A Christmas Story- Unedited Version


Vintage Iler Holiday picture

My younger daughter recently asked if there was a way to send her idea to a movie company. She said she had a great idea and wanted someone to hear it. We quickly said, “Ahh, you want to pitch your idea to a production company. You have to submit a short trailer, write a mini screenplay, include your timeline and vision board of how to execute this story idea. . .” And the ideas kept flowing.


Honestly, we have no idea how to pitch a movie idea to a production company but I would imagine it would go something like that. She was excited about this story she had created in her mind and how she truly thought other people would enjoy this movie.



How many of us have a story that we would love to pitch to Warner Brothers to a publishing company? To Lin- Manuel Miranda? We all have stories, if only we have the courage to tell them.


So, I thought I would tell my unedited version of a Christmas story. It is mixed with sadness, with laughter, with joy, a bit of anger, and a bittersweet ending.



The story begins with my father 14 years ago being very sick during the Holidays. He was waiting for a liver transplant and the odds were not in his favor. Scott and I were newly married, my brother and sister in law had one child, and we were filled with hardly any hope that there would be a Christmas miracle.


The story jumps to present day, 14 years later, and there is a bustling excitement around the house. Five grandchildren are anxiously awaiting to open up Christmas gifts around my mom’s tree and looking to see if the elves had moved again. We were so excited to be together since a year ago, the pandemic had not allowed us to celebrate due to the lockdown.


As we celebrated, we knew there was a wave of sadness since my brother and family would be relocating to Colorado. A new job, a new beginning for their family brought bittersweet emotions since we knew this would be the last time we would celebrate with all of us living locally.


And then, of course there is the mixture of humor when the dogs have accidents down the hallway, I accidentally step in the dog mess, the girls slip on the clean floor, knock down the newly decorated desserts, and the dishwasher decides to quit, with water overflowing in the kitchen.


Okay, so maybe the last part didn’t all happen at once, but stick with the Iler Homestead, and all of these events do occur within a week.


May light shine in your heart this Holiday season.

As the story is coming to an end, I turn on the Christmas tree lights and see the ornament twinkling that my mom gave me to remember my dad after the first year of his passing. The ornament is a reminder that my dad is always with me and in the darkest of times, his light is still shining.



How many of us have suffered loss or sadness? How many of us have experienced joy or bliss? How many of us have experienced anger and defeat? How many of us have laughed until our bellies hurt?






We should all be raising our hands. . . because if we are human, we have been given the gift to feel all of these emotions. And if you find strength, you can overcome defeat, you can overcome sadness, and rejoice.


Iler Woods seeks joy in everyday living.

In a world where there is so much uncertainty, I choose hope, I choose, joy, I choose love.
I hope you do too this holiday season.
It is my Christmas wish that these words bring you encouragement to find the moments of light that illuminate in our everyday world.

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