Hour Three - Live Chat
For the final hour of today's Romancing the Holidays Gala we are hosting a live video chat with Victoria Alexander and Vanessa Kelly beginning at 8:00pm (EST). To access the chat, simply click on the link below which will take you to Lit Connect's chat site.
Once at the site, click "Guest" then enter your email address and name (first name, screen name, whatever you prefer) to enter the chat. If you want to ask a question of either Victoria or Vanessa, click the ? symbol and we'll call on you.
See you there!
The Hour Eleven winner of
a set of David Winter cottage ornaments
Ann Marie Feldman
Hour Two - Absolutely Perfect
I love Christmas. I love over the top decorations. I love those foods that are only around at Christmas like ribbon candy and fudge and English toffee. (Oh sure I know you can have them at other times of year but no one I know makes fudge and toffee unless it's Christmas, which really is a good thing.) I love Christmas music (especially from Manheim Steamroller). And I love the fact that my birthday is a few days before Christmas because it makes celebrating my birthday really special.
Christmas is magical and I want it to be perfect.
And it never is which inevitably leads to my traditional Christmas Eve meltdown. You know—it's that moment when I'm trying to make our traditional meatless Christmas Eve dinner (shrimp, tomato soup, potato pancakes) and trying to wrap that last minute present and trying to put up that last decoration and trying to make sure everything will be, well, perfect.
When I was writing What Happens at Christmas, I didn't realize until I was finished that my heroine, Camille, was doing exactly what I do. She was trying to make Christmas perfect. Of course, she was doing it for a prince and I'm doing it for the people I love. I want my family, especially my kids, to remember Christmas as magic. And perfect.
Oh sure, we've had those years when the Christmas tree has fallen over. We've had minor fires thanks to candles placed too close to decorations. We've had presents that haven't arrived, unexpected houseguests who have, bad weather that cancelled everything and all sorts of other holiday mishaps. At the time, they felt like major disasters. There was gnashing of teeth (mine) and much weeping and wailing (mine, mine) that Christmas was ruined. It wasn't of course.
Camille's Christmas wasn't perfect and neither are mine. My kids are grown now and when they talk about Christmas Past, it's not the perfect dinner or the perfect decorations or the perfect gifts they remember. It's the fun and the laughter and the love.
And when we look back, each and every Christmas feels, well, perfect. J
The Hour Ten Winner of
Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight
His Mistletoe Bride
Season for Surrender
What Happens at Christmas
a Christmas Ornament
a Tea Towel
English Christmas Crackers
Hour One—Welcome to Romancing the Holidays!!!
My Secret Christmas Vice
Okay, this is my Christmas confession. There are all sorts of things I love about this time of year. Most of them are pretty obvious—decorations, parties, finding the right gift and so on. But I do have a Christmas addiction that I rarely talk about.
I am hooked on made-for-tv holiday movies.
That's right. You know the ones I'm talking about. They start running on tv in October. Just a couple a week to kind of ease us into the overload to come. By the time the Thanksgiving dishes are done, you can find one running on one channel or another almost any hour of the day or night and on more than one channel. And I can't resist them.
My family, of course, thinks I'm insane. They feel compelled to point out flaws in the plots or bad dialogue or poor acting. And yes I notice the flaws and I do think I would have written it differently but overall—I ignore any problems.
Oh sure they're pretty similar. And the premise often sounds much better than the execution but they're like Christmas treats for me—one is never enough. Until now, I've never really given much thought to why.
Now, the little Christmas light bulb has come on over my head. In one way or another they all have elements of those classic stories of Christmas we all know and love: It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol and The Gift of the Magi. Whether they're dramas or sheer comedy they're all about redemption and second chances and forgiveness and love and miracles. Universal themes.
I didn't when I wrote it but I can now see the influence of those classic Christmas themes in What Happens at Christmas. And I suspect they came from my unflinching love of Christmas stories—whether they're on tv or between the covers of a book.
Made-for-tv holidays movies is one vice I refuse to give up but I will try to cut down.
From now on, I promise not to watch in any month that doesn't end in b-e-r.
So what's your secret Christmas vice?