BEST WISHES TO YOU FOR A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!
It’s hard to believe that we’re already approaching mid-December. Like every other holiday this year, it will certainly be different—at least at our home. We usually have a houseful of family here to celebrate. Our daughter comes home early to help me cook and bake up a storm because we both love to cook! But this year, everyone is trying to be cautious and I’m not sure if any of the family will want to come.
And that makes me think fondly of years past.
Until last year, I’d always followed the Christmas traditions of my late Swedish mother, with a smorgasbord of Swedish foods on Christmas Eve—Christmas ham, Swedish meatballs, a potato casserole, platters of cold meats and cheeses, pickled herring, steamed veggies, lefse (which we love, though it’s Norwegian, not Swedish), cardamom buns, rice pudding with lemon sauce, and Swedish cookies like rosettes, pepparkakor, and lingonberry hearts. But NO lutefisk. Ever! I have such lovely memories of those Christmas Eve meals, but last year our kids voted for lasagna!
Please read to the end for the Christmas cookie recipe our family has been making since the 1970s!
Speaking of memories, my very favorite Christmas Eve was when our second son was born that very day. What a blessing!
Here are my questions for December:
- What is one of your favorite memories from holidays past?
2. Do you serve certain favorite foods during the holidays?
To answer these questions, just reply in the “Comments” section below.
From those who answer, three winners will be chosen. Their replies (with just a first name and last initial) will appear in my January newsletter, and each winner can select a free e-copy of one title in my 2020 Coupled by Christmas six-novella series. Two of the novellas, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS and A SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS, are shown above.
Here are the winners from last month:
Debra P. said:
I am blessed to live with my 82 year Mom who is home from a rehab center after seven weeks. My Dad lives six blocks away. He is in and out a few days a week. We will have both of them for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We usually have an open house type day, but that will not be happening. I had planned on making some gifts, but my heart has not been in it this year. This year I will be focused more on the birth of the Lord, not the commercial, gift giving. I am struggling to get into the spirit of the holidays.
Natalya L. said:
How are you coping with the pandemic? With faith…trusting the Lord! What will you change this year? Nothing, I’m not going to let fear kill all the joy. Not one of us is guaranteed the next hour; why are we acting as if we will somehow live forever? We won’t. I respect genuine caution and take necessary precautions but I refuse to stay away from my loved ones, especially since we don’t know if they are going to be around for the next holidays.
What will you miss the most? I miss traveling. But we already have people walking around who are doing such ridiculous things that it’s just going to end up breaking all their hearts in the end…. And that’s the saddest part of all of this.
Colleen C. said:
Thinking of gift ideas for family is hard this year, no one really gave me any ideas. I feel like time is flying by… looking forward to decorating soon.
Here are my newest releases–in the six novella series “Couple for Christmas”
CHRISTMAS IN PARIS released December 4.
Christmas in Paris—a dream come true. Holly had planned every moment of their perfect, romantic honeymoon on an Excel spreadsheet.
To her utter shock, she found herself jilted just before her wedding. When she heard her fiancé had eloped with someone else that very morning and had absconded with her savings, it took her minutes to realize she’d escaped a very close call. And just a few more to decide she was not missing the trip of a lifetime that she’d paid for herself.
But when she steps out of her tiny Paris hotel and bumbles into the path of a man jogging by…
A SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS
Lucy Davis has fourteen days to settle her late aunt’s estate in Scotland, then she needs to be on her return flight to Chicago. As her Aunt Maura’s only remaining relative, she figures it won’t be difficult–she’d never met the woman who just died at eighty-nine, but assumes the most challenging aspects will probably be rehoming a pet cat or two, and taking a few things to a donation bin.
She doesn’t expect to find Maura still owned a charming B&B, complete with a collection of quirky guests who have no intention of moving out…plus one tall, mysterious man who just might be the man of her dreams….
HERE ARE FOUR GREAT PROMOTIONS THIS MONTH—WITH LOTS OF PRIZES TO WIN!
Inspirational Romance Holiday Extravaganza – Dec. 7-16
Click here to enter!
The Gift of Reading Giveaway ?? WIN A NEW SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB ?? – Dec. 4-10
From LitRing. Rewards one lucky reader with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and two others each with a $25 Amazon gift card, just for following authors on BookBub! Go here now to see which authors are participating and claim all your entries for the big prize.
“Clean Christmas Shorts” Promotion – Nov. 27-Dec. 25
This is a place to find lots of wonderful Christmas novellas. Come check it out!
Clean Christmas Romance 25 Days of Christmas Facebook Event! – Dec. 20
Click on this link to join the group and find out more.
I’ll be there chatting with readers on December 20th from 5-6 pm central time, and giving away prizes. Be sure to stop by then!
OUR FAMILY’S FAVORITE CUT-OUT COOKIE RECIPE SINCE THE LATE 1970s!
This is a favorite because the dough is so easy to work with—which means much less trouble when making Christmas cookies with little ones. It can be rolled out over and over again, as you use up the “scraps” for the next batch.
I keep this dough in my freezer for when grandkids come, so we can roll out cookies for whatever season it is. The floor has a definite sugar crunch by the time we are done, but the kids have a ball.
And what they come up with always involves lots and lots of decoration—as you can see in the photo! 🙂
ROLLED COOKIES—ROXANNE RUSTAND
2 cups Crisco-type shortening
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
MIX DRY INGREDIENTS, THEN ADD TO CREAMED MIXTURE:
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 cups flour
Roll out (thin) and cut your cookies, then bake at 350° 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.
Note: This is a copy of my December newsletter. If you would like to be on the mailing list so you don’t miss any of my newsletters, just look over to the top right for a quick and easy way to sign up. In each issue, there are chances to win free books by simply answering one–or all–of the monthly questions listed in the newsletter (and this blog post) and you’ll be entered in the drawing! I’ll also include links to any current promotional events where you can win all sorts of prizes!
My favorite memory of Christmas was the year the whole family got together and rented a cabin in Colorado Springs. The snow was perfect even if my skiing was not! My brother arranged a wagon ride to a huge tent in the snow that served grilled steak and fixings served while people performed music and we sat on hay bales at plank tables. We also went to hot springs that even had waterfalls, oh my, what a wonderful celebration!
We always start baking on Thanksgiving weekend while we decorate the tree and house. Christmas movies are playing (starting with White Christmas) and our hearts are happy. After all, we are celebrating the birth of Christ!
decorating together, turkey
Favorite memories… waiting by the window and watching for my grandparents to arrive. When I saw them I was filled with such happiness. I would run to the door to open it for them and it was the best feeling on Earth to get a hug from them.
Food, we always have pumpkin pie from my grandma’s recipe and make M&M cookies together.