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2nd Day of Christmas ~ Jolene Navarro

The Winner of Gail Gaymer Martin’s prize package is Melanie Pike. Congratulations, Melanie. Now, on to Jolene’s Christmas memory.

Sometimes you don’t realize how special a moment in time is, until tragedy happens and a singular image becomes a precious memory you can’t recapture.

raindeer-ornamentChristmas of 1995 became one of my favorite memories, not because of the dinner, gifts or events. There was no great story or mishap we would all tell and laugh like crazy as an inside family joke. No it was an ordinary Christmas.

Now that his three girls were grown, my father wanted us to have our own little family Christmas. We always spent Christmas Eve with my mom’s big family, her mother, aunt and uncle, her five siblings, their kids and many more friends and family. My grandmother always had an open door policy. Christmas day with my dad’s quieter, but strong family with his parents and two brothers along with their kids.

We loved all of this craziness, but my father had four grandkids of his own and wanted a time with his three daughters and our little ones. We were not going to give up the big family mess and wonderful traditions, so we set a day aside to have our little Christmas celebration.

I have this clear picture burned in my mind of his 6 foot 2 inch long frame hunched down playing Hungry Hungry Hippo with Katrina, four, Jackson, four and Storm, three. They laughed, hollered and squealed as the marbles went flying. I think someone accused another of cheating. My dad’s hippo wasn’t working right he said.

Now why would that silly moment become one of my favorite memories? In July a couple of months before my father would turn fifty, we lost him in a plane crash.

Because of the wonderful memories with my father, Christmas is a time of joyous celebrations with family.

I included the picture of the Reindeer ornament. When I was five, my great grandmother allowed me to pick anything from her Christmas tree. This was the one my five-year-old self fell in love with. My taste have changed but the joy of sharing has not. Merry Christmas any may this season of worship bring you many wonderful memories.

cover-for-LS-HolidayLone Star Holiday

The Prodigal Returns

Twelve years ago, Lorrie Ann Ortega left the tiny town of Clear Water with stars in her eyes. Now she’s back home—trying to live right and put her mistakes in the past. Even so, she’ll never be the kind of woman who would make a good wife for the handsome widowed pastor, John Levi. But when she agrees to be nanny to his two sweet daughters, she’s thrown constantly in his path. And she can’t keep herself from dreaming that a man like John could one day love her. Can a prodigal daughter turn into a pastor’s wife?

Jolene, will be giving away at least one copy of Lone Star Holiday and maybe even a Christmas ornament.


Jolene, a seventh generation Texan, knows that, as much as the world changes, people stay the same. Good and evil. Vow-keepers and heart breakers. Jolene married a vow-keeper who showed her that sweet kisses and dancing in the rain never gets old.

Her life, much like her stories, are filled with faith, football, laughter, dirty dishes and all of life’s wonderful messiness.  Jolene teaches art at an inner city high school. When she’s not chauffeuring and refereeing her four kids, she loves creating her own world of family and love. Her depute book, Lone Star Holiday is currently available and her second book, Lone Star Hero will be out in August.  You can connect with Jolene on facebook.

Thank you, Jolene, for sharing your favorite Christmas memories and being so very generous with your gifts today.

*To be eligible for Jolene’s presents, you must leave a comment and live within the Continental United States. Winner will be selected using Random.org. The winner’s name will be notified Dec 3, and posted on the sidebar as well.

28 responses to “2nd Day of Christmas ~ Jolene Navarro”

  1. Hi Jolene,
    Thanks for sharing. Your beautiful story brought tears to my eyes. May the memories of your wonderful father sustain you, now and always. Lone Star Holiday is a wonderful book, filled with faith, family and second chances…all set around Christmas. I’m just popping in to say hi…don’t want to be included in giveaway since I’ve already been blessed with this book.

    • They are the best. ANd you don’t even know it at the time. The only thing is I wish I had a picture of him playing hungry hungry hippo with them.

    • Thank you Tara. Hope you and your family have a joyous and blessed holiday. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Thank you Margaret. The Love Inspired crew made me very happy with this cover. It is how I pictured John Levi and his yougest daughter Celeste. It is crazy seeing them come to life on the cover.

    • Patty I’m so sorry to hear about your father. It becomes a little bitter sweet. Hope your Christmas is filled with wonderful memories of old and new ones for days to come. I work with inner city kids and am amazed who many children grow up with out a strong, loving father in thier physical life. I pray for them to find the love of out heavenly Father everyday. Patty ,we are blessed by our fathers that not celebrate and worship in heaven. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. Your story touched my heart. Christmas is so hard sometimes after we’ve lost a loved one. I am so happy you have wonderful memories to hold dear. Merry Christmas!

  3. Thank you for letting me know Diane. Hope this year is filled with wonderful memories for you.

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