Christmas in July Tri-author Paperbacks Giveaway
UPDATE – there will ALSO be FIVE winners of ebook bundles due to the great response! GOOD LUCK to everyone!!
We’ve done our share of ebook giveaways, and a few readers told me they only read print books. Also, one reader asked me about Christmas traditions in my native country. Our readers’ opinions matter to us, and so this Christmas in July tri-author paperbacks giveaway was born! To enter, please comment on this post with the answer what your favorite Christmas tradition is, or just tell us you’d like a chance to win our books! One randomly chosen winner will receive: Calm & Bright by Autumn Macarthur, A Time to Love by Marion Ueckermann, and Season of Hope by Alexa Verde (USA entries only; if the winner is international, they will receive ebooks). The giveaway is open until 6 p.m. CST July 31st, 2018. We look forward to reading your comments!
There are two official religions where I am from: Catholic and Orthodox, so there are two Christmases: on December 25th (Catholic) and January 7th (Orthodox). And while New Year is celebrated once (December 31st), there’s also Old New Year according to the old calendar (January 14th). Yes, there’s such thing as Old New Year! So for some people Holiday Season starts December 31st and continues until January 14th. Christmas is always white there. Until I moved to Texas, I couldn’t imagine Christmas without snowflakes dancing in the golden and pink light of lanterns and snow crunching under one’s boots. It was fun to go to the center of town to look at the gigantic beautiful Christmas tree lighting the night. And food… Oh, the food! Olivier, or meat salad, is super popular, especially during holidays (I love it!), and there’s usually an abundance of food for holiday dinner: meats, sausages, salads, fish, boiled potatoes, pickles, pies, and so much more!
Where I am now, Christmas dinner is often turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. But considering I live in south Texas, sometimes we have tamales for Christmas and an assortment of pies and cakes, including my favorite pecan pie and strawberry cheesecake. I like fireworks, but I prefer admiring them from afar. But the most important Christmas tradition to me is going to church for an amazing service and spending some quiet time with the Lord, thanking Him for sending His beloved Son into the world. So we can have grace and salvation…
Because of South Africa’s history with the UK, we have several Christmas traditions in common. My favorite Christmas traditions are a Christmas Eve meal of roast turkey, roast gammon, vegetables, rice, and roast potatoes—not forgetting a beautiful table trimmed with Christmas crackers. In South Africa, it’s traditional to ‘braai’ (barbeque) on Christmas day or Boxing Day, but we don’t (at least not on Christmas day) because we always have so much food left over after our Christmas Eve dinner. We usually save our ‘braai’ for New Year’s Eve (ie. December 31st).
I love Christmas! I grew up in Australia, and Christmas falls in summer there. The weather is usually hot, hot, HOT. The stereotype of an Aussie Christmas involving a barbeque on the beach isn’t true of everyone. Not even true of most. But true enough! Though many Australians still eat an English-style Christmas meal despite the heat, it’s just as likely to be cooked in a barbeque as the oven! Usual foods in my childhood included roast meat rather than the turkey now more common both in England and the US, roast potatoes (mashed potato isn’t a celebration food in either Aus or England, but an everyday winter food!), and seasonal vegetables. In England, these are usually parsnips, carrots, and brussels sprouts. Parsnips and sprouts aren’t easy to come by in an Aussie summer, so carrots and peas are the most traditional English-style veggie accompaniments for a roast Christmas dinner. Like England, lunch is the main meal on Christmas Day, after exchanging gifts earlier in the day and for Christians, attending church. Many Australians enjoy the traditional English-style extras like pulling Christmas crackers after the meal, singing carols, watching the Queen’s Christmas Speech on TV, and eating Christmas pudding and mince pies for dessert. I have such vivid memories of escaping from helping Mum in the hot kitchen, and retreating to the back steps to eat a big slice of wonderfully refreshing watermelon!
And as I grew up and became more interested in the true meaning of Christmas, I loved reading the Nativity story in Matthew on Christmas Eve. And the Carols by Candlelight community event every year. Singing our hearts out holding candles pushed through cardboard holders so hot wax couldn’t drip on our hands. My favorite carol – “Silent Night”. Christ our Saviour is born! For the past twenty-two years my Christmases have been in England. No watermelon needed to cool down. It’s c-c-cold! But my one disappointment about Christmas here is how rare a white Christmas is, especially in the southern areas. A few flakes fell my first Christmas in London, but no Christmas snow since then. All those Christmas cards lied!