1. What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?
I live close to a small town called Olds. The powers that be have played on the word and use it to their advantage by hosting an Olds Fashioned Christmas each year.It kicks off with a gigantic art and craft sale and specials throughout thetown. There are some wonderful local artists so I love this show. Many activities throughout the month lead up to the big day. A free event in the park which is great for those with children. Free hotdogs, cake, rides, horse-drawn wagonrides and then a Santa Claus parade.
2. Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?
Our kidsare grown up and have left home our traditions have changed and so now center on a big family celebration with as many as possible in attendance. Trying tokeep our emphasis off material goods, we usually donate our gift money to a worthy cause such as Samaritan’s Purse. The children get gifts of course. We do a White Elephant gift exchange for the adults. I know the game is called many different things but we buy small gifts and have fun stealing and trading.
3. Do you have a favorite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?
Paul Brandt’s ‘The Way In a Manger is Easy to Find’ because he’s taken a familiar Christmas Carol and given it added meaning. Besides, it’s beautiful.
4. If you could spend Christmas any way you could how would you celebrate?
On a beachin Hawaii? Lol. Or maybe in a nice hotel where our whole family has reserved rooms. Everything is catered and we just have fun. Sigh. I wish it could happen.
5. Do you have any special memories of Christmas?
It’s funnybut one of my most memorable Christmases was during a bitter cold winter. No one could visit. We couldn’t go anywhere. Just myself and my brother were still living at home and I, at least, was feeling a little deprived, but that year one TV station played Shirley Temple movies each afternoon. As I recall it, the pair of us and our Mother sat mesmerized throughout those movies. Now my brother will likely say he was bored and my Mother was probably working on something while she enjoyed having the pair of us quiet, but for me it was a real special time.
6. What does a typical Christmas Eve and or Christmas Day look like for you?
Things havechanged now that we are a household of 3 adults. So the day we celebrate Christmas (not necessarily on the 25th) is our big day. We (I,mostly) cook and finish preparing food. Then the family descends and after that it is happy chaos.
7. Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or readeach year?
Not particularly. I’ve tried watching the Shirley Temple movies again but they just aren’t as magical as they were back then.
8. Tell us a little about your book:
My story, Wagon Train Christmas, is a novella in the series, Love on The Santa Fe Trail. I did a fair bit of research about how Christmas was celebrated back then and found it was quite different. I’ve used some of my research in the book. But mostly the story is about a young widow and her little son hiding from her in-laws who want to take custody of her child. She’s been living in Bent’s Fort under a false name but the wagon train master arrives and recognizes her. How can she keep hiding from him? Will he let her in-laws know she is there? Who can she turn to for help?
I really enjoyed writing this little story and hope my readers like it.
9. Where can we get the book?
The book is available on Amazon. I would give you a short link but this program has changed and I haven’t figured out how to do things yet.
10. Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?
Enjoy every aspect of Christmas but don’t be overwhelmed by the expectations and commercialization of it so that you lose sight of the joy of God’s gift. And remember those who are less fortunate.