BY ELIZABETH SINCLAIR
I know. It’s only November, so why is she talking about Christmas? Well, since the stores have been pushing Christmas since before Halloween and in some cases even before that, I figured why not?
Because Christmas was my dad’s favorite holiday, I have some wonderful memories of those times in my childhood. He was really big on surprises. Like the year he kept telling me I couldn’t get a two-wheel bike because he had to buy some tool and couldn’t afford both. I was heartsick. All my friends had bikes, and I had to stand on the sidelines watching them have fun with theirs. On Christmas morning I awoke to find a beautiful blue Schwinn bike standing next to the tree. I’m not sure who was more delighted – me, because I got my bike, or my dad, because he’d managed to totally surprise me once again.
Then there was the year I found out (kids, plug your ears) there was no Santa Claus. My grandmother and mother were assembling a doll carriage for me. An argument ensued over whether or not a piece of cardboard was supposed to remain in the carriage. My grandmother said it was, and my mother said it wasn’t. Their voices escalated until they woke me up. I could hear my dad telling them both to keep their voices down, but they continued with the disagreement. (Incidentally, my grandmother was right, the cardboard was what made a flat surface for the doll to lay on, but my mother threw out the piece of cardboard before we figured that out.) I lay there listening to them and trying to figure out why they were doing Santa’s job, then I realized that, for all these years, it wasn’t the jolly old elf who’d left my presents, but my mom and dad. I was devastated.
But some of my happiest memories of Christmas come from watching my own kids tear into their presents and scream with joy when they saw what lay inside. My husband and I had a ritual we started when the kids were old enough to understand. Every year, we waited until they went to bed on Christmas Eve to put up the tree and haul out the wrapped gifts so when they came down in the morning, Santa’s visit was a total surprise. Fortunately, their belief in Santa lasted a lot longer than mine. My son, however, has since told me he suspected it was his parents and not Santa, but never said so because he feared, if he was wrong, “Santa” would stop bringing him gifts.
We now have a beautiful, one-year-old grandson, and I am anxiously waiting for him to celebrate his first Christmas as a toddler that is really aware of what’s going on.
I just finished the fourth book in the Hawks Mountain series, WINTER MAGIC, which takes place at Christmas in Carson, West Virginia. It will be released later next year. And it will include a surprise, special Christmas present for all my readers.
Currently, the third Hawks Mountain series book, FOREVER FALL, has just made it to the bookshelves and the e-book market. Set in Carson, it takes the reader on a journey to prove to a teenager, with the help of a baby simulator, that being a mother at fifteen is not the best idea. Single hero, Lucas Michaels, the school principal, and Amantha James, one of Carson’s single social workers, are picked by the Board of Education as stand-ins for the girl’s parents to conduct a secret experiment that will decide whether or not the baby simulators are effective and if they will be introduced into the school’s curriculum. However, to do this, they must move in together with the teenager, which results in complications no one could have foretold and not just with the determined teenager.
May your holidays be blessed and filled with love and surprises.
Deals at the Nook Store
Hawks Mountain- Free
Summer Rose- $1.99
Forever Fall- $2.99