What would the holidays be without the music? It seems like every singer and celebrity has a Christmas song out these days. I’m not complaining though, because on December 1st every year, my radio dial is switched to the local station that moves to an all Christmas, all the time format for the entire month. Yeah, I’m that girl, you know the one singing Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs in the car next to you at every red light.
Do you have a favourite holiday song? Here are a few of mine.
Christmas countdown day three is all about the movies. It seems like the day after Halloween, the cable channels are suddenly full of Christmas movies, the schmaltzier the better. I have to admit to being a fan of the sappy Christmas movie, but there are a couple less than typical ones that top my list.
I also like to ring in the New Year by watching the extended versions of all three Lord of the Rings movies. Yeah, I’m a geek. I fully admit it.
How about you? What’s your favourite holiday movie?
I’m counting down to Christmas with some of my favourite things about the season. Today it’s the baking.
Yum, yum! Who doesn’t love all the food that is prepared at this time of year? If your family is like mine, there are probably some treats that are only made for special occasions, maybe only at Christmas. When I was a kid, my favourite was a slice that I only knew as Christmas slice, probably because that was the only time of year it was ever made. It wasn’t until years later, when I was living on my own and looking for the recipe, that I learned they were actually called Nanaimo Bars (if you are going to try this recipe, I substitute pecans for the walnuts).
Talk about decadence – buttery, creamy goodness sandwiched between a layer of sweet chocolate and a nutty, chocolate coconut base. Good thing calories don’t count at Christmas, do they?
How about you? Do you have a favourite treat for the holidays?
Day two of my countdown to Christmas. The holidays just wouldn’t be the same without a tree twinkling with coloured lights and laden with decorations. I spend many hours over the holidays sitting in front of the tree, enjoying the lights. This year, we put up a real tree for the first time in years (our artificial tree is finally looking rather worn after close to twenty years). Sure the fake tree is convenient, but nothing beats the real thing.
I tend to go for a more simple, rustic look and our decorations are for the most part hand made. They are extra special because many of them were gifts to my son from his grandmother, a new one each year.
Do you have a special ornament on your tree? Or a favourite holiday decoration for Hanukkah or Kwanza?
At this time of year there is always a debate, do you say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? I’m not actually religious, but I do celebrate Christmas. It’s a time to remember family and friends and be thankful for the past year. I love it – the lights on the tree, the food, the songs, the sappy movies, the presents (especially giving them).
As far as wishing someone Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas goes, I probably fall along a 50-50 split. If I know they celebrate Christmas then that’s my go to, if I’m unsure then it’s probably Happy Holidays. Or, if I know Hanukkah is their thing, I have no problem wishing them a Happy Hanukkah and if they say it to me, I take it in the spirit it is given and smile and say “thanks, you too”. Same goes for Kwanza.
I found this video the other day and thought it was a perfect way to wish everyone the best of the holiday season.
Whether you’re lighting the menorah, trimming the tree or counting the days of Kwanza with a kinara, I wish you a safe and happy holiday! For the next few days, I’ll be counting down to Christmas. Join me as I share some of my favourite things about this time of year.
The link below is probably ugly, but I can’t seem to get it to embed or hyperlink so just click it and a new window will open with the video.
To help get you into the holiday mood, I’m participating in the Jingle Book Blog Hop, hosted by Fire & Ice Book Promos. Join me on this hop around the internet as fellow writers and bloggers share their ideas on Christmas Spirit. There is also a Jingle Book Blog Hop Grand Prize giveaway where you can win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (see the ‘Enter to Win’ link below).
Christmas is a great time of year whether you are religious or not. What better time to don the holiday spirit and spend time with friends and family? With our hectic lives and busy schedules, it might not always be easy to get into the swing of things, so here’s a few ways to kick things off.
Watch a Christmas movie. There are plenty to chose from including:
- A Christmas Story
- The Polar Express
- National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- A Christmas Carol
- It’s A Wonderful Life
- Miracle on 34th Street (my personal favourite – the original 1947 version)
- The Santa Clause
- Home Alone
- Frosty the Snowman
- Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer
- White Christmas.
Call a friend or loved one. Say hi to someone you haven’t spoken with for a while. Maybe they need help getting into the spirit too.
Read a Christmas themed book. You can’t go wrong with classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas or A Christmas Carol, no matter what age you are. For the younger set, one of my favourites is Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera.
Decorate! Ornaments, Christmas cards, popcorn strings, lights, garland. Visit the dollar store if you’re on a budget.
Send out Christmas cards or email greetings. You have to send a letter to get a letter, my Gramma used to say. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to lift someone else’s? And, who knows? You may just get a card in return.
Buy a countdown/advent calendar. Did you know they have ones with chocolate in them? They even have ones with alcohol (check out this Whiskey Advent Calendar)! I realize it’s already partway through December, but think how much fun it will be to catch up!
Listen to Christmas music. Yes, I know the malls are filled with muzak, but there are a lot of great Christmas songs out there. Here’s a few to listen for:
- Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade
- Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
- I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday – Roy Wood and Wizard
- Walking in the Air – Aled Jones
- Do They Know it’s Christmas? – Band Aid
- I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake
- Rocking Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
- White Christmas – Bing Crosby
- Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon
- Sleigh Ride – Pentatonix
- Step into Christmas – Elton John
- Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard
- Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord – Boney M.
- Fairytale of New York – Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
- A spaceman came Travelling – Chris De Burgh
- Last Christmas – Wham!
- All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
- Jingle Bells – Bing Crosby (other versions exist too)
- Christmas Lights – Coldplay
Be generous. Donate time or money to those in need. Volunteer at your local food bank or soup kitchen. Give to a local charity that collects to help make Christmas better for those less fortunate.
Say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to everyone you meet. Even if they don’t celebrate, they will probably return the greeting with a smile, and you should too!
Bake some treats. We all have a favourite treat that we only make on special occasions. No time like the present to dust that recipe off. In fact, I’ll share one of mine. When I was a kid, we called this “Christmas Slice” because you only ever saw it at Christmas.
Looking for the perfect gift for the reader in your family? There’s still time to order them a copy of Dead and Kicking, book one in the Harry Russo Diaries. In fact, there’s no better time than now to read Harry’s first adventure, with book two, Tooth and Claw, set for release on January 5, 2016.
As part of this hop, I am offering a chance to win one of five digital copies (epub or mobi) of Dead and Kicking just leave a comment below and you are automatically entered. Sign up to my mailing list (here) during the duration of the hop and get an extra entry. Everyone who signs up will also get a sneak peek at the first chapter of Deadlocked, book three in the Harry Russo Diaries.
What’s a girl to do when her date is D.O.A?
Angharad ‘Harry’ Russo is just your ordinary twenty-something, with one exception – she’s a witch with an out of the ordinary gift. When her blind date goes sideways and she ends up face to face with a dead body, her life starts to go sideways too.
Harry soon finds herself right in the middle of the mayhem, dealing with Cian Nash, a homicide detective that is as aggravating as he is sexy; the biggest, baddest vampire in town; and a parcel of pesky zombies that keep popping up everywhere. It’s all connected to her date’s unfortunate demise, or is there more to it than meets the eye?
What people are saying about Dead and Kicking:
…I can’t wait to read more.
–KaleidoscopeHeart Book Reviews
I have to say, there just aren’t as many new Urban Fantasy series out there as there used to be, so it’s kind of exciting for me to find one that I enjoyed. I read this debut by Lisa Emme in one sitting.
-Jen, Red Hot Books
5 stars….I read the whole thing in one go, I loved her characters and her story line, I was completely engaged…
Read an excerpt from Dead and Kicking
Available in print January 2016
Jingle Book Blog Hop Grand Prize Giveaway.
Follow this link to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway and continue on the rest of the hop.
And don’t forget to check back on December 27th for the Crazy Canuck New Year’s Blog Hop. Fill your new devices with Canadian authors with a chance to win a fantastic grand prize!
Ring in the New Year with your favourite Canadian author. I’m helping to organize the Crazy Canuck New Year’s Blog Hop. We are currently looking for authors and bloggers to participate and host the hop.
Authors, don’t miss this chance for you to promote your work to new readers.
Bloggers get in on the fun and offer up some new and exciting reads to your followers.
All the details are here. Sign up today!