As a kid, there was almost nothing I liked better than Christmas Eve. The decorations were up. The presents were wrapped. The anticipation was palpable.
My family would start the evening by having an early dinner of Tourtière, a French Canadian dish that’s a lot like Shepherd’s Pie except it’s cooked with pie crust instead of a top layer of mashed potatoes.
Then, we’d get dressed for church and head off to the Christmas Eve service. We had to get there early, because it was so full that people always ended up standing in the back and all along the aisles. The entire church choir sang that night, and it was always glorious.
On the way home, my dad would wend through all the nearby neighborhoods so that we could see the Christmas lights. We would ooh and aww over the colorful displays all the way home.
At home, my dad would break out the eggnog, my mom would break out the Christmas cookies, and we’d all curl up on the living room couch in front of the Christmas tree to listen to a vinyl recording of A Christmas Carol, narrated by Orson Welles and featuring Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge.
Although I don’t listen to many audiobooks nowadays, I absolutely loved listening to that radio play as a kid. I love a good redemption story, and A Christmas Carol is one of the very best!
Because I now live in South Texas where the weather doesn’t scream “Christmastime” the way it did when I lived up North, I have to make more of a conscious effort to get in the Christmas spirit during the days leading up to the 25th.
One of the ways I do that, of course, is by reading Christmas books! Here are a few of the cute ones I’ve read so far this year:
- Second Chance Christmas by Betsy St. Amant
- Puppies, foster kids, and delicious Christmas treats! What’s not to love??? 🐶
- The Santa Run by Beth Pugh
- A cute and cozy read featuring a spunky heroine, a smitten hero, and a Christmas train 🚂 that runs through the Appalachian Mountains!
- Merry Ex-mas by Courtney Walsh
- I’m always down for a second chance romance, and this one was so much fun!
- The Amish Author’s Christmas by Ashley Emma
- I’m not always a huge fan of Amish fiction, but this sweet novella is just adorable! 😍 Plus, it’s free!!!
- Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets by Jill Kemerer
- Four sweet Christmas babies??? Yes, please!!! 👼👼👼👼
Next on my TBR is Merry Kisses by Valerie Comer, a novella that sounds like so much fun! How can you not love this premise? It was fun to fluster the pretty toy store clerk, but Heath Collins, the mall’s volunteer Santa Claus, hadn’t meant to get her fired. When his elf assistant comes down with a bad cold, Heath offers Sonya a few days’ work, only to discover she believes Santa is nothing but a liar and a fraud instead of an opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives. Plus, it’s free until 12/19, so grab your copy now!!!
What have you been reading to get yourself into the Christmas spirit? And do you have any unique Christmas Eve traditions you want to share?
If you’d like to add some new Christmas dessert recipes into your rotation, I’ve put together a booklet featuring five of the desserts included in my recent release, The Baby’s Christmas Blessing. You can get it through this special BookFunnel promotion. Just look for the cover of Cape Cod Christmas Desserts and click on it to download the PDF!