Swap — If You Can't Handle the Heat — Sin Bin

Sunday 14 December 2014

eXtasy Advent Calendar Hop @eXtasyBooks #Giveaway #Contest #eXbdd

Welcome to Day 9 of the eXtasy Books Advent Calendar Hop and Contest. Follow along everyday for a word of the day as we eXtasy Authors count down the days to the annual eXtasy Chat. This year the chat will be held on Book Carousel on Facebook, the place where eXtasy and Devine Destinies authors hangout and interact with readers, have contests, promote books and lots of other good stuff. If you haven't joined Book Carousel now's a good time. Just click the orange link above and it will take you right there. Now back to the contest, Once you've collected all of your words, you can then go and enter the sentence on the Rafflecopter link (which will be posted on the group towards the end of the Advent Calendar Hop) for a chance to win the prize.

THE PRIZE - Each author that is participating in the eXtasy Advent Calendar has generously donated one of their eBooks! That's 15 eBooks, all for ONE lucky winner. I'll be donating a copy of the first book in the Always Cambridge Series.

There will also be one more grand prize added to the bundle, but to find out what that is, you'll have to wait and see. 

So our task was to write a Christmas themed post.  Forgive me, I intended an uplifting and fun post but ended up with a sappy one instead. I've enjoyed following along with the hop and getting to know some more about the other eXtasy authors and how they like to celebrate the season, from all over the world. They've shared memories, stories and some wonderful pictures.

I know I'm probably not the only one who becomes nostalgic this time of year. Bitter sweet memories of times long past, a time to reflect and be thankful, and perhaps remember the people who are no longer here to celebrate with us. 

Some of my fondest recollections are of Christmas Eve. I love Christmas Eve, probably more so than Christmas Day. Even when I was a child the night before the big day just seemed so magical. The anticipation made everything seem so mystical and exciting. 

When fellow author Beany Sparks suggested this Advent Calendar Hop, it all of a sudden reminded me, when we were kids, my sister made up an Advent book full of readings and she'd share one every evening at supper time leading up to Christmas. If I'm not mistaken, she even lit a candle. I hadn't thought of it in years. I remember the backing was made of orange construction paper, and the verses carefully typed on white paper then clipped with pinking sheers, and pasted delicately on the page, a string of yarn around the middle to keep it together, like binding. On the front cover was a candle, a page from a colouring book, I think. I'll, bet our mum still has the precious book stashed in among all our Christmas decorations, a little tattered and faded but cherished all the same. Our mother saves everything. :)

When I was a kid, as a family, we attended Church services. There were two services on Christmas Eve. An early service for the children and then a midnight service. I don't honestly remember the children's time (I guess I was too young when I stopped going) and I'm not sure that I ever attended the late programme (it was for the adults) :p

As teenagers, my sister and I used to stay home, while our parents went to the late service. We watched Christmas cartoons—The classics, Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolph and my all time favourite The Grinch—and then we switched over to movies, the later it got.

It always, always snowed on Christmas Eve, without fail. Those big fluffy flakes—in my family, we call it Christmas snow. Our mum and dad would come in from Church around midnight, shivering but happy, full of Christmas Spirit. I remember those snowflakes sticking, glistening on my dad's dark hair. It really seemed magical. Everything about it. It was home. He'd brush the snow off his head and give it shake, he'd stomp his feet and smile like a big kid. My dad was kind of a gruff guy, but at Christmas, he was different. Lighter. Happier. The way I wished he could have been all of the time. Perhaps that's why I so love The Grinch, it reminds me of my father. 
He might have seemed hard to approach and grouchy on the outside, but he had a massive heart and enormous faith. He'd make my mama a brandy and egg nog and we'd sit by the fire and watch A Christmas Carol the one with Alistair Sim, in black and white, of course and we'd have snacks before we headed to bed. 

My husband and I have incorporated some of our past family traditions into our little family and added a few new ones of our own. We have three grown children, all attending college, but we are lucky enough that they all still come home for Christmas. I'm not sure how many more years we will enjoy being all together as our little family unit. I am hanging onto it while I can. But for now, we still sit down together around midnight on Christmas Eve and watch A Christmas Carol. It's tradition. Sometimes my husband even pours me a spiced rum and egg nog. Cheers! And whenever we see those big fluffy snowflakes in the air, we think of my dad, and smile. 

Look Lenny, It's Christmas Snow.

We miss you, Dad, Merry Christmas.

Wishing you all the blessings and spirit of Christmas. 
Hug the ones you love.
Happy Christmas
from Canada

Below you will find the word of the day which you'll need for the contest. Be sure to check the Book Carousel page on Facebook tomorrow for the name of the next author and the link where you will find the post. Good luck.


  1. I remember Christmas eve as a child helping mum in the kitchen doing the last minute baking for Christmas day usually mince pies and sausage rolls fun times.

    1. Mmm, mince pies and more good memories.
      Cheers, ShirleyAnn, thanks for stopping. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Tracy. Happy Holidays to you and your family. :) <3

  3. Hand me a tissue please HK. Great post, wonderful memories!

    1. Here you go, I happen to have one right here.
      Thank you, Donna.
      Cheers! <3

  4. I always loved going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. There is something magical about churches at that time of night. One tradition that we still do is watching Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve with our 2 daughters. They are in their 20's but still come over to watch. May you and your family have a happy holiday

    1. You're so right Denise, it is magical, spiritual. I love the Muppets. That's so cool that you still do that. Wishing you and yours a Happy Christmas too, Denise.