What is so special about this Christmas season to you, Michelle?
This time of year I enjoy having my sons come home from college to visit. There are parties to attend, concerts to go to (like The Messiah - an annual tradition,) and people to bless by just hanging out or given them gifts or cards. It's all quite exhausting, really, so I am glad it only comes one time per year. I particularly enjoy getting together with friends, at work, and for church groups to do White Elephant exchanges. They are always a laugh and a half.
When I was a kid we always watched Rudolf, Frosty, Charlie Brown, and The Grinch on television. Now that we haven't watched television for two decades we have gotten a bit out of that tradition, but we do watch (every year) this silly show with muppet-like puppets called "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas."
When the kids were younger we watched the Veggie Tales movie about the Christmas Carol. I don't make cookies, but I don't mind eating them if given to me (and my hips show it, too!) We will go to church if it's on Christmas. We always go to the Christmas Eve services to sing carols and then we go home and open the stockings. In the morning we open the gifts to each other.
My kids have this silly tradition of writing crazy stuff on the packages with the name of who the gift is for. Sometimes it's quite hilarious, actually.
But my favorite thing is probably the Christmas carols we sing at church. It's the only time of year that hymns are sung anymore, and I love hymns. I also love the reading of the Christmas story. A few years I went out singing carols, but that's pretty cold and the older I get the more I appreciate the fires in the fireplace and the cozy atmosphere. The cold - not so much. Every year the traditions alter a bit, but for the most part we stick to the same routine.
When I was a kid our family used to have people from other countries like China and Vietnam over to our house for dinner. Now that we have a nuclear family of our own, we tend to be home bodies and just hang out together and play games. I take time off from work and we just veg out. That's what I love about this time of year most. Having my family together.
SHIRLEY: Thanks so much for sharing that. I can see it all, and it does sound like a very special time, Michelle.
Please tell us now about your newest book.
She longs for physical healing, but God uses someone from a dark time in her past to heal something more important…her heart.
Ten years ago Raquel dumped Scott for an abusive man, only she didn’t know Scott loved her in a romantic way. She thought they were just good friends because Scott never made his feelings known. Ten years later they meet up again, only now she's a widow—emotionally fragile from years of abuse—and in need of a friend she can trust. She is taking care of her aunt who has cancer, but now her own health is failing. Scott never got over Raquel and he worries he will fall in love with her again. Her past rejection causes Scott to guard his heart as he helps her navigate the unwanted changes in her life. Over time he begins to trust her again as she fights discouragement over her diagnosis. He gives Raquel the unconditional love she has always longed for, but will that be enough?
SHIRLEY: This sounds like a great book! I am thrilled you are planning to donate a PDF copy to one of our readers.
Thanks, Michelle, for taking a few minutes out of your Christmas holiday to spend a little time over here at A Pen for Your Thoughts!
May you and your family have an awesome Christmas together around that fireplace...singing those carols...opening your stockings...reading the funny cards on your packages...and sharing in the joy of cookie time.
There's nothing so awesome as when family comes together as one.
For our viewers: Tell us one special thing you'd like to see happen at Christmas time this year, that you haven't seen happen recently. (Be sure to leave your email address. And I will draw the winner's name on Christmas EVE!)