Texas Christmas Twins

By: Deb Kastner

Christmas on the Ranch

Miranda Morgan’s Christmas will be twice as busy now that she’s guardian of her sister’s sweet twin babies. But the celebrity photographer is happy to trade a glamorous LA lifestyle for motherhood in her small hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. Unfortunately, the twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, is unconvinced. The brooding rancher isn’t thrilled about letting sunny, spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. Though they disagree on almost everything, Simon and Miranda discover common ground as they work to make the twins’ first country Christmas cozy and bright. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love?

“I still can’t believe you don’t decorate for Christmas,” Miranda said.

Simon held Hudson and Harper in his lap while she put a green hat on Hudson. His little Santa’s-helper suit and Harper’s matching female elf would go nicely with Zig and Zag, the dogs Miranda adorably still thought of as twins.

“What would be the point? It’s only me and the dogs, and they don’t care that it’s Christmas.”

“Hello—Christmas spirit, where are you? What happened to getting in the mood for all things merry and bright?”

Simon snorted. “When have you ever known me to be merry and bright?”

But sitting here cross-legged with both of the twins on his lap and Miranda zipping around with unflagging energy and excitement, he thought he might be as close as he’d ever been to those feelings.

There was just something right about the four of them being here together. He wanted to tell her. But the words wouldn’t come. They got all tangled up in his head and never made it to his lips.


Deb Kastner

Through Him then let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess His name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.

—Hebrews 13:15–16

What can I give Him, poor that I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part.

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


Miranda Morgan wouldn’t even know what hit her.

He was here in front of her cabin, preparing to make certain of that. After he was through with her, the powers that be would want to name a tempest after him.

Hurricane Simon.

It didn’t matter that he hadn’t seen Miranda since high school, or even, as his best friend Mason’s kid sister, that she’d bared the occasional brunt of his pranks and mean jokes. In another situation, he might be considering how to make amends and not additional strife. He was a new man, a man of faith. The Lord had changed his heart, and now Simon’s goal was to change his life to match what had happened internally.

But try as he might, he fell short of being able to forgive Miranda for ignoring her responsibility to the sweet nine-month-old twins now in her care.

If this was a spiritual test, a trial in his bumpy new Christian life, it was a doozy.

Miranda was an eminently successful celebrity photographer. But he couldn’t care less about movie stars and the la-di-da lifestyles of the rich and famous. He was a simple ranch owner and dog trainer and he liked his solitary country life.

What he didn’t like was Miranda. She couldn’t even be bothered to fly home to Texas long enough to attend her own twin niece’s and nephew’s christening, and she was not only Hudson and Harper’s aunt, but had also been named their godmother.

And yet she hadn’t managed to spare even one weekend for them.

Even Simon had been in church that day, though at the time he hadn’t been a churchgoing man. He remembered feeling uncomfortable, but he’d been there. Simon was the twins’ godfather, and to him, it was a big thing, a sacred duty, a promise that he’d always be there for Hudson and Harper in any way they needed.

Obviously, Miranda didn’t feel the same way. Family obligations clearly meant nothing to her.

And now, through a cruel twist of fate, Miranda had been named the twins’ permanent legal guardian.

How could that even be? The very thought of it was both confusing and infuriating.

It was painful enough that Mary, Mason’s youngest sister, and her husband, John, had been taken from this world prematurely by the merciless act of a drunkard who’d made the deadly choice to drive while intoxicated.

But for Mary to name self-serving, high-flying Miranda as the twins’ legal guardian, even after all she had done, or not done, for Mary and the babies—

Well, that made less sense than putting a Border collie in a room full of cats and expecting him to herd them.