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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