Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sandra Robbins and her husband live in the small college town where she grew up. Until a few years ago she was working as an elementary school principal, but God opened the door for her to become a full-time writer. Without the help of her wonderful husband, four children, and five grandchildren who have supported her dreams, it would be impossible for her to write. As a child Sandra accepted Jesus as her Savior and has depended on Him to guide her throughout her life. It is her prayer that God will use her words to plant seeds of hope in the lives of her readers. Sandra enjoys hearing from her readers. To find out more about Sandra and her books go to or contact her at

We’re focusing on Christmas all this month! What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?

I live in the South, so we very seldom have a white Christmas. Even without the snow, though, there are Christmas decorations everywhere. I love to drive through the different neighborhoods and see the lights that people have put up. Then there are the holiday foods that we eat—coconut cake, boiled custard, turkey and dressing, country ham, cranberry salad, sweet potatoes, and Christmas cookies, just to name a few. Oh, I can’t stand thinking about it! I’m getting too hungry.

Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?

When I was growing up, I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to arrive. Before we could open any presents, however, our family gathered around the Christmas tree, and my father read the Christmas story from the Bible and prayed. He continued doing that even after his children and grandchildren gathered at their house on Christmas morning. He’s gone now, but the tradition he and my mother started still lives. On Christmas morning, my mother along with my children, grandchildren, brother, sisters, nieces, and nephews will gather at my home. We will all grow quiet as we gather around the Christmas tree to hear the story we never tire of and give thanks for the Savior who came to earth.

Do you have a favorite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?

"Silent Night" is my favorite Christmas Carol. The beautiful melody and the message of the words truly tell the story of Christmas. We’ve all heard the story of how Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr wrote the song for a Christmas Eve service in 1818 and sang it to the accompaniment of a guitar because the church organ wouldn’t play. Although that story has been reported through the years, some doubt it really happened that way. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter why they wrote the song. Every time I hear it, I close my eyes and try to imagine what it was like in the snow-covered village of Oberndorf, Austria, that Christmas Eve night as the choir sang of Christ’s birth to the accompaniment of a guitar.

If you could spend Christmas any way you could how would you celebrate?

I wouldn’t do anything differently than the way I spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day now. But I’ve always had the desire to go either before or after Christmas to Williamsburg, Virginia, and see the historic houses there decorated for Christmas. I’ve been to Williamsburg several times but never at Christmas. I would love to see how people decorated their homes in America 200 years ago.

Do you have any special memories of Christmas?

When I was a child, my family went to my grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner. Since my father had five brothers and one sister, I was always excited about getting there and seeing my 30+ cousins. My grandparents, my uncles, my aunt, and many of my cousins have passed away, but I still have the memories we shared. One of my uncles had a movie camera and made home movies for many years. I still enjoy watching those old movies and remembering what it was like when I was a child and couldn’t wait for Christmas to arrive each year.

What does a typical Christmas Eve and or Christmas Day look like for you?

Ever since I can remember, Christmas Eve has been a time for gathering the family together. When I was a child, we always had a house full of extended family members together on Christmas Eve. Then Christmas morning, it was our immediate family together before we left for my grandparents’ home. That tradition has carried over. Now on Christmas Eve my husband, children, and grandchildren, gather at my sister’s house for dinner with her family and my brother’s. Then on Christmas morning, the whole bunch comes to my house for brunch about 10:00. That gives each household time to open presents with their immediate family and then get together for a larger gathering. Everybody usually stays all day and spends their time playing board games, watching television, or munching on whatever is left in the kitchen. .

Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?

Oh, I do! I watch Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood and It’s a Wonderful Life with James Stewart and Donna Reed every year. One that has become a family favorite, though, is A Christmas Story with Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley as Ralphie who wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. A few years ago my daughter found a miniature leg lamp (like the one in the movie) and gave it to my son for Christmas. We had a good laugh over that.

As for books, I have a new favorite that was written by my dear friend Terri Jenkins-Brady. The name of it is Three Wise Cats and tells the adventures of three cats who stow away with the three wise men to find the baby Jesus.

Tell us a little about your book:

Yuletide Defender is a romantic suspense from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, and it has a Christmas theme. The plot involves an anonymous source who tells Rachel Long, a determined newspaper reporter, he believes a vigilante is responsible for the deaths of gang members in the city. Rachel who needs a big story to advance her career decides to find out the truth. Matt Franklin, a police detective, is worried for the feisty reporter who keeps showing up in the wrong part of town and becomes her protector. The two of them find that a threatening gang war is propelling them to a showdown—just in time for Christmas.

Where did you get the idea for Yuletide Defender?

It was an idea that popped into my head one day. I think I’d read something about a reporter not wanting to reveal a confidential source, and I thought that would make a good plot. As I thought about it more, the idea of gang murders came to mind, then the vigilante. After I sent the proposal to my editor, she asked if I could incorporate a Christmas theme. I really enjoyed writing my characters into situations that seemed so opposite to all the Christmas cheer that surrounded them.

Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?

I saw a segment on one of the television talk shows the other day about how stressful Christmas can become because of spending time with family members. People rush around getting ready for the holiday and have a vision that their Christmas will be like a scene from Currier and Ives, and they become disappointed when it doesn’t live up to their expectations. I think that instead of putting too much attention on all the decorations, presents, and food that we think will produce a wonderful day, we need to enjoy the people that God has put in our lives. What if a present’s not wrapped, the cookies burned, or the Christmas tree doesn’t have enough lights? In the big picture of life, those things aren’t important. The time we have with those we love is a special gift from God and one that can’t be relived if we let the moment slip away. Take time to love your family this Christmas and enjoy being with them.

I hope everyone will have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  1. Hi Bonnie. I'm glad you like the title. It took a lot of brainstorming with my editor before we settled on the final title. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

    Sandra Robbins


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