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*A Light Hearted Holiday*


If you enjoy this free email service, I encourage you to spread the word to family and friends that we may bring inspiration into the lives of many! If you are not on the list and this has been passed along to you, join the thousands of readers around the world by sending a blank e-mail to:

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It is with great pleasure that I introduce another new writer to! Be sure to give Ginger a warm welcome after you read her wonderful holiday story!

From my family to yours,
P.S. If any of you are still thinking about transferring your pictures over to video as a unique Christmas present you would need to try and get those to me in the next two weeks to be sure you can have it done in time for Christmas! For more info visit:


A Light Hearted Holiday

By Ginger Boda

Our little girl, Alisha, was intent on bringing the Christmas spirit to her little gray house on OLE Susanna Street. It seemed there was a bit of "baa humbug" in the air, since major financial burdens had pressed in on us. I tried my best to create the warmth of the holiday in our home, that year, but something was definitely missing. Alisha knew exactly what was needed.

She found our old box of Christmas lights up in the rafters of the garage. Very gingerly, she began to remove them strand by strand, recalling how her dad would check each one; ensuring that they still glowed. She plugged them into the wall, and smiled with each success. In the past, her father had displayed the Christmas lights on the outside of the house, but this year Alisha realized that he wasn't "getting around to it." There was just one week left before Christmas, she pondered; and it looked as though the holiday was going to come and go without even a slight glimmer twinkling from their homestead.

Alisha and her Dad hadn't said much to each other lately. Oh, she knew that he loved her but the words never came easy for him. Ever since she turned thirteen, last year, she and her father had drifted apart, somewhat. He seemed to enjoy talking with her brothers because they always had sports and "guy stuff" to discuss. That was just on the surface, though, and she knew her Dad felt depressed. Something in Alisha now told her that her father needed her more than he cared to admit.

I called to Alisha to come help with the cut out cookies, but she didn't answer. Glancing down the hallway toward her bedroom door, I discerned no movement. Oh, she's probably listening to her music, I presumed. All of sudden, strange noises were heard, coming from outside the house. Distracted by the commotion interrupting his day, Mark went to the front door and listened for a moment. Shrugging his shoulders, he shuffled back to his spot in front of the television and let out a big sigh as he sat down.

I tiptoed, sock footed, out to the yard in the chilly afternoon. Looking up and straining to see if there might be a cat on the roof, I noticed the Christmas lights hemming the eves over our garage door; apparently still in their placement process. However, to my confusion, there was no one on the roof. Once again, I called towards the front door for Alisha. Slowly, a sweet little face emerged over the peak of the house. There she was, lights in one hand and stapler in the other, trying to do what has always been known in her home as a "man's job." She was grinning from ear to ear.

I gulped hard, then smiled and praised my little girl for her efforts. However, I did suggest that she come down immediately before she gets hurt. Goodness, she's gutsy, I thought. Hearing the rooftop conversation from the comfort of his cozy couch, Mark reluctantly came outside to assess the situation. He eyed our little rooftop elf, but said nary a word; He simply turned slowly back toward his abode. As I followed behind my grumpy husband, I shook my head in disappointment. The spirit of Christmas was difficult to feel with the tension in the air and the reason for the season seemed to have been forgotten. That simple joy of being together as a family should have been enough, I pondered. My heart ached, as well, for my daughter's efforts to bond with, and please her father.

Knowing that Alisha was determined, I retrieved my jacket from the closet and headed passed the living room to the front door to assist her. I halted mid-step, and a grin quickly replaced my frown, as I surveyed my "scrooge of a husband" putting on his shoes and jacket. Across the room, I noticed that the television had finally lost its voice. Seizing the moment, I sauntered over to the stereo, switched on some Christmas music, and turned to face my hubby. The room began to fill with warmth as our eyes met and a knowing smile was exchanged.

In no time at all, there appeared to be all kinds of activity heard from the rooftop of the little gray house on OLE Susanna Street as the little girl and her daddy laughed and worked together. Although he clearly stated that "he was pushed into the job," he DID wink as he said it. Nothing had changed monetarily for us. Christmas presents would still be scant but the hearts that lived in the little house were already richly gifted. It didn't take much to remind us that the light in our spirit can brighten our world, and the people we love, if we just take the effort to display it.

Finally, the spirit of love and joy had arrived just a week before Christmas. The outline of the homestead became illuminated, as did the heart of our little girl as she bonded with her father and tucked away a precious, and brightly lit memory in the treasure chest of her childhood.

Ginger Boda, 2003

Write Ginger and let her know your thoughts on her story!

Ginger is an award winning author and contributor to various online publications, such as Heartwarmers, Petwarmers, Write2theheart, Insight for the Day, and Storytime Tapestry. Ginger weaves faith, traditions and humor into her stories and poetry, as she strives to lift the spirit and cheer the heart. One of her stories, The Ring of Love, will be featured in the book Chicken Soup For The Bride's Soul, which will be released in January 2004. Ginger resides in Southern California with her husband, Mark, of 27 years, and three grown children; Jason, 25; Danny, 22; and Alisha, 19.


Thought For The Day:

"You can build a throne out of bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long." --Boris Yeltsin

Verse for the Day:

"So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors." --Proverbs 1:19

Kid's Thought For The day:

"Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"Have children while your parents are still young enough to take care of them." -Rita Rudner

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Before you flare up about a teammate's faults, count to ten. Ten of your own."

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"The best endings resonate because they echo a word, phrase or image from earlier in the story, and the reader is prompted to think back to that reference and speculate on a deeper meaning." --James Plath

Deep Thought For The Day:

"I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met."


Have you been to the website lately? If you like what you see and would like to have your own professional looking website, visit the link below. Bizstudio has been a wonderful service for and with 270,000 visitors in the past three years, the website has been a tremendous tool in helping us to "Touch Lives, One Email at a Time." Although I had no prior experience building a website, I was able to create and build the site easily utilizing Bizstudio's online editor. It includes an Online Site Editor, Unlimited Updates, Unlimited Pages, Professional Themes, Pre-Programmed Features, E-mail Accounts, and free Search Engine Submission. If I could do it with no prior experience you can too! Check it out at this link:



"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos! Check out my video production business by visiting:


Would you like to see your story in Writer's guidelines can be found on our Web site here:

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The copyrights to the stories that appear in are owned by the authors and are used with their permission. We refuse to run stories without the author's permission and contact info listed after the story. We also refuse to publish stories listed as "author unknown." (All of which violates Copyright Law and the rights of the authors.) This e-mail may be forwarded in its entirety, but please do not cut and paste the stories to be used elsewhere unless you have contacted and been given permission by the individual writer. Thank you so much for honoring the rights of those writers who graciously share their stories with us!


Reading Books, Changing Lives!

For those of you who would like to purchase the books from the bookstore via your credit card, you can now do so!

You can now order a number of different autographed best-selling inspirational books for the same price you would get them in the store, the shipping to you is paid for, and you are helping change the lives of teenagers and those they come in contact with! And best of all, every penny from the book sales are going to youth ministry!


A number of people have written to us asking what an EBook is, since our book is being offered in both print and EBook versions. An EBook is a book that can be downloaded and read right on your computer. The advantage of ordering the EBook is that is costs less, $8.95 (No other charges), as compared to $14.95 + shipping and handling for the print book. Plus you can download the EBook and begin reading the stories in a few minutes! EBooks are read via Acrobat Reader, which is software that most of you already have on your computer. And if for some reason you don't, it can be downloaded free of charge at the web site. So for those of you who don't want to wait for the print book to be delivered, check out this web site to order the EBook version of Straight From the Heart "A Celebration of Life."
Transfer your photographs or old home videos over to DVD or MP4 files! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.

You can join the 15,000 followers on his Facebook Nature Photography by clicking on the link above!

Touching Lives - One E-mail at a Time!
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