Hi Friends, I hope you’re enjoying your preparations for Christmas. I grew up in Oregon, so having a live Christmas tree brings back wonderful reminders 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.
When 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. Then there are 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. A Downton Abbey tea set, 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 Mountain Christmas Brides. A Man To Trust and Snowflake Sweethearts are set in the Northwest, so I included caroling and a Christmas tree cutting scene. 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. What was Christmas like during the Civil War? That was an interesting research question when I wrote Waiting for His Return. Just click on the covers to learn more about these books and to purchase a copy to enjoy this Christmas season!
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season, make some special memories with family and friends, and enjoy some heartwarming holiday stories!
Until Next Time, Happy Reading,