Have Yourself a Sneaky Little Christmas....by Clarissa Johal
Money was always tight growing up. Consequently, the holidays were more about spending time together. While I certainly had a list of things in my head that I wanted, it stayed in my head because I knew we couldn’t afford it. My parents would always manage one gift, however. And my curiosity being what it was, I could never stand to wait until Christmas morning to open it.
I was a latchkey kid. As December rolled around, and while my parents were at work, I would sneak into their room and search for my one gift. It was usually under the bed, shoved under a blanket or behind another object that would fail to hide the brightly-colored wrapping paper. I became an expert at lifting the tape, taking a peek at the box underneath, and taping it back up again. No one was the wiser. And it wasn’t a horrible thing to do, I reasoned. It was my gift, after all.
One year, I wanted a rock tumbler so badly, it was all I could think about. My favorite thing to do was to collect rocks and spend countless hours categorizing them on my bed. I knew my parents couldn’t afford a rock tumbler, so my hopes weren’t raised.
As Christmas got closer, I waited for a chance to sneak into my parents room for a standard peek at my gift. That year, I found it hidden in their closet. Sneaky, I thought, but no match for my superior hunting skills. I opened up the end of the box and…it was a Lite-Brite. I wanted a Lite-Brite, but admittedly, I was disappointed. I had a small ray of hope that a rock tumbler would magically make it’s was into my clutches, but knew that was that.
I spent the next week dropping hints about how much I wanted a Lite-Brite set (silly rock tumbler, who would want that anyways?). I wanted my parents to feel good about what they had chosen because I knew that money was tight.
Christmas morning came. My mom was one of those moms that felt compelled to record every second of my life in a photograph, so I prepared to put on my Lite-Brite happy face. I even practiced it in the bathroom mirror. What I wasn’t expecting, was that inside the Lite-Brite box…was a rock tumbler! Turns out, I wasn’t as sneaky as I thought. My mom had gotten wise to my wicked ways and “borrowed” a box from a friend to hide my rock tumbler in. The photograph she snapped that year was one of me truly surprised and ecstatic over my gift.
I kept that rock tumbler until a few years ago, when it was replaced by a newer model I bought my own daughter. A gift that she wanted for Christmas. Wrapped in the box it came in.
My hiding places are much better than my mothers.
by Clarissa Johal
How far would you go to redeem yourself?
As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn't come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.
After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.
As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life...but a battle for their salvation.
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Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles.
Clarissa shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.
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Author Webpage: http://clarissajohal.com/
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