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christmas-1015433_960_720I love a good Christmas story for kids, and a great way to make your own,  is to tie together things that are real for the child and things that are magical.

Have a read of my story below. It is called The Real Magic of Christmas. Feel free to share or change the name for some special children in your life.

The Real Magic of Christmas by Orla Kelly

It was a beautiful quiet peaceful night as Santa left the North Pole for his journey around the world to all the good boys and girls. But this year was going to be extra special. As well as bringing some lovely presents, he was also planning on giving some very special gifts to Michael and Emer. These gifts were not gifts that others could see but they would know when they got them.

This is what happened on that Christmas night.

Santa had been travelling for many hours and was getting tired. He was looking forward to taking a short break soon. Just up ahead he saw Cork. He whispered to the reindeer to be quiet as they would be getting close to Michael and Emers house.

He hoped they were all asleep as he crept inside their houses to deliver presents to them. Phew! Luckily they were  tucked up in bed, dreaming happy dreams. Little did they know what a magical dream they were about to have. Yes Santa planned to bring them back to the real spirit of Christmas and to a sleeping baby in a manger in a place very far away from Cork.

Santa sprinkled magic dust over each sleeping child. That dust was made up from the magical Christmas star that led the three wise men to the baby Jesus. In their dreams and without leaving their lovely warm beds, they were taken in Santas sleigh with all the other boys and girls from their class, back in time, back to when baby Jesus was born.

Each child knew they were dreaming, but it was a wonderful dream they never wanted to wake up from. They were having so much fun and watched the world zoom by below them on Santas sleigh. They sang some Christmas songs and talked to Santa to keep him company. They ate some of Mrs Claus lovely cake she had packed for Santa. It was delicious! The world looked so beautiful and peaceful below them.

write a Christmas story for children

They knew they were getting close to the place where baby Jesus was, as out of the darkness, shone a beautiful dazzling star that seemed to float just above what looked like an old farm building made of wood and straw. This was the stable where baby Jesus was born.

Santa landed his sleigh away from the stable so as not to wake the sleeping baby and each child crept outside the sleigh and peered inside the windows. There they saw a very special baby surrounded by everyone who loved him. Even the animals in the stable were quiet but they stayed close to the baby to keep him warm. The gifts that the three wise men had bought were next to his manger-gold, frankincense and myrrh. But the best gift Jesus got that night was the gift of the lovely children who loved God and who were kind to each other.

Chritmas story

Each child was quiet, looking all around them at this place they had only read about in story books. They knew this was a very special moment they would always remember. The baby opened his eyes and looked around at each child and smiled. Mary and Joseph turned around to see all the children wearing different clothes to them and immediately they knew, that just like their baby Jesus, the other children were very special too.

Mary told them they could kiss the baby and touch his lovely soft skin. They did this so gently and the baby Jesus touched each child and gave a special blessing to each of them.

Santa told them they had to leave now as he had other presents to deliver and he did not want any child to be disappointed on Christmas day.

Before they left, Joseph gave each child a piece of the straw from Jesus’ manger to remind them of their special visit and to remind them to always be good and to love God.

So when you touch your piece of straw, remember how special you really are and how much God loves you and of course, always remember the real magic of what happened at Christmas many years ago.

 

The End

write a childrens bookThe Owly Trilogy comprises 3 books in the Owly Series of childrens books which I wrote for my own kids Michael and Emer. Each story is available on Kindle while the trilogy is on Kindle and print through Amazon. Click on any of the links across the page to go direct to Amazon.

As a mother, I strongly believe we need to nurture our children but yet equip them with life skills that will help develop them personally. These books are positive, uplifting and teach children through story about bravery, overcoming challenges, looking out for each other, helping each other, appreciating all the good things in our lives, taking care of our environment and making the world a better place to live.

Meaning Behind The Books

  • The bunch of unlikely forest animals that came together represent the diverse cross section of people children will meet in life, different personalities, problems etc.
  • Owly the main character represents the inner wisdom of a child and about bringing out the best in themselves
  • Victor Vulture “appears” to be a bad guy but appearances can be deceptive and sometimes when we mess up there is a good and valid reason behind it
  • Magic Medicine Tree represent the healing power of nature and about looking after our environment and the world around us.
  • Spirit of the Forest represents the life force all around us and is an unseen spirit that guides and looks over the forest and all its inhabitants. It won’t help unless asked!

childrens books1. Owly Saves The Magic Medicine Tree

A heartwarming, uplifting and positive story of loyalty, friendship, adventure and team work, where a bunch of unlikely forest friends go on the adventure of a life time. Together, they overcome the beady eyed sharp clawed Victor Vulture, meet the mysterious Spirit of the Forest and save the Magical Medicine Tree. The creatures learn so much about themselves and each other, experience a whole new world, learn to make the magic of the forest come alive, and learn many more important lessons that any child will enjoy. It is a story for young and old and will bring a smile to your face as you see where your imagination will take you.

kidsbooks2. Owly And The Enchanted Forest

Owly and friends make an enchanted forest home. See the magic come alive as they work together to turn their forest into a place full of fun, magic, color and adventure. It truly becomes a magical place to live but something will always happen and they are called to protect their forest home. Watch how they work together to save their forest from sneaky, very dangerous badgers who try to attack and won’t back down, but the animals have other plans! See the Magic Medicine Tree comes to the rescue once again and how the animals use everything they learned from the Spirit of the Forest and Magic Medicine Tree to survive a very scary moment. Witness what happens the night of a terrifying storm and smile when you see what happens to Victor Vulture! This is a heartwarming story about making the world a better place to live in, helping each other and looking out for each other, overcoming the odds and challenges that life throws as us and really making happy ever after stories come true! Believe the unbelievable, imagination is everything!

3. Spirit Of The Forest Helps Owly And Friends

best kids bookOwly helps a sad little butterfly find new wings and at the same time helps her see how wonderful she really is, even without the wings she dreams about! As the day of a fantastic party gets closer, the whole forest and its creatures are put in danger by hunters. See how the Spirit of the Forest, the Magic Medicine Tree, Owly and Victor Vulture bring the whole forest together to protect itself and make life very unpleasant for the hunters! Watch what happens! Just when it looks like nothing else can go wrong, a child goes missing. See how the Spirit of the Forest reunites the child with his Dad. Of course its back again to the fantastic magical party for all the animals to celebrate everything that is wonderful about the Enchanted Forest and the creatures that live there!

IMG_1468Even though this time of year is chaotic, it doesn't have to be! It is also a great time to pause a minute and reflect on things like spirit, kindness, consideration, generousity, patience and love.

I love the Christmas lights, smell of aromatherapy candles, the upbeat Christmas songs and also the more peaceful, solemn ones.

I see great Chrismas spirit everywhere where people go that little bit extra to make someones day special, memorable and to make them feel noticed, appreciated and worthwhile.

Of course, I also see people who become stressed out by the weight of expectation thrust upon them, promises they are trying to deliver on and promises they have no hope of delivering!

Christmas is not a happy time for many and in our happiness and joy in the holiday season we need to also pause and reflect on loved ones gone before us, those who are ill, facing financial and other hardships and also be mindful of those who have no desire to celebrate anything as the occasion may be meaningless.

For me, having 2 kids age 7 and 9, I am bombarded on a daily basis of the logistics of how santa gets to deliver everything, know where everything goes to, how he gets down our chimney as we have a restricted flue outlet and whether we need to have an alternative meal plan for him on the big night.

Santa is also getting online big time and my kids told me today, that on Christmas Eve, you can downlad an app that shows his progress across the globe!

It is hard enough to get them to sleep at the best of times, I am exhausted even thinking about what time they will eventually sleep on the night in question!

I used to have such a romantic idea of the wind down to Christmas but in reality it is more psyche up than wind down.

In my mind I used to envision, the fire on, great Christmas feel good movie, glass of wine and nibbles and a cozy spot on the sofa with my husband. Christmas tree lights twinkling in the background.

The reality is so different. Its race around doing everything when they are eventually asleep and then luckily a cup of tea and a few chocolate biscuits before wearily plodding up stairs to try to get some shut eye a few hours at best before D-Day!

Then its all hands on board and a busy day thereafter!

Of course it is easy to get caught up in all the presents and gift giving and receiving but giving the gift of your time or service or simply offering a kind word or doing something thoughtful can be just as powerful.

Finally I leave you with a thought.

Wouldn't it be great if the positive spirit that is around this time of year could be extended to last all year around? Wouldn't that be something else?

kissWith Christmas coming up, my kids are more hyper than normal. Now they are bouncing around the place, with fleeting concentration on anything and their selective hearing is to be applauded! mention sweets and they tune in immediately but call their names or ask for them to get dressed, put on shoes, eat breakfast and I might as well be talking to myself!

Flashing neon signs wouldn't even get their attention.

Of course it could be worse. They could be timid subdued, introverted kids, but they are not.

At them moment its like they are tanked up on Coca Cola and an array of luminous multi colored (artifical sweets) packed with sugar and artificial additives. BUT THEY are not! I don't go down that road. I am already thinking of the list of side effects and none of them pleasant.

Of course my brain is fried from answering all the difficult questions their developing brains are throwing at me. All about the logistics of how Santa really pulls it all together and literally delivers the goods!

I like to think I can think on the spot but brain fatigue is setting in rapidly and so they are beginning to look at me, like I am clueless.

Trying to get them to unwind and sleep is also hard work at this time of year. of course they are delighted to see me put on my PJs when putting them to bed as they know I will be along shortly!

I am enjoying this time with them though. It reminds me that once I was probably like them, except back in my day there were limited things Santa could bring, and my awareness of what he actually made in his workshop meant I couldn't ask for too much.

Now the toy catalogue is combed through and a wish list prepared before being mercilessly reduced in size to shrieks of "but Mom, Santa is bringing it, its not costing you anything."

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I know it is tough, and they cannot yet understand that even Santa has limits and can only take on so much.

It is always the anticipation of Christmas that is so much more potent than the actual event, because once toys are opened and played with, the novelty is over!

"Mom how many days till my birthday?" will be the next question. GROAN!

Talk soon!

 

romantic comedy storiesI wrote this post to remind myself about everything good I have in my life. Yes I am so lucky and grateful to be AWAKE, ALIVE and BLESSED!

Let me explain the meaning of each of the above, and what they mean for me, as no doubt each of these words mean different things to different people.

Being AWAKE is not the same as having your eyes open. Some people have their eyes open but don't see, or don't see very clearly. Being awake to me in the true sense, is being in a state of awareness, and in that aware state, I get to take stock of everything good in my life and see everything I have around me as not being mine as such, but there for me to call upon when ever I need it. So possession is not a requirement as everything in the universe around us, is in our posession already and is not going to run out or disappear!

ALIVE is not simply a beating heart and oxygen flowing through your body. It is being alive mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Eventhough it is easy to think in terms of the physical being as representing being alive, it represents only one part of us. It is therefore important not to forget the other parts which are equally important otherwise we are a shell with nothing else going on inside. What a waste!

Being alive is also about recognising how all our parts work together to make us who we are. How we look, act, feel and simple are if we want to have the best life ever.

Finally BLESSED to me sums everything up. Being grateful, thankful, appreciative of everything we have. Even bad things that have come our way have thought us so much. Probably even more than the good things that happened!

Let go of any bitterness and judgement for a second and just think of  what has happened and how it has evolved and moulded you. What you have learned and what life lessons you can take from it? Remember you will not learn if all you see and feel is bitterness. Try to look beyond this. It is not easy but it will be worth it.

When you find things to be thankful for, you will realise just how many things you have to be thankful for! That will definitely help you feel blessed!

AWAKE-ALIVE-BLESSED! Find your motto to live by.

 

by Orla Kelly

cropped photoOn Tuesday evening 2nd Dec, I had the pleasure of showcasing my books at the annual Dress for Success fashion show. This was my first showcasing event as I had just received hard copies of my childrens book and funny parenting book a few weeks ago. I just got a few days notice that there was a spot available for me, which was good. No time to get nervous!

The good thing was that having just a few days, I had no time to get lazy! I had to step up and get my promotional material together, flyers, information guides to the content of my books. Then I needed a stand to display my books so they could be easily viewed by passers by instead of simply lying flat on a table.

As I started to plan, I started to act! I was on a mission and in the end, what I had put together did justice to my books and represented me as an author in a professional manner.

I also was called to the podium to speak about my journey into writing. as I had received some coaching from Dress for Success, I was a good advertisement for the attendees. They could see where the money was going in funding and I had something tangible to show for everything I learned and gained from them! Not only that but being able to stand up and talk in public is a big achievement in itself, so I am proud of where I am today. Thank you thank you thank you for all my blessings!

I cannot believe how much I have learned these past few months.............!

10303936_10152528129741617_5869088893725260320_nBooks to make you laugh or fall in love with, are like a tonic to the body and mind. You become uplifted and carried along with the story and they contain a real feel good factor. The best part is that you can pick up a good book any time or place to relive the feeling, or pass it or its recommendation along to a friend.

When you combine a little romance with comedy you have a lovely recipe for a story.

Romance doesn't have to be in the classical of romance. Romance can simply be the place, the setting, the words used, and the whole story as it evolves.

My book Mommyville On The Road To A PhD in Parenthood contains a little bit of romance between a number of the characters. It is subtle in parts, while all parts are inter-connected in a story which is heartwarming, charming and captures the very essence of a wild and rural Irish landscape and setting.

There is even a bit of romance between the local dogs on the street which causes its own fun and problems along the way, when the poshest lady in town has some serious issues with a pedigree vs a mutt!

See how a handsome stranger coming to town wins over the hearts of the local girls and see what chaos he causes to Clare who has agreed to give him lodgings in her house before the "big wedding".

It is full of tenderness in parts yet bursting with comedy throughout as Clare gets herself in and out of tricky situations, and the "lively" kids cause havoc along the way or simply act as kids do, living moment by moment, with very funny consequences for all!

So in essence this is one of those romantic comedy books with a difference. I think because it is a bit different, it will appeal to more readers because it has a little something for everyone. It has romance, it has comedy, it has what I think is a good story, it has real life mishaps and mayhem, it has the funny things kids say and do in addition to the sweet and sentimental things they say and do!

The story unfolds over a number of real life situations, so you really feel like you are there, witnessing everything that is unfolding in a very upbeat, uplifting and humorous way. It really is about living in the moment and what happens when you don't take life too seriously!

 

Orla Kelly

 

 

Theme: About romantic comedy books

 

 

 

inspirational short storiesInspirational short stories aren't for everyone but they mean so much to me. Here is why!

With so much choice nowadays, we are bombarded on all levels and pulled in all directions, so much so, that our concentration can be shot to pieces, and we are uncertain of where our focus is, or even where it should be, at any particular time.

Aren't we all guilty of setting out to read something inspirational, only to get distracted by something else, and then we lose momentum and find it hard to get this back?

I know I have!

Anyway, here is my top 5 list and what I believe inspirational stories teach us.

1. Think in terms of possibility

They teach us that anything and everything is possible and that by allowing ourselves to be open to POSSIBILITIES, we begin to see things in a new light. Sure we may still be afraid or have feelings of doubt or anxiety, but when you think in terms of possibilities, you open your mind to a new way of thinking.

2.Roadblocks don't have to be dead ends

Inspirational stories teach us that so many others overcome all sorts of road blocks in their lives, some physical, some emotional, some mental and some spiritual, but the thing is they overcame! Not overnight, but by changing their way of thinking and looking at a situation and by living their life accordingly!

3.Make The Change

Stories with inspirational messages, give us ideas of how me can make some changes in our lives. Sometimes we are stuck and cannot see a way forward or even away back! By reading and following along with an inspirational story, you may get the answer you were looking for, set off a thought process that will lead you to moving out of the problem and towards a solution, or at least towards a lesser problem, or you might just get the help and encouragement you needed to revisit the problem with a fresh pair of eyes and a revised outlook.

4. Can you take one step forward, to the side or back?

You will come to realize that life is a series of short journeys, and you don't need to be able to perform acrobatics to get from where you are to where you want to be. A series of short steps will still get you there, maybe not as fast, but once you keep the momentum going, and move with the end as your focal point, you will most probably get there, or at least close enough so you can re-evaluate to see if this is still what you really want!

5.Stronger Than You Think

Inspirational stories teach us that we are actually stronger than we think. We may have lost faith in ourselves, but often we give up on ourselves just when success is around the corner. It is by hanging in there, maybe changing route a little, but by hanging in there none the less, that we edge closer and closer to our goal. Even if it may seem we are making no progress, by just being in the moment and being open to receiving help and guidance from others, we may find we are suddenly in the right place at the right time, and circumstances come about to open doors of possibility for us.

Orla Kelly

Theme: Inspirational Short Stories

What determines the best short stories for children can really be summarised in a few words.

1. What do you really want for your kids to experience?

short stories for children

Credit: Nicole Johnston Pinterest

Are the sort stories purely for entertainment and to pass some time as a hobby?

Do you want to teach your child something specific, like manners, taking turns, dealing with bullies, taking care of a new baby etc?

I think you get my drift.

Now once you have this part worked out, the rest becomes a whole lot easier.

2. Content

Now you know the type of content you are looking for because you have an end in mind.

3. Age approprite content

Next you need to consider the childs age. Whe it comes to short stories for children, you need to ensure you get an age appropriate book. Too young and its won't challenge them enough, too mature for them and the content will go over their head and won't hold their interest.

 

4. Age appropriate presentation

With your childs age in consideration, now you need to select a book that is visually stimulating particularly for younger age groups with fewer words, and ones that have more appropriate pictures and text or text only for older children. Particularly older kids will not want to read anything they consider too "babyish" for them.

5. Well written content

Ensure the book is well written first before purchasing. Slang, words that make no sense, etc will do your child no favors and if anything will serve to confuse them as they learn to expand their english vocabulary

6. Questionble or problematic content?

Again back to content. I have come across some books with pretty dubious content and some awful clangers that will raise more problems and questions in a child. Even books deemed suitable for younger age groups have raised questionable topics in what would appear to be quite "innocent" books, so please be aware!

7. How it all ends

Cast your eyes to the end of the book. Does it look like an appropriate ending for a book. I remember one child in floods of tears reading a book, and at the end of the book, the child who was missing from school died and the child struggled badly with this idea and it took her a long time to get over the fear of being absent from school or having class mates "out sick" also, so again, something to consider. If in doubt, type in the book name and type review next to it to see what others are saying about the book.

8. Attention and concentration span

What is the attention and concentration span like for the reader? Although short stories for kids are just that, they need to contain just the right amount of information for them to hold their interest and keep them turning the page. Even if you have to read to them, still they need to be able to listen to and connect with the story.

9. Particular interest or hobby

Of course, if a child has a particular interest, chosing books in that category is something that makes sense unless of course you want them to expand their interests. Try to chose books that will stimulate and challenge a little so their reading will evolve.

10. Books to remember and keep

Some books are life long companion type of books and will stick with your child for years, especially books in a series will end up being firm favorites when your child likes the writing style of the author.

11. Imagination

For kids with active imaginations, or even kids whose imaginations you want to expand and develop, chose books with less or no visuals. Once of course there is sufficient descriptive content to set the scene for the story in their minds. In this case, ensure the child can read in a quiet place or you read to your child where you won't be disturbed. Set the scene using descriptive language, change your tone and expressions so your child will follow along and get absorbed in the story.

On a parting note, remember books make faithful friends, expand the mind, develop the expressive vocabulary, pass many hours of wonderful time in places you can only enter through your mind and give your child the very best life has to offer. Happy reading and I really hope you find these factors helpful in finding the best short stories for children.

Orla Kelly