A Very Scarsdale Christmas
Scarsdale Publishing is celebrating this Christmas with a special day of storytelling and giveaways as Santa makes his trek around the world. On Christmas Eve, from 9 AM EST to 8 PM EST, we will release short holiday stories from our authors every hour on the hour!
With each story released on Medium, we will give away a special prize to one lucky reader! That means there are twelve opportunities to win a free book* from Scarsdale Publishing!
Throughout Christmas Eve, Scarsdale Twitter and Instagram will post the links to the holiday stories as they publish each hour. If you follow our accounts, read the story, and comment on any social media post, you will be entered to win the giveaway! …
My Christmas story has to do with love.
I had been dating the man who would become my husband for less than a year when I brought him home for a Christmas. It was a hard holiday that year, as my grandfather, a man I admired and loved very much, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
I brought my date in and introduced him to my mother and stepfather, to my grandmother and my uncle, but it was my grandfather who he spent the most of his time with.
My grandfather whose previously charismatic demeanor had turned pensive and quiet, opened up that evening. Upon learning my date was also a fellow Navy man, he shared story after story about his time at Pearl Harbor, his shipmates during WWII, and the stories were repeated many times throughout the night. …
When I think of Christmas, I think of family. And food. Lots of food. But mostly family.
My parents, sister, and I are all close and do almost everything together. One of my favorite traditions has always been our family light tour. The four of us, and sometimes the dog, pile into the car and drive around the city for hours to ooh and aah at Christmas lights. We never really have a plan; we just pick up hot chocolate and drive.
In Canada, by Christmas Eve, we only have eight hours of daylight and the sun sets at about 4:30PM. …
Shantell Hinton Hill
Growing up in a small town in Arkansas circa the late 1980s, my fondest Christmas memories include going to the local downtown bank where my mom worked and sitting on Santa’s knee to take pictures and sing carols with the other children of the bank’s employees. At the time, if memory serves me correctly, Mom was a teller at the premier bank in our town. At least, that’s the pride with which I viewed my mother as a young girl. …
Amy L. Bernstein
I was like a kid on Christmas morning, sneaking downstairs early in my bathrobe to get a fresh peek at the tree and all the shiny presents wrapped in gold, blue, green, and striped paper heaped high underneath. But I wasn’t a kid: I was all grown up, newly married, and experiencing Christmas for the first time in my life.
Since I’m Jewish, my family never had a holiday tree, let alone all the tinsel and trimmings that go along with it. We received Hanukkah presents — sometimes — as a token gesture toward the season. But Christmas just wasn’t a thing in our house. …
My favorite Christmas memory was the first and last that I got to spend with my husband Kevin. Kevin and I had had a whirlwind romance. We became pregnant with my youngest son shortly after we began dating. Konnor’s first Christmas was our first Christmas as a family. Kevin and I each had a child from previous relationships and those first few months after the baby was born had a few rough spots.
I went all out that year, the house looked like the north pole and we had enough food to feed an army. Christmas Eve, we set a buffet up in the dining room and played games, watched Christmas movies, the whole Hallmark experience. …
It’s 1971, and you’re six years old, living with your grandmother and grandfather in a small, nondescript town in Idaho named Pinehurst. You were adopted by them when you were three. Your mom eventually explains that the adoption allowed you to receive veteran benefits from your grandfather. You thought the real reason might be that raising two children as a single mom had been too much for her. As your grandfather often said, it was “prob’ly six a’ one, half a dozen of the other.”
At any rate, it’s Christmas morning, 1971. You wake excited but smart; you don’t disturb the adults…yet. You tip-toe into the living room, sit down in front of the giant (to you) Christmas tree, and stare at the presents. Surely Santa got your messages. Is there an Etch-A-Sketch under there? Or that Operation game you’ve seen on television commercials? The 19” Panasonic color console your family scrimped for is the envy of the block. No one envies the fact that your grandfather can no longer work because of his emphysema. Food stamps keep groceries on the table, and your grandfather’s DAV status adds enough money for T-ball, occasional A&W Root Beer floats, and the aforementioned television. …
Hong Kong harbors my Christmas spirit.
Why Hong Kong, you ask.
A city-country, Hong Kong’s dominant language is Cantonese, and Victoria Harbour cuts through the over-crowded concrete jungle, and slices the island of Hong Kong on the south from the Kowloon peninsula on the southern tip of China. Hong Kong’s dominant languages used to be Cantonese, Mandarin and English in that order. However, after Britain handed over Hong Kong back to China in 1997, the English language took a back-seat.
So, why Hong Kong, you ask again, a land where artistic Chinese characters plaster billboards and street signs and Chinese lion dances are the hallmark of inaugurations. Dragon Boat races in the summer splash contestants to the euphoric clang of cymbals and drums propelling racers down to the finish line. Chinese New Year summons wishes of ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi’, Happy New Year in Cantonese, and a splendorous display of firecrackers along Victoria Harbour. When the glitters shower down, the colorful sparkles reflect in the harbor’s waters and dissolve in the mirror of lights strewn across Hong Kong’s skyscrapers. …
When you grow up in an Army family, moving and change become part of your tradition. Where the holidays were concerned, we always had a tree, there were always presents, there were always friends packing the house with much noise and celebration. Everything else tended to be fluid and changing — even the actual folks packing the house in any given year. We dropped traditions and picked up new ones. One year stands out from all the rest.
My father was sent to Fort Rucker in late 1951, while Mom and I followed behind later as we often did. I was four that year and still an only child when we arrived in Dothan, Alabama two weeks before Christmas. …
We made a few bad choices and then got hit with a string of bad luck we simply weren’t prepared for. Hubs and I were left homeless with joint custody of two preschool-aged children. We scrabbled and clawed our way along with the help of a few wonderful friends who didn’t hold our own stupidity against us. Christmas 2003 found the four of us living in a one-bedroom suite in a hotel that had last undergone renovations in the late 1970s. I’d gotten a job there and a big discount on the room was part of the deal. Hubs was working for tips at a local diner. Every penny mattered. Noodles and cheap white bread were the staples of our diet. …