22 December 2011

Focus on Christmas with Merrillee Whren

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
them here.

               "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 you.
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?


Michelle Dennis Evans said...

Heart warming post. I love the words in that carol too. Thank you.

Brandy said...

LOVED the article/post!

I look forward to reading 'Montana Match'...(When does it go on sale?)


Merrillee said...

I'll give this a third try. Maybe the third time will be the charm. :) Thanks, Jenny for having me.

Michelle, thanks for your kind words.

Brandy, my book should be available staring next week.

Marianne said...

Thanks Merrilee for posting on Facebook...i am friends with Ausjenny in goodreads, now i'll get her posts, too. Thanks for the post.

Brandy said...

AWESOME!!! Thanks Merrillee!!! I look for it. Or download it on my kindle! :-)

Merrillee said...

Marianne, you are welcome. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

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