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Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Memories with Author Sharon Stanley




The year I turned 10 it snowed on Christmas Eve… a lot. Richmond Virginia is one of those places that rarely has a white Christmas, so when it does, things generally come to a screeching halt. On this night in l966, my mother happily wrapped gifts secure in the knowledge that all was ready for Santa’s visit. My father put last minute touches on the tree and my brother and I were tucked away in bed dreaming of sugar plums…or in my case, a Kissy Doll.

Kissy was the dream doll that year. Dressed in a red gingham dress, she stood quite tall, arms outstretched ready to “kiss” anyone who squeezed her arms together. Why I wanted this doll I don’t remember, but I do remember it was all I asked for, so when my mother took Kissy from her box for a test kiss, she remembers all but breaking down in tears when Kissy would not oblige. By now it was 9 PM and snow was flying, already several inches deep. These were the days before local shopping centers and Kissy had been purchased at Miller & Rhodes, a downtown store 15 miles from our home.

Ever the optimist, Mama made a call to the downtown store hoping someone would answer the switchboard and offer a suggestion. The gentleman who did was obviously enjoying a last minute office party, the jovial spirit sounding in his voice.

“Mrs. Patterson,” he said, “I give you my solemn promise that your little girl will wake up with a Kissy doll under her tree tomorrow morning.”

Mama hung up after giving him our address more hopeful than certain that this would be the case. She assumed by the time he came down off the table and removed the lampshade from his head, he would not remember it was even Christmas let alone locate a Kissy doll in the six story department store and deliver it to her in a raging snowstorm.

The snow continued to fall hard and fast. A bit after 11 PM, a yellow cab rounded the corner of our street and slid to a stop barely missing the ditch. A well dressed gentleman knocked on the door, red-faced from the cold wind, the office celebration or both. When he handed her the Kissy doll, bowed deeply and wished her all the joy of the season, Mama did not see a tipsy executive, she saw the real Santa Claus. Needless to say, we shopped at Miller & Rhodes until they closed their doors many years later, and although this is not MY Christmas memory per se, it’s one of my favorites just the same.

Although Sharon Stanley has been writing for years, it was only after her youngest graduated high school that she got serious about it. She picked up her pencil and paper, joined the SCBWI and got busy. She has two picture books under contract and looks forward to seeing them published. Sharon lives with her husband, two grown boys, three dogs, three cats and lots and lots of cows on a working farm in Virginia. She enjoys all sorts of artistic and creative endeavors and blogs about her publishing journey and farm life at www.sharonstanleywrites.blogspot.com. Her life is a crop circle of craziness that affords her a never-ending supply of subject matter for all the stories she writes.

4 comments:

Kai Strand said...

Wow! I can't begin to imagine store personnel giving that kind of service. What an amazing story. Along the lines of Miracle on 34th Street. Thanks for sharing, Sharon.

Sharon Stanley said...

I know Kai, unreal even for l966! Thanks for reading!

Nancy Stewart said...

Great reading! Thanks so much for sharing. Makes one feel Christmasy!

Sharon Stanley said...

Thanks Nancy...Christmas is coming fast!

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A BEAUTIFUL DAY
A BLESSED BETHLEHEM BIRTH: as told by Abraham and Anna Mousenstern
A BRAINY REFRAIN : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
A DUCK AT THE DOG POUND
A HORSE OF COURSE
A NECKLACE FOR JIGGSY
A POCKETFUL OF MANNERS
A SHORT TALE ABOUT A LONG TAIL
A MIDSUMMER'S DANCE
A STAR IN THE NIGHT
A TALENT FOR QUIET
A TODDLER'S ABC OF BLESSINGS
ABIGAIL PLATT'S CUSPIDS
ABC's OF HEALTH and SAFETY
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ANDY & SPIRIT GO TO THE FAIR
ANDY & SPIRIT IN THE BIG RESCUE
ANDY & SPIRIT MEET THE RODEO QUEEN
ANGEL DONOR
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ANGELS DO THAT
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CHIZZY'S TOPSY TALE
CINDERFELLA & THE FURRY GODMOTHER
CIRCULATION CELEBRATION : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
CHOCALIN!
CLIP-CLOP, TIPPITY TAP French Vocabulary on the Farm
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COLOR ME HAPPY!
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CURLEY, THE CROOKED CHRISTMAS TREE
DIENTECITO Y EL ATAQUE DE LA PLACA Spanish Edition
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HORATIO HUMBLE BEATS THE BIG D
HORSE CAMP
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I DON'T WANT A HAIRCUT
IF I COULD BE ANYTHING
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IT'S BIRTHDAY TIME, JAKE!
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JAMIE'S DREAM
JOURNEYS OF HOPE "A STAR SHALL LEAD THEM"
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KLUTZY KANTOR
LADY GEHR
LAST PAGE IN THE DIARY
LEARNING YOUR ANIMAL ABCs WITH PROFESSOR HOOT
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LEARNING TO COUNT 1-10 WITH PROFESSOR HOOT
LIGHTNING STRIKES
LIDDIL GETS HER LIGHT
LILLY LOLLER'S ALWAYS LATE
LILY & THE CITY OF LIGHT
LITTLE SHEPHERD
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LUCKY PENNY
LUCY'S
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MAMA GRIZZLY BEAR
MARTA'S GARGANTUAN WINGS
MAGICAL MATTHEW
MAYBE WE ARE FLAMINGOS
MEET ME AT THE PARK
MICE IN MY TUMMY
MICHAEL'S NEW NEIGHBOR
MISTER TOPPER, THE POTBELLIED PIG
MOONLIGHT MEDALLION
MONSTER MADDIE
MUSCLES MAKE US MOVE: : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
MY COPAN ADVENTURE
MY GRANDMA'S KITCHEN RULES!
MY BROTHER THE FROG
MY SISTER IS MY BEST FRIEND
MY TOOTH IS LOOSE : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
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NO BONES ABOUT IT! : THE SUM OF OUR PARTS SERIES
NO MORE GUNK!
NOTHING STOPS NOAH
O CHRISTMAS TREE
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ON THE GO WITH ROOTER & SNUFFLE
ONE IN A BUZZILLION
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ONE NUTTY FAMILY
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OUCH! SUNBURN
POODLE & DOODLE
PRESTON, THE NOT-SO-PERFECT PIG
PROFESSSOR HORACE, CRYPTOZOOLOGIST
PUT IT BACK, JACK
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RAINBOW NIGHTS
RAINBOW SHEEP
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RIBBERT'S WAY HOME
RILEY'S HEART MACHINE
ROMEO'S RESCUE
RUTHIE AND THE HIPPO'S FAT BEHIND
RV MOUSE
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SCAREDY : A CLOUD AFRAID OF THUNDER
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SEYMOUR THE SEMI - SPACE TRUCKIN'
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SIGNS OF TROUBLE
SHOO CAT!
SILLY MOMENTS
SLIME AND ALL
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SMILEYTOOTH AND THE CASTLE HASSLE
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SPARKIE: A STAR AFRAID OF THE DARK
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STOP THAT PUDDING!
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STUBBY'S DESTINY
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THE JUMBO SHRIMP OF DIRE STRAITS
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THE LITTLEST COWBOY
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TODAY I AM A PENGUIN
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