Saturday, November 17, 2012

Holiday Countdown

by Amanda Forester

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on!  Has anyone else been completely caught off guard by how early this holiday is arriving this year?  I am not at all ready for this! 

Not only has the early arrival of one my favorite holidays got me scrambling, it also has me in a quandary regarding my next favorite holiday - Christmas.  In a spirit of full disclosure I will admit that I am one of those people who every years goes out Thanksgiving weekend to chop down my Christmas tree.  We have friends we go with to chop the tree and then go out for Mexican food (nothing says happy holidays like an authentic chile relleno).  By the end of Thanksgiving weekend the lights are up, the decorations are out, and I am full of the ho ho holiday spirit from my snowflake sweater to my Santa Claus mug.  I also have jingle bell antlers for the cat, but you wouldn't believe the grief I have trying to get him to wear it. 

 This year, however, I am perplexed.  Thanksgiving is early, so do I wait to put up the decorations?  I would have them out immediately, but my hubby, practical man that he is, has laid down the law and is making me wait a week this year, at least in regards to cutting down the tree.  He had something to say about a fire hazard, which I think is completely out of sync with the entire holiday spirit.
Here is a pic of him cutting down the tree last year.  What is hard to see is how hard is was raining at the time.  I suppose when I said I go out to cut down my tree, I should have really said I choose the tree since the actual chopping is done by someone other than myself.  I guess that's why the man feels he has the right to say when the tree is cut.

I will admit that one year we took our old tree to a friend's house (who had a large property and a burn pile - do not try this in an urban environment!) and we decided to dispose of the old trees by having a bonfire.   So the boys lit up the tree and oh my stars if that tree didn't whoosh into a fireball at least fifty feet in the air.  It was impressive.  The thought that fire starter had been only hours before in my living room was terrifying.  So yeah, I suppose waiting a week may be a good plan after all.

In other news of things coming early, I got the word that my publisher is pushing up the publication date for my next book!  I am starting a new series set in regency England, and I have to say I am having a blast writing it.  Here is a sneak preview of the cover! 

I just saw that my book is now out for pre-sale on Amazon.  Nothing says happy holidays like a pre-order of A Wedding in Springtime! 

So what are your traditions around the holidays?  Anybody a decoration freak like me?


  1. Yay, Amanda, on the earlier publication date! Congrats on the cover, it's beautiful! And yes, I start decorating the day after Thanksgiving traditionally. That way all that work isn't for naught. My house looks like it is full of festive cheer for longer!

    But I do have artificial trees. I finally broke down and got a new one that is pre-lighted. Love it!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  2. It's a lovely cover! I have always had a tree-trimming party for friends and family but it's getting hard with everyone's schedules. My oldest daughter has one now too. But she is going to be gone the first 2 weekends (we can only do it on Sunday's because of my other daughter) and she wants the 16th so I am stuck on the 23rd. Since I get a live tree, it will stay up for most of January lol.

  3. Mia - thanks! I do love it!

    Terry - I got an artificial, per-lighted tree for the family room. I feel almost guilty it is so easy to put up. I'm with you, the decorating takes time - I like to enjoy it as long as possible!

  4. Catslady - a tree trimming party sounds like fun! I totally understand trying to get everyone's shedules to fit so we can get together. I've had holiday celebrations throughout the month of December to try to accommodate everyone. I gues it just spreads out the fun! Sounds like you are going to enjoy a New Year's tree!

  5. Beautiful cover!
    Since I do a lot of baking for the holiday season, one of the things that mark the beginning of the season for me is when I start canning pumpkin and start getting requests from friends about what they would like me to make for them.
    I love decorating for the holiday season and make sure I pick up at least one new decoration or ornament for my boys. I also try to find a new Advent calender and nutcrackers which some years is harder than others since I like to find unusual or unique ones. It is fun going to look at speciality shops on the hunt for them.

  6. Awesome cover! Momma used to take us kids and we'd look at every cedar tree in all of southern Oklahoma before she finally made up her mind which one was "the tree." Sometimes I miss those days...Husband and I do our BIG thing at Thanksgiving and then recuperate at the beach on Christmas! I started off the baking last week with banana nut bread. Next up, pumpkin bread and then orange slice cake. Our house smells wonderful for days!

  7. Ora - you can your own pumpkin? Color me impressed! I do like baking and pretty much only do it for the holidays so it's always a big treat, and a bit of a shock, "What is Momma doing? I think she'!"

    Carolyn - mmmmm - sounds delicious! When I was a kid my dad was the one who picked the tree. For many years he said the perfect tree would have a bird's nest in it. We would spend hours tramping around the woods looking for a tree with a nest (back in the days when you trimmed your own tree)!

  8. Amanda, Amanda, Amanda. What a beautiful cover. Congratulations on the new series. I can't wait to read it.

    This is the first year we've actually done this, but my entire family is traveling to the Caribbean over the holiday. Yep, we'll have our toes in white sand while we hold our umbrella drinks.

    Next year, we'll resume our family traditions. My husband compares his decorating style to Clark W. Griswold. I'm sure my neighbors will miss it this year. ;-)

  9. I do the tree after thanksgiving. A few lights outside, but not too crazy. My fav thing is the tree.

  10. I do the tree after thanksgiving. A few lights outside, but not too crazy. My fav thing is the tree.

  11. Victoria - thanks! I love the cover. Sounds like you are going to have some tropically good fun for Christmas!

    Chrisbails - I do love getting a fresh tree. Once I smell that pine smell it just makes it the holidays!