A Holiday Break

season-of-promises-cover    Every year, I travel to a small town with friends for a weekend of girl-time (clarification-without husbands). You know the kind—where we hash out our problems, catch up on our families, delve into what’s new, discuss books we’ve read, where we’ve traveled. Life stuff.

But we go to this specific town for the Christmas Candlelight Home Tour. Many of the homes predate the 1850s and are designated historical by the state. The Historical Foundation picks four homes which are decorated with natural elements like cedar, magnolia, fruit, nuts. There’s also period ornaments and decorations, music, and candles. Docents point out items of interest and tell us facts about the homes. Some of the churches present choir performances. The Foundation sells Christmas trees as a img_00000246fundraiser. The trees are set up in the park and decorated.

After our traditional Italian dinner, we tour the homes and debate over which is best. Usually, we find something to like at each one. We return to our B&B, dress in our jammies, and share gifts. There’s lots of laughter and oohs and aahs. The next day, we shop at the various small stores and antique malls. Dinner at a fabulous restaurant follows. This year, we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” too.

I have written a lot of Christmas stories. Some were published in the True magazines. Others with another publisher. Over the last three years, my holiday stories have appeared in the Season of Magic, Season of Surprises, and Season of Promises. I’ve been inspired by ribbon candy, Grandmother’s tomato cake (anyone want the recipe?), family ornaments, and the fragrance of Christmas trees. Grumpy Grandpas, klutzy architect, a reformed high schooler turned attorney, a pretend plumber, and scam artists faking their way through a holiday baking contest. I take in the lights, the colors, the sounds, the smells and apply to my work. That makes it real. It’s easy to be inspired when the season surrounds one.

So I’m sharing three photos from the Foundation’s tree display. When you look them over, what do you see? What do you feel? Do you smell the tree’s fragrance? Are you ready for Christmas?

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And don’t forget:

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