12 December 2011

Focus in Christmas with Shawna Williams

Please welcome Shawna Willliams to share her Christmas Memories with us this week and also promote her Christmas book (which is a great read and on special at present for .99cents details at the end of the post).

1.    What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
Our Christmas parade and fireworks show. It's symbolizes everything that's wonderful about life in a small town. All of the businesses, organizations, clubs and churches build floats. The whole town comes together to watch. The businesses on Mena Street stay open late so you can browse, visit and do a little shopping. Many serve hot cocoa to enjoy during and after the parade. Following the parade there's an incredible fireworks show in the park, where you get to watch the display directly overhead, and right after the finale the whole park lights up. The last few years a museum train has stopped in town. The cars are full of Christmas villages with miniature trains traveling through. I love our little town on this night. It feels like something magical is taking place.

2.    Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
For a week before Christmas I sneak gifts under the little trees set up in my kids' rooms. When they were little they thought it was one of Santa's elves sneaking it into their rooms, and the gifts were small things, like a toy matchbox car for my son, or play jewelry for my daughters. I have three teens now, so the gifts have morphed into nail polish, favorite snack food, etc... but they still look forward to this. Of course, they now know that Mom is behind it all, but I still wait until they're asleep to sneak it under their trees. If I owned an elf suit, I'd likely put it on to deliver.
(Jenny here this sounds so cool would love to have had this happen as a child.)

3.    Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?
I love the song Silent Night. I have ever since I can remember. It's a beautiful song, but there's also great nostalgia associated with it for me, so I think it will always be my favorite.

4.    If you could spend Christmas anyway you could how would you celebrate?
Exactly as we do! At home with the family, celebrating the birth of our Lord and the love we have for one another. There's always plenty of food, games, lots of laughter. The one thing I'd mandate that we don't always have is snow. I love snow!

5.    Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
The best memories I have of Christmas time come from my grandparents' farm when I was a kid. It's not a specific memory, but a mixture of things from over the years. There was always a house full at Christmas time, and I remember evenings by the fire with everyone laughing. Most of the time I hadn't a clue what it was about, but the feeling created was one of warmth and love. There are several things that I have a particular fondness for: crystal chandeliers, the creaking sound of walking on wood-planked floors, the smell of pine, white German Shepherds, and funny shaped Christmas trees. All of these wonderful things are from memories associated with Christmas at Nonnie and Papaw's.

6.    What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for you.
I do a lot of cooking on Christmas Eve, but by night we settle down. Christmas Eve is also my mom's birthday, so if they are with us we go out for Mexican food because it's my mom's favorite. If they aren't with us then I cook Salmon. Then the kids open a single gift (pajamas). If we haven't already started The Lord of the Rings trilogy, then we'll probably start it that night. We end the night with a prayer of thanks.

On Christmas morning I fix a huge pot of oatmeal mixed with tons of maple syrup and butter. Then we open gifts. I set out appetizers that I made the night before: deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, bean soup, taquitos and cheese dip and we snack during the afternoon and play games. Then I fix our main meal of Cornish hens, mash potatoes, ham and all the other traditional favorites for the evening. Desserts are an all day affair. Not to brag, but I make an excellent pecan pie. We're likely to watch A Christmas Story and one of the movies in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

7.    Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
We like the movie Elf. I also love the old classics; It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without A Christmas Story

8.    Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
Mainly to take the time to be grateful. There's so much rush beforehand and afterwards. Take the day to give thanks to the Lord, and to relax and enjoy the blessing of family. These are the memories that will endure throughout a lifetime.

Orphaned Hearts.
Pastor David Langley understands six-year old Caleb Holsheyer -- what it feels like to be damaged and alone. His family killed in a fire, and his body severely burned, David grew up in an orphanage, ridiculed and shunned. He couldn’t let that be Caleb’s fate.

When adoption plans fall through, David is desperate to find Caleb a new home. But in the midst of the Great Depression, most families are barely getting by. No one seems willing to take on the responsibility of an extra mouth, especially one belonging to a crippled child.

Except for Sadie Miller, the town spinster. In Sadie, David sees the answer to Caleb's needs. But Child Welfare doesn't agree, and demands other arrangements be found, or the boy be returned to the orphanage.

David and Sadie team up, determined to find a home for an orphaned child, but while searching, might they find a family instead.

you can buy this for for .99 cents at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Desert Breeze


Anne Patrick said...

I love a small town Christmas! Where I live we don't do the fireworks but we do have a wonderful parade and afterwards the whole square lights up.

Shawna, you're a very gifted writer and editor :). I wish you continued success in all your endeavors!

Shawna Williams said...

Thanks, Anne!

Deborah M said...

Hi Shawna,
Just stopped by to say "Hi". I've just downloaded "Orphaned Hearts" and can't wait to read it.
Deborah Malone

Ausjenny said...

we dont do the fire works here either but we do have carol in the park in candlelight which is always great
thanks all for dropping by.

Bethany said...

Oh, awesome! This books sounds very enjoyable. I've never heard of Shawna but all of her books are in my to-read list now!

Paula Vince said...

It sounds like the sort of lovely wintry Christmas I'd love to experience one day.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Shawna,
Sorry I'm late here. I enjoyed reading how you celebrate Christmas.

Everyone, I read Orphaned Hearts last year and it's a fantastic story! Shawna's other books are great reads too!

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