The six authors participating in this anthology are: USA Today bestseller Leigh Greenwood, USA Today bestseller Rosanne Bittner, New York Times bestseller Linda Broday, RITA finalist Anna Schmidt, New York Times bestseller Margaret Brownley, and USA Today bestseller Amy Sandas.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Leigh: I’m not sure I have one. When I was married and the children were young, it was sometimes Christmas. We would get up early, have breakfast, after which I would hand out the gifts. Or it could have been Thanksgiving. My mother and my older son have birthdays three days apart (Nov. 22nd, 25th), so Mom and other relatives would come over for a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner with the best china, crystal, and a fancy tablecloth we bought somewhere in Europe. Cleanup was a group affair.
Rosanne: My favorite holiday tradition is decorating the swing bench on my porch with lots of teddy bears and covering them with a Christmas design afghan in red, green and white. It’s so cute, and a warm greeting for everyone who comes to the door.
Linda: All my family gathers on Christmas morning for breakfast. We always try one new dish. Some have been amazing. And then we open gifts. The older ones like to sit back and watch the kiddoes and capture pictures of their faces on their cell phone. It’s my favorite tradition because it brings us all together and the warmth of love surrounds us. Family is everything to me and maybe that’s why I always write about it in my stories.
Margaret: Our family had two favorite traditions.
When the children were young, we’d set an empty manger on the mantel next to a bowl of hay. When a family member did a kindness to another, a piece of hay would be added to the manger. By Christmas Eve, the baby Jesus always had a soft bed on which to celebrate his birthday.
Another family tradition evolved accidentally. We called it the “Guess what Santa left on the roof” game. It all started one dismal day in January when I found a set of building blocks hidden in my closet that Santa was supposed to have left under the tree. My solution was to announce that I’d found it on the roof. Santa must have dropped it. The kids loved it and it really brightened the day. Every year after that, Santa always left a surprise on the roof to be found after Christmas. The funny part is that no one ever asked what Mom was doing on the roof.
Anna: Before he died five years ago, my husband and I used to take a drive around whatever town we were in on Christmas night looking at all the decorations; we would crank up a Christmas carol CD and sing along. Even now that he’s gone, I still do that—and I’m pretty sure I hear him singing as well!
Amy: My favorite holiday tradition is our family’s annual hunt for a Christmas tree. We live in an area with a variety of Christmas tree farms where you can select and cut your own tree. Every year, my husband and I bundle up our three kids and head out on snowy roads to find the perfect tree. Our favorite tree farm offers tractor-drawn wagon rides out to the fields where evergreens grow in neat little rows. After the kids run around and argue over which tree they’d like to bring home, we settle on one we all love and my husband saws it down. The kids take turns dragging the tree to the road where we hop back into the wagon for a ride to the barn. There is warm apple cider and cookies to enjoy while the tree is shaken free of snow and strapped to the roof of our vehicle for the journey home. Despite sometimes frigid temps, it’s a day I always look forward to.
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