Before the holidays we offered you the chance to win a digital camera by sharing with us your favorite holiday memory or photo.
We received many beautiful photos and touching stories and it's been really difficult choosing a winner.
We decided to divide the competition into two categories - pictures and stories - and choose a winner from each.
So, without further ado, the winning photo is:
Congratulations to Maria Gabriela - we'll be contacting you about your prize.
And here's the winning story from Leota Basque - we'll be in touch about your prize too!
My Special Christmas Gift
Christmas was a special time for my brother, sister and I. It was a time to dream. We would start early in November, leafing through the pages of our two year old Sears catalogue, writing our Christmas wish lists. This usually consisted of the whole toy selection.
Mom would always find a way to remind us that Christmas was about more than just getting everything we wanted. So, filled with guilt, by mid-December, we managed to narrow our lists down to only ten things, although we knew we would only actually get one or two items on our list. It sure was nice to dream though!
I'll never forget the year I wanted a guitar. I wanted one just like my Dad's, a big brown acoustic guitar!
"Mom and Dad could never afford that", my brother and sister tried to convince me. In my heart, I knew they were right. Our family didn't have a lot of money, especially for a big purchase such as a guitar. That didn't stop me though.
Mom always told us that if we were sincere, our prayers would be answered. "That's what I'll do", I thought. I didn't join my brother and sister in writing lists that year, for a guitar was all I wanted.
Christmas morning came. There was nothing under the tree that even resembled a guitar.
While fighting the tears, I tried to hide my disappointment as I opened my gifts. I didn't want to hurt mom and dad, when I knew they had done their best.
When everyone was finished opening their gifts, my dad left the room. When he came back he was holding his guitar, and on it was taped a big blue bow. When he started towards me I began to cry. I could not believe that my dad would give up his most prized possession for me. Although that guitar was far from new, it meant more to me than anything in the world.
It meant that my dad loved me. I no longer have that guitar, but the love my father gave me that day, I will always have.
Thanks to everybody who took participated. You can always share your favorite family stories and photos with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you all a Happy New Year and we look forward to sharing more stories and photos in the future.
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