Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lisa Plumley Has a Christmas Confession

I’ve done it. I’ll bet you have, too. If you’re a parent, you might even have guessed what I’m talking about, especially since Christmas is right around the corner. If not, I’ll give you a hint: My name is Lisa (hi, Lisa!), and I’ve gone to absolutely crazy lengths to try to make sure my children have a wonderful Christmas.

I’ve baked cookies until I thought I’d go cross-eyed at the sight of another silver dragée. I’ve stayed up until the wee hours of Christmas morning wrapping gifts or helping to assemble brand-new bicycles. I’ve snacked on “Santa’s” cookies and milk, made sure the “reindeer” noshed on the carrots left for them, and left small, ashy, pretend “Santa tracks” on the mantelpiece. I’ve waited on line in the predawn cold at my local big-box store to get my hands on a coveted Pokemon video game (multiple times!). I’ve visited endless stores in search of exactly the right Lego model. I’ve taken sleigh rides and crafted homemade ornaments and raided the household for crucial last-minute batteries to power those Christmas toys. I’ve traveled approximately one zillion miles to visit family and friends. I’ve fashioned handmade bows and stamped my own gift wrap. I’ve even seen The Smurfs Christmas Special in its entirety. And why did I do all those things?

Because I thought they would make my kids happy. Of course! So I could really relate to Karina Barrett, who, in my newest book, Holiday Affair, is facing her first Christmas after her divorce and wants nothing more than to give her three children an extra-special holiday.

To that end, Karina accepts an all-expenses-paid vacation to snowy Kismet, Michigan, site of The Christmas House—a B&B that specializes in all-inclusive holiday packages, complete with tinsel, evergreens, eggnog, sleigh rides, and a few surprises. There’s a catch (of course!), but Karina doesn’t mind—especially not when she meets hunky stand-in innkeeper Reid Sullivan and his two daughters. As a globe-trotting adventurer, Reid is a little out of his depth when it comes to Christmastime traditions, but he’s promised to do his best at running the family B&B this year—and that includes making sure his guests (including Karina!) have the best holiday of their lives. Naturally, nothing goes smoothly for anyone, but good cheer abounds—and isn’t that what the holiday season is about, after all?

So tell me: What crazy, unusual, and/or tireless efforts have you made to try to perk up your family’s Christmas? I’d love to know!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lisa Plumley is the USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen contemporary, historical, and paranormal romances. Her newest book, Holiday Affair, is a featured selection of the Doubleday, Rhapsody, and BOMC2 book clubs and was awarded 4½ stars from Romantic Times magazine, 5 hearts from The Romance Reader, and 5 blue ribbons from Romance Junkies. Her next book, Mail-Order Groom, is the latest in her popular “Morrow Creek” series for Harlequin Historicals and is on sale now. You can find her on Facebook or Twitter, or visit her Web site to read first-chapter excerpts from any of her books, sign up for new-book reminder e-mails, and more!

*****Leave a comment for the chance to win a book autographed by Lisa! Three winners will receive their choice of either Home for the Holidays or My Favorite Witch. Good luck!


Mary said...

What you wrote sounds so familiar to what I have done over the years. My daughter is now 19 years old so I don't have to put out cookies and milk for Santa any longer but when I did, she would count all the cookies and give her dad the eveil eye and tell him not to touch them.

I had to stash all my presents at my neighbors apartment so she wouldn't find them beforehand and one year he had spent the night at his girlfriends house without giving me the key. I had to hunt down his phone number and get him to come over and unlock his door so we could get the presents out before santa came and she woke up.

Good thing she was a sound sleeper. lol

Joanna St. James said...

my son is 2 and i am already scared of all the calories I would gain in the name of being an over achiever

Lisa Plumley said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for having me back at Tote Bags 'n' Blogs! It's nice to be here. :)

Mary, what a great story! My sons are in college now, so I know what you mean. But I'm a little nostalgic for those bygone days when they were little. :)

LOL, Joanna! Calories are temporary, though. Your son's love is forever. :) Have a happy holiday!

Caroline said...

For me - Christmas day means spreading myself thin! I've got the day planned to the minute. 0900 to 1100 off to visit grandson. 1100 to 1200 back home to get the meal ready for transportation to my parents house. 1300hrs depart my house for my parents' house via a visit to my grandma who is in an OAP home, before going onto parents house. Prepare Christmas lunch for 6 of us. Get dinner on table by 1500hrs. Eat, drink and be merry. Wash up, then drop off assorted relatives at their respective houses, then DH and I will make our way home - whereupon I collapse in a heap. Phew! Well that's the plan anyway.... ;) Caroline x

donnas said...

I havent done anything really crazy yet, but I also dont have kids. I have though watched my sister do many of these things. Whether it was standing in line for concert tickets. Or standing in line for that one video game or system. To going to my moms house to pick up the wrapped presents on Christmas Eve after the kids were asleep. I can totally understand how and why these things are done. And Im sure at some point I will do them too.

Nas Dean said...

When the kids were small, trying to get their gifts wrapped without being caught out. Now my teen daughter does the same for her niece and nephew and it's nostalgic the way she tries to get them to believe in Santa! The way I used to.

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Plumley said...

Hi Caroline! Wow, that's impressive! It sounds as though you have everything very well thought out. Good luck! I hope you have a very enjoyable Christmas. :)

Donnas, I'll bet you're right. Also, that takes me back! I remember the pre-Internet days when it was necessary to stand in line for things you can buy in a single mouse click today. Ah, nostalgia. :)

Hello, Nas Dean! Aww, isn't that sweet? It's nice to see traditions being carried on that way. :)

Thanks, Kirsten! That's so kind of you. I had a great time writing Marley's story (and her sister Meredith's story in Perfect Switch, too!). I love all your plans for the holidays. It sounds as though you're going to have a lovely time. It's so important to take care of yourself. Merry Christmas to you! :)

Estella said...

When my girls were young I stayed up all night finishing doll clothes that were asked for at the last minute.

Leni said...

I haven't had to do any over the top things for Christmas, but I'm the one who does the cookie baking with the young ones and even though it is always a huge mess to clean up, the fun of it all makes up for it.

Lisa Plumley said...

Hi Estella! That's neat! I admire your sewing talent. :)

Leni, that's true! In my experience, kids love to bake and get creative in the kitchen. Sure, it's a mess, but it's worth it! :)

ev said...

Even at 25, my daughter still gets as nice a Xmas as I can give her. She's my only one and I spoil her. But I also try and do a really nice job with the step-kids and their families. Never let it be said I favored one of them over the others- even the ones I don't always get along with. It's a challenge.

by the time Xmas is finally over with. I am ready for a very long, solitary vacation.

This year, half of them will be at one of the other kids homes, while we stay put. Then we are spreading it out until New Years.

Long, solitary vacation will be needed.

Lisa Plumley said...

Hello, Ev! I know what you mean -- the holidays can definitely be a challenge! Here's hoping you have a wonderful Christmas...and a lovely vacation afterward, too. :)

susanwilson44 said...

I've got to join the queue for the "mad parent preparing for christmas". It's still 30 Nov here in Scotland but I have all my presents for my two sons bought, hidden and about 50% of them wrapped. Have I bought a single thing for anyone else? No! Do I know what I'm going to buy them? No!

ev said...

@SusanWilson- I'm half done but buying for the difficult ones kills me. I will make sure however, whatever I get them they will love. Somehow I manage this every year. I am running out of ideas tho.

On the other hand, while shopping online today, I have bought myself some great stuff!!

ev said...

And to put the cherry on the holidays around here?? This family is a combination of Christian/Catholic, Jewish and Pagan.

Try that one on.

Dina said...

I have to bribe my grandson to go shopping with me for Christmas so he'll get seomthing for his mom. I tell him if he goes, he may get more presents, lol

Pat Cochran said...

As I read your description of what
you have done in the name of my
favorite holiday, I thought been
there and done some quite similar
things for my kids. I can remember
singing at Midnight Mass, rushing
home because I remembered something
that hadn't been done, hitting the
bed after 4 am in time to get back
up at 5 or 6 when my rascals woke

Pat Cochran

Michele L. said...

Hi Lisa!
How fun to have you here! I have had to do some over the top things for Christmas. One year my hubby and I decorated our whole house, put up our tree, wrapped our gifts, all in the same day. Then woke up and were to exhausted to open presents that we just vegged out the whole day! We didn't open our presents until 2 days later! We were both working full-time jobs at the time and going to college for our BS degrees. Oh so fun!

This year we have had a wonderful, laid back holiday. No pressures, stress, just enjoying each other, going to our relatives for the holiday and eating! I hope to continue this through the Christmas holiday. I have half of my Christmas shopping done so I am feeling pretty good.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Have a wonderful, home spun family Christmas!

Michele L. said...


I forgot to tell you that I love the cover of your Holiday Affair book! I just love penquins and that is sooo...cute! I adore your books!

Laurie said...

I play Christmas music. We have a lot of CD's.

I decorate the house. We go together to cut down a tree. We are known for our Christmas tree farms. It was even mentioned in Life magazine!

I love to bake my MIL's spritz cookies and other treats which i share with our neighbors!

Lisa Plumley said...

Hi Susan! Wow, I'm impressed! You're a lot farther along in your Christmas preparations than I am, that's for sure. Good for you! :)

Dina, that's savvy! LOL. ;)

Hello Pat! I forgot about midnight mass! (Lapsed Catholic, here.) That was always a special experience. We always told our sons that Christmas morning didn't start until it was daylight outside...which usually bought us a teeny bit of sleeping-in time. :)

Thanks Michele! It's great to be here! I always enjoy visiting the Tote Bags community. Whoa, that's a lot of Christmas prep, all in one day! Impressive! A laid-back holiday sounds good, though. I hope you have a wonderful one. :)

p.s. -- Thanks a million for that very nice comment! You're sweet. I like the Holiday Affair cover, too. So cute! Thanks so much for reading my books. That really means a lot to me. :)

Laurie, me too! I created a Christmas music station on Pandora online, too, which lets me sample some new-to-me holiday songs, so that's neat. Your holiday traditions sound so cool! Have a very happy Christmas! :)