We’re focusing on Christmas all this month! What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
I live close to a small town called Olds. The powers that be have played on the word and use it to their advantage by hosting an Olds Fashioned Christmas each year. It kicks off with a gigantic art and craft sale and specials throughout the town. There are some wonderful local artists so I love this show.
Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
Now that our kids are grown up and have left home our traditions have changed and now center on a big family celebration with as many as possible in attendance. Trying to keep our emphasis off material goods we usually donate our gift money to a worthy cause such as Samaritan’s Purse.
Do you have a favorite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?
Paul Brandt’s ‘The Way In a Manger is Easy to Find’ because he’s taken a familiar Christmas Carol and given it added meaning. Besides, it’s beautiful.
If you could spend Christmas any way you could how would you celebrate?
On a beach in Hawaii? LOL. Or maybe in a nice hotel where our whole family has reserved rooms . Everything is catered and we just have fun. Sigh. I wish it could happen.
Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
It’s funny but one of my most memorable Christmases was during a bitter cold winter. No one could visit. We couldn’t go anywhere. Just myself and my brother were still living at home and I, at least, was feeling a little deprived but that year one TV station played Shirley Temple movies each afternoon. As I recall it, the pair of us and our Mother sat mesmerized throughout those movies. Now my brother will likely say he was bored and my Mother was probably working on something while she enjoyed having the pair of us quiet but for me it was a real fun time.
What does a typical Christmas Eve and or Christmas Day look like for you?
Things have changed now that we are a household of 5 adults. So the day we celebrate Christmas (not necessarily on the 25th) is our big day. We (I, mostly) cook and finish preparing food. Then the family descends and after that it is happy chaos.
Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
Not particularly. I’ve tried watching the Shirley Temple movies again but they just aren’t as magical as they were back then.
Tell us a little about your book:
My story, "The Cowboy’s Christmas," is a novella in a book Christmas Under Western Skies. Anna Schmidt has the other novella. When I was asked to write the novella I wanted to do something that was more than about Christmas season but was also about the reason for Christmas. This story is about a woman who is found sleeping in a barn. There is no room for her in any home she has been in, including her own parental home. It was a joy to write this story.
Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
Enjoy every aspect of Christmas but don’t be overwhelmed by the expectations and commercialization of it so that you lose sight of the joy of God’s gift. And remember the less fortunate.