2 December 2010

Focus on Christmas with Julie Lessman and giveaway

Please help me welcome Julie Lessman to my blog today. I am starting my Focus on Christmas series for December and have an interview a week lined up so far.  I love Christmas and love hearing how others celebrate as in Australia we do not associate snow and cold with Christmas. Thanks Julie for stopping by today.








1. Firstly thanks for coming to my blog to focus on Christmas. What do you most associate with Christmas where you live? 
Well, since I have MSD (the dreaded Martha Stewart Disease) and am an ambiance queen, I would have to say that my hearth room/kitchen area is the thing I most associate with Christmas because I go CRAZY with decorations. It's very private since it runs the length of the back of the house facing snow-laden woods (as I write this), and it's where my family and I spend most of our time. With a cozy and crackling fireplace decorated with a wreath, greenery, twinkle lights, a stuffed reindeer family in skates on a sled, Father Christmas and LOTS of candles, it's the perfect place to sit with my feet up, my laptop and a hot cup of cinnamon hazelnut coffee.  
There's also a simple but elegant Christmas tree, greenery around the screened-in porch French doors with Christmas cards hanging on it and mistletoe (of course!), reindeer and greenery over my kitchen window, and live greenery on the dining-room table strewn with gold gauzy ribbon, twinkle lights and gold and silver strings of beads. But … as glitzy and ga-ga as I go over décor, I would have to say that one of my favorite decorations is a very simple, foot-high wood carving of Joseph leading a pregnant Mary to Bethlehem on a donkey, which sits smack-dab on my kitchen windowsill, reminding me every day what Christmas is really all about.
  
2. Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time? 
Yes!! For years I would fix a big breakfast with scrambled eggs, hashed browns, bacon, cinnamon rolls or monkey bread on Christmas morning after we would open presents. But one very special Christmas when my son was twelve and my daughter seven, they surprised my husband and me with a big breakfast instead. I remember waking up to the smell of bacon and Keith and I both bolting out of our bedroom thinking the house was on fire till the kids shooed us back to bed. That went on for years until my son got married. Now my daughter and I do it for everyone after we open presents, followed by a reading of the Christmas story from the Bible and a time of prayer and gratitude to God for all our many blessings.  


3. Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?  
There is an Amy Grant song on her Christmas album called Emmanuel that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it because it is so haunting, especially the lyric lines: And still he calls through the night, beyond the days of old, a voice of peace to the weary ones who struggle with the human soul.  


4. If you could spend Christmas anyway you could, how would you celebrate? 
Just like we do now. J 


5. Do you have any special memories of Christmas? 
As one of thirteen kids, I'd wake up Christmas morning to a wall of presents halfway up our ceiling-height tree. I remember it being pure chaos with everyone opening gifts at the same time, paper flying and everything over within minutes. It wasn't until I married and we adapted my husband's family tradition of sitting in a circle while each person took their turn opening one present at a time that I realized how magical and peaceful Christmas could be. Lots of ooohhs and ahhhs laced with love and gratitude while we enjoyed the unwrapping of other's gifts as well as our own. Pure bliss!!  


6. What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for you. 
Christmas Eve day is spent wrapping presents while watching old movies in the hearth room before heading to my mother-in-law's house for a dinner of Subway sandwiches, mostaccioli, potato salad, her famous meatballs, etc. prior to opening one to two gifts for everyone. 
Christmas morning, my son and daughter-in-law come over with the grand-dogs (two golden retrievers named Albert and Annie) and we eat a big breakfast, then open one present at a time in the living room (for the dogs too!), followed by Bible reading and prayer. Then we traipse off to my sister-in-law's house for Christmas appetizers/dinner in the afternoon. All in all, a pretty wonderful (and pound-heavy) celebration!!   


7. Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year? 
I usually like to watch Sound of Music or My Fair Lady, but my husband absolutely insists on watching White Christmasevery single year and … of course … both my son and husband LOVE Christmas Vacation.  


8. Do you have a Christmas message for my readers? 
Yes!! I pray for a happy and holy holiday season for everyone, followed by a new year that brings each of us even closer to the Father's heart. 
Thanks, Jenny, for hosting me on your blog!
I LOVE to hear from readers, so they can contact me through my Web site at http://www.julielessman.com/, either by sending an e-mail via my site or by signing up for my newsletter at http://www.julielessman.com/sign-up-for-newsletter/. My newsletter is chock-full of fun info on my books and there's always a contest going on. Also, I have a cool feature on my website called “Journal Jots,” which is a very laid-back, 3- times-weekly journal to my reader friends that would give your readers an idea as to my relaxed style of writing. Here's the link: http://www.julielessman.com/journal-jots/.


Finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog, (http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/), a group blog devoted to encouraging and helping aspiring writers on the road to publication.





WINDS OF CHANGE SERIES, BOOK 1 -- A HOPE UNDAUNTED:
 

What happens when the boy she loved to hate ...
becomes the man she hates to love? 
The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman -- smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband -- good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Cluny McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face to face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever? 






AUTHOR BIO FOR JULIE LESSMAN

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 13 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as “Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction” at http://www.borders.com/online/store/ListView_best2009favefiction. She resides in Missouri with her husband, daughter, son and daughter-in-law and is the author of “The Daughters of Boston” series, which includes A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied, as well as the recently released A Hope Undaunted, book 1 of her brand-new “Winds of Change” series. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com.





Contest:

Julie has kindly offered one commenters the choice of one of her books. For a chance to win comment with your favourite Christmas carol or movie and why if you have a reason. You have till Friday Dec 10 6pm Aussie time.

47 comments:

Laetitia :-) said...

Orana to Christmas Day - Aussie carol;
O Little Town of Bethlehem - just always loved the tune - either tune;
God rest ye merry people all - the first verse has a reminder of why Jesus was born in the first place;
O Come, O Come, Immanuel - actually an advent carol - I just love its minor key;
O Holy Night - I can reach the high note :-)

Can I have 5 entries? ;-)

CarolM said...

Movie?

Should I be honest and say Christmas Vacation or slightly less honest but more girlie and say either Miracle on 34th Street [though the original is slightly better IMO].

Carol?

Um, they're all named after me. What else do I need to say?

Honestly, I don't know but I have fond recollections of Leroy the Redneck Reindeer by Joe Diffie. Been years since I heard it though.

I also have fond memories of many of the standard classic Christmas Carols.

Julie Lessman said...

JENNY!!! Thanks SOOO much for hosting me on your blog, and I'm anxious to get some Christmas movie suggestions that I haven't seen yet, so fire away, everybody!!

LAETITIA!!! Grin ... nice try, girl, but I'm not sure "five" entries would be legit, but I admire your spunk!! ;) Never heard of the Aussie carol, but the rest are some of my favorites! Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest. :)

CAROL!!! Now WHY am I NOT surprised to see you here??? Do you EVER sleep??? Oh, go ahead and say Christmas Vacation, my friend, because it SOOO fits you, which is a compliment! It's my husband and son's favorite Christmas movie (after White Christmas for my hubby), so it's a given for the Lessmans. Good luck in the contest, CM!

Hugs,
Julie

Wendy said...

Little Drummer Boy - I have always loved it and the animated show. I don't have a reason - I just like it.
wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

Andrea Schultz said...

It's not really a carol, but it defines Christmas for me - Händel's Hallelujah Chorus!

Merry Christmas!

Blessings -

Andrea Schultz
andrealschultz at gmail dot com

Ponderings by Andrea blog
http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com

Ann Lee Miller said...

I would love to win one of Julie's books. Yesterday my daughter was hunting for A Passion Most Pure, and I remembered a friend borrowed it and didn't return it. Grrrr.

Anyway, to get over my pique, my favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas.:)

Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com
AnnLeeMiller.com

Lisa said...

Hey Julie,
I have to say on of my favorite Christmas movies is A Christmas Story. My husband got me hooked on watching it. Talked to you yesterday on Journal Jots it was a blast!! Take care!!

Martha A. said...

Well, I grew up singing Christmas carols all year round. One time my brother requested Hark the Herald Angels sing in June and it started snowing. = )
I think my favorite though is "One Small Child" It is so beautiful! I got to help to sing in a Choir a couple times, we did that one and the Messiah another time. I love the Messiah too!

Favorite Christmas movie...well, I don't know I have a real favorite, but I like Holiday Inn and then i loved Christmas in Connecticut
martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Kav said...

It was fun to get a glimpse into your holiday life, Julie. I see there's no writing involved! LOL.

I love so many Christmas Carols but O Holy Night has to be one of my favourites. It isn't Christmas unless I have heard someone singing it live.

As for movies -- I love the Hallmark ones and their commercials too. Always good for a holiday cry. :-)

Please don't enter me in the contest because I have all of Julie's books.

Merry Christmas, ladies!

Tina Pinson said...

Stopping in to say hello.

I liked a Christmas story but only because, thanks to my sisters and an Alaskan winter, I lived it.

My favs for Holiday Movies would have to involve IT's a Wonderful Life. The Little Shop Around the Corner. Holiday Inn.

As for music, I like the Hallelujah Chorus, but I love Do You Hear What I Hear. Happy Birthday, Jesus and Born to Die. There's also the Chipmunk Christmas song and a little song Dear Santa, about a boy who is willing to give up all his gifts just to get his father home for Christmas. Makes me cry everytime.

I think that's the beauty of a good Christmas song or movie, the way they tug at your heart and remind you of Christmases past.

OF course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a couple of Christmas songs that I wrote.

Which no one has heard, but I like them.

:0)

Ausjenny said...

Thanks all for commenting and adding a carol or movie some interesting ones.

and Laetitia I admire you style too.

I love O Holy Night have loved it since the first time I heard it on Young and the Restless. I was still at High school so would have been the end of the 70's. I know love Mary did You Know.

My Fave movie is Christmas shoes Love the song and movie and I have the sequel Christmas Blessing. I noticed there is a third one now in the series forget the name.
I also like one with Angela Landsbury Mrs Claus (I think thats its name) Shes in New York I think but around the time alot of Irish came to America and children were working in dodgy factories and dangerous conditions.

Audra Harders said...

Julie, I can't even imagine 13 kids attacking a tree at Christmas! How fun! (Don't let my kids hear me say that. I always insisted on the oooo and ahhh type of present opening : )

Your hearth room sounds gorgeous! I don't have a lick of decorating style in me. So glad my daughter took over the reins on that one. I love and appreciate holiday decorations though. My aunt spends hours fixing her home for the holidays, inside and out. We walk in on Christmas Eve for dinner and presents and find a wonderland.

Love your traditions, Julie. They sound very...you.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Patsy said...

I love the Chistmas movie The Christmas List. Haven't seen it in a while though. It proves that good wins out in the end.
Would love one of Julie's books.
plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, WENDY, I think Little Drummer Boy would be in the top five favorite carols of all time, don't you? I love it!! Good luck in the contest. :)

ANDREA ... I agree!! And Merry Christmas to you and yours during this holiest of seasons.

ANN!!! Don't you just HATE that??? I was looking for Redeeming Love recently (to lend to someone), and whoever I gave it to last still had it!! Grrr ... I watch White Christmas every single year whether I want to or not ... by order of the "king" in our household -- it's his favorite, you know. :) Good luck, sweetie.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LISA!!! Yes, thank you SO much for coming by to visit at Journal Jots -- it was fun, wasn't it?? The only way it could be better is if I could have everybody at my house in front of the fire with hot hazelnut coffee, cherry pomegranate tea or hot chocolate with whipped cream. YUM!!

MARTHA, no kidding??? Snow in June? Gosh, where do you live, kiddo?? I know I've seen snow in May in St. Louis, so if you're a bit further north, I have no doubt that could happen. And I have never seen (or heard of) Christmas in Connecticut, so I will have to check that out.

KAV!!! Thanks for popping in, sweetie -- SO appreciated! And, uh, nope, not much writing done lately, I'm ashamed to say, BUT ... I did start back today after almost three months of other things like edits, vacation, book/series launch, blog interviews, ACFW conference and teaching a week-long writer's workshop. Feels SO good to get back in to my last O'Connor book ... and sad too. :( Oh, and the Hallmark commercials make mincemeat out of me -- reducing me to a blubbering fool!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

TINA ... Little Shop Around the Corner -- YES!!! I LOVE that movie, which is what You've Got Mail was loosely based on, I believe! And you write songs too??? You are a Jack of all trades, girlfriend!! Thanks for coming by.

JENNY ... YES!!! Mary, Did You Know is one of my all-time favs because my daughter Amy sang it in the Christmas show when she was about eight. Sooooo precious!!

AUDRA!!! SOOOOO fun to see one of my Seeker buds here, girlfriend! I've actually been thinking of you a lot because of ACFW next year ... wondering if you need a place to stay pre-conference?? Think about it, K? Thanks for dropping in, sweetie -- MUCH appreciated!

Hugs,
Julie

PurlingPenny said...

Have you ever watched The Christmas Shoes? It's my favourite Christmas movie....... perfect to snuggle up with your family and pass the tissues to each other through. As for favourite carol.... wow that's a tough one. I think I like them all, even the ones I've never heard. :) Each one is such a poignant reminder of Heaven's gift. Jenny thanks for the introduction to Julie as I'm always delighted to meet authors I've never read. Julie, I can't wait to read your books! You're on my list to my next trip to my book store. Merry Christmas!

Ausjenny said...

Hey Penny so good to see you here. I love Christmas shoes and you are right about the tissues have you seen Christmas Blessing its when Nathan has grown up and I saw there is another one on christmasbook but cant remember the name.
Penny You would love Julies books (they are 400 pages +)

sheri said...

Hi Julie, I enjoyed reading about your Christmas and your Hearth room sounds so inviting. My favorite Christmas movie is "Christmas in Connecticutt" with Barbara Stanwick. She gets herself in quite a predicament when as the author of a column on cooking she has to pretend to really be the domestic cooking type for some people who want to see her home and meet her family (that she doesn't really have)! The setting is romantic and the movie is warm and funny by turn. Have you seen it? Sheri Richter

Michelle said...

Hi Jenny and Julie (I bet you're SO surprised to see me here!!). My favorite Christmas movie is One Magic Christmas. It's been my favorite since I was a teenager. My mom and I saw it at the theater, and I've been in love with it ever since. I just makes my heart happy every time I watch it. Christmas would not be complete without it! :-)

Thanks for entering my name into the hat!

Blessings,
Michelle
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Ausjenny said...

Thanks Sheri and Michelle for coming here (and Sheri you are entered she told me she forgot to enter)
I haven't seen One Magic Christmas I dont think will check it out.
Sheri Im not sure about Christmas in Connecticut will chedk it out too.
I just love this time of year. I am decoracting the house (not as much as Julie but some) the tree is getting its icicles next.

by Pegg Thomas said...

My favorite Christmas song is "What Child is This" followed closely by "Mary, Did You Know". My favorite Christmas movies are "White Christmas", so I agree with your hubby, and "Miracle on 34th Street", the original, and "The Bishop's Wife". I guess I have a lot of favorites! Thanks for entering me in your drawing.

Pegg
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Nancy Sanders said...

My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night---not quite sure why but it always has been

Julie Lessman said...

PENNY!!! You're new to my books, eh? Well, girl, we are definitely going to have to change that, aren't we?? And don't buy it just yet, because you may win it here, right? But then if you DO buy it, you can always win the 2nd one here, so it's your call. Just make sure you start with book 1 of The Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Most Pure, which won American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Book of the Year because this is one series you definitely want to read in order. It's one of the few romances where you do NOT know who the heroine will end up with and also, there are a number of big surprises that would be ruined if read out of order, okay? Thanks for your interest and good luck in the contest!

JENNY, I have never seen Christmas Shoes, so I guess I will have to remedy that very soon -- thanks, Penny, for the suggestion.

SHERI ... Thanks SO much for giving me a short synopsis of Christmas in Connecticut -- it sounds GREAT, and I just love Barbara Stanwyck, so I will definitely look into it.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MICHELLE!!! Surprise, surprise!! I immediately looked up One Magic Christmas on Amazon after you told me that, and it does look REALLY good. And I like Mary Steenburgen, so I'm toying with the idea of purchasing it. The only thing that stops me is that the review said it's a bit depressing, but heartwarming. Not sure I'm gung-ho for the depressing part, but if you assure me it's not bad, I probably will consider it. Thanks for coming by, girl, and good luck in the contest!

JENNY ... I used to LOVE putting icicles on my tree (you're talking about tinsel, right??), but have stopped in recent years because of the mess it makes. Seems like I would still be vacuuming tinsel up in July sometimes. :)

PEGG ... oh, YEAH, I LOVE "What Child is This" too and especially "Mary, Did you Know?" That one chokes me up every single time! :)

Hey, NANCE, thanks for coming by, and I'd say "O Holy Night" has got to be in the top five or ten best carols of all time. Good luck in the contest and Merry Christmas!

Hugs,
Julie

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Julie and Jenny, so nice to spend some time with you.

If we're talking favourite carols, I have to tell you about one I learned in Grade 7 which has stayed with me over all these years... it's called Te Harinui from New Zealand:

Not on a snowy night
By star or candlelight
Nor by an angel band
There came to our dear land

Chorus: Te Harinui
Te Harinui
Te Hari-nu-i
Glad tid-ings of great joy

But on a summer day
Within a quiet bay
The Maori people heard
The great and glorious word

The people gathered round
Upon the grassy ground
And heard the preacher say
I bring to you this day

Now in this blessed land
United heart and hand
We praise the glorious birth
And sing to all the earth



And then a family favourite up here in Canada is Rolf Harris and his Aussie song Six White Boomers

Actually, I think I'll go do a post on it with the You Tube video right now. :D

Anita Mae.
anitamaedraper (at) hotmail (dot) com

Ausjenny said...

Hi Anita Mae,
the NZ look like a lovely song. last night we had a christmas social and one lady is from NZ and sang O Come all ye faithful in Maori.

I do like Six White Boomers it is special.

Renee Ann said...

When I saw this advertised on Seekerville, I hopped over to visit and am so glad I did! I love to read about others' Christmas memories and traditions. Sounds like you make your house a lovely, welcoming wonderland, Julie! And thirteen kids . . . wow! Isn't it funny how the older we get the more we want to make those special times last with opening one gift at a time and such? Time goes so quickly . . .

The Amy Grant song you mentioned is beautiful, but I'd have to say my favorite Christmas carol right now is a version of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns. It's not sweet and pretty, but the way it's performed reminds me that God's message of peace transcends the chaos of the world. And one of my favorite movies is The Christmas Wish, with Neil Patrick Harris and Debbie Reynolds. It's a must-see!

Has anyone read the short story On Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck? It reminds me of Julie's children surprising her with breakfast . . .

I'd like to be included in this giveaway because my sisters will be visiting from out of state for Christmas and that means the books I have in the house will be up for grabs. Blessings all! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Debra E. Marvin said...

Merry, or is it Happy, Christmas to you AusJenny. I loved your Christmas Interview of Julie!

Julie, I'm in no way surprised you have MSD. You've inspired me to get my Amy Grant Christmas CD out now and hear that song again. I love her 'Breath of Heaven' for sure!

Cheers to you all, great comments and I'm especially intrigued by Six White Boomers...hmmmm.

I'd love to be in the drawing for A Hope Undaunted and I'm going to bookmark your site and catch up on older posts.

Ausjenny said...

Hi Renee and Debra,
thanks for the Happy Christmas, Here in Australia in mums time and a later Merry meant tipsy or drunk and as mum had an alcoholic father she cringes at Merry Christmas so we do tend to say Happy Christmas. It is ingrained in me so I normally will write Happy, joyous, blessed rather than merry.

Renee Havent read the book you mentioned but sounds cute.

Debra The Six White boomers is great as reindeer dont like heat but white Kangaroos do! Also they reunite a lost joey with his mum.

I will be having about 5 more Christmas memory posts. I hope you will all come back.

Lady DragonKeeper said...

I noticed a lot of you mentioning Donna Van Liere's "Christmas Shoes" books/movies. The second one, "The Christmas Blessing" is my favorite. =) As of 2009, there was five in the series, but only the first three follow Nathan (the little boy in the first story), and the other characters. The third is "The Christmas Hope," then "Then Christmas Promise," and "The Christmas Secret." I'd suggest borrowing them from your local library to see if you like them . . . I read the first four, and I was disappointed that the 4th book didn't follow Nathan . . . but I think some other characters were there (I read it a couple years ago, so I don't remember). =D

One of my favorite Christmas carols is "Greensleeves (What Child is This)" --I think because of the music. =) One of the "newer" Christmas songs I love is "I Celebrate the Day" by Relient K --YouTube it, or listen to it online somewhere . . . even if you don't usually listen to them. Amazing lyrics: "To look back / And think that / This baby would one day save me / And the first time that you opened your eyes / Did you realize that you would be my Savior? / And the first breath that left your lips / Did you know that you would change this world forever?" It's really a beautiful song . . . =D

For a more "fun" Christmas song . . . I like hearing all the different versions of "The 12 Days of Christmas" =P

Thanks for the chance to win!

jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

Ausjenny said...

I haven't read the books by Donna Van Liere but have been wanting to we dont have them here at our library.
I have the first 2 dvds and want the third one. Didn't realise they dont all follow Nathan.

I like the aussie version of the 12 days of christmas.

Oh What Child is this is a great song and whats funny is we have an icecream van come round in summer and it plays Greensleeves as its coming and I sing What Child is this.

Julie Lessman said...

ANITA MAE!!! Well, girl, you are educating me here because I have NEVER heard of the Six White Boomers, but I clicked on the link, and it's a cute song. It's fun to see Christmas favorites and traditions from around the globe. Thanks for coming by, my friend.

RENEE ANN, thanks SO much for hopping over here (no Aussie pun intended) from Seekerville, girl -- MUCH appreciated!! I have never seen The Christmas Wish, but I looked it up on Amazon, and it has FABULOUS reviews, so I will have to check it out -- thank you!! And I've not read the Pearl S. Buck short story either, so I'm feeling really slighted about now ... :) Will have to remedy that. And how fun having your sisters come to your house for Christmas!!! Here's to a house full of God's blessings with lots of laughter, love and ... uh, good books! ;)

DEB!!! Always love seeing your smiling face, girl, so thanks for coming by and yeah, I'm still in therapy for MSD, but I am getting better. Can actually make twice-baked potatoes now without piping in someone's name ... :)

Hey, LDK ... always wondered how it would be to have Christmas in Hawaii. Have you ever even seen snow??? And, yes, lots of people have mentioned Christmas Shoes, but I have not seen it or the sequels, I'm ashamed to say. But I do LOVE Greensleeves, and the lyrics you typed for I Celebrate the Day gave me goosebumps -- absolutely beautiful!! Good luck in the contest, my friend.

Hugs,
Julie

Lady DragonKeeper said...

Other than the weather and climate, I'd imagine it'd be quite similar to the rest of America. =) It's gets around the 60s-70s F and then it'll warm up during the day . . . cooler than the rest of the year, but only cold to those of us who live here, I guess . . . =)
Haha, my family lived on the "mainland" for a couple of years, but I was toddler aged, so I've seen snow (I have photographic and video evidence), I just don't remeber it. ;-)
It actually does snow in Hawaii . . . on Mauna Kea on the Big Island. It's not a residential area or anything, but people drive up there and play in the snow and stuff. I don't think it gets really heavy snowfall though. =D

Ausjenny said...

LDK, Thats cool about snow in Hawaii,
I am coming over in Jan for 13 nights. hope to do day trips to 3 of the islands.
I have never seen fresh snow.
Your temps sound great. we can have anywhere from 70- 100+ on Christmas day.

Julie Lessman said...

LDK ..."60s-70s"???? Okay, I am officially not talking to you anymore, you little brat -- that is just NOT fair!! Of course, that never would have sounded good to me about five years ago, as I have ALWAYS liked snow and winter because it's SO romantic and cozy to sit in front of a fire with hot cocoa (or in my case, hot hazelnut coffee!!). BUT ... my bones must be getting old OR wising up, because 60s to 70s sounds REAL good to me right about now for Christmas ... :)

And, JENNY!!! You have never seen fresh snow??? WOW, that shocks me too, but I guess I don't know much about weather down under, except I do know it's opposite of us ...

Hugs,
Julie

Lady DragonKeeper said...

@ Ms. Jenny - I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself --I'd definitely suggest going hiking if you like that kind of stuff. I think it's a nice way to see the scenery. As a family, we don't get out hiking too much, so I don't know about the trails around here but researching is pretty easy with the internet ... =)

@ Ms. Julie -Is that a cue that I should duck some virtual snowballs? LOL, just kidding. =P
I like the idea of snow too ... and it makes everything look "Hallmark-card-Christmasy." =)
I'm much more appreciative for the milder weather here since I went to Colorado for a camp this summer. It was up in the mountains, so it got pretty cold --even the mainland kids were cold, so I knew it wasn't just me. =P

Ausjenny said...

LDK thanks for the info. I plan to see some of the nature sites. I like that rather than shopping. I am so looking forward to coming. I dont know anyone there but Im sure I will still have a wonderful time. Is it very humid in Jan over there. (we have a fairly dry heat here normally but this week its been so humid and temps up near 100 and i dont like it like this).

Julie I went to Whistler in Sept and I was going to see snow for the first time. Well I saw old snow and could have had the same effect by defrosting my freezer and putting it out on the lawn. it was like ice and a real disappointment. It was the first time but not what I thought. Seeing the snow on the top of the mountains was wonderful but I want to fresh snow. We dont get snow here where I live.

Lady DragonKeeper said...

The town where I live is on the south western side of Oahu and it's very dry there . . . so I don't think we have a lot of humidity, but it probably depends where you are.

According to this site: http://www.hawaii.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=34
around August is when the humidity is at it's highest and January is pretty dry, so in that case, you picked a good month to visit. =)

Maryrose said...

The decorations are what i associate Christmas with the most, becuase i see them and they fill me with joy. A special family tradition is that my family and I always bake Christmas cookies together and then decorate the tree. I think that my favorite Christmas song is What Child is This?, because it is telling about baby Jesus. I would spend my Christmas the way I have always spent it. My special memory is that we would always go up to the mountains to get our Christmas tree. Christmas eve we spend wrapping gifts and then going to chruch. Christmas morning we unwrap our gifts. We always watch White Christmas. I have a message for everyone. May you all have a wonderful Christmas season and if you are traveling have a safe journey, and God bless!

Julie Lessman said...

LDK ... grin, no, I think you're safe, sweetie -- I like you too much. Besides, you like my books, so that exonerates you!! :)

JENNY ... oh, you meant "new snow" vs. "old snow," I see! Yes, there is definitely a difference!! Wish I could send you some ...

Wow, MARYROSE, you sound like an old-fashioned type of girl whose Christmas seasons were filled with everything they way it should have been. Baking Christmas cookies as a family and chopping down one's own tree make Christmas all the more special and beautiful. Uh, except in my house when it came to the cookies!! I have the dreaded Martha Steward Syndrome where I'd make three colors of icing for the cut-out sugar cookies and it would take me 20 minutes per cookie!! My kids always wanted me to give their cookies to the neighbors and eat mine instead ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Andrea Strong said...

As a native of Southern Missouri, USA, I am uncertain of Aussie time. So I hope I'm not too late to enter. My favorite Christmas song changes every few years. This year it is "Welcome to Our World." The last verse says:

So wrap our injured flesh around you.
Breathe our air and walk our sod Rob our sin and make us holy, Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

My favorite Christmas movie is "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" because it's one of the only Christmas television specials that does not assume that Christmas will be ruined if Santa can't deliver presents. It does the opposite in fact. It says that Christmas is what it is even if there are no presents or feasts.

Ausjenny said...

Mary Rose we make what you call cookies we call biscuits every christmas too. we made them other times to but at christmas would take them to the elderly, neighbours, and people who had helped during the year.

Andrea there is still another day and bit. we are about 14 and a half hours ahead.

I hadn't thought of it but it is good to show presents are not what christmas is about. or feasts.

I watch the Christmas Card last night. it was really good.

Alex Brown said...

Hey Ms. Lessman!! My favorite Christmas carol is "Carol of the Bells/Sing We Now for Christmas." It has this really dramatic part towards the end that I love listening to!! My favorite Christams movie is Elf because its really funny and it shows how much Buddy loves his dad and how far he'll go to show his dad his love (kinda like God does for us!!). Have a Merry Christmas!!

Breanna said...

I love the movie Little Women, and yes I count it as a Christmas movie :) Either that or White Christmas-I love Bing Crosby!
I would love a Julie Lessman book :)

bberry96@aol.com

Julie Lessman said...

ANDREA!!! Southern Missouri and friend of Carol -- ROAD TRIP!!! Are you planning on going to ACFW next year with Carol, I hope? I would LOVE to meet you both!! And, WOW, I've never heard of "Welcome to Our World," but those are powerful lyrics!! Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

ALEX!!! Soooo good to see you here, sweetie -- thanks for coming by!! I absolutely LOVE "Carol of the Bells" -- I think it may be my favorite carol of all, or at least in the top three! My kids LOVE Elf, but would you believe I have never seen it??? Will have to remedy that ... Merry Christmas to you, too, my friend, and I'm sure it will be for the "Three Musketeers" -- you, Blake and Ari!!

BREANNA ... You know, in my mind I see Little Women as kind of a Christmas movie too, and of course I love it!! And I would LOVE for you to have a Julie Lessman book too, ESPECIALLY if you have never read one. If you haven't and plan to, PLEASE begin with book 1, A Passion Most Pure, WHICH, coincidentally enough, one reviewer said reminded her of Little Women!! This is a series that really needs to be read in order for the optimum reading experience due to a number of big surprises, okay? Good luck in the contest, Breanna!

Hugs,
Julie

Charlotte Kay said...

What is Aussie time compared to ours?
I hope that I'm not too late to have a chance to win Julie's book!!!!!!
I have been so busy packing for a pre-holiday vacation that I haven't read Julie's Journal Jot lately.
Please enter me if I'm not too late!!!!
Blessings and Smiles,
Charlotte
chakasa58 at gmail dot com

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