Samantha Chase

I am the WORST with this sort of thing.  I can never figure out what I want.  Or maybe I’m just a control-freak who is afraid that no matter how specifically I state something on my wish list, I’m not going to get it.

True story.  It happens.

I will start off with this – I enjoy the THOUGHT of it being having our whole family together, but no one gets along and that would not be fun for anyone.  So I’m going to go straight for the tangible stuff.

Fantasy gift?  As in never going to happen?  It would be the gift of a family vacation to someplace great.  We’ve always done our trips to Disney World because we had family in Florida and so it was a multi-purpose trip.  But the dream is to go on vacation that is a full-blown vacation.  We’d fly to wherever we were going to go and stay at a hotel and no one would have to cook or clean and we just relax and have fun.  I’ve always wanted to go to Australia – but I don’t think I’d survive the flight.  Or should I say – I don’t think my husband would survive the flight because he’d annoy me too much.  LOL!  But there are so many amazing places to see here in North America, I’d be perfectly happy to find someplace here too!

More realistic?  Hmmm…my love language is acts of service.  Have you ever read that book on the five love languages?  VERY eye opening.  Anyway, for me, the kind of gifts that I would LOVE to receive would be for a spa day.  A little pampering.  Massage, manicure, pedicure…maybe some lunch thrown in because…you know…food is good.  To me this is the greatest gift because it’s not something I would readily do for myself or I feel guilty doing for myself so if I got it as a gift, it would show that someone else thinks I’m worthy of it.  LOL!

I think I have a shot at getting the spa day this year – my mom is working the front desk at a spa here in town.  Maybe if I drop enough hints, she’ll get me a gift certificate!  Fingers are crossed!!


Nicole Helm

I should have my husband and mother answer this question for you, because they are forever irritated with me that I do not have a Christmas list and could probably write five hundred words on how hard I am to shop for. It’s funny, throughout the year I’m always thinking up things I would want for my birthday or Christmas, and then forgetting them once November runs around. Every year I tell myself to write it down somewhere where I’ll remember, and every year I forget.

As long as my computer and phone work well enough, my Kindle is stocked full of books, and my family is home and safe, I’m not very good at thinking up things I want other people to buy for me. I’d much rather do the picking! Pinterest has helped some as I do occasionally remember to pin things I like, and my mom and sisters can sometimes use that to buy things for me. (My technophobe husband would simply say Pinta-what?)

I usually end up getting a pair of Cardinals tickets from my husband, and that works for me as I love baseball (he’s less of a fan, and I usually drag him with me, so that really is quite the gift). My in-laws usually have my boys make up some craft or picture for me, and I’m always happy to have their efforts.

Perhaps I can convince someone to give me one of those fashionable poncho things that are basically blankets with holes that somehow look cute and keep you warm. In fact, I think I’ll put that on the list. (Now, the trick will be to find the list again in a few months).


Terry Spear

Seeing my family for Christmas is always the greatest gift of all. If my son ends up in Greece next year, I’ll miss seeing him for Christmas again. So for me, being able to see the whole family is always a treat. Last Christmas, I had just bought a house near my daughter and son-in-law. So they helped me pack over Christmas, and my son continued to help me after they left. It was a combination Christmas and packing holiday. It was a real family event. And I couldn’t thank my son and daughter and son-in-law enough for assisting as much as they did. Despite my packing for three weeks before, I just couldn’t make a dent in it like they did with helping me. But we did fun things too—and I took them all out to dinner and we went to see a movie. It’s all about family. It’s not just a once a year trip to see each other either. It’s important to me to make the time to see them and visit with them throughout the year. Then it’s like Christmas all the time.

Not all families get along. My grandparents weren’t part of our lives growing up. Their choice. So it’s important to me to show in stories that when family doesn’t get along, someone is there to love those who need the support of a family. My mother’s parents were divorced when she was little, and she used to say she’d watch shows where the mother and father and children were one big happy family, and she always wondered why she couldn’t have had that family environment too. I was the same way about hearing other kids talk about their doting grandparents. Not mine.

Both my mom and dad had family who were not there for them, and yet, my parents showed us love and support all our lives as if they’d been raised that way. One of the things a friend commented to us on many years ago was how neither his mother or father were loving. But he had an aunt who gave him the best hugs ever when he was a boy. That’s what family is all about. Nurturing. Caring. Christmas in the spirit, not necessarily in the gift-giving. One hug, or two, or three…that can be a life changer.