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Annual Christmas story

Mia executes perfect surprise for Brandon

On Christmas morning, Mia and Brandon sat side by side in the back of a cab. Her mother had spoken with the driver, giving him strict instructions not to leave without them and to keep them safe. She gave him an extra tip for the trouble, which made him happy to comply. The airport was crowded ...

Mia meets a new friend

Editor’s note: This is the 11th chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. “Mia, are you ready? It’s time to go,” Mia’s grandma called up the ...

Mia, her mom create a plan

Editor’s note: This is the 10th chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. Mia and her mom spent the next morning helping at the animal sanctuary. The ...

Mia acts fast in face of danger

Editor’s note: This is the eighth chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. Just as they’d reached the house, the cows started mooing and carrying ...

Mia and Brandon work hard at animal sanctuary

Editor’s note: This is the seventh chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament,” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. “Do either of you have any questions?” Mr. Cameron asked. He sat ...

Mia shares a secret with her mother

Editor’s note: This is the sixth chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. Mia’s heart was almost bursting with joy. Biscuit’s owner turned out to ...

Ornament gives Mia another mysterious mission at park

Editor’s note: This is the fifth chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. No matter how many times Mia told herself it was just a coincidence that she ...

Mia searches for her mission in note

Mia and Brandon walked down the sidewalk, bundled up against the brisk, cold air in puffy coats and hats. The mouthwatering scent of baking cookies drifted through the air, coming from the Cookie Crumble Bakery, mixing with the smell of coffee from the Busy Bean Cafe next door. Mia took in a ...

Mia’s golden ornament shows signs of being magical

Mia sat on her bed, holding the golden ornament. When she’d pulled it out of her backpack, she’d been positive it had flickered for a second, like a broken light bulb. But as she stared at the shiny orb sitting on her pink bedspread, it did nothing but look like a plain old ...

Mia picks a most wondrous and strange golden ornament

Editor’s note: This is the second chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. The outdoor lights dimmed as the music began to play, and the people of ...

Feel the excitement of the ornament

Editor’s note: This is the first chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale, “The Golden Ornament” that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children. The annual lighting of the town square Christmas tree was the night Mia ...

Hannah rides on Santa’s sleigh

Hannah filled her mug from the hot cocoa fountain that stood taller than she was, then grabbed a frosted snowman cookie from one of the trays attached to the large toy train that twisted through the room, carrying plates and trays piled high with thousands of cookies. She’d just come back ...

Hannah shares a visit with reindeer

“Can the reindeer talk?” Hannah asked as they arrived at a massive warehouse. She stared up at the rectangle building — a building that hardly seemed suitable for anything to live in. “No, they can’t talk like people do,” Santa said. “But they’re excellent at communicating. ...

Hannah meets Santa Claus, aka grandpa

Hannah always had loved going to the mall and department stores at Christmas time; she enjoyed the way they always turned into magical winter wonderlands, and one of her favorite things to do was visit Santa at the mall every year. Now, even though she was actually right here in the middle of ...

An awesome arrival to the North Pole

Hannah couldn’t believe what she was seeing. How could it be that just a few hours ago she was a regular 10-year-old at home on a Sunday afternoon, and now she was standing at the massive red gates of the North Pole? She clutched her dad’s hand as they walked through them, and on his face ...

Charlotte meets old friend from North Pole

Max hugged Charlotte tightly before stepping back to look her in the eye. “You’ve grown up.” “I was grown up when you last saw me,” she said with a grin. He waved her comment off and smiled. “You know what it’s like at the Pole. Everyone is childlike. To me, you were just a ...

Hannah’s parents consider meeting with grandparents

When her dad came home, Hannah sat in the living room, surrounded by piles of wrapping paper. Ten years’ worth of gifts sat in front of her, the oldest sent when she was just a baby, and they’d all been sitting in the attic closet for years. Yet somehow, each and every item was something ...

Hannah gets a surprising invitation

Editor’s note: This is part two of a 12-day fictional tale that will run through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read aloud to their children. Charlotte stirred the sauce simmering on the stove, then checked on the chicken in the oven. As she tore up lettuce for the salad, her eyes ...

Hannah makes discovery about her mom

Hannah Montgomery carefully placed a chipped golden star at the top of her miniature tree. The small tree was her most treasured possession, despite the fact it always ended up crooked, no matter what she did. The strand of twinkling white lights had thankfully lasted another year, although ...

Selfless acts bring warm Christmas morning rewards

Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This is the final chapter of a 12-part fictional holiday tale that began Dec. 14 and ran daily through Christmas. Parents were encouraged to read it aloud to their children. “We can’t,” Faith said, finding her voice. “This is so kind of you, ...