Friday, December 21, 2012

Write A Holiday Short Story - My Night Before Christmas by Alison Bruce

Happy Friday!

I am excited to share the next story of Write A Holiday Short Story Contest with you! It is written by multipublished author Alison Bruce.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Alison!

My Night Before Christmas

By Alison Bruce


“‘Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring

Not even a mouse.”


Yeah right. First off, we have a rat, not a mouse in the house. She’s always active at night, especially when I’m cooking. Secondly, there is too much to do Christmas Eve to go to bed early.

I grew up with several Christmas Eve traditions. Depending on when my father finished work, Christmas Eve might be spent on the road travelling from Toronto, where we lived, to Montreal, where my cousins resided. If we arrived in time, there was the annual party at the Carters. The kids were welcome and, since they only lived across the road and a couple of houses down, we could also go home on our own when we got bored. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve if we didn’t hang our stockings by the chimney with care.

One of the great things about my aunt and uncle’s home was that it had two fire places. The one in the living room had a proper mantle, suitable for hanging empty stockings. After the children had gone to bed, the adults would gather around the fire, have a little tipple and stuff the stockings.

One year, it was suggested that we were getting too old for stockings. We put the kibosh on that idea. My sister and I made stockings for the adults and we, with my cousins, stuffed them with goodies. No one is too old for a stocking.

From then on, the tradition was that we’d stuff stockings in one of the bedrooms while our parents stuffed in the living room. Then, in the wee hours, it was my job to take the stocking to the living room for Christmas morning.

The other tradition was the making of the stuffing. That was my mother’s specialty. When she died, I inherited the task for the family. By that time, we were no longer going to Montreal for the holiday. My allergies stopped me and soon there was no room as my cousins had families. When my sister was alive, we’d get together to do the preparations for Christmas while our kids were with their fathers. Now it’s just me and the rat.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy this time alone. After the sadness of the first Christmas without Joanne, I learned to appreciate being able to putter around with the preparations on my own. I shred bread and squish sausage while watching a favourite dvd. (I need to be able to use the pause button when I go for hand washing, fresh ingredients, or to replenish my coffee-nog.)

When the stuffing is made, the turkey cleaned, and the vegetables prepped, I head up to my bedroom to stuff the stockings. I could do that job anywhere, but the bedroom is traditional for me. In the wee (or not so wee) hours of the morning, I take the stockings down to arrange around the living room, as my mother and aunt did when we were children.

Traditions evolve, but the love that created them remains constant. And with that thought...

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Alison! It is highly appreciated!

Author Bio:


Alison Bruce is the Canadian author of DEADLY LEGACY and UNDER A TEXAS STAR (Not to be confused with the UK author of other books.) She lives with her two children (and pet rat Duchess) in Guelph, Ontario.

Twitter: @alisonebruce


Check out for more Holiday Shorts by Alison and other authors.

Summary of Deadly Legacy

Even in the future, the past can kill you...

In 2018, rookie detective Kate Garrett lives in the shadow of her near-legendary father Joe. When Joe dies unexpectedly, he leaves Kate half interest in Garrett Investigations, his last case that ties to three murders, a partner she can't stand and a legacy to live up to.

Jake Carmedy has lost a partner, mentor and friend, but grief will come later. First, he has a case to solve, one that has detoured from a simple insurance case to a murder investigation. If that isn’t enough, Joe’s daughter seems to want to take her father’s place as his boss.

No matter how hard they try, Carmedy and Garrett can't avoid each other—and they might be next on a killer's list.


“Grips your attention from the first page...a treat for the senses.” —Garry Ryan, award-winning author of Malabarista

"A compelling story of loss, deception, and finding one's place in a world where change is fast and unwelcome." —Debra Purdy Kong, author of Deadly Accusations

"Bruce has woven an ingenious plot, defty delivered through the eyes of the newest detection pairing—Carmedy and Garrett." —Alison Bruce, author of The Calling
Thanks, Alison!
There is a giveaway connected to the Write A Holiday Short Story Contest. We will randomly choose 1 comment amongst all the comments posted under the published stories and this winner will receive amazon GC of 20$!

To enter, leave a blog comment below the post and you must enter the RC form below.
Open internationally!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy commenting and happy reading!


  1. Thanks for doing this, Inga. It's now one of my new holiday traditions.

  2. Thank your for sharing your family story, Alison! Christmas is all about traditions, and I'll be thinking of you doing your stuffing this Christmas Eve.

    1. Thanks Rosemary. I hope your Christmas Eve and day are just what you want too.

  3. What a nice story, Alison. Christmases evolve as we get older and, instead of being sad about the changes and the memories of those who are no longer with us, its great to merge yesterday's traditions with new ones. Hope you and your family enjoy the peace and love of the Season.

  4. Lovely, sweet and heart-wrenching. This stirs such mixed emotions - it's beautiful, Alison.

  5. Thank you Gloria and Melodie. It's true, life takes it's bitter-sweet toll on us and the traditions we once held sacrosanct evolve over time. I always see or hear from my niece Sophie on December 20 because that's the anniversary of her mother's death. It's not a sad occasion any more. We mostly just hang out. But it started because we needed to get through the day together.

  6. What a nice story. This holiday would be nothing without traditions. I have to wonder what the kids put in the stocking for the grown-ups : )

    1. The trick is to think like Santa. Now that I'm the parent, and my niece is doing my stocking, I typically get lots of chocolate, shower gel and hand sanitizer. The first is given for obvious reasons. The last is given to clean up when I get sticky fingers.

  7. Beautiful! We were always a family of traditions, too. Since Christmas is the time when all of us gathered, it's forever changed when a loved one is missing. Still, the stockings get filled and the joy gets spread, and thank goodness for that. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and thoughts, Ali. Happy happy, everyone!

  8. For something completely different, check out my Twelve Days of Christmas:
    Guaranteed giggle or your money back.


There was an error in this gadget