A few of my favorite things at Christmas and a couple I don’t love

This post is part of the Holiday Gifts of Love blog hop. Scroll down to the end of information about prizes available and other participants.

I love Christmas, almost everything about it–except shopping.  Actually, it’s not the shopping I mind so much as it is the traffic jams in the parking lots, fighting the crowds, and waiting forever in line to check out. I actually love buying gifts for people. I’m not the greatest at choosing those “perfect gifts” but I like trying, and I think I do okay at it. At least, nobody’s handed back any of my gifts, yet. If some things have been quietly “regifted,” no one’s told me about it, so it didn’t happen.

And then there’s the baking.  In an earlier post, I shared how I cook my pumpkin and turn it into pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cookies. I usually freeze some of those goodies so we can have them at Christmas too.

But it’s not just pumpkin. In fact, I have a number of cookie recipes that my family loves—chocolate chips, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, cinnamon cookies and orange cookies. If any of those are missing, there will be howls of outrage from some quarter. I usually start baking in November and tuck batches away in a back corner of the freezer.

I try to do one new cookie recipe each year. Mostly they turn out pretty good, but not special enough to dislodge any of the top five. Sometimes, they’re pretty good and they get added to the alternate list.  I can only remember one true disaster – the fruitcake cookies. Enough said. I can’t even remember why I thought those might be a good idea.

I like decorating, too, and I probably kind of overdo it. I think it’s a reaction thing. In general my style of decorating is pretty simple. I don’t like clutter and I hate dusting things. Christmas is the exception. I cover every available surface with tinsel, ornaments, candles, doo-dads, etc.

So what don’t I love (aside from the traffic jams, crowds, and long lines)?

Christmas in October, for one. I hate going into a store in October and finding them already moving out the Halloween stuff and moving in Christmas, two weeks before Halloween!  And it bugs me that Christmas ends on December 26th. Traditionally the season goes to January 6th, the feast of Epiphany, the commemoration of the arrival of the Magi. In some places that’s the day of the gift exchange, and historically Christmas was celebrated primarily from Dec. 25 to January 6 – the traditional twelve days. I hate it when everyone takes all the decorations down on Boxing Day.

Then there’s the music. Don’t get me wrong; I really like most Christmas music. I just don’t like hearing “White Christmas” 25 times in a row, as recently happened when I was in a restaurant with my daughter, where they had one of those singing figurines set up and running. And running. And running. I wondered how the staff felt about it. It drove me nuts in the hour we were there. I’ll bet the staff wanted to take a sledgehammer to it and beat it to death.

But, I’m not really a Scrooge. I love Christmas enough that I’ve written three specifically Christmas stories: The Last Candle (in the print anthology, Holiday Heat), Gargoyle’s Christmas, and my most recent release, Secret Santa Sir. One of my medieval historical novels, Binding Passion, takes place partly around Christmas as well.

So: What do you like most about Christmas? Dislike most?

Now for the promo part…

This is an offer to help you discover the possibilities of your wilder fantasies. You’re not obliged to accept it, and even if you do, you can call a halt at any time. This is for fun and games. I promise you won’t get hurt any more than you actually want.

When Maggie Marino gets a note from a very unofficial Secret Santa during the office gift exchange, she’s surprised to be tempted by it. She’s at a crossroads in her life. She wants a husband and family, but she also has kinky sexual fantasies and none of the nice guys she’s dated so far have moved her. Blindfolded she meets her Secret Santa and the encounter teaches her what sexual desire is all about. But when she meets the man behind the gifts, her life gets seriously complicated. As she begins to fall in love with him, she’s faced with having to make a decision between her longing for husband and family and a relationship that fulfills her in ways she never believed possible.

Prizes:

One commenter here will win their choice of ebook from all of my books available in ebook form other than the current release, Secret Santa Sir..

There ae also a number of prizes available as part of the hop:

More info on the blog hop available at: http://carrieannbloghops.blogspot.com/

Comments

A few of my favorite things at Christmas and a couple I don’t love — 47 Comments

  1. One of my favorite Christmas Romance Books is The Untamable Rogue by Annette Blair! The story is about Ashford Blackburne Fifth Earl and he has to get married and get his willing bride pregnant before Christmas or his grandfather won’t let him inherit his money. Ash truly needs to inherit the money because his late father squandered it all away and he is taking care of his mother. After getting stood up at the alter, again, Ash and his friends go to the local pub where the owner plays a drunken Ash in a card game…his consolation prize is the pubs daughter Larkin, who he wants to get ride of. Ash has to learn to forgive…Larkin has to learn how to trust…can two completely different people find love together. This is a cute, extremely funny, romantic story with a surprise Christmas ending!

    Angelheart618@gmail.com

  2. I love almost everything about Christmas, so it’s easier to say what I don’t like and that would be: (I used to work at Walmart) so I know what you are talking about how things start getting put out in October , it would drive me nuts. The rude people kind of takes the fun out of shopping as well.

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

    • I totally agree about rude people taking the fun out of shopping. So many people seem to forget what the season’s really about!

  3. I love getting to spend time with my family during the holidays. What I don’t love is working in retail during the holidays. We get Christmas merchandise in way too early and have to listen to Christmas music way to early as well.

    squiggles87(At)aol(Dot)com

  4. I love most of the things around christmas: Food, Christmas carols, celebrations, presents, being together with family and friends. i dislike the same thing as you, that christmas comes earlier every year, to the shops and malls. Christmas is during christmas time, not in November or earlier.
    tessa.bamberg@kolumbus.fi

  5. I love baking and the Christmas Lights I hate the Snow Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  6. I love the candy. Since the beginning of December, I’ve been attending departmental office parties and getting boxes of chocolate! Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. I love the shopping, but not the rude crowds. I enjoy shoping online, but I don’t like waiting for them to arrive. I love giving presents, but I don’t like wrapping the gifts anymore. Wonder why is that? Humm. Thanks for being part of the Holiday Blog Hop! I really enjoy the holiday season. I enjoy the smells, the food and lights. Oh and the music too. Not much into baking anymore. But I do enjoy tasting, ask my scales. Tee Hee. Great blog. roya-clan@sbcglobal.net

    • Thanks, Mary. I’m with you on the wrapping–not my favorite thing–and on the smells, food, and lights. But I still enjoy the baking, and the taste-testing.

  8. Thank you to all of you who’ve shared your favorite (and least favorite) things about Christmas. I’m enjoying hearing about what gives everyone pleasure during the season.

  9. I like the decorations that people put up. I hate the frenzy to shop making traffic horrible.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  10. Love watching my sons decorate the tree. The fun they have trying to find which place to put the ornaments.

    Raonaid at gmail dot com

  11. I love Christmas music, buying for my grandkids and the overall feel of altruism. I hate cold weather, rude shoppers and long lines.

    I bought on line this year.

    Thank you for giving us a chance to win some goodies. Merry Christmas!

  12. Spending time with the family can be a postive or a negative thing (take Thanksgiving where I ended up leaving early cause I just recently broke up with my boyfriend (now ex) of 12 years …That lead to big blow up in the middle of dinner by someone name calling me … NOT cool!)

    Happy Holidays
    BeckeyWhiteATgmailDOTcom

    • Argh – Beckey, so sorry to hear about family blow-ups on big holidays! That’s just wrong! I hope you have a peaceful Christmas.

  13. Happy Happy Holidays! Thanks for the great giveaway!
    My fav thing about the holidays are the awesome sparkly lights! We drive around on Christmas Eve and see them all while singing along with carols on the radio!
    grapeapril75(AT)gmail.com

  14. I like spending time with and buying gifts for my family and friends. I dislike crabby shoppers and holiday traffic.

  15. I love the family get together. Some part of the family I only see in Christmas, so we really enjoy this time. 🙂 The kids have lots of fun also and always have bonding time with their cousins.
    I dislike Christmas shop also. I mean, my family is huge, so many kids, and I’m always a little lost for what to buy whom.

    Happy Holidays!
    morebooksthanlivros@gmail.com

  16. I like spending time with my family.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  17. I love baking ..I also try one or two new ones a years. Have you tried the Oreo balls ? If not they have been a HUGE hit on our cookies trays…well, people fought over them at a party last year lol I also love the family time, my kids really spend time with me baking, decorating a gingerbread house, playing board games, etc.

    Merry Christmas !
    ~Kym
    flwrs4ever(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • HI Kym — No, I haven’t tried the Orea balls. Can you post a link to a recipe? Just the name sounds wonderful. I love Oreos.

  18. What I love is how people are extra nice and try to do more for others. What I hate is how stores start putting things out as early as October..by the time Christmas rolls around Im sick of them a nd thats not how it is suppose to be. I think you should have at least left a note about the music thing..I bet the employees would have loved if it got taken out..lol
    peach_hugs@yahoo.com

    • You know, I never thought about leaving a note, but you can be sure I will in the future! I’m certain the employees would be relieved. It had to be driving them nuts!

  19. Oooh… What I don’t really love is feeling obligated to bake/shop/wrap/contribute… ;p
    What I DO love? I love that we MAKE time during the holidays to spend with friends and family–I love the chance to catch up and hang out 🙂 I also love all the Christmas treats to share–mmm… I love Christmas stories, no matter what time of year. Thanks, Katherine!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

    • Yes, time with family and friends, especially when many of them live far away and you don’t see them often, is the most precious gift of all at the holidays.

  20. Being with my family. Dislike the most is the dang clean up afterwards….lol
    Happy Holidays, Big Hugs
    Missie Jones
    missie25524@netzero .com

  21. What an awesome hop!! And a fantastic giveaway! Thank you!! Happy holidays to you all! Best wishes and many blessings!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. I’m spending this holiday season with my family and hoping to win so I can read more romances. I don’t have an ereader. Happy Holidays! lisarayns at gmail dot com

  23. My favorite thing about this season is cookies; I love making and eating them. Everyone is so willing to share.
    planterofhope at aol dot com

  24. I have a little angel ornament that my mom bought before she died when I was 13. That’s my favorite – sharing her memory with my girls.

    Least fave: lines at target even when I’m just there for TP.

    Deliachic3@hotmail.com

  25. I hate shopping and usually don’t do it until about 3-4 days before Christmas because we do movies and games for the family so no rush.
    Z
    Seawitchreviews at yahoo dot com