Day 4: Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of joy and celebration but also often spur feelings of loneliness and longing. As editors of the Modern Love column, we aim to publish stories that illustrate a truthful variety of experiences: happy, sad and bittersweet. We hope these six Tiny Love Stories about memory, bravery, desire and connection capture the emotional complexity (and intensity) of the holiday season. Thank you for reading.

6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

Brian Rea

We’re the editors of Modern Love. In the two years that we’ve been collecting Tiny Love Stories, true tales of no more than 100 words, we’ve read many moving, sometimes bittersweet pieces surrounding the holidays. Here are a few of our favorites

6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

It was Christmas Eve in the intensive care unit. My husband was unresponsive. I put my head on his bed and dozed off.

When I awoke, it was 2 a.m. Christmas morning. Death was coming and I was afraid. I caressed his hand and talked to him. “I don’t want to drive home alone in the dark and cold. Can you wait until dawn to pass on?”

I got in bed with him, our souls met. Peace. The sun came up and my husband took his last breath. His final gift to me was the gift of light.

6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

Brian Rea

I spent the last night of Hanukkah knee-deep in potato peelings with my closest friends. None of them are Jewish, but they were all eager.

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6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

Peyton posted a picture with his flamingo, Lisa, wearing a Santa hat. Lisa had an Instagram account, so I followed it. He texted: “I see you following my lawn flamingo on Instagram.” I replied: “You tagged it in a photo. What other option did I have?”

The texts got longer. Christmas slid to New Year’s and eventually to an evening watching the stars. I asked him why he texted me; he asked why I responded. We both knew. I’m thankful for that flamingo. “She’s the only girl I’ll ever love,” he once said. But that’s not true anymore.

6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

Brian Rea

Despite an impending New Year’s blizzard, I drove my little Honda to the Hamptons to visit a friend. We got cabin fever, both wanting to be somewhere else for the holiday.

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6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

It’s that time again. How do I know? Because of that old string of red chili pepper lights from Albuquerque.

We bought them more than 30 years ago for our first Christmas together, yet every one of those chilies still lights up when I plug them in. He’s been gone six years now. Our love died before he did, at least officially, according to the divorce decree.

But every Christmas, just like the red chili peppers, my heart glows red and I remember him.

6 Tiny Love Stories for the Holiday Season

Miya Lee and Daniel Jones Deep in frozen isolation 🌲

Brian Rea

She said she understood why we couldn’t spend Christmas together. I sent her so many “I miss you” texts.

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Looking for more Tiny Love Stories? We published a book of the best.

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