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/
Finally, I can be found daily at The Seekers blog, (http://www.seekerville.
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.
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.