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Don’t be too surprised, but I do actually read and interact with authors who write more than just dark fiction! Here are three pieces of Holiday cheer written by Jaimie M. Engle. And don’t forget to check out her middle grade book, Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light, after reading her Holiday treats!

by Jaimie M. Engle

Candy Cane’s kiss
on a Candy Cane tree.
Candy Cane you
and a Candy Cane me.
Peppermint stick
with a Candy Cane curve.
Lick up straight
then your tongue has to swerve.
Red hugs white
in a cellophane twist.
I hug you
then I wait to be kissed.
Mistletoe Mama
and a Mistletoe Pops.
Candy Cane kissin’
ain’t never gonna stop!

by Jaimie M. Engle

‘Twas the morning of Christmas, I woke from my sleep
and listened for voices, but heard not a peep.

My parents, still sleeping, but I couldn’t stand it.
I jumped from the floor, on their mattress I landed.

They slowly awoke, and I ran to the tree
to see shiny wrapped presents there waiting for me.

But dad in the kitchen, just reading the news,
and mom making coffee.  What was the snooze?

Didn’t they know I had waited all year
to unwrap my gifts and be filled with cheer?

I think that they did as they smirked at each other,
my dad laughing softly, a wink from my mother.

I sat on the couch with a pout on my face
while bacon fried loudly, then eggs took its place.

They made me eat breakfast.  They made me digest.
I waited and waited while they took a rest.

And just when I thought that my head would explode.
My parents stood up, and then I was told,

“When we were young kids we both had to wait
to open our gifts after we cleaned our plate.”

“And when you’re grown up, you’ll do Christmas stall.
Now open your gifts that we bought from the mall!”

As I dug in those boxes with glee and delight
I was glad that they hadn’t waited ‘til night.

I decided right then not to stall my kids thrill,
‘though I’m sure, like my parents, I probably will.

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Miracle
by Jaimie M. Engle

This holiday season my husband and I are broke.  Not just because the economy tanked and prices rose either.  Sure, that didn’t help, especially since my husband’s profession until two months ago was commercial real estate in one of the hardest hit counties by Freddie and Fannie.  The whole area almost lost their fannies.  When the income stopped he decided to go back to school. Why not, right? He’s an amazing cook, but he wanted to learn how to be a chef, which was fine with me so long as he had plenty of homework.

So this holiday began with my husband taking a huge pay cut to become a full-time student. He found an internship under an Executive Chef paying just over minimum wage.  I’m a full-time mom, wife, housekeeper, tax consultant, taxi driver, and dog trainer, and I found myself making half of just over minimum wage.

In October I started worrying about money for Christmas.  My husband said not to.  He has a gift for letting things roll off his back, and focusing on what he has control over, in this case going to work and bringing home paychecks.  I, on the other hand, have a tendency to freak out, even though I’ve discovered everything always works out.

I decided to use a different approach than either of our personalities gravitated toward.  I prayed God would send money our way, unexpected gifts out of nowhere.  I figured this was the same guy who multiplied five fish and three loaves to feed 5,000 people lunch.  Money to buy presents for my two boys and husband should be a piece of cake.

On Black Friday, I joined my mom in the herd at Walmart, not at an obscene hour, but early enough to snag some deals.  We scurried amongst the shoppers, feeling the eminent deadline of the end of sales looming over us like Thanksgiving gravy.  I had my list, had checked it twice, and grabbed the games and toys I needed, and a few other things that struck my fancy.

I charged these items on my credit card.  With only six hundred dollars in debt and a fifteen hundred dollar allowance, I decided a few hundred dollars for my boys to experience a wonderful Christmas was fair and still responsible.  We would continue to pay over the minimum each month, and eventually pay it off as things picked back up.

One-hundred and fifty dollars later, I was nearly done with my list, and I had been blessed to find incredible deals and bargains.  I went through my gift closet at home and found nearly everything else I needed for the rest of my family, along with tons of free magazines from Delta Skymiles, which I sent to grandparents and out-of-town relatives.

I prayed that each time I opened the mailbox I’d find those unexpected checks. But they still hadn’t come.  Then, my grandparent’s card arrived, and I smiled, knowing the standard fifty dollars would be inside.  Imagine my expression when I removed a check for two-hundred dollars!  I was now fifty dollars in the black after my shopping trip.  So that’s why they call it Black Friday…

I used the unexpected cash to finalize my shopping list. I should have felt like my prayers had been answered, but I still had my doubts over whether or not that check was my Christmas miracle.  It was too easy to justify my grandparents were just feeling generous this year.  I guess I was expecting a bigger miracle.

Two nights ago, while my husband was at work and I was playing with my boys, there was a knock at the front door.  I figured it was the little boy upstairs coming down to say hello.  Instead, my UPS guy stood on my front walk.  My neighbor two doors down works late, and since I’m often home, the UPS guy has been leaving her packages with me almost monthly for the entire year.  I use these encounters to encourage him and he thanks me for saving him the trip back, leaving my door each time with me saying, “God Bless!”

So there he stood, a week before Christmas, and I prepared to sign his board and take her package, spending the rest of the night wondering what was inside.  Instead he handed me a card, once again thanking me for all my help over the year, reminding me of all the time I’ve saved him by taking my neighbor’s boxes.

I smiled at his thoughtfulness, wished him a Merry Christmas and my standard, “God Bless.”  I closed the door and opened the card.  Inside, I found a beautiful note and a twenty-dollar bill.  I fell to my knees.

That was the miracle I’d been waiting for.

So it wasn’t about the money after all, but rather the thoughtfulness of one life touching another, as a chain reaction, and everyone giving of their heart. I truly understood, for the first time, the meaning of Christmas, while I enjoyed a piece of chocolate jalapeno cheesecake my husband created, you know, to help him with his homework.

Visit Jaimie on her blog at jaimiengle.com

And don’t forget to check out her middle grade children’s book:

Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light

CliftonChase_JaimieEngleClifton Chase couldn’t possibly know the mysterious arrow he finds in his closet will lead him to the year 1485. Two princes need his help, but why? Carrying the Arrow of Light, a weapon forged from the Tree of Knowledge itself, Clifton is led on a journey to face fire-breathing dragons, kidnapping by merpeople, and a final battle, which will end the War of the Roses and the reign of a tyrant king. Will Clifton discover his purpose on time and save the day? Or has the arrow chosen the wrong boy?

History clashes with fantasy in this middle grade adventure story.

Available on Amazon