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Ahh, the Christmas season. (by Leda Swann)

Holidays, family, gluttony, beaches and barbeques. Down here in New Zealand, we don't have snow at Christmas. We have scorching sun and hot nights.

Indeed, it's almost too hot for romance. Last night I was lying in bed with the windows open, the sound of the sea lulling me to sleep, pleased it wasn't too hot to snuggle close to my life buddy and I thought, actually, there are many things about this season that are "almost".

I almost ate too much at Christmas. Like Americans do at Thanksgiving, here in New Zealand we have a feast to celebrate the season of giving, but typically we don't have turkey and roast potatoes. We have cold ham, seafood, and salads. The seafood was particularly good this year, but there was no chance of eating too much as we had our huge, extended family descend on us like a plague of locusts, emptying the fridge. So, I suppose they saved me from over indulging, at least.

Which brings me to the next almost, where I almost strangled a bunch of kids running through the house with water pistols. But of course I didn't. In truth, it's great to see extended family and I love having the house full of laughing people and children tearing around full of life and energy. Frankly, Christmas would be pretty boring by myself.

Eventually all the visitors left and I could settle down to the books I got for Christmas. I've got several on the go but invariably something else takes my interest like swimming with my kids, visiting friends, or just walking on the beach. So I chip away at the pile of books on the floor beside my favourite chair. I've almost finished one of them.

Now with Christmas over, it's almost the end of the vacation break. But we're enjoying it while it lasts. At the moment it doesn't get dark until 9:30. We're often out swimming until 8:30. This means we're all going to bed far too late, but then we can sleep in, enjoying the cool of the morning to lie in and talk about what we're going to write next.

Speaking of writing, even though our vacation has nearly ended, good news is on the horizon. Our new book, MISTRESS, is almost available. Out in April (not too long to wait now!), MISTRESS is the story of Emily and continues the saga of the Clemens children, orphaned at a young age and left to die in the poor house with nothing but their wits to make themselves a better life.

If you would like to win a copy of MISTRESS almost as soon as it comes out, tell us what you like most about Christmas. We shall send a copy to the writer of our favourite Christmas story.

Leda Swann


Anonymous Anonymous said:

What do I love about Christmas? There is so much to love...the music, the lights, the decorations, the giving, the family traditions, the food... But my very favorite thing about Christmas is watching my children's faces as they open their presents. Not only is it priceless, but it leaves me with the very best feeling inside. :)


9:16 AM  

Blogger Jane said:

I love the presents of course, but also I love the big dinner with the family. Then there's the pretty Christmas trees at Rockefeller and Lincoln Center and the beautiful and intricate display windows of the big department stores.

1:37 PM  

Blogger flchen1 said:

Hmm... what I like most about Christmas is the chance to spend time with my family. My kids are still little, so it's been fun starting our own various traditions--decorating the tree (now that they're old enough to help, although most of the ornaments end up around knee or waist height!), making cookies, enjoying our neighbors' lights, taking turns with the Advent calendar... We're trying to keep the focus away from getting presents (although they certainly enjoy those!) and more on being generous and remembering God's gift to us at that time of year.

And for a change this year, my DH actually had the same amount of time off as the kids, so we really were able to relax and enjoy some family time. We even took the kids mini-golfing for the first time (even the two-year-old--he thinks he's a splendid golfer ;))

Thanks for the chance to reflect and appreciate a bit today!

2:48 PM  

Anonymous sir jorge said:

i love the cover of this book. Amazing

10:05 PM  

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