I love this time of year because of all the festivities, the food, and especially the chance to revive traditions. For us, that includes listening to Christmas carols, watching holiday movies, and bringing out boxes and boxes of decorations.
One of the first boxes we open each year is the one with our Christmas mugs. We have a tradition of using them near Thanksgiving to start the season off right. They provide just a little reminder each morning – and during the rest of the day – that good times are on the way. They also make us think of all the other traditions we love.
For us, and probably for many people, the biggest decorating tradition is, of course, trimming the tree. We used to do that the day after Thanksgiving as we didn’t have much free time from then on. Now I work from home, we can usually wait until closer to the holiday. But no matter when we do it, it’s the same special event every year.
My husband does the lights, I do the tinsel, and between those two chores, we put up the ornaments – while we keep our Christmas mugs of hot chocolate handy!
I don’t know about you, but we have certain ornaments that have to go in certain places, like the First Christmas Together ornament my mom and dad gave us when we were married. The photo-frame ornament that has a family picture on the front of it. The little beaded angel, about an inch tall, that I once bought at a Christmas craft sale.
Each ornament is special it its own way and evokes so many memories – which is what tradition is all about, isn’t it?
Have you got a family tradition or decoration you look forward to every year?
In a couple of my books, the hero and heroine get wrapped up in Christmas festivities whether they want to or not – and unfortunately for them, they don’t.
In my brand-new release, The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal, Andi and Mitch have agreed to a fake engagement for the holidays to escape her scheming, matchmaking grandpa. But in this scene where they’re decorating the family tree at the Hitching Post Hotel, the closeness becomes too much for her:
Andi didn’t know how she was going to make it through another minute of being around Mitch. She had had as much as she could take of seeing his smile, of hearing his laugh. He had done a lot of both during lunch in the dining room, then even more since they had spent the afternoon in the sitting room decorating the tree.
“Cole,” he said now, “you call yourself a wrangler? I could’ve done a better job of roping and tying that garland to the tree, and I haven’t worked this ranch in years.”
He sat on the couch with Missy on his knee and the boys and Rachel close by on the floor near his feet. All afternoon, he had talked with them and teased them and treated them as if they were his own kids.
She’d had enough of keeping up pretenses in front of her family. But he continued playing his role. He had brought her into conversations, too, when she would rather have been quiet. He had taken every chance available to put his arm around her. He had smiled at her like a man in love.
It all made her heart hurt.
In my earlier Christmas book, Court Me, Cowboy, it’s the hero who has a lot at stake in the tree-decorating scene. His ex-wife recently showed up on his doorstep to tell him they have a baby on the way. And he’s trying to get through the holidays without upsetting her so she’ll l allow him future contact with his child…
He frowned, a heartbeat away from backing out on this crazy idea. Pride pushed him forward. He took a long deep breath and let it out slowly. “Look, what I’m asking for is a truce. Why don’t we just start over again, like you said the other night.”
Her eyes widened. “You’re serious?”
“Darn right, I’m serious.”
Judging by the way her fingers twisted themselves together, she didn’t entirely believe him.
“Come on,” he urged, waving toward the corner of the room. “We’ve got a tree over there needs decorating, so why don’t we just start with that, see how it goes?”
“Well. . .I guess we could try it.”
A mite begrudging, but he’d take what he could get.
“Good.” He headed to the tree before she could change her mind. “I’ll get going on the lights.”
She moved to sit cross-legged on the floor and began threading silver hangers onto ornaments. She focused on her work, not looking at him, but her mouth had curved upward at the corners in the sexy smile guaranteed to get him hot. His fist tightened, driving a star-shaped light into his palm. He barely noticed.
She was so damn beautiful.
And he’d promised not to touch her.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the clips.
To celebrate the holiday, I’m giving away an autographed print copy of one of my available backlist titles (US mailing addresses only, please). To get your name in the hat: share a special holiday tradition with us.
Leave your comment by Friday, and a winner’s name will be posted in the comments over the weekend.
Again, happy holidays to everyone!
About the Author:
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara’s new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, features a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. The series began with The Cowboy’s Little Surprise and A Rancher of Her Own, and The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal debuts today. Additional books in the series will be coming up next year.
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