Keeping Christmas Magic: A Novella by Cherie Ann Vick
"I finished this book last night with a smile on my face! What a happy Christmas everyone had. I loved all of the different adjectives, including the musical ones like 'concerto.' I could visualize the characters vividly."
—Kathy Kaneda, music teacher, Baltimore County School System
In this holiday fiction, a family beset with financial troubles from a lengthy period of unemployment searches for renewed hope and love in time for Christmas.
In December 2008, Bob Morrison is eleven-months unemployed. Though an active participant in a weekly job search group, Bob’s skills are a poor fit for the meager opportunities where he lives with his wife, Stephanie. Her job in higher education has paid some, but not all, of their bills. Bob’s unemployment benefits will end in January. After creditors leave threatening voicemail messages, Stephanie secretly searches for a better-paying job in a larger city. Their college-student daughter, Michelle, schemes to avoid the family drama by spending Christmas with a new boyfriend in Long Island. Seeing how the financial stress affects her parents’ marriage, she is ready to leave her devoted high school boyfriend for the prospect of marrying into a wealthy family.
Arguments, deception, and the possibility of an affair threaten to pull apart this family. Early in the story, Bob finds a tiny, nearly-frozen kitten hiding inside their garage. Rescuing the kitten and searching for its owner present Bob with a new job opportunity. But will he be willing to take a chance on a new direction in time for Christmas?
For anyone who is, or has, faced the prospect of celebrating Christmas with little money and a lot of anxiety about the future, reading this story will lift your spirit and remind you of what puts magic in the season.
With twenty-five years’ experience writing educational materials, and ten previous years working in employee assistance, Cherie Ann Vick makes her fiction debut with Keeping Christmas Magic. In this book, she tells the story of a family facing financial difficulties during the Great Recession. Her inspiration came from her own participation in a transition support group sponsored by her church in North Carolina in 2009.
Cherie has master’s degrees in both Social Work and Education. When she isn’t writing, she is reading or singing for her church choir.