Tag Archive | Christmas tree

Christmas Traditions in the Gill House by Holly Jody Gill

From Christina: Merry Christmas to all! Today, author Holly Jody Gill has been gracious enough to share her family’s Christmas traditions with us. Thank you, Holly, for inviting us into your home on this special day. Oh, by the way…can you tell where Holly is from?  The colourful clothing and the programmes on the telly might be a  bit of a clue. 

Christmas Traditions in the Gill House

by Holly Jody Gill

Here comes Christmas!

Another year has passed by quickly.  We are in the thick of a cold winter, dull and gray scenery of bare trees, but with people wrapped in colourful winter clothing.  Now is the time for excited children dragging their parents to the toy shops to get the latest XBox, Christmas carols being sung, and Christmas tunes being played all around. The telly is filled with programmes gearing up for the festive day, showing people how to cook the perfect dinner and the perfect dessert.

Our Christmas tree stands six feet tall in the living room. It’s decorated with fairy lights, tinsel, and most of all the special baubles that my children have chosen each and every year. The hearth is surrounded by a garland of light resembling holly leaves and berries.  When I have the time to relax, there is nothing better than to sit in front of the fire with the Christmas lights on and watch a good movie with the family as we eat and drink to celebrate this wonderful season.

I really enjoy Christmas.  It’s the time to be with family and share a succulent meal.  During the past few years, however, I’ve not been about to spend as much time with my family as I want because of the work shifts in my day job as a healthcare assistant. No mother would want to be away from family during this most special day, having to miss out on so much joy and happiness.  I am just happy that I have a family who understands the demands of my work.  When we do come together, especially late in the evening, presents are handed out.  Not an ideal situation, I know. However, this year, I’ve been blessed to finally spend Christmas with family.

What I do love about Christmas is the one Gill family tradition that we do every year without fail since my son arrived twenty years ago. During his first Christmas we went shopping for tree ornaments and my son found a sweet white teddy bear decoration, holding a candy cane. It went on the tree.

Each year we travel to a garden centre in our town where there is a large selection of Christmas decorations celebrating the winter season, lights, villages, baubles of all different shapes and colour from gingerbread men, ice cream, snowflakes, to Santa, and of course plenty of holly. Each of my children gets to choose one bauble that goes on the Christmas tree for that year. I don’t care what they pick, how small or big (well there might be a little limit as I don’t wish the tree lop siding).

I always take pictures of them looking and wandering around the department, smiling and showing me some fun ornaments, lights sparkling and Christmas tunes bellowing out, full of festive joy. I always get a warm glow and feel emotional at being able to continue this wonderful and sentimental tradition of choosing a bauble, and spending quality time together and having fun.

Holly 1

No doubt when I get grandchildren the tradition will continue. I might need to get another Christmas tree, though I’m not so sure my husband will be too pleased being a humbug. Still, it’s a tradition we enjoy as a family and with us all leading busy working lives, it’s now more important to have the quality time together and enjoy something we all enjoy, even the humbug.

Holly 2

Happy Holidays!!

A wife and mother of three, Holly J. Gill is a romance writer whose favourite genre is erotica. She has three books published with Secret Cravings called the “Desires series” about a sex club and how two people go through the trials of falling in love. In Holly’s spare time she loves spending time with her family, friends, listening to music, watching movies, and traveling around England enjoying the beautiful countryside. You can find Holly on Facebook, Twitter, and on her blog: Writing is Where My Heart Is.


Winter Holiday Crafts by Vicki Batman

From Christina: I was delighted by this “crafty” little post from author Vicki Batman. I’m not too crafty, you see. But every year my daughters and I come up with some idea or another that we’re sure we can do. I can’t wait to share this with them. 🙂

Winter Holiday – Crafts

By Vicki Batman

 Every year, I go on a girlfriend weekend to a small town for their Christmas Candlelight Home Tour. We talk, laugh, shop, and eat— the fun stuff! Usually, we usually stop at a huge market on the way. One year, I found the most clever snow dome. Here’s a picture: 121213_christinacole_snowman_globe I grew up a crafty girl. I said, “I can do this!”  and began collecting the perfect jars, sanding the lids and painting them white. Bought several colors of glitter. Set aside or purchased little holiday them items. Then began the assembling. Here’s what I did: 121213_christina_cole_snowglobe_collection   As you can see, I had a small nativity set I found at a craft store. Inside the jar, I put snowflakes, two kinds of glitter—white and sparkly white—sequins and vintage glass ornaments. It’s up to you what to include! The lid is superglued to the jar. Leaving the lid bare wood, I hotglued the figures on top, adding the bare branch tree. The reindeer globe is made with an old cupcake pick, vintage glass ornament, and a bottle brush tree. Inside are more glass ornaments, pearly beads, snowflakes, and sequins. There are endless varieties you can make. And best of all—no water leaking, although with glass jars, they are breakable. I hope you will give these unique globes a try!


 06_2012_VBauthor_photo (1)Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”

You can find Vicki at her blog, Handbags, Books…Whatever. Her latest holiday release is a romantic comedy, “The Great Fruitcake Bake-off”.

Happy Holidays from Time for Love

With Thanksgiving now behind us, winter is settling in. As I write this, it’s sleeting a bit outside my window, and we have patches of snow and ice on the ground. Our neighbors to the south in Oklahoma and Texas are digging out, and snow storms are hitting the east coast.  I haven’t been following the weather too closely, but I’m guessing the mountains in the west are probably dressed in “winter white” as well.

I don’t like winter. It’s cold. It’s gloomy. Everything seems more difficult to do with snow on the ground, ice in the air, and chill winds that leave us shivering and shaking. At least, that’s how it is here in the midwest. If you’re one of those folks basking in the warmth and sunlight of Arizona, California, or Florida…well, just smile and keep quiet.

The only good thing about winter is how nice it feels to stay inside, to curl up in front of the fireplace, to spend time with friends and family. The winter months are so dreary, I think maybe that’s why we’ve made it a time for holiday cheer.

Swno Winter

Bright ribbons and bows. Christmas trees. Candles glowing. Fruits, nuts, cookies, and candies.  These are traditions for many families. Others think of dreidels, potato latkes, and applesauce. Those who celebrate Kwanzaa turn their thoughts to the Nguzo Saba, or “Seven Principles”, with colorful candles, unity cups, and mkekas. 

We can learn much from sharing our holiday traditions, and in coming weeks many different romance authors will be dropping by with memories of winter holidays.

Sabrina Garie will be bringing a few tasty “hot drinks” with her — recipes included. Mae Clair, Ashley Nemer, Charlene Roberts, and Holly Jody Gill are also among the authors who are taking time from their busy holiday schedules to share a few thoughts here at Time for Love.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best during this holiday season. Stay warm! Stay well! May the love in your heart light the way for others.

– From Christina –