Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Nature calls

64 Comments

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com

It’s funny how a family tradition can begin. One year, after my sister sneaked out of bed and ripped open all of the Christmas presents under the tree, a new tradition was born. Santa Claus came to our house extra early on Christmas Eve.

When darkness fell, we all piled into the car for Christmas Eve service. Every year, after we were all buckled in, my father would announce he had to use the bathroom. He left the car running, with the heat on, as he took care of business. Ten minutes later, we were on our way.

After church, my father drove through the neighborhood to admire the Christmas lights. My sister and I were never interested; we wanted to get home since we knew Santa always came to our house when we were at church. Our house was his first stop, at least that’s what we were told.

As the year passed, my sister and I caught on to my father’s, “I have to use the bathroom,” charade. One year, our suspicions were confirmed when we noticed the light in the garage turn on; there was no bathroom in our garage.

We still open gifts on Christmas Eve, after church. The only difference is, when we’re ready to leave, my father doesn’t get the urge to use the bathroom.

Merry Christmas! Next week I’ll be on a break, so I’ll look forward to seeing everyone on January 3rd. Happy New Year!

In the meantime, what are your family traditions during the holiday season?

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

64 thoughts on “Nature calls

  1. Thanks for sharing, Jill. What a lovely story. It’s funny to remember what we as kids took at face value for so long (that Santa is for real, that your dad really had to use the bathroom).

    My husband and I don’t have any Christmas tradition. I don’t like to travel during the holidays so there’s no visits to family until later. We prefer to just have a quiet time together, doing a little bit more than what we can accomplish in a two-day weekend. I know, sounds boring, maybe even Scroogy, but that’s how we like it 😉

    Have a wonderful, wonderful holiday! I’m looking forward to reading your posts in the New Year 🙂

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  2. My holidays are quiet as family is across country. For us it’s a time of indulging ourselves with reading or watching holiday movies that we don’t normally have time for.

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  3. What a fun story, Jill! My favorite childhood tradition, which I continued when I had children of my own, was leaving a note, some cookies, and a glass of milk for Santa. It was always thrilling to see an empty glass and a few crumbs on the plate as we made our way to the gifts he’d left under the tree. My favorite memory is of my oldest daughter (who was about 3 at the time) slipping out of bed and eating all the cookies while we thought she was asleep. Lucky for us, Santa wasn’t caught in the act of placing gifts under the tree!

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    • That’s a great story, Candace. You know, I don’t think we ever left cookies and milk for Santa, at least not that I can remember. Maybe my dad was watching his waistline. 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday! I’m looking forward to more great stuff on your blog in 2014.

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  4. When we were children Christmas was always a large-family- around-the-table affair which would last for hours because we would have games after the food which would sometimes roll into evening cold cuts and Christmas cake. We’d always have our presents in the morning, and afternoon was a slot for my grandmother – whose birthday fell on Christmas Day.

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    • That’s a great tradition, Jenny, family time together, that’s what it’s all about. That’s nice your grandmother had her own special time. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! I hope you find a bottle of Chanel no. 5 under your tree. 🙂

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  5. Your dad sounds awesome, Jill! I love that tradition.
    My parents used to open their gifts on Christmas Eve. Christmas was reserved for my brothers and me. We’d get up very early and head over to the tree where the gifts would be piled high. My also left milk and cookies for Santa, which I guess my dad ate. I wondered why Mom and Dad seemed so tired when we’d try to drag them out of bed at 3 or 4 a.m. Later, I discovered they’d gotten to bed around midnight and weren’t happy about getting up three hours later. 😀

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    • He is pretty awesome, Linda! 🙂 That’s nice Christmas Day was reserved for you and your brothers. Boy, you all got an early start! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a joyful New Year!

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  6. Oh, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  7. That’s a great Christmas story Jill! The newest family tradition is two Christmases. One with my in-laws this weekend, and another with my family on Christmas day. Gotta love it.

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  8. When my three siblings and I were children, we would open out christmas stockings together on my oldest sister’s bed, and our parents were not invited. It was probably the one time all year we didn’t bicker and torment eachother!

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  9. Haha, I love it! Though it seems like sacrilege to open before Christmas morning… tsk tsk 😉
    Our Christmas tradition was for me and my four older brothers to stay up all night playing the Nintendo. I wish we still were able to do this… *sigh*

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    • That’s a great tradition, Aussa! I’m sure those all-nighters hold a lot of special memories. Yeah, I suppose we were violating some of the laws of the North Pole, but my parents got a good night of sleep. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

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  10. What a great family Christmas story! When my son was little we waited for Xmas morning to open gifts. Then it made more sense to open gifts on Xmas Eve so we could all get some sleep.

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    • Thanks, Dor! There’s nothing better than watching the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. I’m sure you have some great memories. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year!

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  11. Love it! I’ve just put up my post but I didn’t really share too many traditions although there are a few. Mainly, the one about my dad pretending to magic a chocolate umbrella out of the air only for me to discover that he got them from Woolworths! Love this story Jill, and I know what you mean how traditions can easily start in this way!
    I’m taking a break too, and won’t be blogging until after the new year, so I wish you and Derek from Devon a very Happy Christmas from across the sea not to far from Devon 🙂 See you in 2014!

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    • Thanks, Sherri! I loved your post in which you shared both the good and not so good memories from Christmases past. I’m happy to hear you’re talking a break, you’ve been a blogging machine. Now it’s time to enjoy the holidays with your family. Have fun with your chicks! Derek from Devon is wishing you a very Merry Christmas as well! 🙂

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  12. Happy Christmas Jill. When our children were small we always used to leave one present on their beds hoping we might get to sleep in for a little bit. Didn’t work the year we left their Nana’s presents on their beds – they were drums and whistles…

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  13. That’s a cute and funny story! I like this because it means you can sleep in on Christmas morning! Christmas eve is big in my culture and tradition, but we just eat, dance and drink all night! Have a wonderful break, Jill. Feliz Navidad to a wonderful amiga! xo

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    • I think that might have been my parent’s goal, Maria. 🙂 Your tradition sounds like great fun! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year! I hope 2014 brings you less pain and suffering, my friend. xo

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  14. Very funny! We used to open packages on Christmas Eve when I was growing up, but only so there was room for Santa to come. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    Theresa

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  15. When we were a little older, the stockings got opened after midnight mass with a cup of hot chocolate, we slept in and opened what was under the tree more leisurely. Steve and I sure do miss our folks this time of year – this will be Steve’s first without his dad.

    For you and your enjoyable readers (there’s always SO much personality present in your comment section!), those with challenges ahead this holiday season will be in our prayers and here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and blessed 2014.

    Wishing you the best, Jill, and looking forward to connecting next year!!

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    • Stockings and cocoa, what a nice tradition, Shel. My thoughts and prayers are with Steve, I’m sure it must be difficult. He’s lucky he has you.

      I agree! I love all of the regular commenters, you all feel like good friends. It’s a shame we’re scattered all around the world. This year has been my first full year of blogging and I couldn’t feel most blessed by the people I’ve met. You all are special in your own way.

      I hope 2014 brings good health to you, Shel. I know you’ve had a rough road, but you continue to press on. You’re an inspiration to anyone battling health issues. Merry Christmas!

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  16. That is so funny that your sister’s naughtiness brought about such a lovely family tradition. 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday, Jill. Merry Christmas. See you in Jan.

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    • Yes, my sister was definitely the mischievous one…I never caused trouble. 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying your time off Elizabeth. I miss your lovely posts, but I’ll see you in 2014. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  17. Have a restful holiday season, Jill. Hopefully you’ve got some time off work to coincide with your blogging break. I’m also taking a short leave. See you in 2014!

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    • Thanks, Gwen! Yes, I am off work until January 2nd and so far, I’m loving it. I’m glad you’re taking a break yourself. I’m sure the girls are happy to be out of school for a couple of weeks. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Gwen!

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  18. Wishing you a blessed and restful Christmas season, Jill! 🙂

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  19. Such bright children, you and your sister, Jill. I think it’s cute that your dad used the old go-to-the-bathroom ploy, and you two sat patiently waiting in the car. This is a wonderful Christmas memory for your family.
    Merry Christmas!

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    • Well, it took us a few years to figure out what was going on, Marylin. 🙂 Yes, it’s a great memory. I can still remember the two of us huddled in the back seat, always so excited. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  20. Have a wonderful, well-earned break, Jill, and a magical Christmas. 🙂 I’ll be in the Algarve when you return to blogging but I’ll catch up as soon as I can. My very best wishes for 2014.

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  21. We always opened one gift on Christmas Eve and then my brother would wake me up really early the next morning. I’ve never been a morning person, even on Christmas. happy holidays and see you in 2014

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  22. LOL. What an awesome Xmas eve you had growing up! Have a wonderful holiday! See you in 2014. 😉

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  23. Jill, when my children were little, Santa did not always want cookies. Most times, Santa wanted cheese, dinner roll, and warm milk at our home. To the children’s delight, Santa would only leave crumbs and just a drop of milk behind:-)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  24. What a lovely story to share with us Jill. How sweet of your dad to excuse himself at the right moment. I was a firm believer in santa just like you. Your post brings back very beautiful memories of beautiful innocent childhood years. I am busy enjoying every moment, not counting calories which should happen after christmas. Merry Christmas and a very joyous and a happy new year to you and your family my friend. May the next year bring nothing but happiness to us. Amen.

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    • I agree, Christmas isn’t the time to count calories, but to enjoy the moment and cherish the memories. Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the New Year, Samina. You’ve been a blessing in my life this past year. I feel fortunate to have met you through our blogs. Happy New Year!

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  25. Jill, that’s the first time I’ve heard of Santa coming while the family is at church. That means that you are actually following the German tradition of gifts on Christmas Eve! My dad would have liked that. But I would have liked it even more haha. I could barely sleep Christmas eve anyway when I was a kid, and I usually woke up hours before my parents and sometimes sneaked out but couldn’t see properly in the dark and then felt guilty!

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    • My father’s side of the family does have German descendants, Luanne. Maybe you should have used a flashlight…no, then you would have felt more guilty. 🙂 I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!

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      • Haha, I was so scared I didn’t think of that! Everything was a dark shape and I couldn’t be sure what anything was. Then I’d scurry back to bed and my heart would be just racing for an hour. I also used to think every morning might be Christmas morning for about a month before Christmas. I was always hopeful it had come early! What a nut.
        Thanks, and you, too!

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      • That was the great thing about being a child, we had an excuse to be “a nut.” Of course, as an adult, it’s fun to be a little nutty now and then. 🙂

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  26. In recent years, on Christmas morning, we go to watch the grandsons open Santa’s presents and enjoy a delicious breakfast. Afterwards, we usually return home (11 miles) and spend a nice, quiet remainder of the day. It’s a great time to read, get caught up on blog posts, and maybe even work on my current WIP without the constant flow of football or hockey on TV. This year, however, things have been quite different, and I miss our “usual” tradition. I will have to write about that in a future blog post. In the meantime, I hope your Christmas holiday has been good. 🙂

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    • I’m sorry to hear you weren’t able to enjoy your traditional Christmas, Mark. Despite it not being traditional, I hope it was nice. Congratulations on the publication of your book…that is great news! I look forward to reading it. Happy New Year!

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      • Thanks, Jill. Our holiday has been good but just a few “different” twists and turns. Looking forward to getting back to the regular writing routine next week. Happy New Year to you, too! 🙂

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