It’s the eleventh day of Christmas reads! Only one more day to go after today. Feel free to visit any of the posts you’ve missed via the links at the end of this post, but for now, let’s welcome Chautona Havig to the blog!
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~ Christmas with Chautona Havig ~
Favourite Christmas carol/hymn— Well, that depends on whether I want to listen or sing. I LOVE to sing “We Three Kings.” The harmony on that is so gorgeous. Otherwise… hmmm “What Child is This” or “Angels We Have Heard on High”
My kids love singing the ‘Gloria’ refrain of that last one. Although, it often has a few more sequences than the original! And they often confuse that refrain with the refrain from ‘Ding, Dong, Merrily on High’! 😃
Favourite Christmas food— Hungarian Coffee Cake. It’s not actually a Hungarian recipe. It’s Scottish. Don’t ask why they named it Hungarian… I suspect because the Hungarians LOVE their sweets. But how would the Scots have known that? They didn’t have “the Google” as my mother calls it!
Lol! How did we ever survive without “the Google”?
Favourite Christmas memory— It’s not just one day. It’s a lifetime of Christmas Days over the past 29 years. Children waking, coming into the living room, talking, laughing, singing. That feeling of, “Yes. We may be flawed, messed-up people, but we’re family, and that is a beautiful thing. They went from infants to toddlers, from kids to teens, and now most are adults. After this Christmas, I’ll only have one “non-adult.”
I love that!
Favourite Christmas Day activity— Taking down the tree! Well, for me, it’s not taking down. I usually take a nap in the afternoon. And while I sleep, my husband and the kids take down the tree. I wake up and my living room looks normal again. I just can’t stand a tree without gifts below it. So it’s wonderful for me. 😊
That sounds heavenly. Both the nap and the magically tidied living room!
My ideal Christmas Day weather— Well, I’d love snow and all that goes with it, of course. But even when we do have snow, it’s gone by morning. Still, that would be optimal. Aside from that, as long as the wind isn’t blowing, I’m thrilled with any weather.
Yeah, snow is an even more implausible wish here!
What’s one of your family’s Christmas traditions?— Christmas Eve is super fun for us. We ALWAYS have chili for dinner. After the Candlelight service, we come home, put on new pajamas, and drive around to see the light display (especially a neighbourhood that has luminarias—hundreds of them leading up each drive and walk on the whole block. So cool.) We come home, and the grandkids are there. Hot chocolate and gifts. The kids open all gifts from friends then, and my daughter and her family open theirs.
Sounds deLIGHTful! 😜 (Sorry, that’s my hubby’s influence!)
Strangest/most boring/worst present you’ve ever received— You know, it wasn’t my gift, but I was there the day it was given. A man we knew spent every Wednesday night at my friends’ house for dinner. So, when Christmas came, he brought a wrapped gift. My friend’s mother opened the box and found a roll of paper towels and a small can of honey-roasted peanuts. *blinks*
Um… *awkward silence*
Most memorable/best present you’ve ever received— It was… oh, five years ago? I think. I’ve been a part of a Christmas exchange for about fifteen years or so, and the gal who got my name that year made me the COOLEST gift ever. I think it was for Christmas, but it might have been my birthday. Anyway, she made a tote bag and on it, she’d used one of those electronic vinyl cutters with fusible vinyl to cut out EVERY one of the books I had in print at that time! *thud*. It’s still going strong and still my favorite gift EVER.
What a thoughtful gift!
If I was sitting on Santa’s knee right now, I’d ask him for… A trip to see my parents. I miss them, and it’s been almost two years since I’ve seen them. So… yeah. Nice little plane tickets to Tulsa and a rental car to get me to Noel, Missouri. Yep. Noel. But it’s pronounced like Know-ll, eleven months out of the year. 😉
Haha. Now that song’s going to be in my head…
If I was one of Santa’s elves, I would probably get the job of… Wrapping! I LOVE it, and I’m rather good at it! 😀
I guess that’s a good thing, knowing the size of your family!
Christmas isn’t Christmas without… My husband singing, “Oh, Christmas lights, oh, Christmas lights… Sometimes thy bulbs need changing… Not only green, but red and blue, and also yellow, this is true! Oh, Christmas lights, oh, Christmas lights… Sometimes thy bulbs need changing.” Or “Merry Christmas trees are here, tastiest trees of all the year! Eat them, Eat them! Happy children eat the trees, may we have some more of these? Oh, please Daddy we love trees at Christmastime!” (To the tune sung in the original Little Women movie.)
Haha! Love it!
This year, I’ll be celebrating Christmas with… We’ll be home as usual. We’ve only not been home three times in our marriage… at rather regularly spaced intervals, too! The first year, we went to Iowa to spend with my husband’s parents. Then about 15 years later, we went again to my parents’ and his. Then last year, we knew it would likely be the last year we ALL spent together (daughter just got married the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year), so we rented a large house in San Diego and tried for a different Christmas approach. It kind of fell flat. No, literally. My husband stepped out of a hot tub and fell down a 15-foot cliff to rocks below. EEEP! So… while my oldest three girls likely won’t be with us, the rest of us will be home doing our usual things!
Oh dear! Hopefully this Christmas will be less eventful!
This Christmas, I’m most looking forward to… just enjoying time together. It’s really my favorite day of the year.
Send a brief Christmas message to all your readers:
You know, I say that I use story to connect my readers to the Master Storyteller—and it’s true. It’s why I write. But you know how they say truth is stranger than fiction? Yeah. I’ve often joked that if I wrote my autobiography as a novel, it’d get horrible reviews as being the most implausible thing written.
It’s not true, though. Jesus’ story is. Think about it. God… decided to leave everything, came to Earth to be born of a virgin. Yep, not only did He come, He came as a baby. Diapers. Nursing. Gas. Colic.
His mother was a girl who should have been stoned—in the literal sense. His earthly father was a poor carpenter who could have opted out of the whole thing if an angel hadn’t interfered and informed him that God said… no. Do it.
They travelled to Bethlehem (not exactly the coolest place on the planet—they hadn’t written songs about how sweet it was yet. Ahem) while she was “great with child.” How do we know this? Because after arrival, however long that was, she gave birth.
In a stable. You know, that uncleanest of unclean places full of other unclean things—like bugs and rodents? Yeah. God.
The whole story is the most implausible story of all, and yet it’s true. God did this. God did this. For me. For you.
And you know what? That’s why I write. To remind His people that He is right here, right now, holding all the messes we call our lives together. Because He’s God.
And if there was ever a more beautiful story, I can’t imagine what it is.
~ About the Author ~
Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.
~ About the Book ~
Advent: Plain, unobtrusive, brilliant—Curtis Brighton could be the star of Delta Advertising. Instead, he works behind the scenes, never receiving the promotions everyone knows he’s earned. After three years seated across from Curtis, Lita Cathey doesn’t know any more about him than she did the day they were introduced. But when a client needs paperwork quickly, and Curtis arrives at her apartment to get her signature, Lita embarks on a mission to get to know her quiet, quirky coworker.
She just never imagined what it would do to her heart.
With the help of a secret Santa project, a Christmas wish finally realized, and insinuating herself into Curtis’ life, Lita and Curtis navigate the waters of unexpected romance.
31 Kisses: It began with a kiss—just one that was supposed to be a “kiss it and make it better” little peck—and morphed into thirty-one perfect little moments that tied two hearts together in ways they never could have imagined.
Carson never expected to see her again—that girl with the strawberry hair and the fascinating way with children. But Gunnar Jorgenson knew there was something there that day at the store, and with a bit of manipulation and a whole lot of deception, he is determined to convince Carson of what a gem his granddaughter Chessie is.
Tarnished Silver: When Kelly Cox discovers a twenty-five-year-old secret, she has to make a choice. Meddle in someone else’s business and hope it turns out as wonderfully as she thinks it could or try to forget the discovery of her friend’s secret past.
Unaware of Kelly’s discovery, Audrey Seever whizzes into the Christmas season with one eye to her business and another to her meddlesome sister’s matchmaking attempts. But when someone from her past appears, life gets more complicated than she ever dreamed possible.
The Matchmakers of Holly Circle: Love is patient. No one knows better than Ruth Berry or Richard Stevens just how true that verse is. And after a decade of watching their relationship go nowhere, Mason Dickenson has had it. So, with a trick or two up his sleeve, he hatches a plan to bring his two favorite neighbors together.
His proposal? Poker. If they win, he’ll listen to their Jesus spiel. If he wins, and he has no intention of losing, they go on a date.
With an offer like that, they can’t lose—or can they?
Carol and the Belles: Pen pals since the fourth grade, Michal and Carol have a history that spans two decades on two separate continents. So when Carol has a chance to visit, there’s no question. Rockland or bust!
Michal Hargrave never expected to meet the friend who had written such vivid details of life in a Romanian orphanage. Michal also never expected what drama would ensue upon Carol’s arrival.
Setting Carol up with friends isn’t going to be easy, but if anyone can do it, Michal can. Now if only Michal can make sense out of personal relationship issues before the relationship dies.
Christmas Stalkings: Christmas—a time of joy, gifts, and surprises. But for Wendy Nabity, those surprises take a sinister turn when someone begins stalking her… and her cats. The police refuse to believe that anyone but her bevy of felines could be responsible for ornaments moved and removed, but as wonderful and clever as she thinks her kitties are, no cat can pull off the capers happening at her place.
Christmas Embers: All little Joey Cordell wants for Christmas is to find the father he’s never met before it’s too late. But when his mother enters the hospital for the last time, it doesn’t look like this Christmas wish will come true.
Emily Byrne’s Christmas project takes a nosedive when searching for Joey’s father becomes a race against time and a sure way to ruin a family.
Enjoy all seven Christmas novels in this limited time offer! Merry Christmas!
~ Giveaway ~
Chautona is offering one lucky reader an eBook copy of the Christmas in Rockland Collection.
To enter, comment on this post (even if it’s just to say ‘Thanks for the giveaway’!) and then click here to go to the giveaway.
* This giveaway is run through Rafflecopter. See full Terms and Conditions here.
Thanks to Chautona for joining me today and generously providing the giveaway copy. Don’t forget to join me again tomorrow, when my special guest will be Ronie Kendig.
PS – You can also find a comprehensive list of Christmas-themed releases for 2017 on my aptly-named page Christmas Releases for 2017.
Missed a previous 12 Days of Christmas Reads post? You can visit them via the links below:
4th December – Debra E. Marvin
5th December – Melissa Tagg
6th December – Erica Vetsch
7th December – Susan May Warren
8th December – Lucette Nel
9th December – Amber Lynn Perry
10th Decmber – Golden Keyes Parsons
11th December – Laurie Germaine
12th December – Michelle Griep
13th December – Erynn Mangum