Past and Present and Future Christmas…

What’s most important for me this time of year is feeling that rush of memories and smiles and hopes for another holiday season like my favorite ones from before. For my reader groups, and for all of us, our Week 2 book club discussion is about this past and present phenomenon. Are we ever really feeling only now this time of year, or are we enjoying so much of the idealistic holidays we’ve had before and wishing for even better memories to come?

christmas vintage

I write about it in a slightly different way in Christmas on Mimosa Lane–where our characters deal with their memories (both good and bad) so they can focus on the beautiful holiday they’re making now. This is the only way for them to have their chance to be happy. Some of us struggle with being happy, too, this time of the year, while the rest of the world seems to be celebrating non-stop.

But the gist of the sentiment behind Pete and Polly and Mallory’s story is realizing that you can make your holiday now whatever you want it to be–make it look however you want it to look–no matter what you or anyone else has been saying should make you happy. First, though, you have to decide–for yourself–exactly what that happy will look like, instead of assuming it will look like everyone else’s holiday.

christmas charming

What we want is usually a combination of before and now, with a sprinkle of what we hope could be. It’s often a confusing rush of emotion and longing that doesn’t feel entirely comfortable, so we don’t look too closely at first (like my characters) for fear that we can’t have it, or it’s not the right thing to want, or even that we’ll have to let go of past holidays (even not-so-good-ones), and that doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

But right this time of year is our individual ideal to define. We shape how we’ll live and love during this season. And once me make the decision to live, and not just get by or endure or make do, then the sky’s the limit. There’s no joy or dream holiday too fantastic–and no simple, quiet moment too fragile and perfect for us to savor–that we can’t make real.

christmas quiet

So, reader guide/book club questions: What will your past, present and future holidays mean to you this year? How will you grow from where you’ve been, live and love and revel in where you are, and take the steps you must to grow in the direction you want to take in the upcoming year. Take a moment to answer them, when you can, just as I challenge me characters to in COML

That’s your Christmas present to you this holiday!

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One Response to “Past and Present and Future Christmas…”

  1. Alice Habina says:

    i LOVE the book. Was disheartened in all the spelling/grammatical errors such as the “Forth of July”, spelling the main characters name wrong in several different places, etc.

    does anyone read the book before publishing or do they just do spell check? It’s the most amount of errors I’ve ever noted in a book.

    Keep up the good work, but dump the publisher until they can get it right! They don’t deserve you. You are awesome writer!

    >>A NOTE FROM ANNA: Alice, thank you for your feedback. It was lost in my spam filter over night. I struggled with whether or not to approve your comment, as it seemd an attack on my publisher. However, I as a rule do not censor comments on my blog that aren’t spam, and this is not. I do believe your feelings are heartfelt, and I thank you for your glowing compliments about my writing. From the bottom of my heart, it means everything to any writer to see such enthrusiasm from a reader.

    Howerver, I am very proud of the quality of this book and of being an Amazon Montlake author. They’re a wonderful publisher to work with, and we went through several rounds of developmental edits, and then many more of line and copy edits and proofreading. I’m sorry your reading experience wasn’t what you’d hoped it would be, but I assure you we did much more than spell check, in the hopes that Christmas on Mimosa Lane would please readers.

    Thank you again for your continued support of my stories. ~~Anna

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