Monday, December 16, 2019

12 Days of Christmas || Christmas Story Snippets 1/3

It's day three, y'all!

And I've got a special treat. ;) Because I always share a Christmas story of some kinda during the party—and because I haven't written ANY this year—I'm pulling random Christmasy snippets from several of my short stories, books, and unfinished works. Some have been read before and some haven't. There will be three of these posts with a few snippets each, so I hope y'all enjoy!

|| Christmas Story Snippets {pt. 1 of 3}

I cast my gaze around the darkened sanctuary, lit by the light of each individual candle. Just as the world is lit by each Christian who has the True Light residing in their hearts.  
I sighed, letting the tranquility fill me. Not a sigh of longing for things to be different, not a discontented sigh due to yet another unhappy home, but a joyful sigh. A sigh that said on this special, silent Christmas Eve night, peace reigned within me.  
If only … I shook my head to clear my thoughts. No, I wasn’t going to go there. Not tonight. Even without him, we would be all right. Even with Braden’s status unknown, we could hold to this hope and peace.  
As the song came into the third verse, movement at the front of the church caught my eye. I slowly turned to my right and studied the area. Pastor Garrett stood at the podium before the pulled curtain and Mrs. Crystal, his wife and the church pianist, had moved from the piano bench to her husband’s side. Maybe that’s what I saw, I mused. Her moving halfway across the room.  
I was turning my gaze back to the candle I held when it happened again. This time I was almost fast enough to catch it, and I saw the curtain falling back into place. That’s strange.  
There was yet another rustle of movement and then a silhouette appeared on the curtain next to Pastor Garrett, illuminated by the light from the large candle at the center of the communion table.  
My heart beat faster and faster. “Oh my goodness.” I felt the tears forming in my eyes, but for once I didn’t care. I nudged my twin. “Kaitlyn, that’s—”  
“I know,” she whispered, her own voice just as shaky as mine. She’d seen him, too.  
Without giving a single thought to my actions, or rather the aftermath of them, I shoved my candle into Mr. Robertson’s hands. Squeezing past Mrs. Robertson, I slid into the nearest pew and sidled as fast as I could toward the middle aisle. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kaitlyn right on my heels.  
When I reached the aisle, I broke into a run. I’d been reminded many times to not run in church. 
But I was fairly certain that, given the circumstances, God would forgive me.  
I didn’t stop until I reached the front of the church and threw myself into my brother’s arms. “Braden!”  
He held me close, drawing me up in his arms until my feet left the floor. “Oh, Ash,” he murmured.


Christmas in a POW camp. Now this was something Frank had never planned on doing, never dreamed about, and never thought would come about as an after effect of piloting a bomber. 
A German accented shouting from near the door told him that the man could care less that this was a day worthy of celebration, a day when enemies should set aside their differences and embrace life as fellow children of the King.  
But no. Instead they were swore enemies, willing and waiting to kill the other should the opportunity arise. 
Frank contemplated the matter as he rolled out of his bunk, nearly stepping on Nathan.  
“Hey, watch it,” Nathan warned, throwing an arm over his head. “The perfection in this face cannot be duplicated.”  
“Sure,” Frank pretended to grumble, grinning. “Merry Christmas.”  
Rising from the floor he had rolled out onto, Nathan grinned back. “Merry Christmas.”  
The guard at the door continued his shouting, part in German and part in badly broken English. 
Grabbing their coats—if they had actually been warm enough the night before to go to bed without them—the twenty or so prisoners obeyed orders with reluctance and filed out the door.  
Outside in the snowy yard, a field of frozen mud, the prisoners lined up in a pentagon of sorts around one of the towers. The head officer appeared from the direction of his quarters—no doubt much cleaner and warmer than anywhere else within the barbed wire confinement—and tromped up the stairs to the high tower with an air of superiority. From his lookout, he made it his own duty to count the prisoners in the yard below, standing in perfect rows.  
Just like every other morning, as if Christmas Day was nothing different.  


Later in the day, a rumor spread through the stalag that a surprise was being planned by a few fellows in the building next to them. Frank and Nathan swapped ideas of what on earth it could be—if it was even a truth, and not another story started by some bored GI. 
A loud stomping sounded as someone came up the rickety stairs, then bursting through the curtain that had been strung up over the door. “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas, fellas!”  
A large figure, masquerading as Santa Claus, appeared in the doorway with a large sack slung over his shoulder. “Ho, ho, ho!” He called again, before turning back to the open door. “Get in here, elfie.” 
A much shorter fellow appeared, dressed in an elf costume complete with pasteboard elf-ears. 
Frank laughed as he observed the two, roaming around and asking what each fellow “wanted from pappy.” Despite their best efforts at disguise, the identity of the two fellows was quite obvious. 
The duo tossed cigarette packs and bars of chocolate to the prisoners before taking off back out the door. Frank crowded into the window next to some of the other guys, watching as the two guys raced to the next door.  
Nathan appeared next to Frank, elbowing him. “Maybe Adam and Clayton do know what Christmas is all about, huh?”  
Frank grinned, not growling for once about being elbowed. “Yeah, maybe.” 

|| 12 Days of Christmas Party

Showers of Blessings — Christmas Gift Ideas

Read Another Page — Book #16: Reminisce Christmas

Life of Heritage — Christmas Movies

RebekahAshleigh — Christmas Book Recommendations

Little Blossoms for Jesus — My 8 Favourite Winter Reads of 2019

Soldier Girl Stories — Christmas Movies

Rebekah's Reading Room — Amahl and the Night Visitors

favorite snippet? are you ready for Christmas?