10 more days until Christmas! As we draw close to the joyous day we celebrate Christ’s birth, we’re taking a look at some of your favorite authors’ holiday traditions and memories. Cindy and Erin Woodsmall join us today to share their Christmas favorites! Be sure to grab a copy of their new release, The Gift of Christmas Past—a perfect stocking stuffer for the reader in your life!
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? When and how did it begin?
Cindy: I love Christmas Eve. When I was a little girl, I talked my mom into letting us siblings exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve. My mom was skeptical and reluctant, but she allowed it, and it was so much fun, it became a tradition that I continued into marriage, raising our three sons, and now is flowing into the grandchildren’s lives.
We aim to have a big meal on Christmas Eve similar to Thanksgiving, although that seems to work better in movies than in my kitchen! We often settle for a simple meal and relaxing time near the hearth before opening presents around the tree. It’s a lot of fun.
Erin: I second the feelings on Christmas Eve. And I love getting a fresh Christmas tree. When my husband and I first married, we got an inexpensive live tree from Home Depot. Now we take our kids to the tree farm and pick out a uniquely perfect (or imperfect) one.
What food/drink do you look forward to having around the holidays?
Erin: A favorite food is winter oranges and chocolate. Every year my mom and I (and now my daughter Lucy) make plates of cookies and treats to share with all our family and friends.
Cindy: My special Christmastime treat is oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies. I don’t have them any other time of year because I am not to be trusted in the same room with them. I also love it each year when Erin delivers her plate of cookies.
Are there any Christmas stories you read every year?
Both: Of course we enjoy sharing the biblical story of the first Christmas.
Erin: I like reading my kids seasonal books like The Bear Stays Up for Christmas.
Cindy: I enjoy Christmas novellas as I relax by the fire between festivities and family visits.
What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Cindy: A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart
Erin: Muppet Christmas Carol. No shame. 🙂
Share a special holiday memory:
Cindy: I have lots, but one that came to mind was when my son Justin was three and his little brother Adam was five months old. It was December, and I was in the local mall with the kids when Justin spotted Santa. He said, “If I talk to him, I’m going to ask for two presents.” Money was tight, and I’d not done any Christmas shopping yet, so the idea of only two “desired” gifts made my ears perk up. “What would you ask for?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know, but I want one gift for me and one gift for Adam.”
It melted my heart.
Erin: Last year, my third child, Silas, was born on December 22. We brought him out to the decorated living room the next morning. I remember watching a Christmas movie while holding him and nursing him, during which my husband wrapped gifts and prepared the living room for the older children on the night of Christmas Eve.
Would you rather wrap presents or bake cookies?
Both: Bake cookies! We’d rather do just about anything than wrap.
What is one thing you wish was different about the holidays:
Sometimes it is 70 degrees in Georgia. It’s really hard to get in a Christmas mood when it is that warm!
Candy canes or gingerbread cookies?
Cindy: If I’m sitting down to watch a Christmas movie, I want a candy cane. Can one get work done while eating a candy cane? Hm. But if I’m moving about the house, I’d rather grab a cookie.
Erin: I’d rather have Cindy’s oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies!
Do you hang mistletoe in your home?
Both: No, we think if you feel a need to kiss someone, you should just kiss them.
Best present received? Given?
Erin: I get to cheat and answer Silas, our third child, born on December 22, 2016.
Cindy: Hm. Then I get to pick him too. Fair is fair. But if we go back in time, my first child was born in mid-December, and it was the start of a new life for my husband and I, and family is a gift that keeps on giving…and taking. 🙂