The penultimate day of the party and today it’s Michele Brouder’s turn who’s delightful Christmas read was published yesterday. Things are a little different in the Brouder household as thy combine both Irish and American traditions.
So Michele what do you get up to in Limerick at Christmas time? I’ve experienced many Dublin ones but…
Hey, Jenny, thanks for having me here!
I love Christmas time, plain and simple.
Growing up, Christmas was big in our house. There were 5 of us and we were pretty well-trained not to ask for anything when we went into a store with our parents during the year. However, at Christmas, my mother went all out. I remember back in the ‘70’s she had a Christmas club account at the bank and she diligently put away for Christmas. My father’s forte was exterior illumination and decoration ala Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation. There was a lot of baking going on, the tree lights were on all the time and there was always Christmas music playing in the background. I loved the anticipation of the big day as well as that period from Christmas morning until New Year’s when the gifts are still new, the holiday treats are still in abundance and the tree is still lit up and there was that content, happy feeling that permeated that week.
But the most enjoyment I’ve had has been as a mother, especially when my boys were young and they were all about Santa Claus. Their innocence was both blissful and magical. Nobody loved Christmas more than my older son, Daniel. There was a Christmas where he didn’t speak for 2 days as he was so overwhelmed. Even in some lean years, I can always count on him to sit back and declare: “This was the best Christmas ever!” My husband has reigned in my exuberance a bit and I hold off until December 1st before I decorate or play Christmas music. On December 8th, the 4 of us go in search of our Christmas tree. When the boys were little, I let them hang ornaments and decorations and it was funny because everything on the walls was knee-high and all the ornaments were in a cluster at the bottom of the tree. We baked Christmas cookies together every year and I tried not to wince at the 2 inches of icing or the pile of sprinkles on each cookie. One year I had little silver balls and I looked over to see that my son had put the whole container on one cookie. About 57.
My husband and I have combined my American traditions with his Irish ones to create special memories for our boys. I love Christmas in Ireland as everything shuts down for the week and there is a lot of visiting back and forth. But I miss snow on Christmas. In Ireland, they do Christmas cakes instead of cookies and I can always count on my sister-in-law to bake us one. Christmas Eve was big in my family so we do a dinner and then head off to Mass. We do a turkey and a ham on Christmas day. Mike cooks the ham the way his mother used to. It’s nice to have all those leftovers during the week.
Christmas is about tradition and memories and most of all, the birth of Jesus. It’s the best birthday party I’ve ever been to. So, it was a no brainer for me to write a Christmas novel. In fact, it gave me an excuse to listen to Christmas music in months other than December, much to my husband’s chagrin. I enjoyed the experience so much, that I’m planning on writing another Christmas novel
THANK YOU Michele, you can find A Whyte Christmas here
About the author
Michele Brouder is the author of Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver, the first installment in The Soul Saver series. Her second book, a holiday romance entitled A Whyte Christmas is currently available for pre-order until November 11, 2016. She contributes to the blog at Book in a Week, named by Writer’s Digest as one of the top 101 websites for writers.
She loves to hear from readers so feel free to drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Sign up for her newsletter at her website http://www.michelebrouder.com and receive a free follow up short story to Claire Daly: Reluctant Soul Saver.
Originally from western NY, Michele has lived in the southwest of Ireland since 2006 except for a 2 year period when she and her family lived in Florida. She lives with her husband, two boys and a black lab named Rover. The beach is her go to place: any beach, any weather, any time.
I’m hoping to sneak in another Christmassy post later but HUSH – writer at work trying to meet my very nice deadline of ‘if you can, yes please.’ A hint, her book’s in the above photo. To check out what the readers think of these lovely reads and where you’ll find Amazon links etc click HERE