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The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

11 December 2014

Guest post: Linda Andrews

 Today's guest is author Linda Andrews, who is a scientist and lives in a haunted house. She writes in a variety of genres: historical fiction, historical romance, paranormal romance, fantasy and time travel romance, and science fiction.

Her "Love's Great War" series is made up of historical romance novels and novellas set around the time of World War I.

Today, she talks about her own family Christmas traditions and offers a free ebook of A Gift from St. Nick or The Christmas Ship to one lucky commenter.

My Holiday Traditions
by Linda Andrews

In my house, the holidays are about traditions—family, food, and especially decorating. For me, the Christmas season begins when certain items appear. On Thanksgiving day, as our first tradition, I bring out a wooden nativity that spins. My mother started the tradition when I was growing up, and it took me 10 years to find one so I could continue the practice.
Tradition two is the setting up of the Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving. That first night, we simply hang the lights on it. No ornaments, just twinkling lights. There's magic in Christmas lights.

Tradition three is the displaying of my Department 56 ceramic villages. I started collecting them when my children were young, and I add a piece every year. My son is really good about helping me because the collection is rather, em, large.

Tradition four takes place on the Sunday or Saturday after Thanksgiving. It's putting up the rest of the decorations from hanging the outside lights to finishing the interior decorations, including the musical stuffed animals, Santas, Christmas trees, and my Hallmark holiday collections. The children traditionally decorate the tree, so now that they're adults we wait until they are home together. As the ornaments come out, we share memories, and I take pictures.

One thing we did while they were young was to buy ornaments each year so that when they moved out, they would have memories and decorations to take with them. This will probably be the last year my oldest will live with us, so the memories will be tinged with just a bit of sadness.

Tradition five is that the weeks running up to Christmas are the baking season (or the drafting of cookie slaves). I bake a little from Halloween to Thanksgiving, but my freezer eats the results, and so I have to start again. Over the years, we've added to the traditional sugar and gingerbread cookies, most noticeably peanut butter blossoms and Nutella cookies. Yum.

Traditions are important. To be entered in a drawing for an electronic copy of either A Gift from St. Nick or The Christmas Ship, leave a comment about your family traditions.

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German nativity scene, early 20th century. Photo by Andreas Praefcke. Licensed under GNU v.1.2.

In Linda's A Gift from St. Nick, the hero brings with him several Germanic traditions, one which is the celebration of St. Nicholas Day. She provided this blurb about the book:
Hans Lubeck lost his birthright to a woman's deceitful games. Ten years later, he's on the cusp of fulfilling his dream of captaining his own ship. And another woman could jeopardize everything.
Schoolteacher Lenore Kerrigan devotes her time to her pupils and good works. She has no use for a man or the damage he could do to her reputation.
But this holiday season, fate and an island of matchmakers have other plans. Will they accept the gift of a lifetime, or will the past steal away any chance at happiness?
 ~ ~ ~

Find A Gift from Saint Nick at here


Linda Andrews said...

Thank you for hosting me today.

Linda Andrews said...

Hi everyone and thanks for commenting. In the spirit of Christmas, I made A Gift from St. Nick free until 12/22. Please download a copy today.
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