The Christmas Keeper

I wrote this children’s Christmas book several years ago. I’ve shopped it around to a few publishers, but no one will bite. Give it a look-through and let me know your thoughts. Would you buy it for your kids? 

The Christmas Keeper

         by Andrew Toy

 1Luke loved Christmas. There wasn’t a thing about Christmas he didn’t like. He loved it all: the shiny lights, the good-smelling trees, the tasty cookies and of course, the presents!

But sadly, Christmas had come and gone once again, and everything was returning to boring ol’ normal. Somehow New Years just wasn’t as exciting and magical as Christmas. Soon school would start, the snow would melt, and all the good toys would be broken or boring to play with.

So Luke got an idea. It was one of those, “I’m going to change the world!” ideas that every kid 2gets at various times in their lives. His idea was to make Christmas last for the whole year! Thanks to Luke, every day would be Christmas!

But how was he going to accomplish that? Luke would first need to ask for some advice on the matter.

Luke first went to his brother Joe and asked, “Joe, is it possible to make Christmas be every day of the year?”

“No way,” Joe said. “All the Christmas light bulbs would eventually burn out and we’d end up with no electricity and I wouldn’t be able to listen to my music.”

Luke thought about this for a while. He thought, and thought, and thought. And then he landed on a thought that he liked!

3So Luke set to work by replacing all the Christmas lights around the house with brand new Christmas light bulbs fresh from the boxes.

Then Luke went to his sister Mary and asked, “Mary, if someone wanted to, would they be able to make Christmas last every day?”

“I guess they could,” said Mary. “But Dad wouldn’t be very happy having to cut down a new tree every month. You know how sore he gets after hauling it into the house, and then Mom makes him help vacuum up all the needles and clean up all the sap from the furniture, then he gets in one of his moods…”

Luke walked away because his sister would just keep talking all night if he stayed there. But she did have a point – it wouldn’t be fair for Dad to have to cut down a new Christmas tree every month and haul it all the way to the car and drive it home and haul it from the car to the house.

So Luke, being the good son that he was, set to work by planting Christmas tree seeds all over 4the back yard. That way, when their Christmas tree died there would be plenty more new ones to take its place and his dad wouldn’t have very far to carry it.

Then Luke went to his mom and asked, “How would you like Christmas to last every day?”

“That doesn’t sound like much fun to me,” exclaimed Mom. “If Christmas lasted every day, then I would just end up being stuck in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies for you kids and Dad and it would never end. I don’t think I could handled that.”

5Luke liked this idea about the cookies. Of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without cookies! So Luke went straight to the kitchen and made enough batches of Christmas cookies to last for two years!

Exhausted after cleaning up from his mess, Luke went to his dad and asked, “Dad, why can’t Christmas be every day of the year?”

“Well,” said his dad,” I think it’s because Santa wouldn’t be able to keep up his job having to deliver to kiddos all over the world every single day.”

Luke thought about this, and his dad was right. That would be quite a chore for the old jolly 6guy! So Luke found an idea somewhere in all of his thoughts. He packed all of his old Christmas toys in a box and mailed them to the North Pole with a letter telling Santa that the toys could last him until at least July.

Later that night, Luke prayed to God and said, “God, it’s tiring making Christmas last all year. Every time I have a new idea I have to clean up the last idea I had and Mom and Dad don’t like me very much setting off the smoke detector when the cookies burn.”

And then Luke thought some more and more and more. And in all of his thoughts, he found a very shiny thought that came to him because he thought so hard. And with this thought, Luke finished his prayer to God:

“I guess it makes sense that Jesus would have only one birthday just like the rest of us. And I know He’s coming back to take us to Heaven. And when I think about Heaven and what it will be like, I bet it will be like Christmas every day there! And in Heaven, we’ll never run out of lights or trees or food or gifts.”

SONY DSCAnd there, by his bedside, with his eyes closed and his head bowed, Luke whispered, “Happy Birthday, Jesus. I’ll have some cookies waiting for You when You come back. Amen.”

 

 

 

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About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

41 Responses to The Christmas Keeper

  1. Andy Oldham says:

    This a lovely story. Don’t stop trying to get it publisher. The answer is right around the corner! Merry Christmas!

  2. Morgan says:

    Lovely…I would encourage you to always follow your dreams. 🙂

  3. Lori says:

    Published or not, it is a book I would love to have. Why not self publish on lulu.com? The you can at least get the book out there. I would definitely buy it. Good luck with your venture.

  4. Ettemeyer says:

    “Give it a look-through and let me know your thoughts. Would you buy it for your kids?”

    Disclaimer: I empathize with you. I’ve just finished writing and illustrating a holiday picture book – I have a couple more rounds of edits and reviews before it’s ready to be shopped around for traditional publication or be self-published.

    Comment: This story has a good premise, and I like the overall concept. However, as the story is right now, I wouldn’t buy it. If you decide to revise it, I think the ending is your weakest part.

    It doesn’t fit with what I thought you were trying to set up in the arc of the story.

    I get that Luke, Joe (Joseph), Mary are the only named characters in your story, and I’m assuming is a purposeful allusion to Luke 2:10 – the birth of Christ.

    And while the ending is reaffirming that Christmas is about Christ’s birth, it feels rushed – as if the writer couldn’t think of any other solution than to employ divine intervention to solve Luke’s conflict. And that may well be your point as only God can do miracles.

    However, through Luke’s actions and interactions with the other people in his family, I thought that the lesson/point you were trying to make was that Christmas can be everyday through thinking of and doing for others (which is what Christ’s life seems to be about).

    It’s a little sad that no family was there during Luke’s moment of clarity. If this story is meant to be read to a child by a parent or as a family, it would have been nice if the story’s family came to that realization together.

  5. elixirmime says:

    sweet story. Hope it gets published but in the meantime we enjoyed it.

  6. Jennifer Wright says:

    What a great story! You are an excellent writer and had my attention from the very start. I think you can self publish, possibly for free, on Amazon Kindle. I wrote a couple of short books, put them on PDF, and offer them for free on my ministry blog. You can find them on a page listed on the top.

  7. Jennifer Wright says:

    So sorry, didn’t read far enough! You’re already published. Congratulations and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  8. The story is charming. I think you need to center it around a clear statement about the spirit of Christmas and Jesus rather than bring it in at the last minute. Also, I’m not sure what age of child you’re addressing. The style and vocabulary would change for younger children. I think you have an excellent idea that just needs honing.

  9. I agree with Ettemeyer — the ending feels forced, because Jesus is never mentioned until the end. It’s a lovely premise, though, and with a little work, I think it will work. 🙂
    Blessings, and Merry Christmas.

  10. janjoy52 says:

    That was so sweet! Definitely a keeper. Keep knocking!

  11. mlhutchinson says:

    I like the premise and I would certainly by a story like this, but I think if you’re target audience is children, and it’s written from the perspective of a child, it should sound like a child…and some of it just doesn’t sound “child like” enough…if you know what I mean. I’m not a formal book editor so I hope my comment makes sense!

    There are other things I could say, if you’d like a more structured “peer review” type of look I’d be glad to do it. 🙂 Keep revising and trying, I think you’ve got something here! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  12. Lovely story and through out most of the book I loved the points you were making. However, i thought the story was going to be that you can celebrate Christmas everyday – the spirit of Christmas can be with us everyday. I was a little disappointed with the needing.. sorry. Keep editing and try again…

  13. Adrian B says:

    I am pleased to tell you that I’ve awarded you the Blog of the Year Award 2013! There’s no obligation to accept, I understand completely if you don’t. Anyway, thanks for reading and liking my blog “adicanada” I appreciate your support. For details about the award, please see my post http://wp.me/p3ujR2-hg Have a Happy Holiday and All the best for you in the New Year!! Adrian B.

  14. sunshine13 says:

    I love this story! thanks for sharing

  15. nadiamc says:

    I love the story and can see there would be a audience for it. However, if I put on my critical cap, there are a few suggestions I would make. What others have said about the Christianity aspect not appearing to the end could be fixed by simply inserting something in your introduction that alludes to it, but yet doesn’t have to be overt either. Also, you may want to mix up your sentence structure a bit. Most of your non-speech sentences have the same structure (Luke is often in the first three words). Why not start your sentences with a verb? Or an adverbial phrase? They help move the story and the reader is swept up along the way. I wouldn’t start sentences with ‘but’ or ‘and’ as it’s usually frowned upon in grammatical circles. Maybe your adjectives could be a little more interesting too? For example, ‘shiny lights’ and ‘good smelling’ trees are perfect opportunities to include a similie or metaphor, or some other form of imagery. To see with our mind what the boy is remembering. As a teacher I like to buy my children books that not only have good stories, but are also examples of good writing – both in grammar and creative writing. You start disecting stories with children as soon as they start school. These are the suggestions most of my students would come up with as these are the things we expect them to strive towards. Things that they highlight in other stories we’ve read. In my opinion, you’ve got the most difficult part right – the story is lovely! Sorry I’m so critical!

  16. Sweet story. I did see one typo. Mom said she couldn’t ‘handled’ that.

  17. Honest feedback – I found the intro week. If I don`t fall in love with the character or the premise on the first page, the kid won’t either. Give more detail about the context, personality or motivation of the person right at the start and then the readers will really want to know what comes next. Sometimes in simply requires changing simple words for more evocative ones – ex. if you were to change “good-smelling” to “smelly” – then the reader imagines Luke wandering around smelling trees. It gets them more engaged

  18. I’m not qualified to give too much criticism so please by all means take this with a rather large pinch of salt!
    I think the storyline is great and you’ve given yourself so much scope. However I agree with some of the other comments in that the end is rushed. I don’t have any issue with the religious aspect, but just the simple fact that it seemed you sped through the ending.
    Carry on, you’ve got a great start!

  19. Well done dear. I believe you’ve the best set of people around you and they have been kind enough to give their candid opinions. A really nice story but feel the end was rushed. More can be done.

  20. cherished79 says:

    Lovely story, thanks for visiting my blog. Deb

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