Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Magic of Christmas

by Jennifer Madden

I love Christmas. I mean, seriously love it. I love the smell, and the hype, and I’m probably one of the few people that actually like wintertime. Although this 6 degree weather is stressing even me out. My favorite thing about Christmas, though, is the magic.

I have a lot of fabulous memories of Christmas, but my absolute favorite was the year of 2004. My daughter was 1 at the time, and my son Jake was 4. Jake has always been very skeptical of Christmas and Santa Clause. I don’t know why, but he seemed to know that something fishy was going on, and it was difficult to sell him on the idea of a jolly fat man giving him things. Well, Christmas morning, we woke up, and he didn’t believe that Santa had brought all those toys under the tree. My husband and I told him that we had heard the reindeer on the roof the night before, so we knew he had visited the house. Jake went to the French doors of the sunroom, looks out at the snow, and turns around in disbelief. ‘He was here!’ he yells. ‘Look.’

Snow had fallen the night before, and there in the pristine snow were perfect deer prints on the deck. The second story deck.My husband and I were stunned, but as parents we knew when to take advantage of a good thing. We told him they were definitely Reindeer prints, and he believed in Christmas for several more years.

We never saw the actual deer that made the prints. We assume, though, that they had come up to look in at all the love inside the house. I took pictures, of course, and the proof has perpetuated several extra years of innocent childhood for my daughter. I bring the photos out every year to remind them of the magic of the season.

Hopefully, this year, I will have a special Christmas gift for me under the tree, or on the computer, as it were. My debut release is scheduled for later this month, and I am so incredibly anxious. Second Time Around is a contemporary romance set in Kentucky horse country. Here’s the blurb:

Officer Shane Caldwell responds to a routine end of shift call with some annoyance, but when she tackles and handcuffs her ex-lover and the father of her son, things turn hot in a flash. Four years before, Quinn Scott disappeared to make his fortune, and she hasn’t heard a word from him. As his touch ignites old passions, Shane is torn between telling him about the son he’s never known, and protecting young Jackson’s heart from the man who walked away without a backward glance.

When Shane storms back into his life, Quinn isn’t surprised by the incredible attraction which sparks between them. He wants to take up where they left off, but years of lies and unexpected betrayals from family and friends endanger his Thoroughbred breeding operation and his dreams of a future with the woman he never really left behind.

Will old prejudices separate them again or can love grow stronger the Second Time Around?

In celebration of my upcoming release, and because it’s Christmas, and my birthday, I’m shipping one lucky commenter a Kentucky-themed gift box. Inside will be a horseshoe made of Chocolate, a Kentucky mug, and several other horse and book themed items. You will also receive a copy of Second Time Around when it comes out. You just have to tell me your favorite Christmas or Holiday story, in relation to your children. Come on ladies, I know you have your favorites. Share. The winner will be picked at random. Please leave your email address with your comment!

Thank you so much for your memories.


You can find me at

On Facebook, I am J.m. Madden, or you can follow this LINK

Or you can Tweet me @lilbighorse.


  1. This was one of my favorite blogs to post because I love a weird/mystical story! Personally, I think those are reindeer tracks. How else could a hoofed animal get all the way up there without at least some ho-ho-ho magic to give him a boost?

  2. Ah, I have no children so no stories... I do recall watching the family dog with a wrapped toy, tear the wrapping to pieces and then trot about in great delight with his rubber pork chop, squeeking all the way!

    Your book sounds delightful and I'm sure will do quite well! Congrats!

  3. One year we bought my oldest daughter a Glamour Gals cruise ship and it didn't come in until Christmas Eve. It was in a huge box and I just assumed that we'd pull it out of the box and it would be good to go, wrong. It was all put together alright, it just had a million stickers that had to be put on it. We were up almost all night putting the stickers on. That was the last time I ordered a gift so late.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  4. The funniest thing so far this year is as soon as she saw xmas lights up on a house she boldly told me that Santa was coming and we didn't even have our tree up yet! Oh and that was before Thanksgiving! Kids really do say the darndest things! Happy Holidays!

  5. well i have god children who are alsomy neices and newphews and they all live with me well my nephew who has a cute story of his own when he was he seen the diamonds for ever comercial and had togo and find something special spent a couyple weeks findings msooth rocks for me his mother and our mom for christmas when his sister was 3 and met santa for the first time that year climbed in his lap and informed him she didnt wanta lil sister shed rathe rhave apuppy and if he could switch it out shed be really happy my sister was prego with my second neice we laugehd for along time over that my sisterhad my second neice on the 24 of january lol the year she turned 5 she told santa she wnate da ittle brother for christmas because a puppy is messy and eats too much food she got rewarded with a sister in july everytime one of the kids ask for a puppy or a brother they end up with another sister lol now we try and convicne them that hey want dolls tho my young neice Veah askes for stuff like cookies so she can feed sponge bob or dolls we ask if she wants anything else shegoes nope because we are all the best and haven thebest means not aksing for puppies they smell lol

    ur book soudns awesome

  6. I don't have children (due to my diabetes), but I am "Super Aunt" to 6 wonderful kids that still believe I am Santa's helper. My mom told them how Santa has helpers all over the world (even in malls...) and my love of the season and giving spirit showed how I was one of his special helpers. HOWEVER she didn't bother to tell me any of this before I went over to babysit and do xmas crafts the year she told them this! I was greeted with lots of questions all about this Special Job. LOL! One or two are getting old enough to realize that it is more about the spirit of the season that the man in the red suit, but I still love the magic of that year and how they wanted to help me help Santa, and we even went on a trip to the store for toys the local shelter as "helpers." I hope that leason will stay with them. I know the memories do me.


  7. Hello ladies.
    Valerie, I have to tell you, we were pretty freaked when we saw them. There was no place for the deer to go. The deck was built in an L-shape, so the deer climbed the steps, walked past one set of french doors, turned the corner and passed in front of the second set of doors. It wasn't just a quick peek, he climbed up and stayed a while!
    Maureen, you don't need 'kids' to enjoy the season. Animals work just as well. I'm surprised your pup didn't trot away with the paper in his mouth rather than the toy. That's what mine would have done.
    Linda, just be happy to know you saved some worker a lot of tedious time putting all those stickers on! LOL. I'm sure your daughter appreciated all your effort.
    Kirsten, I can relate. My 6 year old thinks every day is Christmas Eve. We're really confusing her going up to celebrate Christmas this weekend with the in-laws. "But Santa won't know where we are!"
    SiNn- I know when I was a kid heck yeah I'd have traded my sister for a puppy!
    Vicky, you don't have to be a mother to bring the magic of the season to children. Sounds like Super Aunt is doing a spectacular job!
    Thank you ladies so much for stopping by!

  8. The magical shine in my son's eyes when he saw the Chanukah menorah candles lit for the first time....a precious memory! Thanks for the chance to win a bit of Kentucky! Sheila P52 @

  9. I love the magic of Christmas and your reindeer story. The story that comes to my mind is when my daughter was four years old. I found her downstairs at three am. She was standing on a kitchen chair unwrapping presents. Her eyes sparkled as she said, "Santa left me all these." I laughed so hard because she thought everything was for het.

  10. The magic never gets old and I still watch the sky on Christmas though, well you never know! It's magic, right? When one of my brothers was about seven my dad had a friend come over dressed as Santa, because my brother was doubting. Well, he had no doubt it was Fred not Kris...but the two year old brother... well, when he was eight or nine he got in a fist fight at school over the subject. He never forgot seeing Santa at our house. Then my dad had to break the news.

  11. I don't have kids, but when I was one I saw Santa's footprints coming from the chimney to the tree in our living room and thought it was the most amazing thing. It didn't register with me that mom was able to vacuum up the powdery white footprints later that day.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  12. What a cute story, JM! We don't do too much with Santa at our house, but the kids do excitedly anticipate Christmas! Even the youngest is counting down the days, carefully figuring out from the calendar how many days are left before the big day! :) Guess it's good for math skills ;)

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  13. I think there is something magical about the season and all of the feelings that it brings out in people. I'm not sure if it's all of the beautiful decorations and the anticipation, but just enjoy it as it happens.

  14. Thank you so much for the story Jennifer! That was one curious deer! lol No kids for me either, but my favorite part of the Holidays is going to look at Christmas lights. Even if I'm alone, for some reason I just love those lights!

  15. That was a fantastic story. I, myself, would have been wondering how those prints got up there!! Our children need to believe in SAnta, this day and time it doesn't last as long as it use to. You could keep it from them a few years longer!!

    Happy Birthday Jennifer!!!


  16. I answer d this for my god kids but i really shoud answer as well fo rmy awesome boys who are mine in all teh ways that count our youngets we got andthe adoption for my fiance was finalized the beginning of this month 5 yrs ago itsbeen thebest blessing that could come in our lives even tho we live in different states right now and our oldetsturned 17 in sept both are awesome kids and they know thetrue meaning of christmas they told us that they dont want presents as long as we are all together makesme proud that we taught them so well tho the youngest has uis wrapped and says some things that make some ppl shake their heads but hes ours and im glad that he is

  17. Sheila, I don't think it matters what religion or denomination you are, it's just a special time of year! The excitement and anticipation are contagious!
    Kathleen, that's really cute. I had to laugh at my daughter this year because all the tags read from her.
    Kate, my son figured out last year what was up with santa, but he's playing along to keep his sister in the dark just a little bit longer. That innocence needs to be preserved as long as possible.
    Joder and Colleen, you don't have to have children to be touched by the holidays. As much as I enjoy giving my kids a great memory, I still get excited when this special time rolls around.

  18. I, personally, like the decorations, and shopping for gifts. I love giving people something that suits them perfectly, and seeing the smiles on their faces.
    Thank you for the birthday wishes Judy. It's been a busy day!

  19. What a beautiful story. We had something similar but for the Easter Bunny. I lvoe holidays with fun like that.
    debby236 at att dot net

  20. What a lovely story! No children so don't have any stories of my own but thanks for sharing yours - it made me smile :-)

    smaccall @

  21. Thank you everybody who stopped by. I've loved sharing with you. Have a wonderful Christmas. Actually, Happy Holidays to everybody. Or Chanukah, or whatever you celebrate. Enjoy your families and allow yourselves to believe in the magic of the season.

  22. sorry late, my comp died :(

    happy belated birthday, mine was 12/23.

    I used to visit Kentucky when I was younger.

    dlsmilad (at) yahoo (dot) com