Candlelight Reads Trim the Tree Blog Hop

Welcome to the first of my Christmas Blog Hops this year. As a reward I will be giving away signed paperback copies of my crholidaybadge1Christmas novels, Holiday Magic and The Perfect Choice to one of you who lives in Canada. For my American and other international friends, I will give away two sets of  e-copies of Holiday Magic  and  The Perfect Choice. The novels tell the love stories of twins, Georgia and Eleni Baxter. While the action starts earlier in the year, the stories end on Christmas Day. These books are concurrent, so you get the chance to see events unfold through two different POV’s. For your chance to win, just comment on this post with your answer to the question. Make sure you leave your contact information, so I can get your prize to you in the event you’re one of the winners.

I’d like to thank Candlelight Reads for the opportunity to participate in this blog hop and showcase my writing to you as I share a bit about my Christmas. This year, the theme of the post is:

What’s your favorite Christmas decoration or ornament?  What sentimental value does it hold for you?  Or for a character in your book?
IMG_0535I’ve decided to blog about the Christmas decorations I have that have the greatest sentimental value for me. The first isn’t by any means beautiful in any sense of the word, but it is indestructible and priceless. What is it, you ask?  It’s a plastic tabletop Santa decoration that we purchased in December, 1971 at the grocery store for 99 cents. It’s the first Christmas decoration my new husband  and I bought, and it’s stood proudly where everyone can see it for the past 43 years. It’s been knocked around and tossed around, but good old plastic never fades or loses its shape. If I were to lose all my decorations, it’s the thing I would regret the most.
We didn’t have much in those days. I was in my last year of university and he’d just started working as a very junior accountant while he took additional courses so he could write his accounting exams. His roughly $600.00 a month had to pay for it all– rent, car payments, and any and all other expenses. I worked five hours a week at the university library for $1.10 an hour to pay for extras. After our wedding expenses in September and my last year’s tuition, there wasn’t a lot left for Christmas decorations. That little Santa and a poinsettia were it for the year.
IMG_0536The other item I have with great sentimental value is a 1942 edition of Clement Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. That book has been part of his life ever since his 5th Christmas when he received it from his grandparents. It’s the book from which we read the story each Christmas to our children and from which I read the story to my grandchildren now. Each Christmas it comes out with the other decorations and after the holiday it and my plastic Santa get tucked away lovingly until the next year. Here’s praying we still have many of those on the way.
So, let’s talk about my characters. Georgia and Eleni are fraternal twins as close as twins can be. What hurts one, hurts the other.
Georgia used to loved Christmas, but something happened to destroy it all. Here’s how she used to feel.

Holiday Magic (2)Georgia closed the door quietly and stepped into the hallway, greeted by the scent of fresh pine from the small balsam tree in Eleni’s living room and the pine oil they’d used on the sachets last night. She took a deep breath. Christmas! She loved everything about the season from the mad rush for gifts to the beauty and serenity of a Christmas Eve church service. The lights and decorations turned ordinary places into magical ones, dispelling the gloom of winter’s darkest days. Smiling, excited children, anxious for a visit from Santa, reminded her of her own youth when everything had been carefree and wonderful. If she could wear pine-scented perfume, she would.

This year, Christmas was even better because all of her dreams would come true. In less than two weeks, on Christmas Eve, she’d marry the man she loved. Love wasn’t a strong enough word for the way she felt about Mark. She adored him. He was her hero, her soul mate, her best friend, and together they were going to have the best happily ever after.

The perfect choice (2)Of all the fairy tales, the one she loved the best was Beauty and the Beast, possibly because it was the one with a brown-haired heroine. As a child she’d watched the video over and over again, had read the book so often the pages were dog-eared. She’d met Mark in Glee Club in high school, and the musical they’d performed that year was Beauty and The Beast—she’d been Belle, and he’d been the prince. It only seemed right to choose that theme for their fantasy wedding.

Read the novel to find out what ruined that for her and how Holiday Magic gets it back. In The Perfect Choice, you’ll see Eleni’s faith restored too.

So, here’s my question: do you have a special decoration or ornament? I’d love to hear about it.
Don’t forget to check out the other Trim the Tree Blog Hoppers
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About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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34 Responses to Candlelight Reads Trim the Tree Blog Hop

  1. Cheryl Rogers says:

    My favorite decoration on my tree is the ornament my parents got me with all of my kids names and my husband and my name on it as well -I love our family! Its the best part of my life! cherylslife67@charter.net

  2. esseboo says:

    My favorite ornament that I own is one from my Great Grandma Goldie. It’s a small round ornament with the center indented. It still has most of its paint and I just absolutely love it. esseboo@yahoo.com

  3. Heather B says:

    I actually lost all of my special ornaments, they disappeared while moving a few years back. My favorite of the ones we currently have is the Bobble Head Yoda in a Santa Suit that we put on the top of our tree.

    • That must have been awful. My daughter moved last year and lost a bin of her Christmas things–lights and stuff, but the worst was the fact mice got into another bin and ruined it. She’s replaced most of it, but her good ornaments, the ones I bought her over the years, were all safe.

  4. luvnbooks247365 says:

    My favorite decoration is a wreath that my daughter made for me. ❤

  5. Pam says:

    I collect skiing Santa ornaments but then it kind of evolved into Santas involved in any type winter sport. One of my favorites is Santa and some reindeer in a hot tub.

  6. sherry1969 says:

    One of my favorite ornaments is a angel that I friend made me in art glass many years ago. It’s not the pretties but it has a lot of special memories with it.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  7. isisthe12th says:

    The Christmas ornament that has the most sentimental meaning to me is a blown glass deer my friend gave me. She has since passed from breast cancer. Every year when i put it on the tree i remember and cry.

  8. isisthe12th says:

    Forgot my email in the comment above
    email isisthe12th@gmail.com
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  9. tarafairfield says:

    I love the Night before Christmas, we always read that on Christmas eve to the little ones!

  10. barniebad says:

    My very favorite ornaments were made by my Mother. She has been making ornaments for us (my sister and 3 brothers) since we were little. I have also been collecting other ornaments since I was a little girl and each one hold a special memory but nothing compares to love that my mother has puts into making each of us an ornament for our Christmas trees. I am 50 years old and the present I look forward to the most is when her Christmas package arrives and I receive her homemade ornament of the year. I will always treasure each and every one of them.

  11. bn100 says:

    angel on the tree from a friend

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. Taswmom says:

    I have just a few of the Christmas Tree ornaments that I grew up with, as well as my Christmas stocking. These hold dear memories for me. As my husband worked for 7-Up the first 21 years of our marriage, we have a lot of Spot decorations. These hold fond memories of my children’s years of growing up. No matter what else does or does not get put out each year, my Nativity set always gets put out for all to see. Sheabeforewilliamsatyahoodotcom.

    • I have a Nativity set which is unique. A few years ago, we had to make some serious alterations to our sanctuary, including replacing the floor. A friend of ours, took some of the Presbyterian pine out of dumpster and used it to build me a manger large enough for the beautiful Nativity set I was given.

  13. Kathy Heare Watts says:

    My mother is still using ornaments from Germany that date to the late 50s and early 60s. They bring back memories of childhood. But her nativity that my Paternal Grandmother made in ceramics is my favorite and one of the prettiest I have every seen.

    Kathy Watts
    Redrabbitt@aol.com

  14. Thanks to all who came over for a visit. Prize winners have been notified here and in their emails if they left one. Merry Christmas.

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