Today, as part of the Winter’s Sweet Kiss blog tour, I asked the anthology authors this question:
What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
Here’s what they had to say . . .
If I have to pick a thing, it was my kindle, duh. But my husband was my best Christmas gift really. We had our first date on Christmas; he goes out of his way to make sure each Christmas is better than the last. Oh and he always makes sure to have gifts I can open early so that I don’t open the real gift until Christmas. I am no good with surprises.
Well, I’m not Christian, and in my family, we don’t really have a tradition of exchanging Christmas presents. Although we do celebrate Christmas 🙂 The best presents I’ve ever received otherwise are – wait for it – books. So predictable, right? But seriously, if you introduce me to a new author who becomes my next favorite, I’ll love you forever. *cough*andmayhintatmorepresents*cough*
When I was growing up, we had only two Christmas albums (yes, albums!), both from Woolworth’s. To this day, the opening of Perry Como’s version of “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” can make me feel like I’m six years old, with all the attendant anticipation and wonder. But my least favorite song on the album was Barbra Streisand’s “The Best Gift.” A slow ballad celebrating the birth of a child, its beauty was lost on me.
Thirty years later, I was pregnant with my second child, due on December 26. To everyone’s relief, she arrived early—on December 21. Anna, my little Winter Solstice Baby (as I started calling her when she told her preschool teacher that she was a Christmas baby and must, therefore, be Jesus) with her dark hair, dark eyes, and smooshed nose and left ear, was undoubtedly the most beautiful, best gift I’ve ever received.
The Laura Ingles Wilder Little House on the Prairie gift set when I was 7. A gift from my grandmother, these books started my love affair with reading – and dreaming of time travel.
In December 2003, I was six months pregnant with my first child. We’d just bought a house and were looking forward to our first Christmas in our own home. But in the first week of December, at 25 week pregnant, I went into labor. I had no idea I was in labor and went to the ER thinking I had a kidney stone. Alas, with contractions two minutes apart, they pumped me full of drugs and kept me overnight. I spent the rest of the month confined to my couch, on several medications, doing everything in my power to keep my little boy cooking in my belly. When Christmas day came, I unwrapped my gifts from my husband and my family, watched from the couch as my mother cooked us a Christmas dinner, and celebrated the fact that I had managed to stay out of the hospital. As anticlimactic as it seems, the best gift I ever received was my son NOT being born on Christmas day.
And now, a little bit about Winter’s Sweet Kiss:
Blurb: When Wayne Edwards moves to town, Lillian Douglas experiences stirrings she thought were long dead. Guilt ridden over betraying her deceased husband and the feelings Wayne inspires, Lillian reluctantly lets him in. Secrets of the past – an old promise emerges, but will it threaten their forever?
MELT By Shaya Roy
Blurb: Newlyweds in an arranged marriage, Naina and Dev go to the mountains of Shimla, India in search of snow. Unfortunately, they find fifteen inches more than they expected.
Being snowed in with her husband is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives Naina an excellent excuse to snuggle up to her deep, quiet man, but every time Dev spurns her, a little more of her heart drips away. Melting the ice around her husband’s heart before the snow outside does might take more pride than Naina’s ready to surrender.
ONE IN A MILLION SNOWFLAKES By Michelle Ziegler
Blurb: Angela is in love with someone she can never have–her best friend, Rebecca’s older brother.
Stranded in the bitter cold after a disastrous blind date with yet another company Christmas party looming, a standing offer from the boss’ nephew gets a little more appealing. Desperation. Not a good sign. Surely when Rebecca rescues her from the blinding snow, she can also convince Angela to just go to the party alone. She can always count on her best friend.
That is, as long as she never finds out about Angela’s secret crush.
AN UNEXPECTED WREATH By Annabelle Blume
Blurb: Stella’s got everything she needs in life: a great job, a beautiful house, and her independence. But on last minute trip to the local Christmas tree lot she finds something, or rather someone, she desperately wants – Grayson. An emergency trip to Target, an unexpected wreath, and a little Christmas magic make the season much brighter.
SANTA BEBE By Lily Carlyle
Blurb: Disillusioned by men and her belief that they see her only as an object, Bebe is determined to find a man with money. Her geeky, but unfailingly kind, next-door neighbor James tries to convince her of the possibility of real love, even as she reveals to him the troubled childhood that made her so cynical about relationships. When her mother dashes her hopes for a perfect Christmas, Bebe finds herself turning to James once again, and in the process, learning a lot about herself and the promise their relationship holds.
Rafflecopter Link for Group Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card & paperback copy of Winter’s Sweet Kiss
*Now it’s your turn to tell me: What’s the best present you ever received?! In case I don’t blog again before next Wednesday, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Lots of near-Christmas babies. Must be the spring air.
Best Christmas gift – my wife got me a Les Paul guitar, completely unexpected.
Whoa, sweet gift!!!
Hot damn. That IS a great gift!!! Especially when it was unexpected.
Thanks for stopping by, Alex!
Well I am late to the party like usual. I can’t even blame my kids. Darn it.
I see pony’s and dad’s and kids. I’m amending my answer from above and changing the perspective I think I was my parents best gift. I doubt they agree; but I literally came home Christmas day in a stocking. Sorry. That is just a fun story.
Alright back to serious. I love the story on the dad coming home from war. My brother is military, and because of him I am very thankful to all our military out there and their families. I try and support the active troops every year through an organization I volunteer with. I have to say the gift of a safe family member is a true gift all year long!
Thanks Jamie for hosting us!! I loved having to dig deep in my memory to think of my best gift. I was surprised when something didn’t pop into my head first rather, someone. Yup. I surprised myself.
The last year I officially celebrated Christmas was 1997, but I still de facto celebrate it with my parents and brother by giving gifts, receiving a few presents in return, and eating with them. (I obviously skip the ham they always serve!) Even though my religion is different, we’re supposed to honor and respect our families. When I still celebrated in my own right, I think one of my favorite gifts was the Rand McNally atlas my uncle gave me in 1986. The inscription include a note about using it for all my school assignments. It’s pretty outdated by this point (no more USSR, a united Germany, no more Yugoslavia, one Yemen, different names and borders), but I still regularly use it for researching my writing. It almost seems wrong to get a more updated atlas, since my uncle has been in the other world for almost 26 years. The maps in there represent the world as it was when he was still alive.
What a great gift, Carrie-Anne. It’s nice to look back and where we’ve been and all that has transpired since then.
I too use an atlas for research – and have fun when needing to name cities for my fantasy novels.
Thanks for stopping by & sharing with us.
Hmmm, the best Christmas gift I ever received…if we’re talking tangible presents, probably the ruby ring my hubby gave to me a few years ago. If we’re talking BEST present ever…it would have to be when my dad came home from Vietnam. I was young, like 6 years old, and he came home sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. He’d been gone a year. I remember clinging to his neck, so afraid he would go away again if I let go. A few short months later, we were on our way to Germany. Spent two Christmases there that were absolutely magical.
I see utube videos of military parents surprising their kids by making it home for the holidays and I get all teary-eyed every single time. That has to be by far the best present ever!
Thanks for stopping by & sharing this personal tidbit with us.
Jamie – thanks so much for hosting us today! It was a great topic to think on and share.
I love the contrast between my and Annabelle’s stories. And guess what my little Winter Solstice baby’s name is? Anna, though I wanted to name her Annabel, and that is her nickname!
Wow. Everyone’s received such amazing presents. I’m indulging myself vicariously!
Merry X-mas, Jamie!! xo I think I’ll take it WAY back to middle school. The best x-mas gift I got was the My Little Pony Estate! It was huge, pink with it’s own pool it it’s atrium….beautiful! To this day, I regret not preserving it somehow for my lil one. *sigh*
Tuere, both of my daughters are obsessed with My Little Ponies. Yes, they’re STILL around – and all over my house!
Thanks for stopping by!
Hmm, so my comment was supposed to be to the post, not another comment. Oh well. Apparently technology and myself are not getting along.
Wonderful author responses and comments all around! The one gift that sticks out the most to me was when I was 9 (my daughter’s age now, so weird) and I got to spend Christmas back in Michigan with my whole family . . . I love my mom, but being with only her in Florida around the holidays was lonely. Then, to top it all off, it snowed the whole time I was there. LOVED every minute of sledding with my cousins. Annnd, Santa went ahead and brought me that Barbie Ice Cream Shop set I’d wanted, even though it meant Dad had to ship it back to FL for me *tear, tear* I do still have that Barbie set too 🙂
The best Christmas gift I ever received was from my big brother. He gave me indoor roller skates my mom said we couldn’t afford. Come to think of it … he’s the one who always knew exactly what I wanted and managed to get it for me 🙂 Great post, Jamie. I love sharing these kinds of Holiday memories !!
Jamie, my cousins always congregated at our farm in central PA on Christmas – they came from CA and FL as well. Wonderful memories. Now we’re all grown and each family does their own thing, with their own kids. Wouldn’t have traded those years for anything.
Congratulations, anthologists! 😉 And Merry Christmas, Jamie!
The best present that I ever received was a Harry Potter broomstick set.