Please welcome Ruth Logan Herne to my blog today to talk about Christmas Memories.
1. What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
SNOW!!!! I live in the quintessential picture-postcard setting for most Christmas shots. We are in a snow belt off of Lake Ontario and we get plenty of snow usually... from December well into March. In December I love it. In January, it's peaceful. By February, I'm counting the days until the first tiny crocuses poke their heads up out of the ground with the higher arc of the sun! But yes, December here brings cold and snow and Christmas lights to break the long spell of 16 hours of darkness... Love it! And Jenny, it can be VERY ROMANTIC!!!! :)
(Jenny here except its Cricket season I think you have me at Very Romantic can I come stay? Of course it’s just for the Christmas season.)
2. Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
We have a lot of them, but one of my favorites is "yarn for Jesus". Every time a little child does something kind or good, they get to lay a piece of colored yarn in the stable. The more good things we do, the more yarn there is to make Jesus's resting spot warm and cozy on Christmas Eve! It's a great visual for kids to see how they affect things around them... and a wonderful celebration when the baby is laid in the manger. All that yarn! All that kindness! Yay! (Jenny again love the “yarn for Jesus” how original and what a way to teach the children and adults)
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?
My favorite is the medley hymn "Child of the Poor/What Child is This?". It's a beautiful rendition of remembering the spirit of Christmas was truly a child, a child born to a poor family in the dark of a stable. It's heart-wrenching, soulful and beautiful.
4. If you could spend Christmas anyway you could how would you celebrate?
With family. That's my biggest treat is to be with the people I love. I don't need fancy. I don't need vacations. I just like being with my family. Unless they're snots, and in that case, a vacation might tempt me!!! :) (Jenny again if they are snots as you say come visit me to see what a warmer Christmas is like can’t promise you a lot but I do know how to roast lamb)
5. Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
I was born into a family that had become desperately poor by the time I was old enough to remember anything. It was very sad in some ways. Alcoholism and depression had taken my mother down a dark and lonely road. My father's anger and drinking completed a circle of sadness. But in that sadness were kind people, people who welcomed me into their homes, who didn't cast stones, who made me feel normal. We had food baskets delivered to us on Thanksgiving and Christmas. My father would mock the things in the baskets, as if he was too good to be eating their food. And then he would go and buy a much bigger turkey to show he was in charge. My mother would hide when people would come to the door. She'd send me or my younger brother to answer it, too embarrassed to go herself. But that kindness of strangers is what moves me to go bell-ringing for the Salvation Army. It's what spurs me to write the books I do, that show the sweet natures of neighbors and how that can affect a child of the poor. Those little kindnesses and welcomes of childhood helped me to become the person I am today. (I am so glad you found the kindness of strangers to be strength and made you what you are today.)
6. What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for you.
Christmas Eve is a lovely gathering with my husband's family. It's wonderful, good food, nice people and then it's culminated by MidnightMass at our church. When I was a kid I was so excited about getting old enough to sing in the Sacred Heart choir and sing for MidnightMass!!! Now I get to do the same thing and I love it!
7. Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
Yes!!! I'm so predictable! I love "It's a Wonderful Life".... "Saint Maybe"... "Bells of St. Mary's".... "Charlie Brown Christmas"... "Miracle on 34th Street". And I listen to Christmas music ALL YEAR!!!! Sometimes because I'm writing a Christmas story and listening to "Breath of Heaven" or "Mary, Did You Know?" puts me in the mood for crafting Christmas, but usually it's just because I love Christmas music!!! Trans-Siberian Orchestra is my favorite.
8. Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
We've been working harder to "keep Christmas simple" in honor of Christ's simple beginnings. We do family gift-giving projects with the Salvation Army Adopt-a-family and Heifer International. And we do local charity things to help ease that strain of expectation so many face at Christmas. It's a great way to celebrate how blessed we are to have education and jobs and health... and to help others find that same path to self-sufficiency. So my message would be "Keep Christmas Simple" with God's love and blessings!
Blurb for Love Finds You in the City at Christmas:
In 'Red Kettle Christmas,' (book one of Love Finds You in the City at Christmas) it's 1947, and police officer Mike Wolzak inherits the family home. . . and the custody of his troubled sister. While on patrol during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mike meets a Salvation Army bell ringer struggling to support herself and her young child. Over the holiday season in Manhattan, she teaches the veteran how to support his family. In the process, he gains a new one.
Blurb for The Lawman's Holiday Wish:
No one in Kirkwood Lake seems willing to forget, or forgive, Rainey McKinney's troubled past. But Rainey can't afford to let that bother her. Her top priority is rebuilding her life and being a good mom to her twin daughters. Even handsome deputy sheriff Luke Campbell can't distract her, tempting as he is. She's determined to keep her distance, but as his son and her girls form a special bond, Rainey and Luke can't help but do the same. Can Rainey put her past behind her once and for all and embrace a future full of hope—and love?
Kirkwood Lake: A town full of heart and hope.
Ruthy has gladly offered one reader an ecopy of one of these books. This is an international giveaway as both are available. For a chance to enter please tell me one of your Christmas traditions or if you do not have any comment on the interview. Entries open to Dec 8. Please leave a way to contact you if I don’t already have a contact.