9 December 2013

Christmas Memories with Valerie Hansen

Please welcome Valerie Hansen to my blog today. She has a new Love Inspired book out this month.

1.    What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
Here, it's snow and warm, crackling fires in a wood stove and the pristine quiet of the forest.

2.    Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
Unfortunately, not anymore. When our children were little we used to go to grand parents' homes but it got really hectic and none of them were eager to share the time. If I had it to do over again I'd have stayed home more. The cookies were really good, though!

3.    Do you have a favourite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why? 
I'm particularly fond of Silent Night and Away in a Manger. I like the old fashioned ones a lot better than any "new" arrangements of the classics.

4.    If you could spend Christmas anyway you could how would you celebrate?
As long as I can choose any part of my life, I'd pick the times when we were all together as a family with young children. Now that that's no longer possible, I prefer times at church, like a candle light service Christmas eve. Those bring wonderous peace. And I'm not nearly as patient with little kids as I used to be!  (Jenny here I understand about the children and not being as patient)

5.    Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
As a child, I was used to 4 seasons. Moving back to Arkansas from California brought lots of great memories of sledding on snow and ice skating while holding my daddy's hand. Mom used to let me hang the wreaths in the front windows and I was so proud to be helping her decorate. 

6.    What is a typical Christmas eve and or Christmas day for you.
This year I'll be on my own for the first time in over 50 years. It will be interesting to see how I fare. I suspect that as long as I keep my eyes and my heart focused on Jesus I'll be just fine. After all, He's the reason we celebrate. (Jenny here I know this will be a touch christmas but something I learnt last year was to do something different and create a new tradition which helps to cope with the day a little better. I started a Christmas village last year which was totally new just to me.)

7.    Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?
I have always loved the original "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life."  Books would be the one my grandmother read to me, "T'was the Night Before Christmas".  

8.    Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
Yes. When I was asked to write a Christmas book by my publisher, Love Inspired, I resisted. God had other ideas, of course, and the result is COZY CHRISTMAS. Few families enjoy storybook holidays and neither did I. In order to write this book I had to search my heart and come to grips with my own shortcomings as well as those of others whose customs and opinions may have differed from mine. It was quite a struggle - for me as well as for Josh Barton, the hero of the book. When you read about heroine Whitney Leigh's adventures in the kitchen, those of you who follow me on Facebook may also recognize a few of my personal fiascos.  My point is this. Our lives are a gift from God and so are the people around us who shape our futures. If we accept what we have as the precious gift that it is, we're far more likely to be able to honestly give thanks for whatever happens, not only at Christmas but every day of the year.

"For the first time in years, Christmas brings hope to Bygones, Knasas. But for Josh Barton, Main Street's coffee shop owner, it brings back sad memories he'd rather forget. He's a new man, with a new life and faith now. Still, he hides a huge part of himself from his neighbors - and from one very inquisitive reporter. Whitney Leigh seems determined to uncover the mystery of the town's recent windfall, and Josh could help her. But that would mean opening his guarded heart. Can a man who thought family and Christmas were only for others find a forever home where he least expects?" 

1 comment:

Sherida Stewart said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories, Valerie. Now that my sons are grown, I find myself not as busy at Christmas and have time to enjoy Christmas novels. The cover of Cozy Christmas draws me in to that warm setting. It sounds like a special book to read this season.

Jenny, your suggestion to do something different when life has changed is a good idea.

Blessings to you both!

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