Hi Friends, I hope you are enjoying preparing for Christmas. I’m sharing a Christmas memory today, and I thought you might like to share one with me. Leave a comment below including one of your favorite Christmas memories and you’ll enter the drawing for one of my Christmas books pictured below. Keep reading for more info.

I grew up in Oregon, so having a live Christmas tree brings back wonderful memories of my childhood Christmas celebrations. There’s nothing like the scent of a frosty Douglas fir to make me feel like it’s really Christmas.

treeWhen our five kids were young, we visited a Christmas tree lot not too far from our house to choose our tree. Then we’d spend the evening drinking cocoa, eating popcorn, and adding lights and decorations to our tree. Over the years we’ve collected lots of ornaments from places we’ve traveled, and we’ve received several others as gifts from friends and family. Each ornament has a story . . . the wooden ornament shaped like Africa with a heart painted on Kenya is from the year our family spent there as missionaries. Then there is the Santa in running gear from the year my husband ran in the Honolulu Marathon, the blue and white Delft shoes from my time in Belgium as a short-term missionary, and the little gingerbread house to remind me of the year I was a finalist in a gingerbread house decorating contest. Baby booties, a ram’s horn, crochet snowflakes, and homemade ornaments from the kids . . . they all have a special meaning and bring a smile as we hang them on the tree.

When we became empty nesters we bought an artificial tree and enjoyed that for a few years. The needles didn’t drop on the rug and the ornaments stayed in place . . . but it wasn’t quite the same. So a few years ago Scott and I decided it was time for a real tree again. We visited a Christmas tree farm only a few minutes from our church in Robbinsville, NJ, and hiked through acres of evergreens in search of our perfect tree. It was so much fun, we’ve gone back each year since, and every time we’re finished decorating, I’m sure this year’s tree is the best one yet.

As you can probably tell, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, and I enjoy including Christmas scenes in my books. I loved learning about Swedish Christmas traditions and including those in my novella, A Trusting Heart in Mountain Christmas BridesSnowflake Sweethearts is set in the Northwest, so I included a Christmas tree cutting scene and holiday celebrations. I researched English Christmas traditions to include in The Governess of Highland Hall, and I featured some fun New York City holiday sights and events in Moonlight Over Manhattan. A Joyful Christmas and Waiting for His Return contain my novella Though the Mountains Tremble which is set during the Civil War.

I hope you have a wonder Christmas season, make some special memories with family and friends, and enjoy some heartwarming holiday stories!To enter the giveaway please leave a comment including one of your holiday tradtions and tell me which book you’d like to receive. I will choose one winner on December 15th after 9:00 pm. I’ll contact the winner by email.

Merry Christmas,

Carrie

45 replies
  1. Adrienne
    Adrienne says:

    I grew up always watching “White Christmas” on the night of Thanksgiving, a tradition I carried over through my college years and the early years of my marriage. Now with 4 kids ages 7 and under, I don’t always get a chance to watch it on Thanksgiving but I do always watch it sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas–and my husband faithfully watches along with me even though he’s not a fan of it or of musicals in general.
    I’d love to win A Joyful Christmas.

    Reply
  2. Bonnie H
    Bonnie H says:

    I love the sounds, sights and smells of Christmas, but love the reading of the Christmas story as my favorite tradition! I would love to win The Governess of Highland Hall.

    Reply
  3. Lori Smanski
    Lori Smanski says:

    One of our christmas traditons when the kids were home was: Christmas eve we would go to christmas eve service, we would come home and have hot dogs and hot chocolate (their choice that never changed, I didnt serve hot dogs on a normal basis), we would eat in the front room with the tree and presents. My husband would then read the story from the bible about Jesus coming to earth. Every year it got a little longer and a little more involved because of the kids age and understanding. As the kids learned to read they would help read the story from the bible. We would talk about the story and what it meant to us now. Each year was different and we could see how the two kids were understanding. I would pull out a “lamb” cake we made. I had one candle on top and we would sing happy birthday to Jesus. As we ate our slice of cake, my husband would lead discussion in what it meant to wish Jesus happy birthday and why. Then we would each open one gift. Watching the children grow in their understanding and love of Jesus year by year was my christmas gift. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    Reply
  4. Ermetta
    Ermetta says:

    I think our tradition would be our Christmas Stockings. Our girls are married and we have 4 grandchildren. After we open our gifts and eat our dinner the kids go upstairs and bring down the stuffed stockings!! It’s complete chaos and so much fun! I think that is the highlight of our day! I have read so many of your books Carrie, but I haven’t read Waiting for His Return. Hope you are feeling well. Keep writing!

    Reply
  5. Betti
    Betti says:

    My daughter and I bake Christmas cookies together every year – plenty of fun and together time. This year my husband was off and joined us in our baking fun – made it much more interesting and an event we hope to be able to coordinate again next year…lol. I would love to read A Joyful Christmas. Thanks for the giveaway and wishing you and yours a most blessed Christmas season!

    Reply
  6. Paula Shreckhise
    Paula Shreckhise says:

    One of our traditions is making our tree an angel tree. Then the nativity goes beneath it. A whole host of angels looks down.
    I’d love to win A Joyful Christmas.
    Thanks for the chance. Blessings!

    Reply
  7. Mary A Olender
    Mary A Olender says:

    My favorite memory of Christmas is when we would gather up our five children, head out for the wonderful Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and then, after the service, we would ride around to see all the Christmas lighting. A really magical time!
    I would love to have the “Waiting for His Return” novella. Thank you and may God’s peace be yours this Christmas Season.

    Reply
  8. Terri L Gillespie
    Terri L Gillespie says:

    Such sweet memories, everyone. When my husband and I became part of the Jewish community, the Lord impressed upon us to not celebrate the holidays we grew up with and to celebrate the Biblical festivals. We do this so our home is comfortable for Jewish visitors, whether believers in Jesus or not.

    Now, what becomes of an accumulation of thirty years of Christmas decorations? We prayed and the Lord seemed to say to give the special, memorable ornaments to my niece for her new home.

    But what to do with the remaining two and a half large boxes?

    A few weeks later, we learned that a single mother’s apartment building had burned down, just one week before Christmas. We contacted the church and they presented those well-loved decorations to her. She called us a few days later to thank us and to let us know that between the tree and gift cards the church provided, our decorations made their home the most festive she and their children had ever had.

    While we don’t have a tree with lights and ornaments these days, our Christmas day is spent listening to praise and worship Christmas and Hanukkah music. It’s very subdued, but always meaningful.

    Reply
  9. Betsy Tieperman
    Betsy Tieperman says:

    Several of my family’s Christmas traditions involve food, such as the baking of specific cookies and making a soup recipe handed down by my grandmother.

    Reply
  10. Suzanne Sellner
    Suzanne Sellner says:

    My favorite Christmas memory is of going as a family to Christmas Eve services and then coming home and being allowed to open 1 present from under the tree. I especially loved singing Christmas carols all during the month of December. I would love to win A Joyful Christmas or Snowflake Sweethearts.

    Reply
  11. Julie B
    Julie B says:

    I’d say getting together with family. We go to my parents house with my siblings and their families. We have pizzas and last year one of my brothers made homemade bread sticks. We enjoy homemade and store bought candies of all kinds. We also draw names for a gifts. I would love to win The Governess of Highland Hall.

    Reply
  12. GAY MARTIN
    GAY MARTIN says:

    MY FAVORITE TRADITION IS HOSTING A CHRISTMAS TEA PARTY THE FIRST FRIDAY OF DECEMBER ANNUALLY. ALL THE GUESTS ARE SISTERS IN THE LORD AND THE FELLOWSHIP IS PRECIOUS AS WE SHARE WHAT THE LORD IS DOING IN OUR LIVES, EAT GOODIES, AND SIP OUR TEA! I WOULD LOVE TO READ SNOWFLAKE SWEETHEARTS!

    Reply
  13. Robin in NC
    Robin in NC says:

    Christmas Eve candlelight service has been my favorite tradition for many years! It sets the tone for Christmas & soothes my soul. Waiting for His Return would be wonderful!

    Reply
  14. Judi Imperato
    Judi Imperato says:

    I love decorating for Christmas, listening to Christmas CD’s and reading Christmas books.
    I would love to win A Joyful Christmas. Thank you for the giveaway. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Reply
  15. PeggyAnn Smith
    PeggyAnn Smith says:

    The funniest Christmas I ever remember was the year my older brother Billy was 5 and I was 4 and my little sister was almost 2. During the night my brother snuck downstairs to see if Santa had come yet. He hadn’t but I guess my brother was too anxious to wait for him to arrive. So, he opened all the gifts under the tree, since he couldn’t read yet they all had to be opened. Then he wasn’t sure how to wrap them back up before the rest of the family came down. So, he went out to the garage and got bailing wire and did the best job he could putting them back.

    Reply
  16. Melissa Andres
    Melissa Andres says:

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions is looking at Christmas lights. Filling a travel mug with hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, and going for a drive. Hoping we can do that this year!!

    Reply
  17. Holly Bleggi
    Holly Bleggi says:

    My favorite Christmas memory is when my dad did the 12 days of Christmas for my mom. He came up with some very creative things but each of those things showed how much he loved her. It was really sweet.

    Reply
  18. Alicia Haney
    Alicia Haney says:

    One of our Christmas traditions is we decorate a gingerbread house as a family,adults and grandchildren. I also leave our Christmas tree lights on all day and all night on Christmas Eve and all day on Christmas day. If I won I would choose your book “Waiting for His Return” I love the book cover, it is beautiful. Thank you for the chance.

    Reply
  19. Lori Byrd
    Lori Byrd says:

    My favorite Christmas memory was watching my children decorate the Christmas tree. My oldest daughter would add the last ornament which was an angel with their sisters name on it up by the star on top. It was always so touching as they remembered their sister at this beautiful time of year. Unfortunately, we have 2 angel ornaments now.

    Reply
  20. Jackie Wisherd
    Jackie Wisherd says:

    One tradition we had when my daughter was younger was to shop each year for a new ornament for the tree…preferably a bird. It was always fun looking for one we didn’t already have. I would like to read Snowflake Sweethearts.

    Reply
  21. Rebecca Tellez
    Rebecca Tellez says:

    As my birthday is Christmas Eve when my children were young and still at home we always had homemade chili for dinner and we would open one gift.
    I have all of the books. Just wanted to stop in and say hi. Your tree is beautiful.

    Reply
  22. Keren Herrera
    Keren Herrera says:

    Thank you Carrie for sharing with us. My childhood was spent every Christmas at church. We would rehearse plays, poems and Christmas choir. We would then exchange gifts and receive a goodie bag filled with candy and fruit. When we would get home we would be able to open the gift we got in church that night. Then we rushed to bed to wait for Christmas morning to see what we received. We woke up smelling mom’s cooking and the homemade hot chocolate with dash of cinnamon. Family would always gather at our home and it was just the best.

    The book would be any but I already have some so the one I don’t is “Waiting for his Return”. Thank you for this opportunity and the chance of sharing my favorite Christmas memory.

    I also love Real Christmas trees. The smell of the pine is a welcoming feeling to snuggle and feel comfort.

    Blessings.

    Reply
  23. Vivian Furbay
    Vivian Furbay says:

    I love to make or buy things that I hope people will enjoy and use. i love to get with family on Christmas day for a potluck dinner and to exchange gifts.

    Reply
  24. Cheryl Hart
    Cheryl Hart says:

    I love setting up my mother’s nativity. She died when I was a teen and it makes her feel near when I set up the scene that I’ve had every Christmas since I was a small child. 🙂

    I’d love The Governess of Highland Hall!

    Reply
  25. Roxanne C.
    Roxanne C. says:

    When my children were young, we would have cinnamon rolls and cocoa for supper on Christmas Eve. They were allowed to open one small gift before bedtime. Nowadays the favorite tradition of those remaining in the household is listening to Christmas music everyday during the holidays season right up to New Year.

    I’m eager to read Mountain Christmas Brides. Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  26. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds
    Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds says:

    We always went to Christmas Eve candle light service, then the family all contributed to food and goodies and we would play games and sing Christmas songs. Merry Christmas ??
    A Joyful Christmas

    Reply
  27. anna j Langevin
    anna j Langevin says:

    Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. Being a Canadian and growing up on Prince Edward Island, Eastern Canada I can’t think of Christmas without remembering all the snow. One of my treasured memories was Christmas morning and we would all come down stairs and my Dad would have a sheet closing off the living room so we could not see the tree or the gifts for me and my 3 sisters and 3 brothers.
    My dad would have us all go to church and have our breakfast before we could go into that room. Our faith is for another time. I always think of when that sheet came down, first my Dad would go in and turn on the lights and he would rattle presents to tease us a bit. Then my mom would go to one side of sheet and our parents would pull down the sheet.. Can’t you see it, presents for 7 children, Santa never had time at our house to wrap gifts so you were able to know what pile was yours and of course our Dad would begin to pass out other gifts and each person would open a gift while we all watched and lots of ooh’s and ah’s.. it was a glorious time. Oh yes the snow, later in the afternoon after our marvelous noontime Turkey dinner we would all go sledding, on a toboggan and just have fun in the snow. Such wonderful memories.

    Reply
  28. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    A Christmas tradition I used to do when my daughters and grandchildren were young, was making the cutout cookies, and decorating them with colored frosting. Some of the colors they made were pretty interesting, and, the grandkids were so pleased to show their mother. Now they’re all grown, and living in another state, but I still have fond memories.

    Romans 10:9-13

    Reply
  29. Erika Luther
    Erika Luther says:

    One of my special traditions is going to Christmas eve candlelight service. Your tree and decorations are so pretty! A Joyful Christmas looks like a good book. Have a blessed Christmas!

    Reply
  30. Emily Kopf
    Emily Kopf says:

    So many pretty books 🙂 A Christmas tradition of ours is to have a special breakfast on Christmas morning that we never make during the rest of the year — scones and an egg casserole. It’s pretty fun. If I would win the giveaway, I think I would either want The Governess of Highland Hall. I actually received it as a Christmas present when it first came out, but I would love to win another copy to give to my great aunt who LOVES stories set in that time period.

    Reply
  31. Arletta
    Arletta says:

    I’d love to read Moon over Manhatten simply because I’ve been hearing a lot about it. I’ve read a few of your other books you list above.

    Reply
  32. Linda Dodson
    Linda Dodson says:

    Making Christmas cookies with my two children was always fun. Now that my kids are grown, we continue with my daughter’s four boys. Last year we had chef’s aprons monogrammed and waiting for them. They were so excited to roll the dough and add the sprinkles to make their own creations. We also love to bring out all the collected ornaments from all the years past which tell a story in itself. Time together and sweet memories make Christmas special. And of course remembering that God gave us the ultimate gift when he sent Jesus our Savior. Our little family is a microcosm of His wonderful family that we get to be a part of.

    Reply
  33. CutePolarBear
    CutePolarBear says:

    One of the longstanding traditions in our family is the opening of Advent calendars every night, and this year it’s become even more meaningful.

    I would like to win Mountain Christmas Brides. Thanks for the giveaway!

    CutePolarBear

    Reply

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