Thursday, 12 July 2012

Author's Spotlight - My Top 5 Things to do on my Christmas List

When the day after Thanksgiving comes, I switch into Christmas "mode." I know it's early, but a part of me has to – I have two boys, 10 & 5 who are very enthusiastic about Christmas.

What is it about Christmas that gets us excited? Is it the gifts? Our efforts to make a deeper connection with our God? The baking? The smiles? The music? What gets you in the Christmas spirit? What is the Christmas spirit?

For me, the Christmas spirit is watching my sons enjoy the holiday. It's the excitement on their faces and the anticipation in their smiles that warms my heart. That excitement and those smiles embody what I believe the holiday is all about – the excitement and anticipation of the coming of our Lord's birth.

I thought I'd share my top 5 things I do at Christmas. Some might be silly, but gosh, the boys make sure I "cowboy up" so to speak.

#1 – Listen to Christmas Music

Me, personally, I'm more a traditionalist when it comes to listening to Christmas music, preferring music similar to the music I use in my video for "The Faberge Secret." My kids want the upbeat stuff like "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

#2 – Put up the Christmas Tree

And with my schedule, I better block out an entire day to pull out the tree and ornaments out of the garage, put it up and sort through the decorations. The boys are right at my side, jumping & clapping and throwing ornaments on the tree faster than I can pull 'em out of the box.

#3 – Bake Christmas Cookies

Andrew, my 10 year old, makes sure I block out a day for that as well. I make sugar cookies from scratch and depending on how pooped I am, I might make the frosting from scratch too. The boys love using the cutouts and Joe makes sure we have plenty of sprinkles for the frosting. We always set aside a batch for Santa along with a couple of carrots for the reindeer.

#4 – Light the Advent Candle and stuff the Advent Calendar

The boys really enjoy checking the Advent calendar every year. We have a wooden one we got from Costco several years ago. I put a Bible verse in there along with a small treat. When we're together for the main dinner meal, Andrew makes sure we light the Advent Candle, too. We use 3 purple candles and 1 rose candle.

#5 – Drink Egg Nog

Sounds silly, I know, but Joe CANNOT go with his egg nog. He gets all excited, smiles, and drinks with enthusiasm.

Question: What's your top 5? Top 3? I'd love to hear what you do for Christmas.

5 STARS, Celia Yeary, Author
You will thoroughly enjoy this fast-paced tale of danger, a mystery, and a satisfying conclusion. Elise and Dimitri make sparks fly!

5 Stars, Reader's Favorites
Fabulously written, the story combines elements of mystery, action, love, and tender family moments all at the right places, making a perfect fit. If you want a good story combining history, crime, and passion, "The Faberge Secret" is the book for you.

Sue Perkins, Author
The Faberge Secret exceeded my expectations. Definitely worth reading more than once. It is such a good book.

5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews
As the love story thicken, the suspense heightens and it won't let your eyes leave the page. I recommend The Faberge Secret to all of the romance readers. Even if you have never read romance, The Faberge Secret would be a great place to start.

4 Stars, Manic Readers
"A satisifying read."

4 Stars, Night Owl Book Reviews
The Faberge Secret is a fast paced, delightful adventure with plenty of love and adventure sprinkled in for spice.
3.5 Stars, Long & Short Reviews
"All this suspense had me flying through the pages so quickly I was able to read the book in one sitting."


Elise Goodwin finds herself faced with danger when she learns the Faberge egg she's bought belongs to a Russian mogul, Dimitri Romanov, but is Dimitri playing a game with Elise's heart to get his heirloom back?

Elise Goodwin runs a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. She travels to Boston to buy some items for her museum at Sotheby's auction. What she acquires is a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge egg.

Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov. He goes to the auction with the intent of buying the egg only to discover that Elise is in possession of it. His dilemma? He's attracted to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes and a trusting disposition.

Complicating matters is Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, who wants the precious jeweled object for his own collection. Can Dimitri protect Elise from Kelch?












  1. Hi Steph, it's strange to read about Christmas when I'm just out of the ocean with my granddaughters. You got the 5 things right, except I don't make egg nog.

  2. I start the day after Thanksgiving, too... except in Canada, Thanksgiving is in October. ;) I love Christmas!

  3. Sounds great, Steph. I really love Christmas music. I have a multi-disc system at home so I load up my favorite CDs and listen to them from Thanksgiving until New Years - then I'm done with those songs for another year.

    Every year I drag my feet about putting up a tree. We've simplified the process,but it still seems to be a Herculean effort. But you know what? It feels like Christmas when I see the tree up with all the ornaments that the kids have made through the years.

    Blessings to you and your Faberge Secret.

    Maggie Toussaint

  4. Mona, LOL!! Joe is HOOKED on it. It's a must. His enuthisaism (sp?) really makes me smile.

    Patty, ooohhh Christmas starts early out your way.

    I agree - the tree really makes you believe Christmas is in the air. I got my tree up early last year and dragged my feet taking it down. I couldn't find the time.


  5. 1. Decorating the tree with my grandsons.
    2. Decorating the cake " " " " "
    3. The excitememt of Christmas Eve, knowing Santa Claus will come. We put out brandy and a mince pie + a carrot for Rudolph
    4. Christmas morning. Footprints in the ash near the fireplace! The brandy, mince pie and carrot have disappeared! Presents under the tree! I love it
    5. In Spain we do it all again on 6th January when the 3 kings come.