Thursday, December 05, 2013

Nothing Short of A Miracle - Carol Henry

Nothing Short of A Miracle Christmas Traditions
Carol Henry

Christmas is the most traditional time of year at the Henry household, leftover traditions from my growing up years. Actually, the traditions start over Thanksgiving. Yes, we are Black Friday shoppers. At one time we would all hop up into my parent’s motor-home—between 10 – 12 of us, and my father would drive us to the mall. We’d pair up or go our separate ways, meet up in the middle of the mall, go to lunch, then sing Christmas Carols all the way home. In later years we’d car pool, meet at the mall, go for lunch, and finish shopping. We’d still sing Christmas Carols all the way home. Christmas Day, after my sisters had their own celebrations, we’d all gather at my home for dinner--all 40+ of us. Thankfully, our family room was big enough to handle all the relatives, kids, and even friends for a sit down meal. However, as we continued to grow in number, we gather at the local lodge for our festive gathering and sit down dinner. Anyone else out there a Black Friday shopper? How do you handle it?

Decorating the house starts right after Thanksgiving and in no time the house is festooned in glittering, sparkling lights for the season—inside and out. Cookie baking day with the grandgirls fills the house with the aroma of cinnamon, ginger, warmth, and laughter. This tradition started in the mid-1980s when my daughter married and moved to England while her husband served in the Air Force. My nieces came to help bake cookies to send to them. Later, when they came back with my first granddaughter in tow, the tradition continued. Ever since, the girls arrive early Saturday morning, and stir up memories along with cookies. Around 4:30 p.m. we gather around the decorated dining room table sparkling with china, crystal and silver where we enjoy a formal tea by candle light, while Christmas Carols serenade us in the background.

Christmas music fills the house, while my husband spends hours setting up his trains and village under the tree, I set up my David Winter Cottage Christmas houses and village scene on the mantle, and set up the nativity. The entire house is covered in Christmas greenery, reds and golds. It’s a festive and heartwarming time of year as we open our doors and entertain our friends, neighbors, and family right through up to and including New Year’s Eve. How much decorating do you do? When do you start putting up those lights?

With such inspiring family traditions, Nothing Short of A Miracle, just released from The Wild Rose Press in digital and print, was a such a joy to write. A spicy romantic story full of children, holiday spirit, spicy aromas, a crackling fire in the hearth, family gatherings searching for that perfect tree, decorating it, and singing Christmas Carols. And of course, that happy-ever-after just in time for the holidays. Enjoy. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Nikki said...

Sounds a lot like Christmas when I was young. The eldest of 6, I was used to a lot of noise and hubbub. Things are different now that we've gone our separate ways. Different but just as good.

I'm a Black Friday hider. Usually I've worked that day anyway, but hating crowds as I do, I avoid the madhouses. Thank goodness for handcrafts and internet shopping!

Wishing you lots of success with your book!

Liz Flaherty said...

Lovely memories!

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

We liked to watch While You Were Sleeping while we decorate the tree. It just puts us in the holiday mood. :)My children are grown. 26, 22 and 19. I miss the excitement of the little ones looking forward to Christmas morning and Santa Claus. My son is the only one living with us now, but between work, school and friends, we rarely see him. lol We do all get together for Christmas at my mothers. Lots of fun!

I wish you lots of luck with your book!

Carol Henry said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies. Sounds like we all have great memories during the holiday. Have a merry Christmas.

Maria K. Alexander said...

Hi Carol. I also start decorating the day after Thanksgiving. But you will not find me out at 5:00 am for Black Friday shopping. I hope you got some good deals this year. Good luck with your book and have a very Merry Christmas!

Carol Henry said...

Oh, Maria. I do not hit the malls at 5:00 a.m. We might leave the house at 7:00 and get to the stores around 8 after we pick everyone up, but we did have a great day shopping this year. I think my daughter got the prize for getting the most shopping done. We had a blast.

Debra St. John said...

I don't go anywhere near anything Black Friday. I'm a scardy cat! We spend the day decorating the house inside and out.

Christmas is both crazy and chaotic for us. With the hubby's family we're wild because there are seventeen of us. My family is a bit more calm as only five of us spend the day together.

Carol Henry said...

Debra, sounds like you have a tradition of your own, decorating on Black Friday. I bet everyone has a great time.