An excerpt from 'Life on Christmas Eve' — a new novel by Nathan Nipper

The following is the opening chapter of my debut novel, Life on Christmas Eve. It's about a small-town woman who is baffled to find her life suddenly imitating It's a Wonderful Life and her quest to understand why leads to a life-changing encounter with a vulnerable stranger on Christmas Eve.

This story's themes of faith, grace, generosity, and the inherent value of each person's life form a timely message for our nation's current polarization.

Glenn says, "I love this book. It's funny, fast-paced, and whimsical — a joyful celebration of family and faith that sweeps you along to a surprising finale that will melt your heart. This is ideal Christmas-time reading, the kind of moving, life-affirming story the world needs right now."

Life on Christmas Eve is available now from booksellers nationwide.

You can listen to Glenn read the opening chapter here:

Chapter 1

As Julie discovered, Christmas Eve in her hometown of Cedar Springs was an ideal time to do something odd in a public setting. With most folks preoccupied with family celebrations at home, the likelihood of one's curious behavior garnering notice, let alone being questioned, drastically diminished. Julie counted on the streets being mostly deserted after dark because she could not adequately explain her current enterprise: sitting by herself in a collapsible camping chair at one end of the small town's iconic steel truss bridge.

It was 6:05 p.m., and snow descended in weighty clumps from the starless, black-matted sky. Julie knew she looked bizarre wrapped in a sleeping bag and blankets, a thermos of hot cocoa at her feet, like she was waiting for a parade to start or camping out in line for concert tickets. She felt entirely self-conscious and was the first to question her own sanity. She also felt inexplicably compelled to be there at that very moment, though the compulsion was not quite strong enough to chase away her potential embarrassment.

As a few cars traversed the narrow two-lane bridge at a leisurely holiday pace, Julie tried burrowing deeper into the canvas seat of her camping chair, as if it might help conceal her from the glow of the headlight beams. Some motorists noticed her; others did not, or at least pretended not to. She was rather hard to miss in her prominent seated position on the sidewalk that ran alongside the decades-old bridge railing. One car slowed as it approached, and she tensed with fear the driver would stop to ask questions. It was not an unfounded fear. Julie loved her salt-of-the-earth fellow Cedar Springs citizens, but one less desirable common trait in the community was a tendency toward nosiness. Sometimes a gal just wanted to be left well enough alone. And there was never a greater such instance than the one in which she placed herself that evening. Julie instantly prepared a contingent reply to any inquiries. She would say she was "just enjoying the snow," or something similarly lame, which would be truthful without divulging the actual reason for her visit to the bridge. She made a snap decision to smile and wave enthusiastically at the craned-neck driver, figuring that might better discourage questioning than if she sat motionless, hoping not to be noticed. Fortunately, the car continued on its way.

Julie did not want to be interrogated because no rational explanation existed for why she sat by herself on the bridge in the freezing Christmas Eve air. The truth was that she was waiting for something to happen. She had no idea what, just the most persistent hunch it would be something important. The only similarly strong intuition she recalled having in her life was the time in fifth grade when she was almost certain she was going to get a full-size backyard trampoline for Christmas. Alas, no trampoline materialized.

Just as she was about to laugh off her intuition incompetence and rejoin the sane world, something did happen.

While Julie contemplated packing up her solo bridge-watch party, she began dozing. With the hot cocoa, the abundance of fleecy layers, and the soothing lull of the icy river cascading over the boulders directly below the bridge, her surroundings soon faded into a wintry fog. She resisted the first couple of head-bobs but quickly gave up the fight and drifted off.

Julie was only asleep for a couple of minutes when a violent, metallic clatter jolted her awake, her left leg involuntarily flailing in the process. Her eyes fluttered open and she brushed the wet snowflakes from her face. She leaned forward in her chair, momentarily disoriented, and surprised to realize she had fallen asleep. Glancing cautiously back and forth, she hoped no further passersby had witnessed her conked out on the bridge like that, as it would be impossible to explain her way out of that one.

Having regained her bearings, she peered straight ahead, squinting through the thickly falling snow across the bridge. She could make out a dingy blue and white pickup truck with its right front fender crumpled against the dense trunk of a majestic cedar tree, one of several such trees just off the shoulder of the road near the start of the bridge.

Julie stood, trying to gather her senses and find her phone. She checked her coat pockets, the camping chair, and the snow-caked concrete around her to no avail. Perfect, she thought, figuring she left it at home. The unscathed driver's side door of the crashed pickup truck slowly opened with a rusty, drawn-out squeal, interrupting Julie's annoyance at forgetting her phone. As she watched, a haggard teenage girl tumbled out of the cab and fell to her knees in the snow. She lingered on the bitter cold ground for a moment, weeping loud enough for Julie to hear. The girl picked herself up and stumbled alongside the guardrail for several yards until she stepped onto the sidewalk of the bridge. Julie froze at the alarming scene unfolding in slow motion. In her sleepy stupor, Julie could not settle fast enough on the best course of action.

Oblivious to Julie's presence, the girl's deep, sorrowful crying persisted as she trudged aimlessly through the ankle-deep snow of the bridge's sidewalk. Julie noted the girl wore only a sweatshirt and jeans, which had to be scant protection against the night's biting cold. The teen stopped near the middle of the bridge and leaned over the railing, prompting Julie to shift forward uneasily in her chair. Beneath the bridge, the churning dark river surged over and around large, smooth boulders on its way toward the falls. The girl's shoulders convulsed with her breathless sobs. From Julie's vantage point, she assumed the girl must be feeling sick.

Julie looked around, suddenly hoping for a crowd. But the streets were empty and quiet, as if the town was taking a deep breath, finally about to allow itself a respite from all the frenetic Christmas preparations. Julie and the teenage girl remained the only two souls on the bridge.

Finally, Julie's habitual compassion overruled her hesitation. With a deep breath of her own, she stood, unfurled herself from the blankets, unzipped her sleeping bag, and piled them on the camping chair. Then, she cautiously approached the grieving stranger. Between the din of the rushing river and her own weeping, the girl did not hear the crunch of snow underfoot as Julie crossed the bridge toward her…

Nathan Nipper writes for television, radio, and online media at Mercury Radio Arts. He previously authored the nonfiction book Dallas 'Til I Cry, which won the 2014 MLS Book of the Year Reader's Choice Award from WorldSoccerTalk.com. He lives in North Texas with his phenomenal wife, daughter, and two sons. Life on Christmas Eve is his first novel.

Glenn Beck: Here's how YOU can fix the Great Reset's housing crisis

Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images

How's the housing market looking these days? Because under Build Back Better (aka the Great Reset), investors are grabbing up homes at a record pace.

On "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn discussed a recent Redfin News report, which shows that almost one in five homes sold in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2021 was purchased by an investment firm, and many are paying tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price.

"Think of that, one in every five homes that are sold are going to a big investment firm," Glenn said. "Investors bought more than 90,000 homes, totaling more than $63 billion, representing 18% of all homes sold in the quarter. The numbers broke all records."

"The same factors have pushed more Americans to rent, which also creates opportunities for investors, because investors typically turn the homes they purchase into rentals," he continued. "And now they can charge higher rents. Rent for single-family homes surged by more than 10% in the 12 months, through September. The fastest annual rent inflation in 16 years."

"And nearly 77% purchased were bought in an all-cash transaction," Glenn added. "That's not your average person. These investment firms, like BlackRock, are going in and buying entire neighborhoods. They are the people that come in, and say, 'I'll give you $70,000 over the asking price.' ... Now, why would investment firms think they will just be able to make money paying $70,000 over the asking price? What is it that they know, that you don't know? Could they know, as the Great Reset states, that by 2030, you will own nothing and you'll like it?"

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn offer his thoughts on how you can solve the Great Reset's housing crisis:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On "Glenn TV" Wednesday, Glenn Beck exposes the radical plan to flip the United States from capitalism to socialism and into a lawless nation. It's an old strategy that mirrors a communist Cold War playbook. The goal now, as it was then, is this: How do they get a revolution without all that civil war stuff? It’s a five-step plan, and we're deep into several of the main steps RIGHT NOW.

Our justice system has been infiltrated by woke leftists, and something called "the progressive prosecutor movement" is methodically transforming Main Street USA into Main Street Gotham City. We can see it all over the country in places like San Francisco, with the Waukesha massacre as a terrifying glimpse into more of what's coming. And the media? They're currently running interference in one of the largest misinformation operations in history.

It’s happening at the city, state, AND federal levels. And President Trump might be one of the biggest victims of them all, a fact that even Trump critic Joe Rogan has realized on the Russia collusion hoax: “No one is being held accountable!” That ends now, as Glenn calls on Americans to push back on the lies that keep us divided in a cold civil war.

Watch the full episode below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

A "one-world government" is being formed right now and it’s called the Great Reset, Glenn Beck said on the radio program Monday. And now, rebuild plans for the fire-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral hint at the formation of a global church, too.

In this clip, Glenn detailed plans for the iconic, 850-year-old church’s "woke" renovations that sound more like a 'politically correct Disneyland' complete with a "discovery trail," "emotional spaces," and 14 themed chapels.

"Notre Dame is now being built back better as a 'woke theme park' dedicated to environmentalism and social justice," Glenn explained.

"There will be several different chapels within, [for example] a chapel for social justice, and then chapel for environmental justice," he continued. "Which leads me to this point. The 'one-world government' is being formed, right now. One-world government. It is being formed and it's called The Great Reset."

Glenn went on to predict that one of the first steps in the direction of a one-world government will be a push for a global religion.

"I think we're seeing the first church now being dedicated to the new global religion — and it is social justice, environmental justice, and all this gobbledygook. We all know, it's not just wrong, it is dangerous. That's the first church, the cathedral of Notre Dame, in France, is the first global church. Mark my words. Christian, Jews, Muslims ... this global church will bring darkness unlike you've ever seen."

Watch the video clip from "The Glenn Beck Program" below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

The Omicron COVID-19 variant: Should we ACTUALLY panic?

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

As the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus approaches, it seems like those in power want everyone to be terrified, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program Monday.

The chair of the World Medical Association's Council, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, is already comparing the variant to Ebola and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has declared a state of emergency, despite the doctor who announced its discovery describing the new variant's symptoms as "unusual, but mild." So, should we really be worried or not?

In this clip, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere reviewed what we know about the Omicron variant so far and gave a few reasons why we should wait for more information before succumbing to panic.

Note: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-related questions & concerns.

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To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.