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A Christmas Carol – Lorraine Coverley

1500 words Humour / Christmas

Everyone knows Dickens’ story of Scrooge, the lonely unloved miser who was visited by three ghosts at Christmas and learned to embrace the true spirit of the season. Of course, it might not always have been in the form we know today. Maybe Dickens struggled with it at first – just a little, perhaps.

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Marley was dead. There is no doubt whatever about that. Scrooge had, in fact, jumped up and down on him a few times, just to make sure, before he spent out on a coffin. Marley was a bit of a practical joker and Scrooge wouldn’t have put it past him to fake his own death. It would probably be a good tax dodge. Scrooge and Marley had been partners. After his death Scrooge had never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scroo aMarl. The other letters had dropped off in 1825 and he’d never bothered to put them back.

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A Christmas Coat-Astrophe – Joan Zambelli

850 words Children 3 -7

Father Christmas’s special thick red coat was now a peculiar pink colour, and only half its original size. It was much too cold for him to be out on his sleigh on Christmas Eve without his thick coat, but children everywhere were waiting excitedly for him to deliver their Christmas presents…

This story is included in the collection Read It Again

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It would soon be Christmas, so Mother Christmas was busy getting ready for that most wonderful time of year. “I must make sure Father Christmas’s special red coat is spotlessly clean,” she murmured to herself. So she quickly put it into the washing machine. Then off she went to put up even more Christmas decorations.

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A Christmas Miracle – Marion Richards

1700 word Christian / Christmas Story

Ada wasn’t looking forward to Christmas with only her memories for company but she had not bargained for the unexpected happenings of Christmas Eve…

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Christmas Eve, that’s when the festivities began in our house. You see, Martin our eldest was born Christmas Eve and my Arthur and me, well, we weren’t ones to see his birthday swamped by all the other Christmas doings – oh no! Our Martin always had his party every Christmas Eve no matter what. Front room crowded with excited youngsters, hollering and laughing, playing games, woofing down blancmange and jelly trifle and before the party came to its end Santa would be sure to pay a visit.

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A Christmas Story – Dorothy Davies

1000 words Feel Good

A family dispute before Christmas is not much fun, can Mike find a way round it?

This story is included in the collection A Wish for Christmas

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The gale force wind sent ice-cold rain sweeping across the garage forecourt. It rattled the signs, pulled at the bunting and threatened the brightly coloured lights on the huge Christmas tree outside the door. Mike Drew ran a hand through his thick brown curls and sighed. If the tree came down, he would have to go out and rescue it. It would mean getting soaked, but that wouldn’t make him any unhappier than he already was. What a Christmas Eve, raining, hardly any customers and the prospect of spending Christmas alone.

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A Christmas Wish – Samantha Tonge

1400 words Feel Good Fiction

Alone in the house, with husband Tony at work, Janet hears a strange noise. She creeps downstairs to find Santa in her lounge. Either she’s dreaming or it’s a burglar, right…?

This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk

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Janet turned over in bed and lazily persuaded herself that she hadn’t heard a noise. Perhaps, like the other night, she’d left the utility room open and her cat, Smudge, had escaped and was taking a tour of the house. Janet chuckled. He really was a scamp. Perhaps he had unrolled a ball of her best cashmere wool. With a yawn, she closed her eyes again. It was Christmas Eve. She really had to sleep. Tomorrow would be busy, what with Mum and Dad coming around for the day.

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A Little Christmas Magic – Lynda Franklin

2170 words Christmas Story

Debra is definitely not happy.  Called at short notice to help out in the Store’s Grotto, dressed in a ridiculous fairy costume that scarcely fits, Debra is counting the days until it’s over. To make matters worse, things are not going well in her love life. Can a little girl visiting the Grotto, and her simple belief in magic, change all that? It is Christmas after all.

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Debra kicked off the sparkly shoes and gently rubbed her feet. Did anyone really have feet that narrow she wondered. She wiggled her toes, imagining the pleasure they must be feeling at being released. That’s how crazy this job was making her. She knew the wings strapped to her back would have to stay, but somehow managed to lift the glittery crown up slightly and give her head a good scratch. Then, and not for the first time, asked herself what she was doing dressed like this. Debra would be thirty three next birthday. Not old in human years maybe, but surely middle aged in fairy years, and positively elderly when it came to a position in Santa’s Grotto.

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A Present for Joe – Margaret Pearce

1700 words Women’s Fiction

The promise of peace on earth to all men of good will is often at its most stressed and fragile during the Christmas period. Yet the right present can still work the age old miracle of wonder and acceptance and bring contentment to the most unlikely recipients.

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Over the laden table Joe met his wife’s eyes; red rimmed from their last fight.He felt the familiar prickle of irritation. Too many screaming kids, too many people, and too much food. It didn’t need to be Christmas for his mother?in?law’s household to slop over so abundantly with chaotic disorder. It wasn’t just family, but all the people who boarded, or had boarded under the shabby roof of the rambling house and their friends as well.

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A Sheep For Christmas – Gill McKinlay

900 words Humour / Christmas Story

Marilyn is not amused when her daughter announces she needs a sheeps’ costume for the school Nativity play. It wouldn’t have been so bad but Juliette, with her long blonde hair, would surely be better cast as an angel – and she already has the perfect outfit. How on Earth is Marilyn going to dress Juliette without it costing a fortune? The school note might have held some answers but Juliette has lost it…

This story is included in the collection A Wish for Christmas

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“I’m going to be a sheep in the school play,” Juliette yelled as she bounded through the school gates at a hundred miles an hour. “A sheep?” Marilyn said. “Really? Have you got a note?” “Yes, somewhere,” the little girl muttered rummaging in her bag. “It tells you all about making the costume.” Carla, one of the mums hanging around the gate, gazed at Juliette’s long blonde hair and frowned. “I’d have put money on Juliette being the angel in the Nativity,” she said.

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A Toaster or a Kettle – Susan Wright

1200 words Women’s Fiction

Young Emily is not impressed when she puts some Christmas presents under the tree on Christmas Eve. There are already some presents there from her father to her mother and they don’t look very exciting. It looks as if Ian’s been buying household appliances again.

Read reviews HERE

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As soon as she’d put Emily’s presents under the tree, Rachel poured herself a sherry and sat down on the sofa, thinking how brilliant it was that everything was ready for Christmas. It was only ten past six on Christmas Eve, but she’d prepared the sprouts, made the mince pies and wrapped all the presents already. When Emily had been young, she’d often been up doing things in the early hours of Christmas Day, but it had been easy to disappear off into her bedroom with the presents and the wrapping paper while Emily had been watching a movie that afternoon, and it hadn’t taken very long at all to wrap everything up.

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A Wish For Christmas – Maggie Jones

1400 words Christmas / Women’s Fiction

When Matt is asked if he could have a wish come true, what would it be?  He surprises his dad when he asks for that one thing that is going to be extremely hard to get.  Will Matt get what he wanted and his wish come true?

This story is included in the collection A Wish for Christmas

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I had once asked Matt, if he had a wish for Christmas what would it be? He looked at me and thought hard before answering my question. ‘Do you remember telling me about the time you were eight and woke up on Christmas morning and saw that it had snowed during the night?’ I nodded as I carried on listening intently to him. ‘You described your feelings. The anticipation you felt, the joy and awe of being the first one to walk on that crisp white even snow. But, then you thought of Auntie Pam, she was only five, and you knew that you couldn’t do it without her, so you woke her. Then both of you raced downstairs to go outside to play in it.’

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Adam’s First Case – Patsy Collins

Adams First Case3000 words Women’s Fiction / Children

Nine year old Adam, police deputy in training, has a very important task. As well as catching the burglar and keeping his parents’ secret he must save the magic of Christmas.

Read the reviews HERE

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Adam adjusted the focus of his binoculars. He’d promised community police officer PC Marks that he would carry out observations, because of the recent burglaries in the area. Adam is an unofficial deputy and in training for when he’s old enough to join the force. It was already dark outside, and Adam had been on stake-out since tea time. He could see people in the garden, but they weren’t burglars. It was his mum and dad. He went to see what they were doing.

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An Angel in the Freezer – Sue Houghton

2800 words Christmas Story

It’s almost Christmas and Mel is feeling neglected. Her daughter, Ellie, has flown the nest and husband, Pete, is busy with a heavy work load, so when Mel finds an angel in the freezer it sparks all kinds of emotions. Is Mel’s flushed appearance purely down to ‘her time of life’. Or is it something magical?

Read reviews HERE

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I found an angel at the bottom of our freezer. I’m not entirely sure how she got there, but there she was, firmly wedged between a packet of frozen peas and an out-of-date chicken Kiev, her wings firmly stuck by the ice to the plastic wrapper. I prised her off and now she’s got ‘with extra garlic’ traced in green lettering down her left wing. She’s an odd-looking thing as angels go and I was going to sling her straight in the waste bin but something stopped me. And it got me thinking. This year we’ve bought a fat Santa to straddle the upper most branches of our Christmas tree, complete with fibre optic beard and glowing red eyes.

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Annie’s Angel – Susan Howe

1900 words Children 3 – 7 years

Annie was thrilled with her new angel, but the little doll wasn’t happy at all.

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Annie’s tummy bubbled and fizzed with Christmas fever as she stood behind the thick living room curtains, watching her father struggle through the snow with an enormous tree under one arm and a long red box under the other. ‘Oooh, I can’t wait,’ she whispered, and her breath made little patches of mist on the glass as she hopped from one foot to the other. Each day was more thrilling than the last as Christmas approached. There were cakes to ice, puddings to stir and presents to wrap, and Annie had a special job that nobody else could do.

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Arrest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Brian David

1600 words Humour / Christmas

The prospect of recovering a consignment of Christmas trees stolen from a local garden centre looks bleak when the local police find they have less to go on than a hobbit’s toilet, but DS Moore’s fondness for Indian food helps him put the icing on the cake.

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A white police car was wending its way up the incline of a country road on a crisp December morning, wintry forest as far as the eye could see. “Of all the trees that grow so fair, Of England to adorn, Greater are none beneath the Sun, Than Oak, and Ash and Thorn.” “What’s that, Constable?” “Kipling, Sarge. We had to learn it at school.” “Busy man. He makes exceedingly good arboreta as well, does he?” “There it is,” WPC Jones said, ignoring the comment. “The Grassy Knoll. Up on the right.”

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At the Top of the Stairs – Hilary Halliwell

2200 words Christmas / Feel Good Fiction

We all remember Christmas Eve when we were children. The excitement, the expectation, the waiting bleary eyed for six am to arrive in the darkness to see if Father Christmas had been. We recreate these happy times for our children, but can Christmas ever be the same again when finally they fly the nest?

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As I wander through the bustling shops the sounds and smells of Christmas greet me at every turn. I’ve always loved Christmas even though sometimes I’ve had a little moan about all the work it involves. I stop at the toy department of Dewsons and look at the wonderment on the children’s faces as they queue to see Santa. My Jamie and Louise used to love the yearly trip to visit a rather reluctant and somewhat grumpy Father Christmas, who would invariably give them each the wrong present so that they’d have to swap.

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Blue’s Christmas Eve Adventure – Maggie Jones

1700 words Christmas / Children’s Fiction

It’s Christmas Eve and Blue the teddy bear is the only toy left on the shelf again.  He isn’t a new and trendy toy, so no one wants him!  All he’s ever wanted is to be loved and have adventures with his new owner.  When the shop shuts, and everyone goes home, Blue comes to life.  He hears a noise; someone is coming down the chimney.  Will he at long last get to have an adventure?

This story is included in the collection Read It Again

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Christmas Eve at the toy shop had been a very busy one. Right up until the last minute mums and dads had been rushing in to buy their children the must have new toy on the market. Some fighting over the last few remaining ones, until at the end of the day, all that was left on the shelf was the tattiest blue teddy bear anyone had ever seen. But for Blue, he’d unfortunately had his day. A few years ago he had been the most popular toy out in the shops, but not now. Since then he’d seen other new toys come and go, but sadly not him. All he’d ever wanted was to be bought so he could be loved by someone and have adventures with his new owner, but that hadn’t happened.

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Christmas Continuance – Peter Lingard

1200 words Christmas Story

How can those in the Antipodes not enjoy the delights of Christmas pudding and Brandy butter? It must be the downside of living somewhere that is not miserable and cold in the winter. Antipodeans just don’t appreciate the benefits of an English Christmas!

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Bernadette opened the package carefully. “Look. It’s from Fortnum and Mason,” she said with delight. “Everything in here must be very expensive. I do hope Margaret hasn’t bought a similar gift for everyone; it would have cost her a fortune.” “Getting it to us didn’t cost our daughter anything,” her husband said as he read the air waybill. “She used her employer’s account.” “I’m sure she’ll have reimbursed her employers. She just used the account to get a cheaper rate.”

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Christmas Crackers – Tina K Burton

1200 words Christmas Story

Bob isn’t looking forward to Christmas this year, he wants some peace and quiet for a change, but, you should be careful what you wish for because it doesn’t  always turn out how you imagine.

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‘So, do you want turkey or beef for Christmas dinner this year?’ Carol asked her husband as she wrote out a shopping list. ‘I don’t mind love, whatever you’d like.’ ‘Well, I like both. Turkey’s more traditional and you usually make your special stuffing to go inside it, but I know you like beef too, with my Yorkshire puds.’ Carol tried to get some response from Bob, but he just sat there with his head stuck inside the broadsheet he was reading. ‘Oh I forgot to tell you, I met an alien at the WI meeting the other day.’

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Christmas Decorations – Linda Louisa Dell

2300 words Feel Good Story

Things can get hard, and sometimes promises don’t materialize. But when Karen feels let down by her sister, her daughter Rosie reminds her that love and loyalty are the most important things, and that Christmas is a time for the family to be together.

This story is included in the collection A Wish for Christmas

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My sister Karen would try the patience of a saint and I am no saint. My halo had become an anklet a long time ago and had definitely slipped off my foot somewhere. Perhaps, when I find it, I can trade it in for some Christmas presents. Because after the bombshell news my sister had just dropped, it might be the only way we would be able to afford to purchase any gifts this Christmas.

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Christmas is Canceled – Theresa Van Meter

5300 words Christmas / Christian Fiction

Susan storms back into Craig’s life and stops him from feeding the hungry.  She also helps to get Christmas canceled.  Can Craig thaw Susan’s heart and also help save Christmas?

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Susan squeezed her slender body in front of another woman who was holding a little girl’s hand. Then, she started slamming her fist on the door. A man shouted over her shoulder, “Hey, lady, Linda and Erin were there first, you need to get behind me.” Susan squinted at the man who was last in the line. “We’ll just see about this.” She pounded her fist harder on the door. The door opened and a man stood in the doorway with his mouth hanging open. “Well, are you just going to stand there?” She put her hands on her hips and scowled at him. “I want to know why those people are standing in line.” She flung her arm to the side like she was throwing a softball.

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Christmas Lost and Found – S. Bee

1250 words Women’s Fiction

Will Meg survive another Christmas on her own?

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‘Christmas day ramble. Meet at 1.30pm at the park gates for a 2 mile walk – weather permitting. For more information, please email me.’ Meg was satisfied to see her ad in the local newspaper again. She wondered who would turn up. Her mind wandered back to the previous Christmas day… two new people from last year were a retired, gentle vicar called George, and Alec, an attractive, divorced chap around Meg’s own age, fifty- something. Last December was Alec’s first Christmas without his wife. Meg had sympathised. She knew how it felt to be alone.

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Christmas Past – Maggie Jones

2400 words Christmas Story

When Becky gets woken by a phone call early one morning, and the person on the other end tells her she isn’t going to believe what he has to say to her, she slams it down in frustration, especially when he calls her ‘mum’, and she realises it’s a wrong number. But then, what he said gets her thinking, what isn’t his mum going to believe?

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Becky was fast asleep when she was woken by a noise. It took several seconds before she realised where it was coming from. Her hand had hovered over the alarm clock, ready to hit the off button, before it finally sunk in it was actually the phone that was ringing. Wrenching it off the hook, she spoke huskily into it. ‘Hello,’ she cleared her throat before saying, ‘hi,’ waiting for what seemed like forever for someone to answer her. ‘Hi… mum, sorry to wake you, but you’re not going to believe…’ Becky cut him off, before he could say another word.

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Christmas Shopping in Regent Street – Linda Louisa Dell

1450 words Women’s Fiction

Jimmy, waiting for his parents outside Hamleys at Christmas, encounters a little boy, they go to meet his granddad in an old-fashioned toyshop, but all is not as it seems.

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Christmas shopping in London with my brother Jack and Mum and Dad – what a drag! Of course, I didn’t want to go, so I was hanging back, dragging my heels. By the time we got to Hamleys in Regent Street I was sulking. “You just stop this nonsense and behave,” Dad snapped. “Wait here with your brother and watch the robot cat demonstration, while dad and I go upstairs,” Mum said, giving me one of those ‘stay put’ looks. ‘As if,’ I thought.

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Christmas Spirit – Peter Lingard

Home for the holidays – for the last time.

This story is included in the collection A Wish for Christmas

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“How about a nice five-star hotel in Bali for the Christmas hols?” John said to his partner, Annie. “It does sound nice, darling, but Mum asked us to be with them this Christmas and I promised we would. I know that sounds like a death sentence, but it is time you met them.” “No can do, Annie. I’ve already paid the deposit and bought the tickets.” “Forget deposits and change the tickets to Perth, darling. Think how much we’ll be saving if we stay with my folks. They have a lovely house and anyway, it’s time for you to meet them. Just the other day mum asked if I was ashamed of you.”

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Christmas Visitor – Patsy Collins

Christmas Visitor2200 words Christmas/ Feel Good Fiction

Mrs Wainwright and Miss Wainright might live in the same block of flats and have names similar enough to confuse the postman, but that was all they had in common, wasn’t it?

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Mrs L. Wainwright, Flat 16c Camellia House It’s Christmas morning and I don’t want to be alone. I won’t be really alone, of course; other people live in the flats and my son, David, will telephone me. He’s very good and calls me quite often. He put a lovely letter in with my card to tell me how well all the family are doing and how busy they are. There are pictures of the boys too; it’s hard to believe that they’re grown-up now. Maybe David, or one of the boys, will visit in the New Year, if they have time.

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