Today we had our annual family Christmas day out at the shops. It’s often a stressful day with moans of “My legs are sore from walking” and “I’m so hot I think I’m going to faint” and “When are we going to McDonalds?” and always “She/he started it”! But it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it. Despite the usual stresses, it’s always a lovely day where we spend some quality time together and have some fun.
But I won’t bore you with the humdrum of present buying and petty squabbles. I want to tell you about an incident, which may seem trivial to most of you, but really meant the world to me!
Let me first take you back to this time last year. On this very night, a week before Christmas, I was out with some friends and we were talking about our wishes and dreams. I told them how much it would mean to me to have my book published. I had an agent at that stage, but no book deal. I remember one friend in particular saying how cool it would be to walk into a shop and see my book on the shelves, or better still, to even see someone buying it!
Fast forward to today and me with my 8 year old son, standing on a very long queue in a book shop. We’d just admired my book on the shelves and, as always, I had to swallow a lump in my throat at seeing my name up there, right beside some of my favourite authors. That’s when Conor almost squealed with excitement and whispered (very loudly!) to me: “That man behind us has your book – he’s buying Any Dream Will Do!”
The next few minutes saw both of us turn into first class spies, as we watched the poor, unsuspecting man, just in case he’d put the book back down, and tried to listen to the conversation he was having with his daughter. “Tell him, tell him,” Conor insisted, beside himself with excitement. If the truth be told, I was just as excited but managed to contain it a little better!
I tweeted from the queue (as you do!) to share this moment with my twitter friends and I had an overwhelming response telling me to go and introduce myself to him. At that stage, he was already giving me funny looks because I was staring so as we were both leaving the shop at the same time, I decided to take the plunge! I went up to him and apologised for staring at him but told him that I’d written the book he’d just bought and it was the first time I’d seen anyone buying it. I was almost purple with embarrassment but he was lovely. He was totally thrilled. He said he’d bought it for his wife and asked me to sign it for her. He told me it would make the present extra special and he’d have a fabulous story to tell over Christmas dinner! I can’t tell you how that made me beam from ear to ear!
I always tell my children that there’s a bit of magic in the air at Christmas and today, I really felt it. So in attempted to spread a bit of that magic, if you leave a comment below, I’ll pick out a name tomorrow for a signed copy of Any Dream Will Do.
Dontcha just love Christmas?