A Christmas Party

A Christmas Party

A Christmas Party at Belinda's Barn

A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT BELINDA’S BARN

An Advent Calendar Day!

Belinda was getting a little bit worried. She still hadn’t figured out…

What Is It That Makes It Christmas?

If it’s not the tree and it’s not the snow and it’s not the reindeer or Santa or stockings, what can it be?

She talked to Howard about it every morning and drew her ideas on her Advent Calendar every night. She hoped that the PARTY would give her some more ideas!

When she ran down the stairs in the morning, she was excited to find a note on the kitchen table from her father. It said, “I’m in the barn, decorating. Get your warm clothing and come join me!”

Getting Ready for a Christmas Party

A Christmas Party at Belinda's BarnShe pulled on her parka and boots over her PJs and ran outside to the barn. But she stood still and said, “OH MY!” when she saw the barn with all the white fairy lights. It was still dark outside, and their old barn was magical.

Well, she knew there was going to be a party, but what could she do to help?

Her dad asked if she could put crayons and paper and glue in one of the barn stalls for drawing. And he thought they should have construction paper and glue in another stall. Belinda knew that was for paper chains!

Paper Chains

Soon there would be a lot of friends to help her decorate the tree (and eat cookies!).

Before you knew it, she heard loud boots clomping outside. She knew that sound. “That’s Gramps,” she said! And when the big barn doors opened up, it was not just Gramps. He had a BIG BIG BIG Christmas tree.

Her kitty was not invited to the party, but Belinda could tell the story of his adventures.

Kitty In the Snow

Belinda decided she wanted to help kids draw Advent Calendars. She could even tell them what she was learning about Christmas.

It’s Not the Tree That Makes It Christmas

Her dad thought that was a great idea. He said, “I think that would be wonderful, Belinda. And I’ll bet you’ll get some new ideas for the last days of YOUR calendar as well!”

“Maybe even a picture of a party,” said Belinda as she skipped back to the house in her red rubber boots.

 

Let me know in the Comments how you’re doing on your journey and whether you have a December 21 drawing of your very own in your house.

Please share your own experiences and suggestions in the Comments below. And tell me about your favorite Christmas books!

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Remembering the Magic

Remembering the Magic

Remembering the magic of Christmas in New York

REMEMBERING THE MAGIC

An Advent Calendar Day!

Remembering the magic of Christmas in New York!

It’s still early morning back in the farmhouse, and Belinda loves quiet cocoa and happy memories. And picturing what she will draw for her mom and Gramps.

She can’t wait to tell them about her amazing dream! She dreamed about dancing with the prince on the stage at The Nutcracker!

In her dream, people clapped and clapped, and Custard had a front row seat! Pretty hard to draw a picture of Custard sitting still in a seat, but she already knew what the best picture would be: a picture of Belinda and Santa!

So Much Magic!

Belinda and Santa

Belinda was excited about the Santa at Macy’s (lots of people think he is the REAL Santa). She wasn’t too sure about that, but going out with her grandmother and her dad would be fun no matter what. AND she would get a picture to show her mom!

When her grandmother asked if she knew what she wanted for Christmas, Belinda was very quiet. Finally she said, “I think that what I want can’t come down a chimney. I want my mommy to come home. And I want a whole family hug.”

“I understand,” her father said. “And you are right that the best presents of all can’t come down a chimney. But it’s ok to tell Santa about something you’d like to do or give or share or play with. You know, something that CAN come down a chimney. And it’s ok to tell Santa about the part he can’t do. He’ll understand that too.”

Belinda finally decided to ask Santa for ice skates so that she could skate with her mom and dad once her mom got home! That would be a GREAT present. But she also asked for the present that wouldn’t come down the chimney!

Christmas Wishes

Family Skating Together

Wishing for her mom at Christmas was a big wish. But Christmas was all about special wishes. And sometimes those wishes come true!

When Belinda’s dad and gramps got up, she had so many things to tell them – three at a time! She wanted to tell them about Grandmother and the giant tree and the Nutcracker. But she also told them that she asked Santa for ice skates!

Her dad thought that was a great idea and just the kind of thing that Santa would love to hear!

After a hot breakfast and a lot of stories, Belinda sat down to draw a picture. She decided that living in the city with Grandmother with lots of people would be good. But she loved living on the farm with her dad and Gramps.

She hoped her mom would come home soon, but she’d talk to her on Skype and show her a picture in the meantime!

 

 

Let me know in the Comments how you’re doing on your journey and whether you have a December 15 drawing of your very own in your house.

Please share your own experiences and suggestions in the Comments below. And tell me about your favorite Christmas books!

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Believe in the Magic of Christmas

Believe in the Magic of Christmas

Believe in the Magic of Christmas

BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS

An Advent Calendar Day!

Believe in the Magic of Christmas — YES!! December 13 is a SPECIAL day on Belinda’s Advent Calendar!

A train ride with her dad to New York City, a visit to see her grandmother, and a building all lit up with the word “BELIEVE”! She could hardly BELIEVE any of it!

Counting minutes on the train didn’t help her with the fidgets, and her fidget spinner didn’t help either. Too many exciting surprises for just one Advent Calendar Day!

Belinda’s dad was pretty good at noticing her fidgets (well, they would be hard to miss as she was bouncing all around in her seat!).

Being a smart dad, he was prepared. He asked Belinda if she would like to look at some pictures and get ready for her visit.

A Famous Christmas Tree

The first picture she saw lit her eyes up like saucers. This year’s tree at Rockefeller Center was 80 feet tall  and had 50,000 lights!

Christmas tree on a truckBelinda thought the coolest part was that the tree arrived in New York overnight, so that no children would see it until it got to Rockefeller Center.

Are We Going to See THIS When We Visit Grandmother?

When she turned the page, her eyes lit up AGAIN! “Look! People are ice skating right below the Christmas Tree. Are we going to see all this while we visit Grandmother?” Now Belinda REALLY wanted the train to go faster.

A Train StationGrand Central Station

Soon they had arrived at the station where about a zillion people came and went every day! But they made it through the crowd (whew!)! Must be more Christmas magic!

At Grandmother’s house, Grandmother was so happy to see Belinda that she gave her an extra big hug. Remember that there was another surprise to your present??

Grandmother told Belinda that they were going to go see an amazing tree, but when they got there, Belinda said, “That tree looks like the one in the book!”

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center with ice skatersBelinda for-sure believes in the magic of Christmas! She says, “It’s the biggest, best-est thing I have ever seen. AND there are gold statues and angels and ICE SKATERS and flags everywhere.”

Belinda asked her grandmother if she knew it was going to be like that. And her grandmother said, “Oh yes, Belinda.”

“Wow,” Belinda said on a very cold, freezy breath. “I don’t know how you could ever leave this.”

“Ah,” said her grandmother. “But part of what makes it so special is that it’s only like this at Christmas.”

And then her father asked Belinda if she would like to go ice skating? Can you imagine? Right below the giant Christmas tree? What do you think she said??

Let me know in the Comments how you’re doing on your journey and whether you have a December 13 drawing of your very own in your house.

Please share your own experiences and suggestions in the Comments below. And tell me about your favorite Christmas books!

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Special Christmas Gifts

Special Christmas Gifts

A Special Christmas Gift

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Where is My Kitty?

Special Christmas Gifts aren’t always wrapped! Custard didn’t have a ribbon or a bow, but he came home safe after a very scary day in the snow!

First My Kitty, Then My Friend

It was a difficult day for Belinda. First her kitty was missing. Then her friend Elizabeth! Lots of worries (and a lot of talking to Howard!). 

Belinda wished that Custard could tell the whole story of the day he was missing. While she was worrying and people were searching, her kitty was having the adventure of his life. 

Inside Custard’s Story

First, he was busy following a funny smell. It wasn’t dog. And it wasn’t squirrel. He moved carefully as he got closer to the smell. Eventually he noticed that the “funny smell” smelled a little like Belinda!

Twitching his nose, he went closer still. Whatever it was, it looked like a person, but it wasn’t moving. Like all of his cat ancestors, Custard knew how to sneak up on something…

One Quiet Little Paw at a Time

Turning his head in all directions, he moved even slower, then JUMPED up on the still little person who smelled like Belinda.

Custard began licking the little person’s face, since that usually convinced Belinda that it was time to play.

Oh No! What Can It Be?

At that very moment, Custard looked up and saw bright lights and heard a loud screech. He was frozen to the spot!

What could it be? What did Custard see and hear? And did something (or SOMEONE) see or hear him in the snow?

This is a very scary chapter! Custard was missing. Belinda’s friend Elizabeth was missing. And there was a “person” who wasn’t moving. A small person who smelled a little like Belinda!

Special Christmas Gifts All Around

Can you figure out what happened before you read the rest of the story? What can happen when a little kitty and a little missing girl and some screechy sounds and bright lights show up?

Belinda’s friend Andrew and his grandfather were right there when it happened. And Andrew’s grandfather said, “What on earth is this? What is going on here?”

Andrew’s Grandfather Was Right There?

The story of how Elizabeth came to be so still and how Andrew’s grandfather called for help is only part of what happens next.

Maybe the best part happens when a certain little kitty comes home in time for Christmas?

If I told you that Custard turned out to be a hero and saved Elizabeth, would you even believe it?? Would that be more magical than even your best imagination?

You’ll have to read the story to find out about Custard, the Hero! What an amazing story  and what special Christmas gifts there were! 

Let me know in the Comments how you’re doing on your journey and whether you have a December 11 drawing of your very own in your house.

Please share your own experiences and suggestions in the Comments below. And tell me about your favorite Christmas books!

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Find My Missing Cat!

Find My Missing Cat!

Find My Missing Cat

FIND MY MISSING CAT!

Where did Custard go?

Find My Missing Cat! Belinda looked for paw prints in the snow, but there was nothing to see. Where was Custard? She needed help in a hurry!

This is a tough chapter for Belinda! She’s very worried about her kitty, and she wants to go out in the snow and look! She’s a lucky girl because her dad knows where to find help!

In this chapter Belinda has TWO worries. Not only is Custard missing, but her friend Elizabeth as well!

The Plan

Belinda’s dad has a plan: he wants her to make a list of Elizabeth’s friends. Maybe someone would have seen Elizabeth! And Belinda’s dad also found out what color coat Elizabeth was wearing. That would help all the searchers as they looked for her.

While Belinda makes the list, her dad calls friends and neighbors and the SPCA and even the police, but no one has seen Custard or Elizabeth.

Help Me Find My Missing Cat!

If you read this chapter, you can help Belinda stay calm. Just walk around with her as she looks for a paw print or the print of a little girl’s boot. You can help her when she calls, “CUSTARD! ELIZABETH! WHERE ARE YOU?” You would do that too, I’ll bet!

Belinda is extra lucky because people in her town jump in to help right away. And she talks to Howard about her worries and asks for help. She always believes that it’s good to ask for help AND do your best while you’re waiting!

I don’t want to spoil the best part of this chapter, but there’s something special coming!

How’s Your Imagination??

You could sit down and think about what might happen that would be really GREAT for Custard and Elizabeth – and Belinda! What do you think it might be? Maybe an airplane sees them in the snow? Or someone is out for a nighttime walk?? How do you think something GREAT might happen??

If I told you that Custard turned out to be a hero and saved Elizabeth, would you even believe it?? Would that be more magical than even your best imagination?

You’ll have to read the story to find out about Custard, the Hero! Belinda will be so proud of him when he gets home! Hope you will love this chapter. It’s my favorite.

 

Let me know in the Comments how you’re doing on your journey and whether you have a December 9 drawing of your very own in your house.

Please share your own experiences and suggestions in the Comments below. And tell me about your favorite Christmas books!

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