“Christmas Dreams” by Ashley Clark

Hello from Ashley Clark! I’m so excited to be included once again in A Cup of Christmas Cheer from Guideposts Books. I’ve got another story set in the modern-day South, which appears in Volume Four: Heartwarming Tales of Christmas Present, but this time I’m moving from Charleston to one of my favorite small towns in Alabama.

sunsetThe setting:
“Christmas Dreams” takes place in Fairhope, Alabama, which is just about the quaintest, nicest small town you’ll ever see—full of sweet tea, pecan pie, and southern hospitality.

The story:
“Christmas Dreams” is about a widow who’s excited to see her family for Christmas, until she gets word their flight has been delayed. Already halfway through her cooking and baking preparations, she decides to finish the food she’s started but realizes she doesn’t have any more eggs, so she phones her neighbor. The neighbor promises to send over a nephew to take her to the store, but what starts as a simple errand turns into an afternoon full of dreams she had long given up on. She dances in the park, for instance, and tries boiled chestnuts. But then the woman gets an unbelievable revelation. What if the man she’s spent Christmas with isn’t her neighbor’s nephew at all…what if he’s actually Heaven sent? She learns you’re never too old to have a Christmas dream that matters to God.

The Bishop's WifeThe inspiration:
When I think of my favorite Christmas stories, they usually blend the disappointing realities of real life with the glitz and hope of Christmas magic—whether that takes the form of an angel, an unexpected gift, or Jimmy Stuart’s friends lending him a whole heap of money. One of my favorite old movies is The Bishop’s Wife, so I drew some inspiration from that story and put it into a completely new context.

The takeaway:
The fact is, everyone has a dream, whether you’re five or ninety-five, but life sometimes has a way of disappointing us. We often think we are being practical or logical in letting go of our long-kept heart dreams, but I wonder if that’s really what’s best? Especially if those dreams were placed in our lives by God. I wrote this story in hopes that readers will be encouraged to fight for their dreams, no matter how hard or far away they seem, because all of our dreams matter so very much to God. And an unfulfilled dream may only be a few steps away from a dream come true.

WafflesChristmas traditions:
I have so many favorite Christmas traditions, it’s hard to choose! I grew up in Florida, so my family and I are huge Disney fans. Each Christmas, after we open presents and read the Christmas story in the Bible, we eat waffles and watch the Disney Christmas parade on ABC. Something about the parade just puts me in the Christmas spirit for the rest of the day, and one year, we even saw it live!

Your turn:
What dreams do you have for this Christmas season? They can be anything from a long-kept goal to a gift you hope to receive!

My giveaway!

I’m offering a $10 Amazon e-gift card to one lucky winner!
Click this link to be taken to our Rafflecopter drawing.
Once there, follow the directions to enter.

For your protection, do not include personal information in a comment.

Congratulations to Amy C, winner of the giveaway!

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Check out the Giveaways page on our site to learn about our  Goodreads giveaway.
We’re offering five sets of A Cup of Christmas Cheer Volumes Three and Four.

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ashleyclarkheadshotThe Storyteller:
Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She is represented by Karen Solem of Spencerhill Associates and holds a Master of Arts in English Creative Writing. Her publishing credits include short stories in Guideposts’ A Cup of Christmas Cheer, articles in Susie Magazine as well as SciendaQ, and her editing experience includes two literary journals published by the University of West Florida. Ashley is a 2011 and 2014 Genesis Contest semifinalist, and she teaches writing and literature courses at her local university. When she’s not writing, Ashley’s probably rescuing stray dogs, traveling, or finding new small towns for story settings.

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18 thoughts on ““Christmas Dreams” by Ashley Clark

  1. This story sounds really interesting! This Christmas, I want to spend time with as much of my family as possible. My kids are already thinking up what will be on their Christmas lists – I have a harder time figuring out what I want for Christmas!

  2. “An unfulfilled dream may only be a few steps away from a dream come true.” This is a quote to remember, my friend. Loved hearing more about the inspiration behind your story. Here’s to hoping our big dreams come true! 🙂

  3. I’m from the Mississippi Gulf coast, so I know where Fairhope is. It is indeed a charming place. Jacqueline

  4. I love hearing from Ashley. Every time I visit Disneyland or DisneyWorld I always say if I lived close I would come many times in the year. How often do you visit?

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    • Melanie, it all depends on the year… At least once a year, but when I was a kid, we often went twice. Florida residents can get great discounts! I’ve actually never been to Disney Land but would love to go! Thanks for stopping by today!

  5. I just want to enjoy everything about this Christmas season. In past years, something always gets in the way – usually something I am worried about, and it consumes me in a way that I am not able to savor the holiday and my uninterrupted time with my family, since I live several hours away from them.

    • Brittany, then this year, I wish you a wonderful time with your family with no interruptions or distractions! 🙂 Visiting is always hard because there are so many things to plan and keep in mind. Thanks for stopping by today!

  6. Your story sounds wonderful, Ashley. I look forward to reading it.

    Christmas will be different for me this year. Our daughter, who is our one and only, is living and working in Austria. For the first time since she joined our family twenty-three years ago, Gwynly and I won’t be celebrating with her. She hopes to travel to France and spend Christmas with the friends she made while working there the previous school year. I hope she’s able to make the trip, has a good time and doesn’t feel too terribly homesick. I’m sure to be missing our gal, and I’ll be missing my dad as well. He passed away three days after Christmas last year. My dream is that I find joy in the season despite the separation and sense of loss.

    • Keli, I have so enjoyed seeing the pictures of your daughter on Facebook! I am sorry to hear she won’t be home for this Christmas, and that it will be your first without your dad. I pray you and your husband are able to make your own special traditions this season, and that your daughter is able to meet up with those friends!

  7. I just want there to be enough money to buy at least one gift for each member of my immediate family. My husband and I have 12 children and things are really tough this year financially. I don’t want anything for myself but I do want the happy Christmas atmosphere to be there for all of us.

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