|"This is the message of Christmas:
We are never alone.”
~~ Taylor Caldwell
Well, I'm trying my hardest to get the story done for Christmas
so this is a short one!
I hope you're having a fun and not too stressful holiday season!
A Christmas Q and A with Andrew
who doesn't want to know Christmas trivia about Andrew?!?)
Let's start it off with an easy one! What's your favorite
Andrew: Wow... That's actually a tough one.
There's so many great ones. "O Holy Night" has been a long
time favorite but Belle's been singing her own rendition of
"Away in a Manger" lately so that's pretty special to me now.
LJA: Aww, yeah! It's so
precious. We need to record that.
LJA: And your favorite Christmas tradition?
Andrew: Hmm... Again, we have so
many great ones! Wrapping presents for the kids with you
and then watching them open them is pretty great. I'm
hoping Joshua visiting is a tradition... If yes: that one.
LJA: Same here... and I hope so. ::dreamy
sigh:: So, of the Christmastime assignments we saw on
TBAA, which one was your favorite?
Andrew: Gosh. That's another
tough one! I think the case that inspired "The Violin
Lesson." It was the first Christmas assignment that I
spent working directly with Monica and Tess. There were
definitely bumps... Settle down, Laja. And a whole lot of
tears... but I feel like we really made a difference in that
LJA: I'm sure ya did. And I just
still don't understand why Tess...
Andrew: It's in the past. Deep
LJA: ::takes a deep breath::
Andrew: Better now?
LJA: Yes... Okay, a hopefully easier one now.
Favorite Christmas cookie?
Andrew: Anything with lots and lots of
frosting. Although Belle challenges even my appetite for
frosting! She puts a mountain on them! So cute.
LJA: Not sure if we should work with
her on that or just let it go...
Andrew: Let it go. It's not like she's eating gobs
of frosting. She just likes playing with it.
LJA: True! So what's your earliest Christmas memory?
Andrew: ::chuckles:: Well,
Joshua being born.
Andrew: Okay then! I knew the
time was approaching but not the exact moment. Suddenly,
everything was very loud. Like the pandemonium of a
surprise party right before the guest of honor walks through the
door. Chattering and laughing and cheering and running
around and dancing... and crying, too. Then a baby's cry
resounded through all of Heaven. That was the only sound I
could hear. Suddenly, I was crying and just standing there
in wonder. The same voice I'd always heard was now in that
LJA: Oh... That's lovely!
Andrew: It really, really was. So what else ya
LJA: Well, this one we definitely need to settle on!
Belle understands so much more now and so we gotta figure out
the Santa thing. How do you feel about that?
Andrew: You mean whether or not we do the Santa Claus
presents and tell her he's real and comes to the castle and
LJA: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: I think we should go with
it. For one, Adam would be pretty crushed if Belle
wasn't into his Santa schtick.
LJA: Very true.
Andrew: For another, the Santa Claus
traditions are alive and well in the Tunnels. One thing
I will say is I don't think we should ever lie to Belle about
Santa. When she's older and asks if Santa's real, we
answer honestly. I don't think we should be making up
stories about why she saw her presents in your closet or stuff
LJA: I agree. And then we can tell her about St.
Andrew: Exactly. We can tell
her about the generosity he inspired and how, through the
generations, parents and others have carried that tradition of
kindness on and, one day, we hope she can be Santa herself.
LJA: When we're grandparents!
Andrew: ::chuckles:: Well, yeah, maybe. But
she might also do it as an aunt or cousin.
LJA: True. I don't want to set the child up for
Andrew: Me neither... Although
I think our little elf would be a great mom someday... if she
wants to be.
LJA: Yep, if she wants to be. Okay, next
question... What's your favorite Christmas movie that is
NOT It's a Wonderful Life?
Andrew: The Muppet Christmas
Carol. Great story in just about any form but that
one's really fun... especially when you watch with kids.
Well, except for the Ghost of Christmas Future part.
That can get scary for them.
LJA: True... Wasn't he Belle's latest excuse for
crashing our bed?
Andrew: Yep! Although given
she asked to watch it again the next day... I think we
were a little bit conned.
LJA: ::giggling:: You think? Oh, love, we were
definitely conned. But I don't exactly mind...
Andrew: Me neither. So any more
questions or do you want to go check in and see what stories
Appa Vincent's reading to Belle?
LJA: Let's go with stories, Vincent, and Belle.
Andrew: Sounds good to me!
Fun with Christmas Tropes
So back in JABB
432, I listed off some items from TVtropes.com that have
appeared in Dyeland stories. Same thing here, just with a
focus on Christmasy tropes.
a Wonderful Plot- It's a Wonderful Life is one of
the most oft-cited movies in the Dyeland stories but it actually
inspired the plots of JABB
It's a Wonderful Life (naturally) and "Love
Came Down," briefly.
Yet Another Christmas Carol- Guilty of this one,
too! The very
first Dyeland story was this. And then I basically repeated
the Mistletoe- Turns out even Maryam and Yosef observe
this tradition per a flashback to Christmas 2014 in "Shadowlands."
Miracle- Big fan of this one! Whether it's Catherine
and Vincent finding Jacob in "Tidings
of Comfort and Joy" or the entire Josef and Meri plot in "I'll
Be Home for Christmas" or Andrew's healing and Max's
delivery from near-death in "Home
for Christmas," Dyeland characters tend to have big
breakthroughs and life-changing blessings come their way at
is Christian at Christmas- In my defense, I inherited this
from TBAA. For the majority of the shows, the angels were
very much non-denominational and non-religious. If they
knew the Trinity was real, you wouldn't know it. But then
the Christmas episodes would happen and whether it was Tess
remembering Jesus' birth in "Fear Not!" (or at least how the
wisemen were arranged at the time) or the rather overt Christian
theology at the end of "The Christmas Gift," the angels suddenly
seemed to be not exactly Christian (religion being a human
thing) but definitely people who equated Jesus with God.
So I kept this up with the Dyeland stories with them
wholeheartedly participating in Christmas Mass/services, singing
religious songs, and, finally, with Joshua's arrival any
subtlety went out the window.
Santa- Dyeland has a very nice, innocent version of
this. Adam has an annual gig as a store Santa that he
parlays into appearances at the Phoenix Inn and True Light as
well as the annual Dyeland Christmas party. If Adam finds
this task annoying at points, he doesn't show it. For him,
it's a thrill.
Claus- And starting last year with "The
Family Tree," Adam is joined by his perennial stage-wife,
Kylie, as Mrs. Claus when he does appearances.
Christmas Decorations- Andrew's been known to get really
into outdoor lights. The fact that the Willowveil
Christmas tree is huge and used to be in a mall is probably a
The Three Wise Men- This one actually appears in a
Valentine's story, not a Christmas one. Adam, Henry, and
Eli come bearing gifts for baby Belle in "Promises
This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye
for all the hours of Christmas entertainment he's
provided. From the movies to the TBAA episodes to all of
the stories that followed, he's a big part of my Christmas
(Photo Credits: The photographs
used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and
owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon
Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)