We've been asking you to submit your favorite Christmas memories and heartwarming James Avery Christmas Stories to spread the warmth and joy of the holidays with James Avery Artisan Jewelry and KVKI and you've delivered!

Every weekday during the contest, we share one of the James Avery Christmas Stories submitted through our website and our app. The person who submits the story wins a $50 James Avery gift card. Then, at the end of each week, we let you vote on your favorite and the winner gets and additional $250 James Avery gift card! So, without further ado, here are the results of the first online poll!

Congrats Jill! We hope you enjoy spending your James Avery gift card just in time for Christmas!

Enjoy all five James Avery Christmas Stories, including Jill's, below and submit your own,for your chance to win!

James Avery Artisan Jewelry can be found locally in the Shoppes at Bellemeade on Youree Drive in Shreveport, Dillard’s at Pierre Bossier Mall and Mall St. Vincent and online at JamesAvery.com.

If you'd like to share your James Avery Christmas Story or if you want to find out more, click here!

See complete KVKI contest rules here. 

  • 1

    Jill Broadwater

    The year was 1979.

    I was 8-years old and I lived in a small town in deep East Texas with my family. I remember this season of my life well because times were hard and there weren’t very many things going “right.” My parents didn’t openly discuss our financial situation, but I didn’t have to be a mind reader to know that we didn’t have any money. The evidence was all around me from the few clothes we owned, meager groceries we purchased, and especially the run-down home we lived in.

    When we relocated to the area the year before, we moved into a dilapidated cabin built in the 1940's owned by my great-uncle. As I grew older, I would affectionately describe this decaying mass of filth as the “Shack.” Let me explain...

    In the Shack, there was no air conditioner to cool you from the stifling summer heat and humidity. In the Shack, there was no heat to warm you during the cold winter months except for a fireplace and the kitchen stove (my brother and I used to get dressed in front of it on school days). In the Shack, you could see outside through the slits of the decaying boards that barely made up the walls of our living room. In the Shack, we would sometimes find field rats (courtesy of the pasture behind our home) in our walk-in pantry. Big ones that scare little kids and give them nightmares. So, it was obvious to me that money was tight and being the sensitive little girl that I was, I don’t remember asking for anything in particular for Christmas as I didn't want to put any extra burden on them to come up with money for something we couldn't afford.

    But my mom knew her children. And her children were into Star Wars! Like every other kid I knew, my brother and I became obsessed with anything and everything having to do with Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, and Darth Vadar. Two years after its release, Star Wars was still our favorite movie and we could hardly wait for The Empire Strikes Back to be released the following year.

    Fast forward to December 24th. It was a tradition in my family to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and my brother and I could hardly wait for my mom to choose the gifts. We slowly started unwrapping the large packages at the same time and to our surprise, it was …. wait for it… the coolest Star Wars sleeping bag we had ever seen! It was blue with pictures of the characters from the movie in various poses repeated throughout the fabric. We couldn’t believe it! My brother and I were so excited that we asked my parents if we could sleep in the living room next to the Christmas tree and were pleasantly surprised when they said yes!

    After they went to bed and my brother was asleep, I remember vividly staring up at the lights of our beautiful tree and thinking that life could be good. Good things do happen to people like me. I don’t know how my parents came up with the money to buy those sleeping bags, but I knew they must have sacrificed to pay for them, and I was grateful. They had no idea that a gift as ordinary as a sleeping bag would fill my heart and mind with good memories of that night for years to come.

  • 2

    Meagan Everett

    My family has spread out across the country now, with everybody in different states. So the best Christmas memories I have are as a child. My entire family was in Shreveport and we always would gather at my grandmas for my mother’s side and my aunt's house for my father's. Having my family on holidays was always happy, fun and full of joy. The houses were full of kids to play with, adults cooking and loved ones to spend time with. I definitely cherish those memories and wish I could have my family back. I have five kids, so one day I will have big family gatherings again for the holidays ❤️ But for now, my Christmas will be spent making memories with my grandmother and my children.

  • 3

    Barbara Pourteau

    It’s a most wonderful time of the year! I have many great Christmas memories of Christmases spent with my grandma and grandpa Covault and that whole big family. On Christmas Day the whole family would gather. The house would be filled with voices of the young and old and the smell of ham and all the trimmings. One year there were baked beans that had sloshed out of the dish and onto the floor of the car on the way to the gathering but were scooped back into the dish. After all, the 19 grand kids would never know the difference! Then there was the year that an uncle ate all the frosting off the cake just to make the kids laugh. Another year, that same uncle rode a pony into the kitchen hollering “Merry Christmas.” As we grandchildren got older and doubted that the fat man in red with a white beard was really Santa, we’d bombard him with snowballs as he made his way to the house.
    The years rolled on. Grandma passed away. The grand kids grew up and had children of their own. But every year we would still go to grandpa‘s house. Every year Santa still came. When my niece Shelly was about six we all still gathered at grandpa‘s house. It was a big drafty old farmhouse. With all the people and all the cooking going on in the house, the windows would steam up. All the children would be excited in anticipation of Santa's arrival. Santa’s German Shepherd had followed him to the house. When Santa walked through the door his dog came to the outside of the big picture window. He put his nose to the only clear spot on the window. Shelly glanced at the window just in time to see him. In a whisper of awe and wonder she said, “ It’s Rudolph!” And with that, he was gone.
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Memories of Christmas past, making memories of Christmas present, and looking forward to Christmas future.

  • 4

    Tammy Ouzts

    I lost my mom in 1995 when my oldest son was 3 months old. Our Christmas tradition (just me and her) was everyday the week of Christmas, she would let me open 1 gift during the day then she would re-wrap so my dad wouldn’t know. I miss my mom and my dad never found out.

  • 5

    Lisa Cotsopoulos

    I guess I would have to say Christmas of 2004. My dad was very sick and in and out of the hospital. He got to come home Christmas Eve. My nephew had a wreck the same day. My dad had to go and see if he could help him and the rest of our family did as well. My nephew was fine, the car not so much... but he could drive it home.

    My dad had to go back to the hospital Christmas day in the late afternoon. After Christmas, he was still in and out of the hospital and in February he passed. But we all got together with him at Christmas and were with him everyday till he passed because that's what my family does. We were all there when he passed saying our goodbyes.

    He is always missed at Christmas. He was our backbone of our family. God blessed us with him and God took him from us near Jesus' birthday and we are thankful for him. My dad doesn't have to suffer anymore. God Bless and Merry Christmas to all... This is my 'Charmed Christmas.' He was able to bring my family back together when we was broken.

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