Here is a special holiday gift for you. Barbara White Daille – an author you should get to know at The Daille-y News if you haven’t given yourself that pleasure already. Barbara shares her own family Christmas tradition from childhood to present. Plus an excerpt from her new novel The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal.
Deck the Halls—however you please! by Barbara White Daille
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. When I was growing up, during the week before Christmas we would all pile into the family’s station wagon. My dad would drive through the neighborhoods in our small town while we checked out the holiday decorations. I was most impressed by the sleighs on the rooftops and the Santas climbing up the chimneys. But I also loved seeing all the lights on the houses, the ornaments parading across the lawns, the fairy lights gracing the trees.
At home, we had decorations indoors, too, of course—lights and tinsel strung around our living room, Christmas wreaths hung from the windows. And while we didn’t have a hearth, we definitely had Christmas stockings to hang in hopes of having them filled by St. Nicholas.
Some years, we had a real tree, but most of the time, we put up an artificial tree that my dad would unbox and string with lights and that we kids would help to decorate.
And you know what?
As expert as I’d become at picking out what I liked and didn’t like on all those decoration-hunting drives around town, it didn’t matter a bit to me whether our tree was real or fake. The type or size or lushness of the tree didn’t matter, either. We could’ve had a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and I would have loved it just as much.
My husband and I have a tree of our own now, and every year, that tree also is adorned not with “decorations” but with much love.
Because back when I was growing up and now, it’s never been the tree or the decorations themselves that matter most.
It’s the traditions associated with them, the care and concern that went into choosing or making them, and the beauty of seeing them year after year that make them all so special.
In the clip below, my hero and heroine are doing some decorating of their own. Neither one knows her grandfather is matchmaking to bring them together. But Andi is attempting to avoid Mitch and is dismayed when he shows up to help her.
She stood straighter. “I don’t need a helper, thank you.”
“Too late. I’m on board. What do you want me to do?”
She turned away and rummaged through a carton of ornaments. “Nothing. I’ve got everything under control.” The words made her think again of her reaction to his kiss. Of her loss of control.
“Andi, walking away yesterday didn’t make me go away. Pretending to be busy here doesn’t mean I’ll disappear. Why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you?”
“At the moment, you are.”
“Well, that’s a start.”
She shot a look over her shoulder and found him smiling down at her. He was so close, she could have taken a step back and found herself in his arms.
Instead, she shifted aside. “Really, Mitch, I don’t need your assistance.”
“Jed seems to think you do. You and Tina and Jane. And I made a promise. So that’s that.”
She sighed. He had made a promise. And once Grandpa made up his mind about something, that was that. As she had no choice in the matter, she might as well give in gracefully. “Fine. And I’m not pretending to be busy.” She pointed to one carton. “That’s what I’ve got on my mind right now. Decorations for the wedding. Our client requested Christmas lights. You can get started with those.”
She had hoped having him work at a distance would keep him from distracting her, but she could still hear everything he said to her. Worse…or maybe better…she could see every move he made. Who knew hanging a string of lights required so much physical activity? His shoulders flexed, his biceps bulged, and she didn’t even want to think about what happened to the strong muscles in his thighs as he climbed up and down the ladder.
Good thing she had acquired a helper, because she wasn’t getting much work done herself.
Hope you enjoyed the clip.
Happy holidays to all! And I would love to have you share one of your favorite Christmas traditions with us.
Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara’s new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, features a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. The series began with The Cowboy’s Little Surprise and A Rancher of Her Own, and The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal has just debuted. Additional books in the series will be coming up next year.
Where to Find The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal:
Where to Find Barbara online:
I’m very pleased Barbara could join us. I’m sure you hear the beat of her warm and generous heart in everything she’s written here. You will find that same heart in her stories. Be sure to comment with your own family holiday traditions. Barbara and I would love to hear from you.
Blessings and Happy Holidays. Alice