Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store

by - January 5, 2017

maybe christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a storeWe had a brilliant Christmas, tucked into our little Rusnak house with its little Rusnak smells and little Rusnak sounds. I'd made a point of staying home; of claiming December 25 for us; of promising not to leave my house for anything—even dinner someone else was willing to cook for us!

It was pure Christmas bliss!

Yes, there's something to be said for the excitement and bustle BUT I love the simplicity of taking our time and just sharing space with the same ones with whom we share life.

As we finished opening gifts, Zander {15, often seeming disconnected from anyone not on his iPhone} made an announcement: I didn't have much money this year so I couldn't buy you all nice gifts. Instead, I wrote you each a story set 15 years in the future.

And we were like WOW! Because, of course, to me anyway, that's the perfect kind of gift.

He began with Noa, who, 15 years from now, will be pulled up on stage at a One Direction reunion concert.

Liam's going to be a star hitter for the Blue Jays after a full sports scholarship to a great University.

Scott's going to win the World Poker Tour, 2031.

And me...well...with Zander's permission, I will share...

"Congratulations on one million sales, Mrs. Rusnak," a women said as she held out a copy of Blank Spaces.

Alanna quickly scribbled her name on the cover of the magazine, then thanked the woman.

Alanna had spent the past 15 years working on the magazine. 15 years of refining and perfecting the art of development, production, and selling them.

"Your magazine is wonderful! I've been reading it since the 12th issue, and I just can't get enough of it!" an older man said as he set down his own copy of the magazine to have it signed.

"I'm glad that you enjoy it," Alanna said simply.

"Can I get a picture with you?" the man asked, holding his phone at his side.

"Of course!" Alanna replied with a smile. The man walked behind the small desk and quickly snapped a "selfie."

It was previously unheard-of for a magazine producer to pick up this much of a fan base, but Alanna had become somewhat of a figurehead in the writing industry.

With three published novels, each selling reasonably well, and her well-known magazine, she was regarded as one of Canada's greatest writers. She was also regarded as an excellent example for small business owners.

She started at the very bottom. No government funding or large investors, just a dream and some coffee. But that dream quickly found its way into the hearts of thousands of Canadians, which helped to spawn her tiny empire.

Alanna still did the design work on her own, and her amazing son did most of the editing.

Blank Spaces still had a lot of growing to do, but to many Canadians, it was the best magazine in the world.


Yes, I wiped away some tears as he read—not just at my story but the others as well. What he showed us was that he knew us, he understood our hopes and dreams, and deep inside himself he wants to see us achieve them on some level. That right there, that belief, is the greatest Christmas gift he could have ever given!

And hey, if Blank Spaces is still alive in 15 years, I will be one proud 50-something woman!

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© Alanna Rusnak