About This Book

This collection of 101 heartwarming and entertaining stories of holiday traditions, family, and goodwill will spread the wonder and joy of the holiday season. A fantastic holiday gift and a great way to start the season!

Christmas is a festive and joyful time of year, a time of family, friends, and traditions. You will delight in reading the 101 merry and touching stories of love, joy, and wonder. And all the stories are "Santa safe" so they can keep the magic alive for the whole family.

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Five ways to make your holidays even merrier

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas! by Amy Newmark; foreword by Santa Claus

Get into the holiday spirit with these entertaining, often hilarious, stories from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas! You'll pick up some great ideas for inexpensive and meaningful gifts, easy entertaining, and ways to de-stress in the midst of all that busyness! Here are five ideas from the book that will help make the holidays even merrier for you and yours:

  1. Accept imperfection for the happiness it represents. For weeks, Ann Morrow had been envisioning her perfect Christmas tree. She dreamed of a tree artfully decorated with lights, cascading ribbons, and expensive ornaments—one worthy of a home and garden magazine article. Then reality hit when her small children got their hands on the ornaments and decorated only the front, lower branches of the tree. It was nothing like what Ann had envisioned. Disappointed, she plugged in the lights and was immediately overwhelmed. "As I looked, I didn't see the same unsightly tree I had just moments before," Ann says. Instead she saw the special memories in every homemade and family ornament. "That tree was a part of every member of my family and the mere sight of it was breathtaking."
  2. Take the holidays on vacation with you. With all their children and grandchildren, the Ely family had grown too large for Cindy and her husband to host Christmas at their small home. So they moved their holiday celebration to an inn where they had vacationed as a young family. "When my husband spread the good news, everyone was excited," Cindy says. They all had such a great time sledding, hiking and playing games that they did it again the next year. The family has now celebrated Christmas at the inn for nearly two decades! "As time has passed, our traditions have evolved. There are performances, contests, and lots of fun for every age group," Cindy writes. "We look forward to many more Christmases at the Creek."
  3. Create gifts that will last all year. Jayne Thurber-Smith was disappointed when she opened her final gift on Christmas—an ordinary wall calendar from her husband Peter. At his encouragement, she opened it to January and saw a Starbucks gift card taped to the first Friday of the month. Peter announced they would be having coffee and scones at Starbucks that day. Jayne and Peter had been having monthly date nights, but Jayne says they'd "basically become just another obligatory appointment." To change that, her husband dreamed up a year's worth of date nights, all different, and all relevant to special occasions throughout the year. He had thoughtfully arranged for a different kind of date each month and taped a gift card for a restaurant to that day on the calendar. "And the rest of the year was every bit as romantic, sweet and thoughtful," Jayne says. "Peter brought a whole new meaning to 'Personalized Calendar.'"
  4. Start new and inexpensive traditions. During their first Christmas season together as newlyweds, Joan Clayton and her husband didn't have money for gifts or even decorations. So one morning her husband wrote a love note and hung it on their tree, with instructions to wait until Christmas to open it. Seeing this, Joan did the same. They continued writing love notes to each other every day and hanging them on the tree. "By the time Christmas Eve came, our 'love note' ornaments 'dressed' the tree in beauty," Joan says. On Christmas Day they opened their notes and read them aloud. The next year, they decorated their tree with more love notes, sparking a tradition that continued with their children and now grandchildren. "Love notes on our tree have become a legacy that has now soared with wings of love for four generations," says Joan.
  5. Get progressive with your entertaining. Ava Pennington loves Christmas, but says, "When I add decorating, baking, addressing cards, shopping, wrapping, and entertaining to my usual routine, even I can turn into the Grinch. 'To Do' lists take over my life from Thanksgiving through New Year's." One Christmas, Ava and her two best friends wanted to host each other for dinner, but felt overwhelmed by the prospect during such a busy season. They decided to try a progressive dinner: appetizers at one house, entrées at the second, and desserts at the third. That way they could visit each other's houses and show off their decoration, but no one hostess would have to do everything. By the end of the night, Ava says, "the evening was pronounced a success and a new tradition was born." The three couples held progressive dinners for 10 years until Ava and her husband moved away. "It didn't matter what we talked about or what we ate," Ava writes. "What mattered was that we enjoyed the holiday season together, and our friendship continued to grow… progressively."
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