Wednesday, December 7, 2016

12 Books of Christmas: CHRISTMAS MEMORIES by Elizabeth Noyes

Elizabeth Noyes writes suspense
and romance in her Cameron series.
Learn more about her at her author
page on the Write Integrity Press site.
Christmas has always been a special time for me.  As a child, my Daddy would read the Christmas Story from the Bible to us on the night before Christmas. He had a strong voice that grew deeper as he read. It filled with reverence as he made the story come to life for us. My sister, brother, and I would crowd around him, spellbound. It didn’t matter that we heard it year after year.

Afterward, Mama would make ‘real’ hot cocoa with marshmallows, and then we’d gather around the tree to open all the wrapped presents we gave each other.  That’s because Santa left his presents on Christmas morning. He didn’t wrap them, either because he had to visit every child in the world and wrapping paper took too long.

Despite my suspicions and lots of heckling from my brother, sister, and friends, I held onto the myth of Santa long beyond the normal age. My parents, bless their hearts, never once let on that he wasn’t real. They let me come to that conclusion on my own. It was a slow process for me. There was no conscious one day it’s fantasy and then the light bulb came on. No abrupt understanding, only a sad acceptance and a loss of wonderment.

Fast forward to my young adult years and I met the love of my life. Some might think it serendipity, happenstance, or chance. Others might call it fate, but as I look back I know it was God working in our lives. All the twists and turns that led to our unexpected meeting went way beyond possibility, one of those ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ kind of circumstances.

We got married, roamed the world, had kids, and started our own traditions. We collected ornaments and decorations from all the places we visited, and kept every tiny decoration our kids made when they were little. And every year, our tree grows more meaningful. There’s a Rudolph peanut with googly eyes from our little girl in first grade, a hand-painted ornament a Korean artist made for us, a clothespin nutcracker soldier our son made in third grade, a brötchen (hard roll) that a German friend decorated and varnished (40+ years we still have it!) … and the list goes on.

We still travel and collect ornaments, and now we save those treasures our grandchildren make. You see, ours is not just a Christmas Tree – it’s a Memory Tree.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Noyes—professional writer, aspiring author, dedicated dreamer—lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and best friend, Paul, who listens tirelessly while she regales him with all the tales in her head of damaged, but very human characters clamoring to be heard.

You can learn more about Elizabeth and all of her books at her author page on the Write Integrity Press website:

Mama’s Old Fashioned Homemade Hot Cocoa:
(with marshmallows!)

¼ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
½ c. Granulated Sugar
½ c. Hot Water
¼ t. Salt
3 c. Whole Milk
1 c. Heavy Cream
1 t. Vanilla Extract
Marshmallows (we like the big ones!)

1. Mix milk and cream together and set aside.
2. Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, and heat/stir for 1 minute.
3. Reduce heat and add the milk and cream mixture slowly, still stirring constantly. Heat, but do not boil.
4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla. Stir well. 
5. Serve immediately, topped with marshmallows.

12 Books of Christmas: 

You can win a copy of the first book of Elizabeth's Cameron series, IMPERFECT WINGS, as part of our 12 Books of Christmas contest. Leave a comment below with your email address (US residents only). Your email address will also be added to our monthly newsletter list. (Unsubscribe anytime.) While you're commenting, share a memory of a handmade decoration!

1 comment:

Shirley Crowder said...

Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! All of my Christmas ornaments and decorations remind me of people and places. Many of the people have walked alongside me through very difficult times. I Samuel 23:16 comes to mind: And Jonathan, Saul's son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. I am so grateful for all those whom God placed in my life to strengthen my hand!