Saturday at my blog is about what are you reading – usually – today it’s about a book I read and fell in love with – Jeannie Moon’s THIS CHRISTMAS. I have to say Jeannie is pretty fantastic too. If you want a heartwarming holiday novella between two people meant to be, I really highly recommend this book – on sale for a limited time for .99! Jeannie is doing a generous giveaway below too. Read on for BUY LINKS and more.
I’m thrilled to be back with Carly, especially in December when celebrations of love and family are everywhere. In my new Christmas novella, This Christmas (which is on sale for .99 for the next few days!) traditions play a major part in setting the scene.
Sabrina Gervais, my heroine, is part of a wonderfully close family and they decorate their coastal Holly Point, Long Island home from top to bottom for the holidays, including a big Christmas tree they get from a local tree farm. I decorate extensively as well, but we don’t do real trees in my house anymore, and let me tell you why.
About fifteen years ago we had what we have come to know in my family as the “Tree Incident.” The children were 10, 8 and 6 and since our trees always dried out before we were ready to take them down, we decided to go to a tree farm to cut our own. I thought fresher was better.
The day before our outing, youngest was riding his bike, ran over something in the driveway, and flipped over the handlebars. It was a bad fall, but he was wearing a helmet, so his noggin was spared. His mouth, however, not so lucky. The poor kid was a mess. He ended up losing a front tooth in the following days, but what we knew immediately was that he was in no shape to tree farm. So, I stayed home and watched cartoons with my banged-up little guy, while my daughters and my husband went to find a tree.
I don’t have a big house. I have a front-to-back split level, but what I do have is a vaulted ceiling that’s twelve feet at its highest point. I love that I can have a tall tree and my husband and the girls went out to look for our eight-footer.
A few hours and several phone calls later, and my tree farmers pulled in the driveway with a large evergreen lashed to the roof of our station wagon. I was so excited to get it inside and start decorating. And that’s when I noticed it was sticking off the ends of the car. BOTH ENDS. And eight-footer this was not.
Once my husband wrestled the tree in the front door, I looked at the trunk. It had to be a foot in diameter. After hearing the stories about how hard it was to cut down with a hand saw, we tried to stand it up. Needless to say, it did not fit in the tree stand and the top of the tree bent at the ceiling line. Yup. It was over twelve feet tall.
Hubby went out and bought a new tree stand, cut away at the base of the trunk, and eventually the tree stood. Victory! No. We took off the netting and it was like the scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when the tree explodes. Fortunately, there was no squirrel, but the tree that was still brushing the ceiling was taking up half my living room. HALF! And I didn’t have enough lights, or garland or ornaments.
I stared at my husband and my daughters and shook my head. “I wanted a big tree, but not this big!” I said. My husband was cold and tired and I think he might have growled, but it was my middle daughter who put it in perspective. She looked up at the tree with its dense branches and bent top and said, “It didn’t look that big next to the sky.”
Out of the mouths of babes.
So, after making a few trips for more decorations and lights, the tree was finished. There were too many branches near the floor to put presents under the tree. We had to move several pieces of furniture so we could walk through the room and the star wasn’t square on top, but tilted off to one side. We had to tie it to the stair railing with dental floss because the cat enjoyed climbing into the branches, and the last thing we needed was for the blasted thing to fall and take out the front window.
In the end, we had a good laugh over it. The tree was a great conversation piece and it has been a good story for years. Did it stay fresher than a pre-cut tree? NO! I had more needles in my house than ever before. I think I was still vacuuming up the little suckers in June.
It was then that we decided to buy a fake tree. We still have it. It fits the room perfectly, but it’s never going to give me a story like the one I just told you.
I have a copy of your choice of book from my digital back list and a lighthouse tree ornament for one commenter. Do you have any holiday stories that have come part of your family folklore? Share it with me in the comments!
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A little about This Christmas:
Single mother Sabrina Gervais has built a happy life with her daughter Charlotte in their eastern Long Island hometown of Holly Point. Having Charlie meant putting some of her own dreams on hold, but Sabrina is content to surround herself with family and friends, safe from the realities of the outside world. She had enough of that when the man she loved broke her heart.
Jake Killen’s career in professional hockey has brought him many rewards on and off the ice, but returning to New York brings back a flood of memories he wasn’t prepared for. When he sees Sabrina again, he discovers that he didn’t just walk away from her ten years ago, but also from their unborn child.
Struggling with anger, guilt, and chemistry that’s off the chart, Sabrina and Jake wonder if they can find love again and, this Christmas, make all their wishes come true.
Jeannie Moon has always been a roman¬tic. When she’s not spinning tales of her own, Jeannie works as a school librarian, thank¬ful she has a job that allows her to immerse herself in books and call it work. Married to her high school sweet¬heart, Jeannie has three kids, three lovable dogs and a mischievous cat and lives in her hometown on Long Island, NY. If she’s more than ten miles away from salt water for any longer than a week, she gets twitchy. Visit Jeannie’s web¬site at www.jeanniemoon.com
52 thoughts on “Guest Author Jeannie Moon & Giveaway!”
Jeannie is invisible 😉
I’m here. Are you having trouble with links?
lol… no. all that originally posted was just the title of the blog and no “body” 🙂 but it must of reposted cuz I got a new email notification. Thanks for the fun post! Running over to amazon to look at your back list now!
What a fun story!!! Unfortunately, we never had a real tree growing up b/c my mom hated the mess and I think my brother was allergic. So we never had any tree mishaps setting up. The only thing that I can think of is when the cat vaulted from the top of the china hutch onto the tree, but missed. Luckily, he landed on the couch so no injuries. The dumb cat didn’t learn his lesson though and we had to keep a squirt bottle by the tree to “discourage” him 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
We had one until I was about eight, then we had a fake tree. I always wanted real, but after the big tree, we caved.
I’m blogging with Carly Phillips today and I’m telling a great Christmas tree story. There’s a #giveaway ! http://t.co/OVE7Fdkx0a
Guest Author Jeannie Moon & Giveaway! http://t.co/SoE2nh6H33 via @carlyphillips
Jeannie, I was laughing like a loon! (They laugh, right???) We have a long story that involved our first two cats. Bottom line is that we heard one of our first Christmas trees (together) rattling, went to look, found the two cats sitting at the foot of the stairs (where the tree was), looking like angels…except for the piece of tinsel that was hanging from Krazy’s mouth. When he realized something was wrong, he looked at his brother (Loko) and we swear he pointed with his paw and would have said, “He did it!” They gave us MANY holiday and tree stories, along with the rest of the year, and even after so many, many years later, we enjoy retelling over and over. Happy holidays to you and yours and to Carly, too!
Cats + Trees = BAD!!! Glad you liked the story.
Great interview and story! Loved this book too. One of the best this season!
Thank you, Bette!
This sounds like us EVERY year! We have a ranch with a vaulted ceiling in our great room. We can get up to a 16 foot tree, but 13 is the tallest we have ever found. This year’s is almost 13 feet tall and 8 feet across. We also cut them down every year but most years they do stay fresh.
In order to get it into the house we have to cover the sides of the wooden door with cardboard and pull for about 5 minutes before it’s in the house. Then trying to get it to stand up and stay up is always fun. We have had it fall over about 1/4 of the years.
One year 3 little mice decided to make the 30 minute ride back to our house with us. That was fun trying to catch those little suckers.
It makes for wonderful memories but I can see the benefits of getting a very tall artificial tree…especially as we are starting to get older!
Happy holidays! :christmastree3:
I giggled through the whole reply. So funny. (I mean not really, but it is.)
What a wonderful Christmas read this book will be.
Your family Christmas tree story brought back lots of memories of our family trees.
I always love putting up a Christmas tree. But the year I hurt my back and could not put up any decorations, never mind a Christmas tree. But my niece who was 12 at the time, and one of my brother came over to my apartment and surprised me by putting up my tree and decorating my apartment. That was the first year of what I called Aunt Kathleen annual Tree trimming party. I had that party for 18 yrs. My cousin’s kids, my friends grandchildren and my own nieces and nephews would come for a party and trim my tree. A few years ago we started going to Sparkle in the Park, which is a lovely holiday light show in our local park. But now things have changed and I don’t put up the big tree anymore. Just my small ceramic tree. Life has got in the way and the kids are all teenagers or older now. But I have some lovely memories of those time.
Only one of my three still live home, and while he’ll help assemble the tree, he’s not decorating. I miss those times too.
One Christmas my father tried to put 4 bikes together for all of us kids, but he was imbibing holiday cheer at the time and some bikes weren’t as together as he thought. It was a hysterical morning when handlebars fell off and seats sank down to the tires.
That’s just perfect.
That is a good story. I don’t have any good stories. Although, growing up, we often traveled between my parent’s families in Ark and La, so Christmas could last a couple of weeks, especially if my parents left some of our presents at home in Texas. I’ve opened Christmas presents in the summer, and birthday presents at Christmas (I have a summer birthday). We always focused on who we were with and having fun with them, and what not on when we were getting the next set of gifts.
A kid’s dream come true.
I would so love to see a picture of that tree! My favorite Christmas story is from 2010, the Christmas my nephew was born. We spent the day in the waiting room waiting for his arrival, walked over to a Subway and had sandwiches for dinner, snacked on vending machine treats and Pez candy (don’t ask! lol) and at 9:15 when he was born, we popped open the champagne and celebrated with everyone else waiting. It’s one of my favorite Christmas’ because we got the best gift that year. We’re having a sleepover tonight, we’re sleeping on the floor next to our Christmas tree.
I’m sure it’s buried in a photo album someplace. I’ll have to look.
What a great story. Love it.
No, I don’t
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. I was a young military wife and 2 children ages 2 and 5 at the time. It was Christmas my hubby was deployed and before he left he wanted to shop for the kids! Since he was going to miss that experience I said OK….He had gotten a Doll House, a Big Wheel.. any thing that had big parts he chose. I remember sitting on the floor almost in tears at midnight when a knock on my door came..it was my neighbor and her hubby, we lived in Military Housing! They were there to help me! It was a great Christmas after all!
Merry Christmas :christmastree2:
Now that’s the Christmas spirit!
When we used to buy real trees, we got 7 feet tall ones. The only problem is my mom is barely 5 feet tall. To put the lights on the tree, we pulled it out from the corner and surrounded it with our dining room and kitchen chairs. My mom would walk around on the chairs, placing the lights just so. Then when it got where she could reach, we’d pull them back and finish. Then we’d put the chairs back and mom would step away. I would stand on the chairs to fix the lights to her standards. It became a running joke in our whole extended family that that was the most use the dining room chairs got all year. We’ve had an artificial pre lit tree for several years. I still have to use the chairs to fix the lights to my mom’s standards, so the family still laughs about it. But I love doing it.
That is a great memory of your mom. xoxo
I became a single mother when my kids were almost 8, almost 4, and almost 2. Six years later I was transferred to Wyoming by my job. Christmas trees in Wyoming are really expensive so after a couple of years I borrowed an artificial tree from a friend. I had it almost put together when my oldest came home from his job, took one look, huffed, and walked out. My two youngest and I got the tree together and put the lights on. As we started to decorate it “outside my window there arose such a clatter” with horns honking. When I looked out I noticed my oldest had bought a beautiful tree. When he came in he said “No artificial trees for Christmas!” And we never had any again. Now that my kids are grown I do have an artificial “wall” tree. It’s only half a tree but it sits up snug to the wall so it doesn’t take up much room. It came pre-lit so all I need to do is put it up, plug it in, and decorate it. Boy do I miss the live trees, but too much work for me to do by myself.
I LOVE this. Quite a man you raised. :christmastree3:
I loved hearing about your tree adventure.
Many years we could not have a tree, so we have decorated alternative objects. One was a green circular hanging light over the apartment kitchen table, another year it was a windchime hanging from a ceiling heat grate, but no matter what was used, being together with family makes it feel like Christmas.
You are absolutely right. 🙂 :candycane:
I’m not sure when my parents went from a real tree to an artificial one but I’ve never missed having to fill the water stand daily or vacuuming up the pine needles.
Quick and easy is how I like the holidays.
To me the traditions are important – being with family (we’ve hosted Christmas year for years already), with same family favorite foods, etc.
Loved the post!
Thank you. Those holiday celebrations make the best memories. :merrychristmas:
Not really family lore stories … but we have our traditions. We always watch Christmas Story and Elf … go to church. Have dinner n Christmas eve.
LOVE A Christmas story. That was my dad’s favorite holiday movie. FRA-GEE-LAY! A local hardware store near me has an annual Christmas seasone event when they light the leg lamp in the store window. Not kidding.
RT @Jeannie_Moon: I’m blogging with Carly Phillips today and I’m telling a great Christmas tree story. There’s a #giveaway ! http://t.co/OV…
It’s like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation tree lol. We always get a live tree and for me the bigger the better. My husband gave up his position to my one daughter’s boyfriend who helps get the tree. He is 6’3″ and I aways get one bigger than him. Husband can’t say anything since I buy the tree he he doesn’t come lol.
We also have this thing with the angels on the tree. Both my daughters made one in preschool. It so happens my youngest is now an artist so even back then hers was nicer. We call the oldest’s angel the hooker angel because she gave it big red lips. The last two years my oldest would hide her sisters during our tree trimming party. (I should say they are 30 and 27 lol). I wouldn’t give her back her cell phone until she told where it was and since she left the party first, we put the youngest’s angel on the top and hers below and took a picture and sent it to her. This is all done with lots of love and laughing. And one year I had my cats knock down the tree twice in one night – never went to sleep that year!
Hee. This is a great story. Poor hooker angel. There’s always one.
Merry Christmas, Jeannie! I laughed through your whole story! The Christmas mishap that we always talk about happened while I was dating my husband. He and his family went to get the tree at a local farm. I met them at the house and here they come, with this big tree on the roof. But t wasn’t the size that was the problem…it was the fact that everyone had to crawl in through the back of the van to get in and out. My father-in-law tied the tree to the roof without opening the doors. So he tied the doors shut! I almost peed my pants watching hm climb out of the back of the car!! Can’t wait to read This Christmas! :snowman:
Yay! I’m glad I made you laugh. :christmastree3:
I love it! We had always had very small trees because we lived in apartments for a few years of our marriage, but when we bought our house that had a very large LR with vaulted ceilings we got a huge tree. All Christmas season we were finding bugs and pine needles ALL over the LR and come to find out my daughter and I developed an allergy. Since then we have had an artificial one. Makes my life easier 🙂
Bugs? Ewww. Never had that problem, but I have fewer needles with the artificial tree. Ours is 9ft tall.
RT @Jeannie_Moon: I’m blogging with Carly Phillips today and I’m telling a great Christmas tree story. There’s a #giveaway ! http://t.co/OV…
:christmastree3: We malweays get a “real” tree but don’t put it up untl just before Christmas Eve trying to keep it standing has become a real challenge to us …lol one year we wrapped a thin wire around it so it would stay up and my cats love it they think its their playhouse….Merry Christmas to you will have to check out all your books soon.
Our cat moved out with oldest a few months ago, so we only have the dogs, but our youngest dog has taken to pulling ornaments off the tree.
Loved the tree story! Already on your mailing list & a friend on facebook. I just bought your Christmas book. I’m trying to be super fan. :christmas1:
Yay! Thank you so much! I hope you love it. :candycane2:
never had a fun story like that. My dad used to always take us to Sears on Christmas Eve, near closing, so we could buy decorations/lights for 1/2 price.
Smart man, your dad. 🙂
What a funny tree story. I really don’t have any good stories to share, but I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s. :christmas1:
That could be a good thing. Thanks for reading and commenting! Happy Holidays!
RT @bette313: Guest Author Jeannie Moon & Giveaway! http://t.co/SoE2nh6H33 via @carlyphillips
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