Hey y’all. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m all about Christmas. But what happens when your editor asks if you can move your story from Spring to Christmas when you’re doing her editorial revisions in Sept? You do it. But I’ll be honest, it was hard to get in the Christmas mood when Arkansas temps were hovering between 90 and 100 degrees. Hallmark’s Christmas in July movie fest was over and I hadn’t recorded any of them because I’d seen them all and I like Christmas in December where it belongs.
I resorted to implementing our Christmas traditions as a family, reading the Christmas story in Luke, church services, taking turns opening gifts so everyone can see what you got. With Christmas happening near the end of the book, my heroine’s parents had just returned from a Mediterranean cruise. Through the course of the story, my heroine, hero, and his daughter went on a business trip to Corpus Christy, Texas. That summer, my husband, son, and I visited Corpus for research. A few months later, I bought a book called The Shell Collector’s Handbook at Cracker Barrel because I love seashells. I have a huge collection and my office is decorated in them. I can’t say that I’ve sorted any of them, I just like looking at the pictures.
The book worked better when my characters visited in spring, but since it’s not that cold at Corpus in the fall, it worked. Through the course of the story, they sorted seashells they’d gathered there using the heroine’s book, which happened to be just like mine. So at the end, the heroine’s mom brings the little girl seashells from her trip and the heroine buys her a seashell sorting book of her own.
My characters went caroling in a wagon and toured the trail of lights in Medina, TX where the book is set. I was able to find pictures online for inspiration. They also decorated for Christmas. For this, I looked for Christmas scenes and settings on Pinterest. In the end, I implemented a Christmas tree decorated like a cowboy with a lassoed rope wrapped around it as garland, a woman with a string lights wound around her, and gifts that would mean something to each character. The hero got a book called, Buck Brannaman, known as The Horse Whisperer because the hero gently trains horses.
I’ve interspersed pictures of my three trees for your viewing pleasure. Don’t worry about our lack of presents, this was right after we put them up. There’s plenty under there now. If you’d like to see my Pinterest board of inspiration for A Texas Holiday Reunion, check it out: https://www.pinterest.com/stvannatter/a-texas-holiday-reunion/
Comment or answer this question to enter the drawing for a copy: What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?