- Publisher: Harlequin
- ISBN: 0373892632
- Published: September 30, 2012
There’s something truly magical about Christmas. Filled with remarkable true stories of the kindness of strangers and the blessings of answered prayers, this collection with its small miracles truly captures the spirit of the season.
These stories of hope, faith, and joy are a moving tribute to the true meaning of Christmas and remind us all that the greatest gifts in life can’t be gift wrapped.
Deirdre woke early, just like every December 25. She tiptoed downstairs, hoping against hope that this would be the year her dream would come true. Her parents were already awake and seated at the kitchen table; that fact alone gave the young girl pause, as they were never downstairs on Christmas morning until much later.
“Morning, sleepy head,” Ben, Deirdre’s father said. “‘Bout time you rolled outa the hay!” When Nancy, Deirdre’s mother, tried to hide her giggle behind her coffee cup, Deirdre knew something was up.
So began the short story—or some variation—that I wrote every year growing up. It was my dream to walk downstairs Christmas morning and find a paint horse tied outside the picture window. I, like most girls, was obsessed with horses. Usually, that obsession passes like any other fad. Mine didn’t. In fact, it set down roots so firm that not even marriage to a “nonhorse” man could pull them up.
Every year I wrote a similar story, “Dreaming of My Paint Horse,” and gave it to my parents, hoping that they would get the hint. It seemed they never would. Every year I looked out the picture window to find an empty yard and disappointment, a vacant space where my horse ought to be.
We were never deprived as kids, far from it. But I’d have gladly relinquished every toy, every item of clothing, even every horse statue and book for that Dream Horse.
My childhood passed, as did many of my interests. Tennis? Too much work. Knitting? Knot! Horses? Now that was the constant passion in my life. I read about them, wrote about them and even joined a 4-H club that taught about them. Of course, I also dreamed about them. My own horse, though, was always out of reach.