Stories that Matter

My Favorite Christmas Gift!


I hope you’ve all been enjoying this fun giveaway, and enjoyed learning about all our favorite Christmassy things! Today, as we wrap up our twelve days, it’s my turn. And I’m delighted to tell you about my favorite Christmas gift! Actually, I have two, but they kind of tie together, as you’ll see.

I didn’t see it coming. My husband and I had been married for a few years. He was about to enter his pediatrics residency, and I was finishing up my degree at The University of Toronto. Of course we’d talked about kids. But one day, down the road, when life wasn’t so hectic. Maybe when we were a bit older. And we had money.

But then a strange thing started to happen. I began to get melancholy. A niggling thought started poking me, and wouldn’t quit. All of a sudden, without warning, I really wanted a baby. Of course I ignored this minor interruption to our lives, because it was silly. I knew we weren’t ready financially, and our small one bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto barely had room for the cat. We lived in student housing for goodness sake! We couldn’t bring a baby into that! Well, except, lots of people did. Babies were everywhere. I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing one. And that annoying feeling wasn’t going away. So I cautiously broached the subject with my husband. And was kindly but very firmly shut down. For all the obvious reasons.

I have a few flaws. One being that I’ve never taken well to being told no.

But if I recall, I was pretty good. (That’s probably a stretch). I’d bring it up every once in a while. I enjoyed watching my friend’s little boy, and we babysat for our niece and nephew quite often. But the answer was still, ‘not yet’. And somewhere along the way, even as I pushed back tears when I walked past a baby store (yes, it was that intense), I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to wait. If I could have told my young self a few things . . . ha!

Months went by, and we didn’t talk about it much. Or maybe we did, I can’t recall. But life went on. And soon it was Christmas. My parents were flying in, and we went north, to spend a beautiful snowy Christmas with my in-laws. On Christmas morning, the family gathered around the Christmas tree to open our gifts. And that’s when my husband presented me with a small box. Jewelry, I thought. He’s good at picking just the right thing. So I opened the box with a grin, flipped the lid, and didn’t see anything. Then I looked again. And there in the box, instead of a ring or necklace, was a business card. Upon closer inspection, my eyes landed on one word. Obstetrician.

Everyone else in the room might have been a little confused. Especially when I burst into tears. And I had to explain that no, I wasn’t pregnant. But I knew what that card meant. It meant that 1989 would be a good year to begin expanding our family.

And it was.

Coincidentally, this little cherub, our Christmas baby, is 29 years old today.

Happy Birthday, Sarah! You were our greatest Christmas gift!!

So! In addition to our featured prizes, I’m delighted to offer TWO WINNERS a copy of Where Hope Beings, along with any two of my other published books, winner’s choice! If you’re not familiar with my writing yet, check out my books HERE!

Enter to win here! This draw will close on Christmas Eve. (US ADDRESSES ONLY PLEASE!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


And don’t forget to enter our big giveaway if you haven’t already done so!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter by midnight on 12/21/18 USA Eastern time! Winners will be drawn on 12/22/18 and posted on Catherine West’s site.
Draw open to US addresses ONLY, with apologies to our international readers.

Major Prizes:
1st: All 12 Print Novels
2nd: $50 Amazon gift card and $20 Starbucks Gift Card
3rd: $50 Amazon gift card



  1. Sonnetta Jones on December 21, 2018 at 6:14 am

    One of my favorite Christmas gift was The One Thing Cassette by Micheal Bolton. The song I Said I Love You was my all time favorite at the time. I was in high school and had a major crush on him. I played that thing so much I destroyed it eventually. My mom told she would never be able to listen to him if I died. He still is one of my favorite musicians.

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:43 am

      Ha, I used to love him too!!

  2. MJSH on December 21, 2018 at 6:30 am

    I love all my handmade ornaments and gifts from my children. Thankfully we still have a school-aged child who brings home those goodies 🙂

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Aw, sweet! We’ll be getting them from our granddaughter once she starts nursery next year! We love collecting meaningful ornaments. I started buying them for our kids when they were teenagers and now it’s a tradition.

  3. Janet Putney on December 21, 2018 at 6:40 am

    My favorite Christnas gift was a necklace my 9 and 11 got. Somehow through change they found,they convinced the jewelry clerk to let them have the necklace(still don’t know how much they paid for it)..They wanted it because it a key with 2 hearts and the heart represents their 2 hearts. I love it.

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Oh, sweet!! Those gifts are the best!

  4. Melissa Andres on December 21, 2018 at 7:19 am

    My favorite gift was one given not one I received. My husband and son started watching Supercross racing a few years ago. Every Saturday night they stay up together and watch the race and then excitedly discuss it on our way to church the next morning. So last Christmas we bought them both (and a friend) tickets to a race. It was so much fun giving it to him! He’s 16 and was SO excited, especially since he got to take his best friend with him and his dad! It was fantastic!

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:46 am

      That is great! It’s always exciting to give someone something they are not expecting!

  5. Sarah on December 21, 2018 at 7:31 am

    I don’t know if I could choose a favorite… But I love the homemade or very thoughtful gifts! Merry Christmas.

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:46 am

      Yes, those are the best!

  6. Jessica on December 21, 2018 at 7:42 am

    Awww, this brought tears to my eyes! I remember that yearning for a baby before God blessed me with my oldest. What a wonderful story you have shared and thank you for the opportunity! ????

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:47 am

      I never imagined the feeling would be so intense!! LOL! Merry Christmas!

  7. Jocelyn on December 21, 2018 at 8:06 am

    I have a similar story. After several years of marriage, my Mom would sort of hint at grandchildren. We had married very young, and had not really planned on when children would enter our family. But right before Thanksgiving 1979 my Mom suddenly passed away. As an only child, it was hard to go through that process alone. In March of 1980, I discovered that I was expecting. I became distracted of the sorrow I had experienced at the loss of my Mom. And two days after Christmas our precious daughter was born. I’ve always said my Mom went right to the Lord and asked him to send us a baby. That was our best Christmas present ever. She still is 🙂

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Aw, that is beautiful!

  8. LaKeisha on December 21, 2018 at 8:27 am

    My favorite Christmas gifts were all the Batman stuff I received last year. I’m a huge Batman fan and all of my friends and family know this about me. I wasn’t expecting any of it so I felt special.

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:48 am

      How fun!

  9. Melissa Romine on December 21, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Such a sweet story!! I have a December 27 baby!

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Oh wow! my dad is December 26th!

  10. Jackie Smith on December 21, 2018 at 8:49 am

    What a sweet story! Love your books.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!

  11. Tracey Hagwood on December 21, 2018 at 8:54 am

    I love your favorite Christmas gift, I got the same one and it’s my favorite too! In 1978, forty years ago this year, our second daughter arrived on Christmas day. I name this special gift from God Noelle and she has been a blessing all her life!

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Well, she really was a Christmas Baby!! Beautiful name!

  12. Carrie on December 21, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I love gifts and Christmas and giving, but today I am having a hard time thinking of a best gift I have received. ????
    Several years ago we did surprise our families at Thanskgiving with the news that we were expecting #2 (we had known for several weeks- it was so hard keeping it a secret til we could tell them! Lol). I think our parents felt like it was Christmas! ????????
    One of my favorite Christmas gifts in the last few years and this year, will be just having my husband home. 🙂 He was an EMT/firefighter, and then the last 4.5 years was in med school (now first year residency!) so he has often had to work and be gone. This year, by some amazing miracle and Jesus blessing, he has the whole week off! ????

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:50 am

      That’s wonderful and I’m sure it’ll be a special time for you and your family!

  13. Ann Marie Wellman on December 21, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. Also for this fun giveaway. I have a brother with a December 28 birthday. I can remember buying him a soft snowman ornament for his first Christmas which is many years ago now since I am a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother now.

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:51 am

      What a nice thing to do for your baby brother! Did the ornament survive through the years?

  14. Lisa Hudson on December 21, 2018 at 9:43 am

    My most memorable Christmas gifts were an Experiencing God Study Bible and a Mont Blanc Ballpoint Pen that were given to me by my husband. We had just gone through some of our darkest days (we almost lost everything we owned because of some business situations) a few before. God had taken a self-made man & turned him into a God-built man & it made all the difference in the world! We led a Youth Bible Study at our home for 7 years & I taught the original Experiencing God. It meant so much to all of us. My husband sacrificially bought the Bible for me. The Mont Blanc Pen? An absolute UNBELIEVABLE gift! He went with my Daddy to the VA Hospital in our town & they had them in the Gift Shop for some greatly reduced price. Again, a sacrificial gift because he knew it was something I would treasure & use every day.

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:52 am

      What a thoughtful and perfect gift for you, and that’s a great study!

  15. Mary on December 21, 2018 at 10:31 am

    As a single mom I have gone so many Christmases without receiving much at all. After my mom passed away I even went one Christmas were I got nothing. However, I loved giving my kids gifts and always looked forward to the delight on my children’s faces and that to me was a gift in itself. What a surprise it was 2 years ago when my kids got me most things on my online wish list! It was completely unexpected and so much fun!

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Your sacrifices were appreciated, I’m sure, and will be when they are older too, so nice that you were able to be on the receiving end! Hoping this year is just as fun for you!

  16. Cathy on December 21, 2018 at 11:30 am

    My engagement ring from my now husband of many years! I very much enjoyed your story.

  17. Jennifer Rumberger on December 21, 2018 at 11:30 am

    What a fun story! Loved reading it. My favorite gift that I can think of right now was when I was around 10 and I got a 10 speed bike. It was sitting there next to the tree when we came home from Christmas Eve service. (My dad was a pastor and we always opened our gifts between regular service and Candlelight service on Christmas Eve.) Merry Christmas!

  18. Kerri Norrod on December 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    My favorite gift are the ornaments my mom would give me each Christmas! She started giving me an ornament each Christmas when I was a child. Merry Christmas!

  19. Caryl Kane on December 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    One of my favorite Christmas gifts is my mezuzah from Israel.

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm


  20. @_eHope on December 21, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    My fav gifts for this year’s Christmas arrived 1 in June and the next in July …
    Granddaughters ! 2 in 1 year ! <3 couldn't find a hapPier NaNa 😉

    • Cathy West on December 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm


  21. Pam K. on December 21, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    I can’t think of one particular favorite Christmas gift though I am always happy receiving books. I’ve also received some ornaments that are fun to hang on the tree each year.

  22. Dianna on December 22, 2018 at 11:39 am

    One Christmas, after we were both married and money was tight, my college roommate and I gave each other a cookbook filled with our own favorite recipes. I still use many of them and think of her all the time!

Leave a Comment