From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Book of Christmas Virtues


Several of the stories in this book were taken from previously published sources, such as books, magazines and newspapers. These sources are acknowledged in the permissions section. However, some of the stories were written by humorists, comedians, professional speakers and workshop presenters, as well as by kids. If you would like to contact them for information on their books, audiotapes and videotapes, seminars and workshops, you can reach them at the addresses and phone numbers provided below.

The remainder of the stories were submitted by readers of our previous Chicken Soup for the Soul books who responded to our requests for stories. We have also included information about them.

Toby Ann Abraham-Rhine is a part-time counselor, teacher and performing artist. She and her husband choose to live very simply in order to travel. They saved for years, sold all they had and went around the world with their three children. Readers may enjoy the journey through A Brilliant Teacher from Sawtooth Press.

Kathryn Beisner is a writer and motivational storyteller. Her love of history and family traditions are celebrated in her popular audio book Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Spirit! and an by essay in Chili Today,Hot Tamale. Kathryn lives by the motto, “No Guts, No Story!” For more adventures visit

Robert H. Bickmeyer is retired from General Motors. He writes for the Olive Branch Press, the Think Club and Military Magazine, as well as guest columns for newspapers in southeast Michigan. He is now writing a book, Laughter in Real Life. Bob plays senior citizen softball, volleyball and golf. He can be reached at (248) 879-0207.

Henry Boye is a professional writer/author/cartoonist whose work has appeared in many leading newspapers and magazines. He resides with his wife, Anita, in an adult community in Englishtown, New Jersey.

Ann K. Brandt writes magazine articles and essays. Her first book, Learning to Walk Again, tells of her experience with Guillain-Barré. She is working on Facing Brain Cancer with Hope, a book for anyone affected by cancer. Please e-mail her at [email protected].

Isabel Bearman Bucher, a retired teacher, has been writing, with no training, since 1984. She was raising teenagers, and saying it on paper with words seemed better than committing murder. She’s published dozens of articles in many genres and has completed two books: Nonno’s Monkey: An Italian American Memoir, and Tweet Irene, the story of a little house sparrow that lived with her family loosely for three years. She was a miracle. She and her husband, Robert, continue their honeymoon with life, changing homes throughout the world, walking mountains, finding adventures.

Pam Bumpus and husband, Alan, live near Charleston, Illinois. They have two wonderful daughters, a beautiful granddaughter and a brand new grandson. Pam writes as a hobby and enjoys sharing her stories. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Steve Burt’s inspirational bestsellers include A Christmas Dozen and Unk’s Fiddle. The Ray Bradbury winner Odd Lot won a Benjamin Franklin Award; Even Odder was runner-up to Harry Potter for the 2003 Bram Stoker Award (horror’s top prize); Oddest Yet was a 2004 Stoker Finalist; Wicked Odd is his newest book.

Tamara J. Chilla was raised and educated in Oregon. She has traveled throughout the country working in sales and training for educational publishers. She has always been a stroyteller and currently is working on a series of children’s books. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Robin Clephane Steward is a stay-at-home mother of three. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Brian, two sons, a daughter and a lovable mutt named Boots. She enjoys Anne Perry novels, John Wayne movies and performing taxi service between her home and her local middle and high schools.

James Daigh has a bachelor’s in creative writing/poetry. His careers have been in documentary and feature film production and publishing. His loves are: 1. his fantastic wife and inspiration, Marla; 2. poetry; 3. drawing and painting; 4. fine-art photography and this big, wide, beautiful world.

Mary Kerr Danielson began her writing career by joining a local writer’s group at age fifty-something. (Known within a small circle of family and friends as the “Ditty Lady”—original verses for any and all obscure occasions—she’s positive Hallmark isn’t worried!) She and her husband, Kay, are parents of six daughters, one of whom is deceased. (After they all “left the nest,” the nest was recently moved from Loveland, Colorado, to Riverdale, Utah.) Writing mainly about her life experiences, she also does poetry, plays and children’s stories. E-mail her at [email protected].

Barbara “Binkie” Dussalt is a retired grandmother who enjoys her family, which includes her children Trudy, Susie and Jeff, her granddaughters, Aubrey Jessica and Michelle, and her great-grandchildren, Morgan, Troy and Max. She loves crafts, sewing and making her own expression cards.

Ellen Hamilton Fenter is a pastor, writer, counselor, community activist and blogger who currently enjoys life and ministry in El Paso, Texas. She is a mother and grandmother whose heart always longs for the serenity of her native land, New Mexico. Pastor Ellen’s enduring passion is for “the least of these.”

Nancy B. Gibbs is the author of four books, a weekly columnist for two newspapers and an editor. She has contributed to numerous anthologies and magazines. Nancy has had nineteen stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies. She is a pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother. Contact Nancy at [email protected] or

Angela Hall has been publisher/editor of a newspaper in Canada for twenty years. She has also edited several books, three of which were on the bestseller list. Angela is now retired and looking forward to devoting more time to writing letters of encouragement to sick and needy children as well as to survivors of cancer. You can reach her at [email protected]

A lover of animals, both wild and tame, Bonnie Compton Hanson has authored or coauthored over twenty books, plus hundreds of poems and articles— including those in twelve Chicken Soup books.

Emily Sue Harvey’s upbeat stories appear in women’s magazines, The Compassionate Friends magazine, the Chocolate series, Chicken Soup, From Eulogy to Joy and Caution: Children Praying. Her two current completed novels are God Only Knows and Sunny Flavors. She writes to make a difference. Contact her at [email protected].

Armené Humber is a career coach who helps low-income clients recognize their potential and find their places in today’s challenging workplace. She lives in Southern California, has a master’s degree in Christian leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary and enjoys writing inspirational stories. Contact her at [email protected].

Margaret Kirk has a master’s from Gaddard College with graduate work in heart–centered counseling from the University of Santa Monica. She is currently a fiber artist, doll maker and the executive director of the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center in Colorado. Please e-mail her at [email protected]

Vickie Ryan Koehler received her bachelor of arts from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, in 1979, and then studied for her master’s degree in Spanish at the University of Kentucky. She presently resides in Liverpool, Texas, with her family and teaches in the Alvin Independent School District.

Margaret Lang received her bachelor of arts from Brown University in 1963. She teaches women and children’s groups in California. Margaret has three published stories, two in Chicken Soup for the Father and Daughter Soul. Her daughter is a physician/missionary, her son a youth pastor, and she has two granddaughters.

Charlotte A. Lanham is a retired teacher and columnist. She is a frequent contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Charlotte and her husband, Ray, cofounded a nonprofit organization called Abbi’s Room Foundation, providing beds and bedding for children of Habitat for Humanity families. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sharon Whitley Larsen, a former special-education teacher, has contributed previously to Chicken Soup books (4th, 5th, Teenage and Golden editions). Her work has also appeared in Reader’s Digest, Los Angeles Times Magazine and other publications. She currently writes travel stories for Copley News Service and can be reached at [email protected].

Margaret R. Middleton has experienced miracles and unhappiness in her seventy-five years of life. God has been her foundation. She has written fifteen episodes of her childhood and, as an adult, a biography that readers will perceive as an adventurous experience of her life.

Sheila Myers’s work has appeared in Grit, the St. Anthony Messenger and Staying Sane When Your Family Comes to Visit (due Fall, 2005). She ghosted Carmen’s memoir, Daughter of the Spirit: A Soul’s Journey Home, for which she seeks a publisher. Ms. Myers can be reached at [email protected]

Edmund W. Ostrander holds a bachelor’s of music from Oberlin Conservatory, a master’s of education in music from C. W. Post College, a master’s of education in counseling psychology from Cambridge College and a Ph.D. in humanities from the Union Institute. He has taught on every level and currently teaches storytelling for Cambridge College and Lesley University. E-mail him at [email protected].

Annette Seaver’s greatest passion is mothering. She currently has eleven children: seven biological, four adopted and two “on hold.” She’s been to China and Saoma, and anticipates traveling to Mongolia soon. She mentors unwed mothers, organizes a variety of teen activities, volunteers at school and church, and enjoys writing.

Stephanie Welcher Thompson married her sweetheart, Michael, on February 14, 2002. These days, they enjoy family life in an Oklahoma City suburb with their darling two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Micah. Reach them at P.O. Box 1502, Edmond, OK 73083, or [email protected].

Jim West is one of the most sought after cruise professionals in the travel industry. He is the author of four travel books and a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul. He was a professional cruise director for ten years; has sailed on over 850 cruises, including a cruise to Antarctica with Sir Edmund Hillary; visited over 72 countries around the world and is a popular international speaker. He has received his certification in Youth Ministry from the University in Stubenville, Ohio, and continues to minister to teens through a travel ministry. You can reach Jim at or by calling (815) 878-3600.

Woody Woodburn is a sports columnist for the Daily Breeze in Torrance, California. He has been honored for column writing by the Associated Press Sports Editors, appeared in The Best American Sports Writing anthology, is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup series and authored two books. He can be reached at [email protected].

Jane Zaffino recently retired from Bell Canada after thirty years of dedicated service. She is now pursuing her lifelong dream of writing by taking courses at George Brown College. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband of thirty years and their two children. You can reach Jane at [email protected]

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