By Melissa Stoller
It’s winter – a season filled with holidays of many faith traditions. Take some time this month to breathe in the joy of the season and add some holiday rituals and magic into your storytelling.
Here are a few seasonal prompts to help you dodge into December with ideas!
1. Write about a ritual, custom, celebration, or heirloom from your faith tradition. What memories do you associate with the holiday season? Incorporate sensory details into a story scene.
2. Remember a childhood celebration. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of your memories. Perhaps a book title will spring to mind, or even a full story idea.
3. Think about the foods associated with the holidays. Conjure the smells and tastes. Perhaps browse family recipes or bookstore holiday coffee table books. Capture any ideas generated from your research.
4. Look through old family photos of past celebrations. Study the expressions of the people in the photos. Write a story based on the emotions you notice.
5. Watch holiday movies and TV shows. Maybe a plot will inspire a children’s story!
I hope these holiday-related prompts help you dodge into December ideas. Let me know in the comments! Happy Holidays!
Melissa Stoller writes to bring connection, joy, and a bit of magic to her readers. Her newest picture book, Hazel and Mabel: Two Hearts Apart, illustrated by Anita Bagdi, releases from Gnome Road Publishing in Fall 2025. Melissa is also the author of the chapter book series The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection - Return to Coney Island, and the picture books Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush; Ready, Set, GOrilla!; Sadie’s Shabbat Stories; Planting Friendship: Peace, Salaam, Shalom; and Building Bridges: Peace, Salaam, Shalom (co-written). Melissa is a Blogger for the Children’s Book Academy, a Rate Your Story Judge, a volunteer with SCBWI/MetroNY, a Book Meshuggenahs member, a Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Advisory Council member, and a past school and Synagogue Trustee. She also interviews authors and offers resources on her blog. In other chapters of her life, Melissa has worked as a lawyer, legal writing instructor, freelance writer/editor, and early childhood educator. She lives in New York City with her family, and enjoys theatre, museums, and Central Park walks. Melissa is represented by Jonathan Rosen at The Seymour Agency.
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break