Christmas Adventure Calendar

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Dec 21: Turning Straw into Gold Christmas Writing Prompts


By Chris Dunmire | Posted 12/22/19 | Updated 3/9/20

“Time is a very precious gift — so precious that it is only given to use moment by moment.”
—Amelia Barr, British Novelist and Teacher

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RumpelstiltskinEarlier, we explored the value of writing prompts and how famous novelist Amelia Barr used material from her childhood memories to write her stories.

This time, her words above remind us that time is a precious gift, and we do well to spend our moments wisely, for once the moments have gone by, they are like grains of sand in an hour glass that have fallen away.

Thankfully, the moments we've experienced become usable in another form. We can recycle the material into marvelous tapestries of story, intuitive writing, or art. We can use what we've learned to lead, mentor, and teach.

Through immersing in creative process, we can become adept at letting nothing go to waste and skilled at turning emotions, memories, and mistakes into deeper levels of connection, understanding, empathy, and compassion like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold.

The takeaway is this: Prompts for artists and writers come in many forms, including the inspirations that stir within as we read the words of another in essays or poems, and in the visuals we encounter through everyday life: old buildings, famous landmarks, beautiful landscapes, birds hopping, barns decaying, and other, ordinary everyday people, places, and things.

Retired educator Hank Kellner helps us appreciate what a simple photograph can evoke through his inspiring series Writing What You See. He frequently used pictures with his students for writing assignments because he saw first-hand how 'a picture is worth a thousand words.'

When we are open to experience, we can be inspired and prompted by almost anything. Today's Christmas ADVENTure is designed to open up space for you to reflect on what this season stirs in you. Use the opportunity to find joy in simple thoughts and feelings, or go deeper into the creative process with your art or writing and see where the prompts lead you.

The following prompts are curated from our December collection of 365 Pictures, an inspiring collaborative prompt series running 365 days a year on Creativity Portal.

Christmas Writing Prompts

Myths and Legends

Writing Prompt 1: Myths and Legends

What do myths and legends bring to our lives?


Writing Prompt 2: Angels

There is an angel in each of us, but sometimes we have to fall down so our angel can make an impression. Blessings come from our falls or mistakes. Mistakes are just learning experiences.

Photo and prompt by Cee Lewars


Writing Prompt 3: Traditions

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Simple Beauty

Writing Prompt 4: Simple Beauty

List 10 items that you see as subjects of "simple beauty" this season.

Christmas Tree Farm

Writing Prompt 5: Christmas Tree Farm

What are the animals doing at the Christmas Tree Farm in April? July? October?


Writing Prompt 6: Quietness

Midnight on a deserted street lit with old-fashioned lamp posts, wreaths, Christmas lights, hoar frost, and a dazzling 40-foot Christmas tree at the end, tiny in this photo. Magical? Depressing? What is the mood evoked? What is stirring in your soul — memories, dreams, something else?

Photo and prompt by Kristi Tencarre

Inner Child

Writing Prompt 7: Inner Child

Christmas brings out the child in all of us. Even though I'm now a grandmother to boys who are growing older way too quickly, I can be taken back in an instant to the dreamy horse-crazy little girl of the past when I stop a moment to peer into the depths of my tree.

One of the interesting sidebars to this shot lies in the colors of the little horse ornament. In itself, this little decoration has no color at all. All its multi-colored glory is a reflection of the colors around it. Something to think about in that observation!

Photo and prompt by Judy Wood

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