Advent Bride Excerpt and a Giveaway!

It’s excerpt day again, because I’ve got a book coming out this month as well as last! This month is The 12 Brides of

Mary Connealy Website

Mary Connealy Website

Christmas. A historical romantic Christmas novella collection. (that’s FIVE WORDS I used to describe this book. It HAS  to be some kind of record!)

My contribution to the 12 Brides of Christmas is The Advent Bride

Why did all the pretty women want to yell at him?
Hank turned from watching Simon leave, then dropped his voice, not putting it past Simon to stay close-by and listen in.
“What’s the problem, Miss Douglas?” Looking at her was no hardship but he was a little surprised how those snapping green eyes jolted him. He’d felt the jolt before, every time he’d gotten close to her in fact. And that surprised him because since Greta had died, no woman, no matter how pretty, had drawn so much as a whisper of reaction, let alone a jolt.
He’d gotten used to the idea that his heart had died with his wife. Melanie made him question that, but of course, all she wanted to do yell at him for being a lousy father. He braced himself to take the criticism. He deserved it.
“Mr. O’Keeffe, your son is a very bright boy. It’s possible he’s the smartest youngster in this school.”
That wasn’t what he expected to hear. Had she kept him here to compliment Simon? Maybe she wanted to pass Simon into a higher class? He was a bright boy. Hank felt his chest swell with pride and he started to relaxed.
“But he is disrupting the whole school. We have to do something, between the two of us, to get him to behave.
Hank’s gut twisted. It was fear. He tried to make himself admit it. But that effort was overridden by a need to fight anyone who spoke ill of his boy.
“You’re saying you can’t keep order in school?” Simon was all he had and Hank knew he didn’t give the young’un enough attention, but a man had to feed his child and that meant work, long hours of work.
“I was doing fine until today.” Miss Douglas’ voice rose and she plunked her fists on her trim waist.

Hank looked at those pretty pink lips, pursed in annoyance. Hank’d never had much luck with women. He still had trouble believing Lisa had married him. She’d seemed to like him, too and it hadn’t even been hard.
Now, when he needed to handle a woman right, calm her town, sooth her ruffled feathers, all he could think of was snapping at her.
He clamped his mouth shut until he could speak calmly. “What do you want from me, Miss Douglas? You want me to threaten him? Tell him if he gets a thrashing at school he’ll get one at home?”
Hank didn’t thrash Simon. Maybe he should. Maybe sparing the rod was wrong, but the hurt in the boy since his ma died had made it impossible for Hank to deal him out more pain.
“I don’t thrash my students, Mr. O’Keeffe. I have never found it necessary and I don’t intend to start now. What I want is—”
The schoolhouse door slammed open. “Hank, come quick, a fight broke out in the saloon.”
Mr. Garland at the General Store stuck his face in the room, then vanished. Hank took one step.
A slap on his arm stopped him. Miss Douglas had a grip that’d shame a burr.
“I’m not done talking to you yet.” She’d stumbled along for a couple of feet but she held on doggedly.
“We’re done talking. I have to go. My Simon is a good boy, you just need to learn to manage him better.” He pried her little

claws out of his sleeve and managed to pull his coat open. “Let loose. You heard Ian. There’s a fight.”
“Why do you have to go just because there’s a fight at the saloon?”
“I have to stop it.”
“But why?”
His coat finally flapped all the way open and he impatiently shoved it back even farther so she could see his chest.
And see the star pinned right above his heart. “Because just today I started a job as the town sheriff. That was the only way I could find a house to live in, in town. Now, if you can’t handle one little boy, just say so and I’ll get him a job running errands at the General Store. Schoolin’s a waste of time anyway for a bright boy like my Simon. Most likely the reason you can’t handle him is, he’s smarter than you.” A tiny smile curved his lips. “I got a suspicion he’s smarter than me.”
Then he turned and ran after Ian.

LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT

YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY ABOUT CHRISTMAS WHEN YOU WERE A KID IN SCHOOL

TO GET YOUR NAME IN A DRAWING FOR THREE PRIZES.

THREE PRIZES, THREE WINNERS

A COPY OF 12 BRIDES OF CHRISTMAS SIGNED BY ALL 12 AUTHORS

A SIGNED COPY OF FIRE AND ICE

1 $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

Mary Connealy
Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series
http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules
Updated: October 20, 2015 — 6:34 pm

109 Comments

  1. Good morning Mary! Thank you for the excerpt. These two characters sound like they will be a lot of fun to get to know. They’re fiesty!

    I would love to be entered into your giveaway!

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    1. Hi Cindy. I LOVE these two characters. The hero so wounded. The heroine so put upon by her landlady…the old bat. But I think that little boy is my favorite. He’s so hurt and lonely and he covers it up by being a trouble maker…and the father is grieving so much he can’t help his son and he feels terrible guilt about that.

      1. I forgot to leave my favorite Christmas memory win I was a kid in school. We use to go to midnight candlelight services when I lived on Tachikawa AFB in Japan. We would then go home and open one gift. Of course after that one gift we were ushered off to bed so Mom & Daddy could bring out our Santa gifts and put them under the tree. Those were fun memories.

        Blessings,
        Cindy W.

  2. My favorite Christmas memories are reading the Christmas story and then opening gifts with Mom’s family. We always open one gift at a time around the room in age order. It’s so much fun to see everybody’s presents. 🙂

    I love the excerpt, Mary!

    1. Faith I love that memory. We always had Christmas Eve with my husband’s family and his mom was one of the finest ladies I’ve ever known. She was a brilliant cook and the family is huge and it was just chaos and love and fun. I miss her, Marybelle, we even almost shared a name, so much at this time of year. She lived to be 92.

  3. One of my favorite Christmas memories is getting the Christmas tree from our forest with my dad.

    1. MInna for a few years we went to this abandoned Christmas tree forest that had just grown up to small pine forest, very close to our home. The guy who owned it always said, “If you can find a tree to suit you in there, grab it.”
      They were mostly all huge but there were seedlings and some trees had been cut and lower branches had bent straight up and looked pretty good. Of course our trees weren’t beautiful sculptured trees like you get in a real Christmas tree farm but I loved their little managed shapes and they smelled so glorious!

  4. My favorite memories were being a part of the Christmas show. I liked being a shepherd.

    1. Debra G I wrote the plays at our church for years. A Sunday School Christmas play was my first published work and I got $75 for it and honestly nothing has ever been such a thrill. The first time anyone gave me money for writing.

  5. Hi Mary, I loved your story!

    My favorite memory was my “starring” role in the Christmas pageant. Yep, I was the star shining over the manger. I was crushed to later learn that I wasn’t the actual star of the show, Jesus was. Talk about a scene-stealer.

    1. YAY! Margaret’s shot at stardom. LOL How fun that you’ve got such a great memory of it!

  6. One of my favorite memories in school was playing an angel in our school play.

    1. Cathy one of my plays was all about how the symbols of Christmas keep getting farther and farther from Jesus. (clearly and Angel does not, but I was writing pretty ORIGINAL stuff. (I think original is better than WEIRD, right?)
      So the play was sort of chanted like The House that Jack Built if you remember that childhood story, only it was Jesus, then a star, then a Christmas tree, then Santa, it went on and on with one child trying to explain to another child who knows nothing about christmas, what in the world a red nosed reindeer had to do with Jesus.

  7. Sounds like a book to watch for when it’s released. I want to shake the dad though! Kids experienced life so much differently back then. We mother them too much now that it’s hard for them to be independent. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to read it!

    1. Cissie, isn’t that true. Melanie, my heroine, wants to crack Hank over the head most of the time, then she starts to understand his pain.

  8. I enjoyed drawing names and then getting to pick out that one special gift to give during the school Christmas party!
    I have read Fired & Ice and I loved that entire series of books! Highly recommend 🙂
    I also enjoyed reading the e-book version of The Twelve Brides of Christmas collection & I’m thinking I should re-read this one, the stories were wonderful! The paperback is so pretty too!
    Looking forward to your next book!

    1. Hi Deanne, I saw the nice review you posted about Fire and Ice. That was so wonderful. Thank you very much! If you come back I’d love for you to share the link.

  9. This book sounds like a great read.
    I enjoyed the decorations and the Christmas plays at school

    1. Pam I love Christmas decorations but wow I really don’t do much of it anymore. I’ve entered full slacker mode!

  10. well the excitment was awesome, and know that it would soon be over for 2 weeks,,i was in school in the 60s so we didnt have many parties that i remember,,i remember always getting a 39 cent box of chocolate covered cherries which i hated ,,as a gift at school,,now my kids parties at school were nice cause i was a room mother and help organize them

    1. WAY TO GO VICKIE!!!!!!!!!!

      LOL

  11. I guess my favorite memory of Christmas when I was in school was the year we got to take the bus from South Sioux City, NE to Joplin, MO and I got to meet my great aunt and uncle. We didn’t get to travel much and that was wonderful riding that bus that far! Also, while there it snowed, about one whole inch, lol, we were used to a lot more snow than that, but my ‘like’ third cousins were not use to snow. My brother and I had so much fun playing in that little bit of snow, it was amazing, lol.

    wfnren at aol dot com

    1. I love that, the bus trip and ONE INCH of snow, but what great memories!

  12. In elementary school–maybe just kindergarten and first grade–on whichever day St Nicholas Day is in December, we’d put our smelly, little-kid shoes out in the hallway and run around in our socks for a few hours. Then we’d be let out to fetch our shoes, and magically, they all had candy in them! Which we promptly devoured, not at all caring that it had been stored in our smelly shoes.

    Ah, the simplicity of childhood.

    1. Rachael LOL I’m sure your shoes weren’t THAT smelly. How fun.

  13. My favorite Christmas school memory would be singing in the chorus for the Christmas program.
    This books sounds really good. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
    Blessings,Tina

    1. Hi Tina, thanks for stopping in. I love Christmas music so so much.
      So fun, and in church it can be such wonderful worship.

  14. One of my favorite Christmas memories is when Santa Claus came to my grandparents house. We were there visiting for the holidays and our cousins were there as well to celebrate. We were just done eating and we heard something on the roof so grandpa, dad and an uncle went out and then after they came in a little while later Santa appeared. It was cool to have Santa at your house.

    1. Angela that is so great that your family made such an effort to have a fun Christmas!

  15. My favorite memory about Christmas in school as a child was when we exchanged gifts. It was so fun going to Woolworths and picking out my 50 Cent gift to give to the girl whose name I had the drawn. Yes $.50 I remember it clearly and yes Woolworths the so-called dime store!

    1. 50 cents was a LOT back then. I remember I wanted a Barbie one year for my birthday and my grandma, who lived far away, asked my mom what it cost and my mom found out, like some exact amount and it was oh…about $3.42 cents….and in my birthday card in the mail Grandma included a check for the exact amount and told me to go buy a Barbie.

      I loved it and still remember it and that was a NICE gift back then.

  16. I’m homeschooled,my favorite Christmas memory is waking up to help with putting the turkey in the oven, and then when the rest of my family wakes up we gather around the Christmas tree as my dad reads the Christmas story and then usually put on some nice Christmas music, and then we take turns opening each of other presents, then we sometimes sing some of our favorite Christmas songs and then I usually help with making the stuffing and slice the cranberry sauce!!! 🙂

    1. This is so beautiful and so civilized.

      We, my seven brothers and sisters and me, woke up in the predawn hours and just LEAPT on the tree. Chaos but such fun memory, but I sort of wished we’d had something so sweet and powerful like you did.

  17. Christmas related to school would be singing in the choir – Christmas songs are just so beautiful. For home I started a tradition many, many years ago of having a tree trimming party – lots of food, laughter and fun and my freshly picked tree (another tradition) gets decorated (I’ve been collecting ornaments for a long time). Now my oldest daughter has her own party too!

    1. catslady, I love this.
      My family is pretty unruly I don’t have much luck starting traditions. But maybe in our own way that’s a tradition huh? (Let me believe this!!!!!!!!)

  18. It’s the only memory i have from a christmas childhood. Every christmas i would be sick I think the excitement maybe me sick to my stomach every christmas. My aunt who had 4 kids of her own would see my mother yelling at my as to why i was sick every christmas she(my aunt) call my mother into one of the bedrooms. When they left the bedrooms my mother started to head my direction but my aunt called out her name and told her remember what we talked about. Later that day she came over to me and told me as long as you are in my house you need not worry about your mother. From that day forward I still got sick at christmas but no longer had my mother yelling at me. It was the best christmas gift I had every gotten.

    1. Kim this is a sad and yet sweet story. I’m sorry your mom yelled at you. My mom yelled at me, too. But there was no POWER behind it. We just sort of ignored the poor woman. I think that there were 8 of us was just to much to control!

  19. Hi Mary!
    Thanks for insight- and giving us a chance to win!
    My favorite Christmas tradition wasn’t at school cause school was closed Dec-15- Jan 2, so I will tell you my favorite family tradition

    I grew up in a Catholic Family which meant every Christmas Eve we would go to Midnight Mass! When we go home whoever remembered got to place Baby Jesus in The Nativity since He was Born at Midnight ( so we believed)! With 7 kids this became something we looked forward to
    Every year even though I think I might have gotten to do it once ( because of being the baby and not remembering) the big kids always got to it first!!

    1. Justina I was third of eight, so my big sisters were always beating me and the rest of the kids to EVERYTHING. They’re still kinda bossy!

      My husband grew up Catholic and every year they’d have oyster soup and chili, then head for midnight mass. He realized later his mom always ‘forgot’ something and had to run back inside. Then they’d get back from church and SANTA HAD COME, then they’d get to open their presents on Christmas Eve. He was one of seven brothers so look out for the riot there. His mom was the best. She had a really great ‘Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff’ way of living.

  20. Mary, what a treat! Two books in two months. I love these excerpts–you always bring a smile to my lips with your writing. Have I said lately that I want to be you when I grow up? I am not adept at writing humor as you are–I admire that!

    My favorite Christmas memory from school would have to be when we had art period and our teacher would pass out that wonderful manila paper, and we’d take out our crayons and be able to make whatever we could imagine — usually drawings of angels, and the nativity, and Christmas trees (my favorite). We used those to decorate the halls and our room. It always seemed to my childish eyes, that our school was transformed during the holiday–the teachers did a great job with paper snowflakes (that we cut) and glittery, sparkly bulletin boards, and learning Christmas songs in our “chorus” class. Ah, yes. Days were much different then.

    1. I was just going through one of my daughter’s baby books and here was this really glittery, pretty Christmas picture. I wanted to get it out and put it on the refrigerator LOL.

  21. My favorite childhood Christmas memory is when we stayed at a cabin in the snowy mountains with my grandparents and uncle. (Snow is a total novelty to this CA girl!) We went sledding (I ended up under a parked car), fed the squirrels on the deck (we named the biggest one King Tut since he was taking all the food), my grandpa fell out of bed in the middle of the night and woke us all up, and it was just the coziest Christmas ever 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the excerpt and giveaway!!! Can’t wait to read The Advent Bride and Fire &Ice!

    1. Heidi this sounds so fun, so beautiful.

  22. the Christmas sings in elementary school

    1. Hi anon1001, Christmas music is the BEST.

  23. I enjoyed making Christmas ornaments at school. You know, the ones made from clay or toothpicks or buttons or popsicle sticks. They were real “works of art.” 😉

    1. Cheryl my kids once made small wreaths with dried apples. They were so beautiful, the apples were full rounds with a hole in the center where the core was cut out and the peels left on.
      It was wonderful and then……….me being a genius……….I just packed it up with the rest of the ornaments and a year later it was ghastly MOLD that had spread all over to everything.

      Yikes, many ornaments lost in one fell swoop.

  24. My fav memories of Christmas during school were the days off, LOL. My fav memories overall, would be years ago waking up and seeing my grandparents… helping my grandmother make breakfast… then spending time and sharing smiles while we opened our presents together.

    1. Aw, Colleen that is such a sweet memory. I love that, cooking with Grandma and seeing your grandparents.

  25. Fave Christmas memories–pre-Christmas dinner with my cousins. We played board games and enjoyed some great food together each year as tradition.

    1. That’s a nice memory. These memories with JUST immediate family and the ones with extended family are wonderful.

  26. My very favorite Christmas memory was the year my aunt decided to play Santa. She made a great looking Santa but the first “Ho, Ho, Ho” out of her mouth gave her away. It cam out “Ho, Ho, Ho, He, He, he”. Her giggle gave her away!

    Just finished reading Fire and Ice and I LOVED it. Looking forward to your newest release!

    1. So fun. Your aunt must be terrific.

  27. Favorite Christmas memory – attending candle light Christmas Eve Service as a family.

  28. For Christmas, when I was in the first grade, I received a Chatty Cathy doll. When we went back to school after the holidays, we were to bring something we got for Christmas. There were two other girls that brought their new Chatty Cathy dolls so the three of us got to pose with our dolls for a picture. I can still remember standing against that brick wall outside and being so proud. That was only fifty-four years ago!

    1. Chatty Cathy. I remember HER!!!!

  29. Hi Caryl we used to have that, a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. Those are so beautiful!!!!!!!
    What a wonderful memory!

  30. My favorite Christmas memory was when I was eight years old. That Christmas Eve I decide I wanted to sleep in the living room to wait for Santa. And as you can guess I fell a sleep pretty fast. But What i awoke to was even better than presents. As I laid in our big over sized chair I noticed it was very bright in the living room. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and saw a winter wonderland outside the window! Now it may not be a big deal to some but where we lived we hardly ever got snow and if we did it was never on Christmas! That was one of my favorite Christmas memories that still warms my heart to this day! And I will be 31 this year and still have not had another white Christmas.

    1. Cori that sounds so perfect, what a perfect Christmas memory. I love it.

  31. Mary, I love your sassy, spit-fire ladies! I have a funny Christmas shopping memory to share. My mom would sometimes take us along when she was shopping for gifts. She asked us if we thought a certain cousin would like this craft set and knowing that cousin was a little younger than us and an only child, we say yes because she really would like it (even though we wouldn’t, but we didn’t say so). Imagine our surprise on Christmas morning when we open “our cousin’s” present and it’s actually for us. My mom has become notorious for doing this repeatedly over the years and still thinks she’s so sneaky! I am also the proud owner of a keepsake baby doll she had me design that looks just like my sister because she told me it was for my sister! I even made a big deal about saving it for last and revealing the name tag with a flourish, my sisters thought I had lost my mind. 🙂 Never a dull moment with my mom around!

  32. We would ususlly get to open a gift on Christmas Eve=) always looked forward to that! And I always loved the church Christmas production.

    1. Patty so many people say they got to open ONE present. we NEVER DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      the injustice is infuriating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. One of my favorite memories was looking forward to my siblings coming home from college on Christmas break. I think that was the highlight of my whole year. Another good memory was waking up on Christmas morning, knowing that everyone was home and that in a few hours we’d spend time together over Christmas breakfast(Ambrosia) and unwrapping packages from each other. We still sing songs and quote Bible verses before opening packages to this day. Maybe this year all of us will be together again. The last time we were all together under one roof was the Christmas of ’09. Your characters sound like so much fun!! Thanks for sharing the excerpt with us and the lovely giveaway. I am looking forward to reading The Advent Bride and Fire & Ice! – Blessings, Julianna

    1. Julianna all eight of my brothers and sisters were together about two months ago and one brother is the true troublemaker because he moved to NEW YORK.
      But we managed, the seven of us who stayed in Nebraska, to find him all at one time. We took pictures and we can’t remember for sure when we were all together last. It’s been a long time.

  34. I enjoyed getting to watch and perform in the Christmas programs at school and taking a present to my teacher.

  35. My favorite memory of Christmas when I was little in school was coming into my class and finding the room decorated for Christmas. It was like magic!

  36. One of my favorite memories of Christmas as a child is when my dad got up on the roof of the house with chains to make it sound like a sleigh had landed! He then took two broom handles and ran them through the front yard to make-believe the sleigh had taken a turn landing there as well.

    1. Wow that was so sweet of your dad, Ginger. I think my dad was a little overwhelmed by the eight kids!

  37. Mary!I love your books and so glad you have a new one coming out! I have so many fond memories of Christmas! My bedroom was right off the living room and if I positioned myself just right, I could see the Christmas tree. Every year I’d promise myself to stay awake and catch Santa leaving my gifts and every year I’d fail! I never caught him!!!
    My sister and I would wake very early….five in the morning and run out to the tree and rip open all our gifts and then bounce on our parents bed, waking them up to tell them about everything Santa left for us! We were so excited! (Later, I realized, they probably hadn’t been in bed very long and guess what? They knew about every item!)

    Later, Mom would get up and get breakfast on. Then we’d take off to Grandma’s house to a wonderful Christmas dinner and time with all our cousins! It was a wonderful childhood!

    1. Sandra this sounds more like us. Much running and screaming.

  38. Favorite childhood Christmas memories…Christmas pj’s on Christmas Eve (still do this!), getting a record album from my Daddy…(Bobbie Gentry is one I remember! ?), waking up to Santa’s gifts (unwrapped) spread out under the tree…

  39. My elementary school was really small, in a very small town, so we had two grades in one room. I especially remember in 3rd and 4th grades, we got to paint our classroom windows. One whole wall had several large windows. It was such fun painting Christmas scenes on these windows (and standing on the window ledges to do it). A favorite childhood Christmas memory was Dad reading the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve. We always had a “fancy” meal that night too, using the best dishes and often eating by candlelight.
    I enjoyed the excerpt, Mary, and look forward to reading the rest of the story.

  40. Hi Mary! I love Christmas! I have so many memories of Christmas as a child! I grew up in a very small town in Calif. The elementary school was right across the street from my house so I just ran across the street! In those days you got to bring homemade treats to school made by your mom and mine were always the best 🙂 My mom was legend for her baking skills (still is!). We had parties galore and of course, the requisite Christmas program at night where the parents came to see our fabulous talents as we sang and performed! Ah, those were the days!

    I already have FIRE & ICE but would love either of the other prizes !!!! 🙂

  41. It will be interesting to see how they work out their differences! Thanks for the excerpt!

    Let’s see a favorite Christmas memory from my school days… In elementary we did a Christmas show with all the classes participating and parents were invited. One of my friends was not allowed to celebrate the Santa part of Christmas because her parents were opposed to it. At first they weren’t going to let her even attend class that day but after the teacher talked to them and let them see everything going on with the show they decided to let her join in!

  42. For some reason, I seem to remember gifts from my uncle when I was young..a miss America dress-up outfit, a beanie baby doll, a little snoopy dog. It was always exciting to have off school & be with family!

  43. HAHA….I love the excerpt from “The Advent Bride”…I can already tell I would enjoy reading it!! I also have “Now & Forever” & would love to add “Fire & Ice” to it, they sound like my kind of books 🙂

    Favorite Christmas memory? I don’t remember doing much in school, but I do remember my favorite gift as a kid. I was about 11 or 12 and I got my first wristwatch, it was a Micky Mouse one (the old wind-up kind). I had been wanting a watch for a long time & I finally got it, the exact one I had asked for too! I had that for many years but don’t know what happened to it. I even still have the picture of me showing it off 🙂

    Thank you for the chance to win 2 books and the Amazon card. I really enjoyed Mary sharing an excerpt from the 12 Brides book, both covers are so pretty, I love the mischievous look on her face 🙂

  44. My favorite Christmas memory is when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I woke up and ran to the tree!I saw the toy I wanted under the tree! It was Teela, from He-Man Masters of the Universe! I loved her on that cartoon. PS: My mom caught me and I was sent to my room until everybody was up.

  45. I remember finding the presents one year. My mom wasn’t great at keeping a secret and my foster brothers and I found then in the trunk of the car. She loved it! We thought we’d be in big trouble since we were caught! That memory just popped in my head. Just a funny one!

  46. Great story! I cant wait to read the rest. Hmmm… my favorite Christmas memories as a child were the years my family was all together and my brother and I would wake up so early we had a few hours just to ourselves with God and a sparkling Christmas tree.

  47. Great story! I cant wait to read the rest. Hmmm… my favorite Christmas memories as a child were the years my family was all together and my brother and I would wake up so early we had a few hours just to ourselves with God’s love and a sparkling Christmas tree.

  48. One memorable Christmas took place very late into the night because the sows were farrowing (and on the farm the animals came first). Between dairy cows & pigs, life was busy but fun. My dad is gone now but is fun to remember.

  49. When I was in school I loved it when we made gifts for our parents. Also making Christmas decorations and the parties and then Christmas break. We got to talk about Jesus too.

  50. My favorite memory is singing Away in the Manger at the Christmas concert when I was in Kindergarten. Public school, no less. I’m not quite sure when it became offensive or politically incorrect to utter baby Jesus’ name, but it was 1976 my kindergarten year and I was so happy and proud to be part of it all.

  51. I highly recommend Fire & Ice! Mary asked me to share my review ~ My pleasure.. I loved this series! So here is the link… http://www.amazon.com/review/R35U8NEAK68GDY/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0764211803

  52. My favorite school memory is Sister Jane teaching us different Christmas songs in music class. Each class then got to sing their song for the Christmas concert.

    I still remember our song:

    Are My Ears On Straight?

    I’m a little doll who was dropped and broken
    Falling off my mommy’s knee
    I’m a little doll who has just been mended
    Now won’t you tell me please.

    Are My Ears On Straight, Is my nose in place
    Have I got a cute expression on my face?
    Are my blue eyes bright, Do I look all right?
    To be taken home Christmas Day?

    When I first came here, Just a month ago.
    Brought in by a little girl who loved me so.
    She began to cry, ‘Til they told her I
    Could be taken home Christmas Day.

    Christmas time is drawing nearer, And I’m getting scared
    Wish I could see in a mirror, How I’ve been repaired.
    I’ll be called for soon, But I’m worried so
    Will she love me like she did a month ago.

    My favorite small gift was the box of Lifesavers packaged like a book that opened and closed.
    Are My Ears On Straight? I can hardly wait.
    To be taken home Christmas Day

    1. OOPS The last two sentences are the end of the song.

      Are My Ears On Straight? I can hardly wait.
      To be taken home Christmas Day

      1. Love this, Laurie, that really is sweet and funny but it’s also touching. What a perfect song for little kids.

  53. My favorite Christmas memory is this: My Uncle Jim was in the Army. Career Army. We rarely saw him, if at all. He served in Korea. The Christmas of my 6th year, he came home and brought me a big ole baby doll! She was so pretty, felt just like a real baby. And she was a girl! I’d just gotten a brother and wanted a sister. This doll made my whole year! I clearly remember swinging on my see saw on my swing set holding her and being sooo happy. AND it snowed that year on Christmas Eve, too! For the south, that’s a rarity. Her name was Melissa Kay and I loved her so much. I remember that so clearly now and I’m in my late fifties.

    1. Susan, Isn’t that just a wonder? Your uncle comes home with the perfect gift, so the gift, remembering your uncle, the snow. That’s precious.

  54. We always spent Christmas in Florida at my grandmother’s house. It became a tradition on Christmas Eve to play the “package trick.” We’d wrap an empty box and tie fishing line to it. Set it in the road, hide behind the bushes and the fun began! When innocent passers-by stopped to pick it up, we’d yank the line and jump up shouting “Merry Christmas!” Usually there was enough Christmas spirit to keep folks from getting angry. Lots of memories made from that game!

    I’d love to add The Advent Bride to my Connealy collection.

  55. What a terrific excerpt. I can’t wait to see the rest of the fireworks between those two.

    Christmas growing up was very predictable – which translated to wonderful and comforting. We always opened gifts on Christmas Eve at midnight. A couple of things from our wish list but nothing too extravagant. A new pair of PJs and books from my grandmother. Christmas morning we looked forward to finding a long, long stocking (probably support hose now that I think about it and could use them myself now!) filled with the standard Cracker Jack, animal cookies, an orange, nuts . . . and some little treats tucked in that we loved as much as our “big” gifts.

    1. Sally thank you. I love all these traditions.

  56. Oh you are a gem! I love reading your stories. Christmas memory….hmm…probably my grandpa dressing up as SAnta and scaring us. LOL

    1. Susan! This reminded me of my brother dressing up as Santa once and TERRIFYING my one year old daughter. I told him to take the beard and hat off and she calmed right now. Then I told him to let her touch it and then slowly put it back on…so she’d know it was him.
      And she started screaming again.
      I think he felt kinda bad about it because he’d wanted her to think it was FUN. Instead he was like a horror movie to the poor kid.

  57. I grew up in Australia and have wonderful memories of Christmas. I was born in Finland so we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve which is a Finnish tradition.

    1. Rita I wish you’d told us MORE. Australia and Finland must have their own special traditions. I’d like to learn more. You’re such a woman of the world!

  58. Counting and stacking all my wrapped gifts! There were five children, so we always made stacks. Mom liked shopping. 🙂

  59. The Christmas morning I woke my stepsister to show her the little doll with the yellow rooted hair, and the short-sleeved turquoise sweater with the tiny pearl buttons down the front that Santa had brought me ~ after they drove through the night from a Northern state, likely helping him out. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  60. When our children were little we would make homemade gingerbread men and ladies. The children loved to roll the dough and cut out the cookies any which way. We put cinnamon dots and raisins on to decorate and red gros-grain ribbons around their necks and tie them to the tree. On Christmas morning we would unwrap the gifts from santa and munch on those cookies for breakfast. We knew they would have plenty of healthy food during the day and I seldom made desserts. Christmas was different. My kids are grown and have homes of their own now but they still talk about gingerbread men (and ladies for breakfast) and how THEY made them.

  61. Wow, Mary must put that book on my TBR list, the excerpt was great. Thanks, for the chance to win. Christmas when I was a child was wonderful. Drawing names with family & friends was fun; I got to pick out my own gift for them. We didn’t forget the people who couldn’t afford to buy Christmas for their children and the tree with names on it in the store (like Target) for those who needed gifts; this was before Toys for Tots was started. Bless us one and all.

  62. My mother and I thoroughly love (and laugh) at your writing! We hope you keep writing, and quickly! My Christmas memory: Our elementary school always put on a Christmas show for our parents where each class would sing a Christmas song. I don’t remember my class’s song, but my mom made the cutest life sized cardboard gingerbread costume for me to wear. She decorated it with royal icing. I remember being so proud wearing it. Shortly after our performance the icing started to fall off. I was so disappointed, because it was such a special costume.

  63. Lots of good Christmas memories from childhood. I was the oldest of 6 children and the family didn’t have much, but was comfortable. Even just a couple of presents per child filled the space up under the tree. My mother loved Scotch Pine, so that is what we usually had for a christmas tree. The man who owned the property around out house let us go into the woods and cut down a tree every year. We would get a big one and use the lower branches to make a wreath, and trim around the house. We always had a great time hiking out to get the tree and dragging it home.

  64. Can’t wait to read this. Christmas was always a favorite time. My mom would go all out to make a great Christmas for us

  65. I grew up in Colorado so it meant no school and we could go skating and sledding. Of courser we usually had snow and it was cold but hey, as a kid, If I could play outside, I did.

  66. Oh, you want a favorite Christmas memory! Two that stand out – one was when I received my bicycle – I was prob’ly in 1st grade and small for my age. They’d bro’t the bike into my grandparents’ kitchen and my dad carried me out to see it – and I cried! The other memory (I didn’t know but have been told) was that my uncle didn’t know who was playing Santa – he always came to my Grandparents’ home on Christmas Eve and the rest of the family was trying to shush my uncle so I wouldn’t hear him asking! Sooo many others – and I’m grateful!!

  67. My favorite memory as a kid in school was probably the Christmas pageants. I’ve always loved Christmas music, and getting to dress up and sing my favorite songs on stage was wonderful. Even now, Christmas music is always playing in my house during the holiday season. Thanks for the giveaway!

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