Like a lot of you, this week is busy for us here at the Dersch house.

The family is coming for Christmas, the presents have to be wrapped, the cooking has to be done, and thanks to an unexpected couple of sick days with our toddler germ machine, we are behind.

I had to stop for a minute in all the chaos and write a wrap-up to the Christmas Serial we have been running this month on the podcast. Because, of course, that was part of the story’s message.

I started writing the story more than 10 years ago when an afternoon of watching Christmas movies inspired me to tell my own North Pole tale. For weeks I lived in North Pole fantasy land, drawing maps of the Factory and the town, thinking about what elves looked like, talked like, what their world was like. My computer ate an early draft (back up your work, people!) but I couldn’t let it go.

Originally envisioned as a novel for children, it lived in a notebook in my office for a long time, unable to find a home. When I first thought about doing a serial, this story was a top choice but needed a lot of work. I cut and cut on that draft of a novel to find the short story inside it…and a lot of those characters and early brainstorming did not make the cut. I am delighted by the final product, though, and hope you are as well.

I hope this story has life beyond Christmas 2015. My mom was always a big Garrison Keillor fan and I can remember him saying on the audio book of “Lake Wobegon Days” that just because something is in print doesn’t mean you aren’t still working on it. I have a good-sized collection of children’s Christmas books and would like to someday add this to it. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it brought something to your Christmas 2015.

The final installment of A Christmas Serial arrives right here tonight. If you aren’t caught up, please take a few minutes today amidst your wrapping, cooking, and errand running to check out Parts 1, 2, and 3. They are audio, so they work really well in the background.

From our home to yours, merry Christmas 2015. We will be back with a New Year’s episode next week and all manner of fun things ahead.

Happy listening,