for me!  Instead, I give you this image of that boy with Santa).



“VICTORIA,” Mama said, stepping away from the tree we’d placed in the corner of our small sitting room. “I hope you’re almost done with that last string. I’m just about ready.”

“I’m finished.” I placed my creation into her outstretched hands and waited excitedly for her assessment.

“Oh, Victoria! It’s perfect!”

Mama moved around our Christmas tree, expertly draping my popcorn-and-berries decoration as she went. My face beamed with pride.

“Will it fit all the way around?” I asked.

“Oh, I’m sure it will. If not, we can make it work. You did a nice job, baby girl.”

Singing a familiar Christmas carol, Mama placed the last touches on the tree. Though I didn’t know the words, I hummed right along with her.
Mama continued her circle around the tree, taking special care not to knock it over with her pregnant belly. Sadly for our tree, that was an impossible task. In slow motion, I watched Mama push against the tree, tilting it first to a forty-five degree angle then sending it crashing to the floor.


I giggled at Mama’s surprised screech.

“What’s so funny, young lady?” she asked. Mama wore a severe expression, but her twitching lips couldn’t hide her amusement.

“Mama!” I gasped, still giggling. “Your tummy is huge! Are you sure there’s only one baby in there?”

Shooting me a glare of mock scolding, Mama reached down and picked up our small tree. “Yes, Miss Smarty Pants. That’s your baby brother or sister growing in there. Only one, thank you very much!”

“It’s so big, though! Will it be here in time for Christmas?”

“Oh, I hardly think so. He needs a bit longer to grow and get stronger. Six or eight weeks more, I think.”

“You’re sure it’s not a litter? Jeannie Herrick’s dog just had a litter of puppies, and there were nine in there! You might have at least two or three.”

“Not likely,” she laughed.

“Mama stepped close to the tree, straightening a few last ornaments, and then took a step back to admire her work. “Perfect,” she said, pulling me close to her side.

“Perfect,” I echoed.

Together, Mama and I admired our tree. It was now flatter on one side, so Mama turned the flat side toward the corner. It would be our secret. Picking up the strains of the forgotten carol, Mama’s voice rang clear throughout the room. Christmas was only a week away.


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2 responses to “Merry Christmas from C.H. Armstrong Books & Blog”

    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Anthony! I hope your Christmas is wonderful!


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