It’s more than just a Christmas story to me; it was an answer to prayers!
Guest Blog: Sarah Phillips
I love being in my home! It’s usually busy and bustling with the comings and goings of my family. But at 3:00 A.M., when everyone is sleeping, and I’m wide awake, my house feels like the loneliest place in the world.
I’ve always been a person who worries about almost anything! The summer of 2023 was particularly tough for me—the year before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As July approached, the anxiety about my one-year cancer check compounded with my usual worries. I convinced myself the cancer had returned.
I was experiencing night after night of sleepless nights. One day, out of the blue, my husband very casually said, “Why don’t you write a book when you can’t sleep to occupy your mind with other thoughts?” I thought his idea was ridiculous! I’m not a writer! He says I “bite his head off” when he suggested writing a book. I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t typically ‘bite people’s heads off’; hopefully, the lack of sleep was to blame for my response.
I continued with my day and didn’t give his idea another thought. Completely randomly, a few days later, I thought I should write a story about a little girl who was born on Christmas Day. A Christmas Day birthday is familiar to me since I was born on Christmas Day.
As I lay awake each night, ideas flooded my mind. I still wasn’t sleeping, but now my mind wasn’t full of dark thoughts. As my head started to fill with ideas for my story, I began to sleep a little more each night. It was an answer to prayers! I felt God’s love and guidance as I wrote my little story in the middle of the night. Three A.M. no longer felt so lonely to me.
Meet the Christmas family. You’ll love them!
That’s how I came to write a Christmas book about a sweet little girl called Holly Christmas. Holly lives in Surrey, England. My life inspires the story. I was born on a snowy Christmas Day in Portsmouth, England.
Holly’s father, John Christmas, made a special arrangement with Santa (or Father Christmas as we call him in England) to deliver Holly’s birthday presents. On Holly’s 8th birthday, when Father Christmas doesn’t come with her birthday delivery, Holly sets off on a magical London adventure to find him. She meets people who soon help her forget the troubles of not receiving her birthday presents.
The story is also about Holly’s family, the Christmas family, who have lived in the charming village of Windlesham in Surrey for generations. The choice to name them ‘Christmas’ isn’t mere coincidence; while doing some genealogy work, I stumbled upon an ancestor named Thomas Christmas. What a great name, and perfect for the family in my story!
Holly’s Christmas Quest is a heartwarming family story full of love, good deeds, family traditions, and guardian angels. Discussing a Christmas book in January may seem like an odd choice, but one of the strong themes of Holly’s story is to be your best self all year long.
As Holly returns home, Father Christmas imparts timeless wisdom, emphasizing the year-round importance of kindness. “Everyone that we come across needs some sort of help: the strangers that we meet on our journeys, a kind train conductor, a friendly policeman, a wealthy businessman, or even your very own next-door neighbor. Often, we are unaware that we are helping them, and sometimes, they do not even realize they need help. Most importantly, the goodwill we extend to others transforms us into better individuals. Christmas is a time when people are generally good-hearted, but the true secret is to be that way all year long.”
So, whether it’s December, January, or even July, it’s always a good time to read a Christmas book!
Hector’s Christmas Mystery-
Now that I’ve tried writing, I’ve discovered that I really enjoy it. In Holly’s story, we meet her older brother Hector, a character brimming with mischief and naughtiness! I think his story needs to be told next. Watch out for ‘Hector’s Christmas Mystery,’ Christmas 2024.
A cause close to my heart-
All profits from ebook sales in 2024 go to help Rachel Hull, who is fighting a rare form of cancer.
Join us on the Beacon of Light Podcast on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, at 6:30 pm Mountain Time.