Please welcome Merrillee Whren to my blog today to talk about Christmas. Welcome Merrillee
Firstly thanks for coming to my blog to focus on Christmas.
1. What do you most associate with Christmas
where you live?
I always associate Christmas with the reason we
celebrate--the birth of Christ. But if you are wanting something that is unique
about the Christmas celebrations in the area where I live, I can mention a few.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel near our home has a huge Christmas display every year
featuring a gingerbread house or something made of gingerbread. Last year they
had a ship. I'll include a photo. Also our little town has a Christmas parade,
and you will see palm trees decorated with Christmas lights and Santas wearing
flip flops, as well as a parade of ships decorated with lights.
2. Do you have any special family traditions
you do at Christmas time?
Our traditions are about food. I always make chocolate nut caramels
with a recipe passed down from my grandmother. My husband makes the nut roll that
his father always made before he passed away. They are two family favorites. I
also make my Christmas cookies, and I decorate my house--inside and out--for
Christmas. I have a collection of Nativity sets and international Santas that I
display each year.
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol
and if so do you know why?
My favorite Christmas Carol, "I Heard the Bells on
Christmas Day," is one that isn't often sung, but I love it's message,
especially in these times. I particularly like the third and fourth
stanzas. I will quote
"And in despair I
bowed my head:
'There is no peace on
earth,' I said,
'For hate is strong, and
mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good
will to men."
"Yet pealed the
bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor
doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail,
the right prevail,
With peace on earth,
good will to men."
4. If you could spend Christmas anyway you
could how would you
I would spend it with family, especially our two girls and their
families. This year we will be apart because it is their turn to go to their spouse's
family for Christmas. We live far away
from each other, so we have to share. Some Christmas I would love to be able to
gather with my three brothers and all of their kids' families as well. That
would be quite a family reunion.
5. Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
I guess the best memory was from a year when I was in college
and didn't know whether I would be able to make it home for Christmas. I was
attending college over a 1,000 miles from home. One of my classmates discovered
that an acquaintance of hers was making a trip to Spokane with her family and
that they were willing to give me a ride. We drove through a horrible snow
storm in Montana, but we made it. My parents didn't know I was coming, so I
enjoyed surprising them with my visit.
6. What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for
There is no typical Christmas Eve or Christmas day for our
family. Because over the years we have lived away from extended family, we
often traveled later on Christmas day to be with family in another state. Now
what we do depends on the year and whether we will be traveling or staying
home. If we are home, we usually gather on Christmas Eve and share the time
with family and friends who have come to visit. Christmas day is for opening
gifts, sharing in a meal and reading the Christmas story.
7. Do you have any Christmas movies or
Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
I like to watch 'Miracle on Thirty-fourth Street' both the old
and new versions. The best Christmas book is the Bible.
8. Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
Remember the real reason for the Christmas season--the birth of
Jesus, and try to do good, not just at Christmas, but all year round.
My current Love Inspired book is MONTANA MATCH. It takes place on a Montana ranch and features a minor secondary character from my previous book, LOVE WALKED IN. The heroine of MONTANA MATCH was a teenager in LOVE WALKED IN. Here is a blurb:
Nanny to six-year-old twin girls isn't exactly the position Brittany Gorman is looking for. But she needs a job. And the twins' struggling single dad, rancher Parker Watson, needs all the help he can get. Soon Brittany is not only assisting with the girls, but also helping Parker make peace with his past. It seems Brittany's finally found a place to belong. And with two little matchmakers on the loose, there's no telling what the future holds. As her time on the ranch runs out, can Brittany and Parker find the strength to face that future--together?