Today I have Wendy Sparkes from England on my blog. Wendy has a children's book which would be great for Christmas.
Firstly thanks for coming to my blog to focus on Christmas.
1. What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
Thanks for having me here, Jenny.
The Christmas Lights – it gets dark early here in the UK in December so having the lights on houses & trees really lightens up a dark time. I love seeing the lights shining (or twinkling as in some cases!) out dispelling the darkness, & it reminds me of how Jesus came into a dark world to be our Light.
2. Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
One of our traditions is to keep the decorations up until the day after 12th night. It started with my great-grandmother. One of her daughters (one of my great aunts) has a birthday on 12th night. My great-grandmother decided it would be good to keep the decorations up for her birthday for her to enjoy, & then to keep them up over 12th night in defiance of the bad luck keeping your decorations up on 12th night is supposed to bring!
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?
I have 2 – is that allowed? :)
Silent Night – it just perfectly sums up the nativity scene & I feel like I’m there at Bethlehem experiencing the wonder of Jesus’ birth when I sing that carol.
O Little Town of Bethlehem - it wonderfully links the Christmas story to us today.
4. If you could spend Christmas anyway you could how would you celebrate?
It would be with family, & preferably somewhere where it gets dark early so I can enjoy the Christmas lights!
5. Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
I have lots of special memories, all involving family. Over the Christmas week we’ve always met up with extended family members & had lots of fun together.
6. What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for you?
Christmas Day – We have a special Christmas breakfast & exchange Christmas cards, then it’s out to church for a short Christmas service. We come back to check on the dinner & then the others will go out for a walk on the seafront while waiting for dinner to finish cooking – as I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I have a rest at this time. A roast dinner then clean-up, & then it’s present opening time! We will then have a light tea together in the lounge & look over our presents & just enjoy being together. (Jenny Here sounds fun. The walk on the seafront sorry you are unable to go also. It’s interesting commonwealth countries seem to go to church on Christmas day. Wow you are good to wait til after dinner for presents.)
7. Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
Books: The Protector by Dee Henderson (I love her whole O’Malley Series, but always get this audio book out to listen to during the Christmas period), A Fairytale Romance by Melanie Panagiotopoulos, Christmas Peril by Margaret Daley & Debby Giusti & Holiday Illusion by Lynette Eason. New this year I’ve listened to an audio version of Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge & that will now be added to my Christmas favourites! I also enjoy the devotionals Christ the Light of the World by Thomas Kinkade, The Art of Waiting by Wendy Bray & Mary’s Diary – An Advent Journey by Emily Owen.
Films: The Christmas Card starring Alice Evans & John Newton is my absolute favourite Christmas film to watch.
8. Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
I would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas, & to those who are grieving or ill at this time, I pray that God’s comfort & love will surround you & uphold you.
One Starry Night - Christmas carols are playing, mince pies are cooking, and wrapping paper is everywhere! Yes, it's Christmas Eve. Jude and Annie are enjoying getting ready for Christmas. With a walk on the beach in the dark and a special bedtime story, they feel God's greatness and find out how much God really loves them.
Books by Wendy Sparkes: Come along with Jude and Annie as they discover the meaning of Christmas in One Starry Night, find out more about heaven in Snowfall, and learn about praising God in everything – yes even when things go wrong in A Sunny Day.
Visit my website www.WendySparkes.co.uk to get sneak peeks of the stories & illustrations!