Not so… great expectations

For CCThis blog is by Nancy Jardine

Four days to go…till Christmas Day!

Anticipation is what drives a lot of people round about now if they celebrate by giving gifts to family and friends. The anticipation in our house is high already and is likely to escalate during the next few days.

The Christmas tree has been up and decorated for eight days and the piles of wrapped gifts which are appearing beneath it, on a daily basis, are looking quite decadently generous – even though we declared we weren’t going to go overboard this year with too many gifts.

The wrapping papers are bright and colourful to cheer us up and to banish the winter chills outside. Come Christmas morning, our happiest moments are when we distribute the gifts as we sit around the tree. The very act of excitedly unwrapping those items brings back so many memories for me – of mostly good times and one not so good from my past.

Earlier this week I wrote a Christmas-themed short story as my contribution to a six week long Christmas extravaganza organised via my publisher – Crooked Cat publishing. Many of our authors are contributing a fictional story; posts that are non- fiction; and poems. This FREE writing can be accesssed through our special ‘Christmas With The Crooked Cats’ Facebook group page. ( Click here if interested in reading something new )

Reading something new at Christmas stuck in my mind, so much so that I decided to make it the writing theme of my blog post here today. I wrote another short story this week as a special gift to my fellow Wranglers, to thank you for your unfailing support. The one ‘less good’ Christmas time in my past could have remained a repressed story in my memory banks, but it hasn’t. Once started though, I couldn’t stop writing. It was a trip down a particular memory lane and at over five thousand words, it’s a little long to be here on the Wranglers blog. Instead of clogging up below… I’ve posted the whole story on my own blog to share with everyone. Here’s the beginning as a teaser…

(I’m adding a URL for Kate who nated to hear what the carol sounds like:

Not so… great expectations

Friday, 23rd December, 1960

Sometimes it was really difficult to go home. Even harder than leaving to go to school in the morning.

‘Enjoy your Monday off school next week and remember what Christmas Day is all about.” Mrs Locky never wasted unnecessary breath when the class was all lined up and ready to go home.

At precisely four o’clock, on the ring of the huge brass hand bell, Wee Missy forged her way out through the throngs as she exited Broadholm Primary School Annexe where there were a couple of overspill classrooms. Her class was one of the unfortunate ones in that it was housed in a decrepit and ancient old building, the school roll being too large for all of the pupils to be housed in the new school building. However, there was nothing to be done but suffer the situation for a whole school year.

‘In the bleak mid-winter…’ The words of the Christmas Carol they’d sung that afternoon refused to go away as Wee Missy said a fast farewell to some of her classmates. She felt utterly bleak about it but she couldn’t avoid going home. Sunday was Christmas Day but she knew that it wasn’t going to be a cheerful one for her. The events of last week were going to catch up with her come Christmas Day. She stifled the tears as she waved goodbye to her best friend June.

She’d been too ashamed to share her secret with anyone but keeping silent about it was so awful as well.

‘Frosty winds made moan…’ It was far too glacial to hang about as she scurried further into her scarf and tucked down her chin, the sky a dull leaden grey that heralded more snow…

Christmas is definitely for surprises – but are they always nice ones? Click HERE if you would like to read the whole story of my ‘Not so…great expectations.’

I’ll take the opportunity now to wish you all – contributors of this blog and readers of this blog – a very happy holiday season whether you celebrate in a religious way or in a secular form.


Nancy Jardine writes Historical Romantic Adventures and Contemporary Mysteries for the older generations. She also writes time-travel adventure for the Young Adult market.

Find her work on:

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Amazon US author page ;

Barnes and Noble

Crooked Cat Bookstore


and other ebook outlets.

Nancy can be found at her Website; Blog: Facebook and many other social media places.