Posts Tagged ‘Santa Claus’


I was halfway out my front door when the telephone rang. I slammed to a halt, clutching my car keys in one hand, paperwork in the other, my purse slung over my shoulder. Who could be calling me this early in the morning? It was only 8 a.m.

I was late for a meeting and the last thing I needed was another telemarketer trying to sell me carpet cleaning for Christmas.

Then it hit me. I remembered I had sent my Christmas tradition to the Oprah Show producers a few days ago.

It was 10 a.m. in Chicago. Oprah Time.

I grabbed the phone and heard, “Hi, this is the Oprah Show calling.”

“Hi…” I mumbled, not knowing what else to say.

“Do you have time to talk?” the woman on the other end of the phone asked.

Clearing my throat, I said, “Yeah, sure.”

“Great. We received your story about your Christmas tradition…”

I tossed my purse and car keys onto a chair, then I heard the words that sent my pulse racing out of control: “…we’d like to use your Christmas tradition for a segment on our holiday show.”

I was so excited. My Christmas tradition was going to be on Oprah. If only my mom could see this, I thought, praying somehow she did know.

My mother loved to play the piano, especially at Christmastime. She knew all the holiday carols by heart and every year for as long as I can remember, she would sit down at our old studio upright piano and take us on a musical trip to Bethlehem or a journey with the Three Wise Men or rock’n roll with Jingle Bell Rock.

  Jina's Christmas Piano TreeMy mother passed away a few days before Christmas several years ago. I didn’t have the heart to trim a tree that year. Then I remembered her piano and how important it was to her.  Why not a Christmas Piano Tree?  After all, a piano is made out of wood and that wood was once a tree, I could hear her saying, so why not a Christmas Piano Tree?

I decorated that same old, wonderful studio upright with Christmas ornaments that year and have been doing so every Christmas since then as a tribute to my mother.

It was an exciting few days after the Oprah Show producer called. They asked for photos then we taped the Oprah segment for my Christmas piano tree tradition with me reading what I wrote about my mom. The sound crew added holiday music and I got all ready to watch the show–but it ran overtime, so my segment didn’t make the national broadcast. Naturally I was devastated, but the Oprah Show producer said she would try to do something cool for me.

The next year the Oprah Show ran my old home movies throughout their holiday show and as part of the promo. So there’s my pretty young mom at Christmastime waving into camera in our old home movies on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Very cool.

I wanted to share my Christmas Piano Tree tradition and I remembered how my mother always reminded me that Christmas was not about presents, but about the goodness in people. I wrote a one-act play called The Christmas Piano Tree (produced at the Malibu Stage Company Theatre) about Mrs. Baxter, a widow who’s forgotten the true meaning of Christmas until a girl with pink hair, a dead cell phone and a big problem helps her re-discover the magic of the holiday season.

Stay tuned…

Coming up next: my one-act play featuring Mrs. Baxter, Rachel (the girl with the pink hair), and the Christmas Piano Tree.


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