Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas Reads

It’s almost here—the time for Christmas traditions old and new. 

A few tidbits: Prior to the 1850’s, Christmas trees in homes were rare. It wasn’t until after President Franklin Pierce set up the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1856, that the tradition took off. Forward thinking entrepreneurs had already been working on building the newly acquired American tradition with the first ‘Christmas Tree Lot’ appearing in New York City in 1851, and shortly thereafter companies such as FW Woolworth began selling glass ornaments and patterns for families to sew their own Christmas decorations.  

Electric lights, promising to be safer than the regularly used candles, were invented in 1882, but again, didn’t grow in popularity until after used in the White House by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923. A German company also created an artificial tree, again, in response to tree fires as well as the number of furs being cut down, but the artificial tree didn’t take off until the 1960’s during the era of plastic and the ‘hip’ silver aluminum trees. (Oh, yes, we had one of those.)

America can claim the turkey dinner as its own. Goose, ham, or beef roasts, are/were common other places, but the turkey, native to America, quickly became the most popular dish served. Benjamin Franklin nominated the turkey to be the ‘national bird’ but the bald eagle won that position.

Along with the tree and food, the holiday soon became a highly celebrated occasion, including family gatherings and community celebrations.  

Our family has many traditions, some old and some new. One of my personal favorites is reading Christmas stories. I gather books year round and save them to start reading as soon as Thanksgiving dinner has been served. 

On that note, I’m excited to have two new Christmas stories released this year. 

Christmas Cowboy Kisses. My story, Christmas with Her Cowboy, is part of this Harlequin Anthology that was released in October. 

Christmas with Her Cowboy by Lauri Robinson—Ranch hand Tanner Maxwell is not pleased that Anna Hagan has returned to the Double Bar for Christmas. But the little girl he once knew is now all grown up….

The other wonderful stories in this anthology include: 

 A Family for Christmas by Carolyn Davidson—When a handsome widower and his young boy are stranded at Joy Watson's Missouri homestead just before Christmas, the true meaning of love and family is revealed.

A Christmas Miracle by Carol Arens—Laira Lynne is striving to save her beloved town. New arrival Rayne Lantree is the only man with the power to make her dream come true…if he'll just believe in a little Christmas magic! 

My second one is in Harlequin’s Undone line, Snowbound with Sheriff will be released December 1st.

Southern Montana, 1886

When Chayston Williams agreed to act as sheriff of Spring Valley, Montana, he never dreamed his duties would include delivering his father's pretty young mail-order bride to the family ranch in time for a Christmas wedding!

Violet Ritter promised her late stepfather that she would marry the man of his choosing. But she's shocked to discover her husband-to-be is old enough to have a grown son of his own! And she's even more surprised by her attraction to the ornery young man….

When a blizzard strands them in the sheriff's office for two days—and two nights—how will Chayston and Violet stop the fire between them from blazing out of control?

Happy Holidays!


Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks, Lauri. At times I wish I lived somewhere like Montana where there is deep snow. But then, I think about how none of our family likes driving in snow or ice and rethink it. Still, it's beautiful to look at.

Ginger Jones Simpson said...

Love your post. I remember our Aluminum tree with it's rotating rainbow light. I thought it was beautiful at the time, but now I'm not so sure... Thanks for such an interesting read and Happy Holidays.

Susan Horsnell said...

I have to quit going to blogs. The excerpt got me, bought the book. Loved the story on Christmas trees.

Paty Jager said...

Two great stories! Christmas stories in snowy locations call for a cup of cocoa and sitting down by a fire and reading. Wishing you oodles of sales!

Karren Lucas said...

The blog intrigued me! I lived in Montana for four years and this brought back memories! Looking forward to reading Cowboy Kisses!

Lauri said...

Hi Caroline, though I can't say I love driving in the snow, I do enjoy having it around on Christmas.

I too thought our silver tree was beautiful, at the time, Ginger!

Thanks, Susan. I do hope you enjoy the book!

A huge cup of cocoa is always a wonderful companion, Paty! Thanks!

Thanks, Karen. I hope you enjoy all three stories!