An old Christmas favourite

Do you have an all-time favourite childhood Christmas present? I was 9 when I received mine: a personalised story book about me and Santa. It was thrilling – partly because it was so amazingly Christmassy – but mostly because I saw my name printed in a book! I knew I wanted to be a writer when I first learned to read. This great gift confirmed it 🙂


As you can see, I’ve still got the book. Tainted by age and starting to fall apart (aren’t we all?) but the memory of wide-eyed excitement is still fresh. I look at it now with a critical adult’s eye and see it wasn’t particularly well written. Growing up sucks, right? But back then I delighted in it with the joy only children seem to be able to muster.

Being able to recall these feelings and instil them in our work is essential for writers, especially if we write for children and teenagers. It’s why I love writing for young people so much. They’re not jaded by the world like adults often are. Everything is bright and new and intense. And we’re privileged to be able to see the world through their eyes once more.

Christmas and New Year are about birth and renewal. An annual reminder to adults (kids don’t need reminding!) that the world is full of life and hope and magic.

Thanks to all who read my blog for taking the time to look at what I’ve got to say. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!


  1. What a lovely gift you got and I love how you tied it to your actual writing.
    Thank you for posting interesting, thoughtful articles.
    Cheers to life, hope and magic.
    Happy Holiday Season.

  2. Dimity Powell

    Ooh Ooh! Stella, I still have my copy of this exact edition. First time my name was ever in print (after the birth notice) too! Priceless. Still befuddles me to this day how Santa knew the name of my little dog. Rock on Christmas!! Have a jolly holly one yourself. Dimity x

    • Hah! That’s great. Bet those books have inspired many writers. As for your dog, Santa knows all! Have a great day, Dimity x

  3. Our school has a program where they provide a book like this to each child and it’s a story the child wrote! Big hit with my boys. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas!

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