The Twelve Days of Kindness by Jenness Walker

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMerry Christmas! I’m so happy to be part of this lovely group of authors and this year’s A Cup of Christmas Cheer! My story, “The Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness,” is part of Volume Four: Heartwarming Tales of Christmas Present.

This year, Christmas will be different for my family as we just moved from Florida. We’re getting to experience a little more of the winter wonderland part of the Christmas season. (Which means Black Friday was spent looking for warm clothes. 🙂 ) I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the Christmas season, even if it is colder than usual.

The Setting:
The story is set in a suburb in Virginia in the present day.

The Story:
Tonya Rutherford had been warned, but the siren call of the unopened Christmas gifts proves too much for her. The young girl and her brother unwrap the packages, but when they get caught, the consequences far outweigh the momentary excitement of seeing what they are getting. As punishment for their disobedience, every opened gift is put in boxes to be disposed of. As a lesson in giving rather than receiving, she is instructed to come up with and perform twelve acts of kindness—one a day leading up to Christmas. With each day that passes, Tonya becomes more and more excited about being kind to others. But in the end, did she really learn her lesson?

The Inspiration:
I had so much fun writing this story, because it was inspired by a tale my best friend tells about when she was little. The stinker got into their mother’s stash of Christmas gifts and things went downhill from there—I believe culminating with my best friend hitting her older brother with a pipe when he threatened to tell. (Never fear, no children were harmed in the true life or fictitious versions of this story.) With those two kids as my characters, the story practically wrote itself!

The Takeaway:
There are many heartwarming news articles and pins on Pinterest about random acts of kindness, especially on birthdays or leading up to Christmas. I hope that the reader finishes my story not only with a warm fuzzy feeling, but with the desire to look for ways they can give to others this holiday season.

Christmas Tradition:
I have never peeked at my gifts, partly because I like surprises, and partly because my mother began switching names on the packages. Each year she’d pick a different theme to name us after—reindeer, games, etc.—and when it came time to open presents, we’d have to guess who was who. Problem was, sometimes she’d forget who was who and have to switch gifts once they were opened. 🙂

Your Turn:
Did you ever sneak a look at your presents? Do you have any fun gift-giving traditions?

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The Storyteller:
Jenness Walker lives in South Carolina with her website-designer husband JT2480
of eleven years, their handsome toddler, and their overgrown lap dog. Her life-long love of books is evidenced by her day jobs, which have included cleaning a library, freelance editing, managing an independent Christian bookstore, and selling used books online. She is a former ACFW Genesis contest winner, ACFW Carol Award finalist, and her debut novel, Double Take, received 4.5 stars and a Top Pick rating from RT Reviews. Her short stories have appeared in several magazines, and she also co-authors funny inspirational romance.