By Samantha March
Author of The Christmas Surprise in All I Want For Christmas and Up To I Do
When I was thinking about favorite holiday traditions, the same memories kept popping up. Unfortunately, the tradition I’m going to share is no longer, which sticks with me each holiday season.
My favorite tradition as a child around the holidays was simply going to my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve. Before we arrived my mom, stepdad, myself and my brother would slowly drive around the blocks, looking at the beautiful Christmas lights, which continues to awe me into adulthood. Something about those lights just make me believe, you know? Then the whole family gathered at Grams, and we had a big present-opening ordeal. The kids went first and we got gifts from Grams, our godparents, and the children also had like a Secret Santa theme too (though usually not very secret). The adults went after, and I know they had a White Elephant gift exchange and things could get rowdy, but I was usually too busy playing with my new dolls or trying on new shoes at that point to pay much attention.
We stayed well into the night, making sure all the food was eaten, all the gifts were good and played with, and all us kids were tuckered out. I usually didn’t even remember being carried out to our vehicle and driven home. My memories from the end of the night blended easily into the next morning, where I would spring out of bed and my brother and I would run to the tree and see even more presents waiting for us.
As I got older, and my Grams got older, and then eventually sick with breast cancer, the tradition slowly started to slip away. I no longer live near any of my family, which does make me homesick around the holidays, but I do count myself as lucky, because I married into a great family who lives close by us. We’ve been able to start our own new traditions – Find the Pickle, for one – and I’m sure once I have children of my own even more traditions will start around our house. But I truly feel blessed to be able to look back on my childhood and know each year I felt the magic of Christmas and the love of my family. Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season.
About the Author
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all-around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up-to-date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and beauty related. In 2011, she launched her independent publishing company, Marching Ink, and has four published novels—Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, and Up To I Do. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.
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About All I Want For Christmas
While settling into a new career in a new community, Ivy is determined not to let the holiday season pass her by. Enter the grownup advent calendar: twenty-four days of festivities to celebrate Christmas. What begins as a bit of fun turns into a mission to spread cheer when she meets Everett. After learning about his bad Christmas attitude, she invites him to join her quest. Despite his initial reservations, Everett quickly gets caught up in the spirit of the calendar. But when new feelings surface and are impossible to ignore, Everett’s inner curmudgeon threatens to put a damper on the whole experience.
Nine Ladies Dancing by Cat Lavoie
Casey Ellis is the last person who should be planning her office’s holiday party. Convinced she’s plagued with chronic Christmas bad luck, Casey isn’t interested in tempting fate. But when putting on a party planner hat seems like a good way to get closer to her longtime crush, Casey takes charge—and braces for impact.
When things start to fall apart—just like Casey knew they would—will she run and hide, or will she learn that bad luck can sometimes turn out to be Christmas magic in disguise?
The Christmas Surprise by Samantha March
Juliette Mabry is a happily married stay-at-home wife and mother...until there appears to be trouble brewing in her nearly ten-year marriage. Juliette takes it upon herself to find out if her husband is up to no good, but does she want to know the truth? Everything is revealed on Christmas, and Juliette is in for her biggest Christmas surprise.
What Happens at Midnight by Laura Chapman
Romantic comedy junkie Natalie lives out those fantasies in real life three New Year's Eves in a row when fate throws her together with the same handsome stranger. A heartbreaking turn of events leaves her swearing off of love, forevers, and the holidays (bah humbug). That is until the mystery man from her past reappears years later. Over a holiday season, Natalie struggles to reconcile the whimsical notions of her past with the practical sensibilities she has worked so hard to develop. With the countdown to a new year looming, she must decide whether or not she is willing to give happily ever after another shot.
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