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All We Want for Christmas

All We Want for Christmas by Polly Bolack
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When cartoonist Mike Couric's four mischievous children disappear shortly before Christmas, he finds them at an orphanage where they've presented an outrageous scheme.

Social worker Joy Anderson is enchanted by the children's amusing antics, and she's immediately attracted to their father. However, Joy's being married Christmas Eve, and while Mike's captivated by Joy, he's still grieving the death of his wife.

But it's Christmas time, and when God's in control, anything can happen.

Awe-Struck Publishing; December 2002
144 pages; ISBN 9781587493317
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: All We Want for Christmas
Author: Polly Bolack
As hard as Joy tried, she couldn't convince herself that she was just on her way to spend time with friends to decorate a Christmas tree. She could no longer deny she wanted to be with Mike.

She forced her thoughts back to attending church. After the wedding, and after she was settled, she'd find a church. Suddenly, she realized she'd have to sneak to attend church, not let Trevor know. Trevor considered participating in organized religion a character flaw. Politically incorrect.

Sneaking to church? How ironic. Life could get so complicated. Her life could have been so different if only...what if she'd met Mike a few months ago...before she'd met Trevor. What is she'd not received that letter from the-?

"Hey lady, we only got three colors and we've already gone through all of them!" The angry voice came from a truck driver who'd pulled up beside her to pass. A blare of horns snapped Joy's attention back to her driving. She stepped on the accelerator, worked her way into the left lane and turned onto the road that led into Mike's neighborhood.

Okay, I can do this. It's not a big deal. I'll tie a couple of glass balls on the tree and toss a handful of tensile on the branches, drink a glass of Tommy Sue's special Christmas punch, say my final good-byes to the children and go home and concentrate on my wedding.

Joy gasped as she neared the house. Mike must have strung a million Christmas lights on the roof, she thought as she pulled onto the driveway. The house and grounds had been transformed into a Christmas wonderland. The decorations were a wonderful blend of the old and the new-the traditional and the secular. Santa Claus and his eight reindeer paused precariously over the chimney, watched over by a multitude of hovering angels. Rudolph stood nearby on the roof, his nose blinking bright red. A life-sized, animated manger scene dominated the front lawn. More fluffy-winged flying angels kept vigil over the display. The usual cartoon characters in the yard had been replaced with Santa's elves, toy soldiers and huge candy canes.

As Joy got out of the car, Mike rounded the corner wearing a red and green Christmas sweater and jeans. His arms held a tangle of speaker wire. She wasn't prepared for the knot that formed in her stomach when he walked toward her, grinning widely. He smelled of fresh cedar and his eyes sparkled in the sunshine. He reminded her of a mountain man, strong, yet gentle. The kind of man who could fight a bear in the morning, remove a splinter from a child's finger with the delicacy of a surgeon in the afternoon...and in the quiet hours of the night...she quickly dismissed that image from her too vivid imagination.