Guest Post by Camille Eide
Christmas is a favorite time of year for many of us. The sights, sounds and holiday smells create a magical sense of warmth, of familiar traditions, and opportunities for special times with special people.
My Christmas Romance, Savanna’s Gift, is set in a beautifully adorned rustic ski lodge in the Oregon Cascades, amid twinkly lights and fresh evergreens. A Christmas wonderland filled with spiced cider and steaming cocoa and treats everywhere you turn. Iced gingerbread cookies, peppermint bark, truffles, cranberry scones, the list goes on.
Apparently I can’t write a Christmas story without treats.
I love Christmas cookies (even though they are currently off my diet). I have a dozen or so favorite cookie & candy recipes I make every year for my family and friends. In recent years, the kids have gotten busy with college and I’ve gotten busy with writing and meeting deadlines. So last year, I announced that I would be cutting down on my usual holiday baking.
Uh . . . no. This was not at all well received by my (young adult) kids. It took me a while to understand their hot reaction to this announcement. It’s COOKIES, guys. We’re not canceling Christmas, just all the back-breaking, marathon baking.
Still no. With tears, even. I was met with more resistance than I’ve seen since they were terribly two. What I began to realize (as I dashed to the store for more butter, powdered sugar, chocolate chips and sprinkles) was that while I never had any Christmas traditions growing up, I didn’t realize how important they were to my kids.
Thankfully, our kids see Christmas first as a celebration the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for that, my husband and I are grateful. We can celebrate Jesus without cookies (did you hear that, kids?) But I needed to understand that my kids—the ones I instilled with a lifetime of Eide family traditions—need the comforting constant of tradition, even now. Especially now as they grow up and make future plans (like wedding plans! Ack!). Now is not the time to cut back, but to proceed as always and hold down the fort as my adult kids prepare to venture out into the world and have families with whom they will create traditions of their own.
In my story, Savanna is hesitant to return to the lodge knowing that at Christmas time, she will face many reminders of special memories and love, a love she lost. But fortunately, she has no choice but to return (thanks to the grinchy author) and face the Christmas music.
I guess without realizing it, I included cookies and yearly traditions in Savanna’s Gift as a reminder to myself that people find comfort in the familiar, the things we’ve come to associate with special moments with the people we love. Hopefully I will keep this in mind as the holiday approaches and I’m tempted to “cut back.”
Camille Eide writes contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction. She lives in Oregon with her husband and is mom to three brilliant college-age kids. She’s grateful for the amazing grace of God, and either in spite of or thanks to that grace, she has a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way. She’s also a church secretary, a bassist, and a passably devoted fan of classic rock, muscle cars, and Jane Austen.
Valerie: I reviewed Camille’s novella here.