Tag Archive | Christmas

Old Aquaintances…and New

I’ve always loved New Year’s Eve because of the traditional song, Auld Lang Syne.

“Should old aquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind…”

The song is about old friends, good times shared, and most of all, about the inexorable passing of time.

Auld Lang Syne

I’ve been blessed this year to be able to share my thoughts and my beliefs about love with romance readers who enjoy traditional historical stories. Thank you for all your kind words, your wonderful reviews of my books, and your continued support.

I hope my new stories will continue to inspire you, delight you, and satisfy those cravings for something both sweet and spicy.

I’ve also been incredibly blessed this year to share my life and time with many, many talented romance authors. Writing is truly all about sharing — sharing our thoughts, sharing our beliefs, sharing our passions, sharing our time. I am grateful to those authors who have long been friends as well as those whose acquaintance I’ve made during this past year.

I especially want to thank Vicki Batman, Angela K. Roe, Ashley Nemer, Sabrina Garie, Mae Clair, Holly Jody Gill, and Charlene Roberts for taking time out during this very, very busy holiday season to visit Time for Love and share their personal thoughts and Christmas traditions.

It was also a pleasure to meet several new authors in 2013. Thanks go out to Gioconda Lyss, Shelby Rebecca, and Robin Leigh Morgan for sharing their experiences with us.

Now, as we leave the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind and come to the end of the year — and the beginning of a new year — many of us will be thinking of resolutions to keep, goals we’d like to reach, and changes that can help us make 2014 the best year of our lives.

My resolutions are simple: Live fully. Laugh often. Love deeply.

 

Live Fully

 

 

And always take time to express gratitude, appreciation, and thanksgiving. I’ve been blessed in 2013, and I wish the best to you and your families in the coming year.

– With Love, Christina –

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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.

 

It’s That Time of Year by Charlene Roberts

From Christina: I loved reading Charlene’s thoughts about the Christmas season. I, too, miss some of the “old-fashioned” celebrations. Maybe we can bring them back!

 

It’s That Time of Year

by Charlene Roberts

Oh, it’s that time of year!  Festivities, friends, family and fun!

Charlene 1

I have to admit, as much as I don’t like the over-zealous Christmas commercialization (I mean really; Christmas songs and advertisements right after Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween? In October?), I do feel that extra bit of excitement when the first snowflakes are flying through the air.

I wish sometimes that Christmas was celebrated the old-fashioned way—visiting neighbors, buying gifts that meant something and treating it as the cherished holiday that it is. Call me old, I don’t care—I miss the friendliness of strangers yelling “Merry Christmas!” as they scurried hither and yon, looking for that perfect gift. It doesn’t happen as much as it used to.

I also like to spend the holidays reflecting on what has happened in the past year and what I can do to make the next year better, for myself and for others. I also use the time to think of goals; I don’t wait until the New Year (I’m sort of like Santa; making a list and checking it twice). Besides life goals (weight loss, work already!), I also like to work on my writing goals; I’m a slow writer, so having a rough outline of what I would like to accomplish for the next year helps to keep me on track.Charlene 2

But Christmas should be fun time! Whether it’s watching television shows (Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Carol), going out to admire the Christmas decorations, or attending church) or honoring the season in your own special way, please enjoy yourself (hey, if you’re one of the lucky ones like me, that’s five days off work—whoo hoo!!) 🙂

Charlene Roberts is an active member of the Romance Writers of America. She lives in Toronto, Canada.  She’s been a model, and has also worked in the film, consulting, and insurance agencies.

Charlene says she likes for her heroes to be a little unpredictable, and she loves when plans come together. Be sure to check out her latest release, Festive Persuasion, a Christmas novella available from Ellora’s Cave.

 

 

A Winter Celebration by Mae Clair

From Christina: Mae Clair and I connected through blogging last year, and I quickly came to count her as both a special author and a special friend. She’s one of the most talented romance authors I’ve read, and she’s also one of the most supportive authors in the romance-writing community. I’m delighted to share her thoughts and personal reflections about this cold, snowy time of year.

A Winter Celebration

By Mae Clair

It’s only a handful of days from Christmas, a most joyous time of year! Saturday is the Winter Solstice, marking the first day of a historically snowy season. It’s the longest day of the year which means dark falls early.

 Usually, my husband and I will fill some mugs with coffee or hot chocolate and drive around looking at displays of Christmas lights in the surrounding neighborhoods. Occasionally, I’ve even packed cookies in the car to make the event more festive. By this time, we pretty much have a handle on the holidays (decorations are up, cards are mailed, shopping is done) and it’s a time to kick back and enjoy a bit of seasonal fun. I still have gifts to wrap, but I always reserve that for Christmas Eve during the day.

 I can’t say I’m all that thrilled to officially usher in a season of cold, snow and ice, but there’s a spark of magic to be found in the mix. A stillness that settles on the land, especially at night, when the surroundings are wrapped in a hush. It’s an ageless music, underscored by a whisper of earth and sky, something the Vikings surely heard as they trekked across plateaus of snow ribboned with skeins of ice. As much as I could embrace a sun-kissed lifestyle in a tropical setting, I’d have to visit northern climates for the occasional dose of snow and cold. Just sporadically, you understand.

Winter isn’t without perks.

Cold weather is great for snuggling with your guy, or curling up in front of a warm fire. If you’re the outdoorsy type there’s sledding, tobogganing and ice-skating. For astronomers or amateur stargazers, winter is the best time for viewing the heavens. The stars glitter like cut crystal on a bed of licorice-black, and they never appear closer.

The romantic in me prefers to overlook the less savory unappealing okay, downright nasty features that go hand-in-hand with winter in the northern hemisphere.  Things like snow shoveling, falling on the ice (been there, done that), scraping the windshield because-the-weather-guys-had-the-forecast-wrong-again-and-it-dumped-the-white-stuff-all-over-your-car-while-you-were-at-work. There’s also the ever popular getting stuck on the drive home because you didn’t bring the SUV (see reference to aforementioned inaccurate weather guys).

As with any time of year, there are pros and cons. Winter being what it is, I try to embrace the positives more than the negatives, snuggling in for the long months ahead. Right now I’m looking forward to the merriment of Christmas and New Year’s, gathering with family and friends. Afterward, I’ll make peace with the arrival of January and February. If nothing else, winter is my most productive time for writing, when I’m huddled inside.

What about you?  What do you like most about winter? How do you adapt to the cold months ahead? Or maybe you live in a beautiful climate where snow and ice are rarely seen. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Mae

Mae Clair writes novels of myth, mystery and romance, and is the author of WEATHERING ROCK and TWELFTH SUN. The best place to connect with Mae is on her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, Twitter or Facebook. She can also be found on her website at www.maeclair.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Memories by Angela K. Roe

From Christina: While winter is not my favorite season, it’s nice to know there are people who truly love this time of year. Today, Angela K. Roe stops by to share some of her childhood memories of winter and growing up on a farm in Iowa. 

Winter Memories

by Angela K. Roe

Roe 1

Winter is my favorite time of year. I love sweaters, sweatshirts, fluffy mittens and warm scarves. I love the way snow covers my world in a clean, fresh downy white blanket that hides the flaws and softens the sounds of our chaotic days.  I even like the crisp, cold air that invigorates and brightens our cheeks and noses.

 When I was growing up, we lived on a farm in the northeast corner of Iowa. My dad would harness the horses with bridles covered in bells and we would sleigh all around the farm. He’d plow under the vegetable garden, build a frame around with 2×4’s and lay down a thick blanket of plastic before flooding it to create our own ice skating pond. My brothers and I got new ice skates every year and knowing they were under the tree each Christmas did nothing to diminish our joy when we opened them on Christmas morning.

 We had skis, snow shoes and snowmobiles. We impatiently awaited the end of the school day so we could rush home and enjoy our own personal winter wonderland. From sliding off the barn roof and landing in huge piles of snow strategically placed by my dad and brothers, to building elaborate snow forts that we would hose down and allow to freeze overnight, my brothers and I loved winter. That love remains strong today.

 From the first bite in the air to the first Christmas decorations, I love winter.  I listen to the people at work complain about not wanting snow but we all stand at the doors and watch as those flakes fill the air and we’re all smiling. I hear the complaints about not wanting to drive in it and I watch as younger coworkers scrape snow off the cars of their older counterparts. We laugh as we set alarms on our phones to remember to go start the cars five minutes before it’s time to leave so we’re all in toasty warm cars with no ice on the windshields. We run back inside, shaking snow from our hair laughing as we stomp snow from our shoes.

 At home, the dog rolls in the snow at every opportunity. We have Christmas decorations up before nearly everyone else and we leave them up longer than most. We stretch the season out as long as possible because people are friendlier, happier and more caring. From shoveling out neighbors to exchanging home baked treats, from getting extra groceries for a sick friend to buying gifts for the less fortunate, people are kinder.  I love winter.

Roe 2

 Merry Christmas,

Angela K Roe

Angela“Is there anything better than a sexy man who makes you laugh?” asks Angela. She considers herself blessed to have found such a man and married him — more than twenty years ago. Together they’ve raised a family, watched their children grow, and have shared lots of love and laughter — much of which ends up in Angela’s romance novels. 

You can find Angela — and her books — at Passion on Every Page

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!

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 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 –