This Santa Is Gonna Need Some Alka-Seltzer When It Is Over

Merry Christmas, everybody! Today is the last day of the Fondue Writers Club free Christmas stories, and we finish with a delightful Santa story — a different kind of Santa story — from a man who has tons of experience in the field. Joseph Courtemanche has written us a contemporary drama that speaks to our fears, troubles, and hopes in the furnace of our present.

Click on the giant bowl of Pho to read about Santa John in the wonderful story “Santa Claus is Here”.


Cue The Sappy Music in Three, Two, One

Just when you thought you could count on Joe Shaw to deliver the goods, he goes ands pulls a Hallmark sweet sappy story on us. But man, is it good. I really loved this. It has just enough ‘bad boy’ motif to keep it interesting, and a whole lot of sweet, innocent nostalgia to make the heart melt. But don’t make this a habit, Shaw, we don’t want to read stories from you about young women who discover their true love is really the guy who runs the croissant shop four doors down but who secretly is also the son of the powerful business magnate who is trying to put her struggling Santa Cookie store out of business so he can replace it with luxury condominiums. If you do that, we’re all coming to Florida to teach you a lesson.

Joe’s story, “Charlie Miller Hates Christmas” is the third of seven free Christmas themed short stories the Fondue Writers Club is giving you. We do this, as we say, free of charge with no gimmicks because we love you.

If you love us half as much as we love you, consider going over to THE AMAZON and buying the audio/print/Kindle version of our anthology, ‘The Covid Quarantine Cantina’. You can CLICK HERE to do just that — but make sure and remember to come back and read Shaw’s free story. Click on the second from the bottom golden ring to read it.

don’t click the third ring, or you’ll turn into a toad

Christmas Cards


We made a big decision this year.

For the first time in our marriage, Mrs. Greenbean and I are not sending out Christmas cards. It was a hard choice, because over the years we’ve had a lot of fun doing it. In the early years we sent out boxed ones with hand written messages. As the list grew, we went to photograph infused cards. Then, sometime around 2000ish we embarked on my favorite era–personally created cards. These cards included story, artwork, jokes and all kinds of things that each of the four Greenbeans contributed.

Around 2009 we went back to the picture cards.

Our list grew over the whole 50 states, and it was costing us several hundred dollars to make the cards and then mail them, not to mention the effort.

And all the while, we were receiving an ever-smaller number of Christmas cards. People stopped mailing them. Most of the cards we receive now are from businesses who ‘appreciate’ us.

Christmas cards were invented to stay in contact with people whom you don’t have contact with–people you wouldn’t see on Christmas but wished you could. The prevalence of social media, particularly the ubiquitous Facebook, allows us to communicate that to people far easier, cheaper, and more personally than a Christmas card.

Therefore, we made a digital card just like previous years, but are putting it on the various social medias. The card has photos of us on vacation in Destin, Florida, me and the girls at Dairy Queen, the idiot dog, Phoebe getting her driver’s permit, and Belle in her East Texas Baptist University marching band uniform. We wish you and yours the happiest and merriest of Christmases, a prosperous and meaningful New Year, and most of all spiritual fulfillment as you seek the Lord.

Merry Christmas!



I woke up this morning thinking about these lines from Christina Rossetti’s Christmas poem “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
We are all poor compared to his riches, we are all fools compared to his wisdom. The only thing we can give that truly matters is ourselves. We don’t give ourselves in a violent, self-denying kind of way that eats away at our humanity, nor is this about a martyrdom as the terrorists preach. Giving ourselves to the Lord is about choosing to order our lives around his values every day.bleak-midwinter
Few people will tell you the truth, though. It is far harder to give him a lifetime than to give him a singular moment. The paradox, of course, is that a lifetime cannot be given unless it is a stitched together quilt of one singular moment after another.