Thank you so much for hosting C.H. and I today! Let me start by saying that I absolutely adore the Christmas season and it’s my favorite time of year. When I was little the season itself seemed like torture because it was the all-important Christmas morning that took center stage.
My sister, Megan and I would always wake up well before sunrise and although we were desperate to go down to see what Santa had left for us, my mom and dad had a firm rule—Nobody goes downstairs before they do! The other rule was that Christmas morning didn’t start until six a.m. I remember sitting in the doorway of my parent’s bedroom with Megan and watching the red numbers on the digital clock. Let me tell you, that last minute felt like it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R!
However, as I’ve gotten older and had children of my own, it’s the season leading up to Christmas Day that I take pure joy in. The day itself is nice but nothing beats the feeling that Christmas spirit in the air for a solid month.
Our Christmas celebrating begins the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Every year we drive to a tree farm in Connecticut to cut down our Christmas tree. My four sons usually argue over whose turn it is to cut it down and now that they’re all teenagers, they’re actually strong enough to do it.
Hayrides, hot cocoa, and family. What’s better than that?
Of course, as soon as we get home, the decorating begins. Usually A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life are playing in the background while we tangle with the lights and reminisce while pulling out different ornaments. Once it’s all decorated, and the fire is burning in the fireplace, I grab a glass of wine and sit in the living room enjoying the soft glow of the tree.
As for Christmas morning, I have continued our nobody goes downstairs before mom rule with my own children. In fact, when my sons were little, I told them that if they broke the rule and snuck downstairs, Santa would know they did it and all of their presents would disappear.
Not everyone’s presents. Just theirs.
Okay. I know that’s kind of evil but it worked. They still haven’t broken that rule and I doubt they ever will.
To celebrate the release of UNCLAIMED, I’m giving out a full set of all 5 Amoveo Legend novels (e-book or print-winner’s choice) to one lucky person who leaves a comment. Just tell me what your favorite Christmas tradition is.
Thanks so much for inviting Sara and I to guest blog today! We’re delighted to share some holiday spirit with you and your readers. ;)
There are so many different ways of spending the holidays, and it’s only once in a while that I think of tossing tradition aside and heading for warmer climes. But let’s not go there right now, first I’d like to share some Christmas spirit with you…my favorite part about the holidays is definitely hands-down the time spent in the kitchen and the scent of cookies baking, vanilla swirled through my Grandmother’s confectioner’s sugar icing, and a hot cup of tea or coffee to wash down the yummy goodness. Well, that is if it’s early in the day—after dinner it’s nice to have a sip of something more potent with the freshly baked cookies…eggnog with a “shtick” as my hubby’s Grandfather used to say—he preferred a shot and a half of Schenley (Rye Whiskey). If we have it, a nice glass of cream sherry, or Irish Coffee;)
I love the warmth that radiates from the kitchen through the house right to the front door. I don’t always notice the scents that mingle from what I’ve baked, but it’s the first comment I hear when one of my guys walks in the door from work—they have very discriminating noses that can name-that-baked-good as they inhale and follow their noses to the kitchen.
I used to have little helpers mixing, rolling out dough, and adding coloring to the icing, but those little helpers are all grown-up now. I don’t have anyone begging to lick the bowl—well unless you count our fur-baby Jameson. He is always underfoot when I’m baking and you can hear him getting closer because his doggy behind hits the floor with a decided thunk as he inches closer and closer to where I’m stirring and mixing whatever it is I’ve decided to bake. He waits patiently while I spoon out, scoop out and empty the bowl—eager for me to ask “Would you like to lick the bowl?” His eyes get really big and his tail starts to wag as he dives into the bowl, getting every last bit of batter. Yep our little black puppy rescued from a high-kill shelter in Georgia just loves his job of cleaning the bowl as much as our kids did when they were little.
I baked braided bread last night and this morning, he was right there watching and waiting while I punched down he dough and let it rise, but he didn’t get to lick the bowl last night—but he had a few samples of the bread first thing this morning. His little black nose just twitches in delight when he knows he’s about to get a special treat. Lucky Dog!
To celebrate my 15th book, I’m giving away signed copies of all three books: A Wedding in Apple Grove, One Day in Apple Grove and Welcome Back to Apple Grove to one lucky winner. Be sure to leave your email address, so I can get in touch with you.