December 4, 2015

becky monson shares her favorite holiday traditions

Bloggers Note: The traditions surrounding the holiday season are part of what make it so special. In Making Christmas and What Happens at Midnight--my novellas featured in All I Want For Christmas--both celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve traditions. To spread the merriment of the season, I have invited five writers to share their favorite holiday traditions on the blog this week. Enjoy!

By Becky Monson
Author of  Thirty-Two Going on SpinsterThirty-Three Going on Girlfriend and Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

Growing up, my favorite Christmas tradition was my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls. Actually, it still is my favorite tradition. And she still makes them every year. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill cinnamon rolls. She makes the dough on Christmas Eve, watches it all day – letting the dough rise and kneading it down, only to let it rise again. Christmas Eve night, she rolls the dough out and covers it with loads of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then rolls it all up, slices it, and once they are placed into generously buttered pans, she lets them rise again.

Christmas morning the cinnamon rolls go into the oven and bake while we open presents. Once baked to a light brown perfection, she dumps them onto wax paper and then takes a spatula and scrapes all of the brown-sugar-cinnamon-buttery-goodness on top of the rolls.

I’m literally drooling right now just thinking about it.

Not an actual picture of the cinnamon rolls,
but this is basically what they look like.

The first time I was away from home for Christmas, after I started adult-ing (what a stupid idea that was), I decided I was going to carry on the cinnamon roll tradition. So I called my mom and had her send me the recipe.

I set out Christmas Eve to not just make my mom’s cinnamon rolls, but to make them even better than she did. What can I say, I’ve always been an over-achiever. She never added frosting to her rolls and I thought that would make them even more amazing.

I did everything like she did. Watched the dough like a hawk all day, letting it rise a few times. Rolled it out and added just a bit more butter, sugar, and cinnamon then she usually does, because what doesn’t taste better with even more of that stuff? Seriously, put butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon on anything and tell me it doesn’t taste better. Okay, maybe not broccoli. Or maybe I just invented the best broccoli ever. Hmm…

The next morning, as they baked in the oven, making my apartment smell like heaven and my roommates drool with the thought, I was so proud of myself for having carried on this tradition and dreamed of the day I would share this with my future children. With my added addition of frosting along with my extra butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon – these were bound to be the best cinnamon rolls ever.

Only they weren’t.

While my finished product looked quite amazing, it was basically dough on the inside and the extra innards and frosting only proved to make them taste like the sweetest thing I had ever eaten. One would assume too much sweetness is never a bad thing, and I am here to tell you that notion is wrong. Very wrong. Too much sugar is, in fact, a bad thing.

From then on out, I decided to leave the cinnamon rolls to the expert – my mother. And when I did finally have children of my own, we traveled to see Nana so she could make us cinnamon rolls for Christmas. When we don’t get to visit Nana over the holidays, then I keep it simple and make Monkey Bread (also delicious, but definitely more fool-proof). Lesson learned.

About the Author
By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.

Connect with Becky

About All I Want For Christmas
Making Christmas by Laura Chapman
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.

All I Want For Christmas is Now Available

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