Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Guest Post: Favourite Christmas Traditions by Carmel Harrington

As regulars of the blog will know I have been a huge supporter of Carmel Harrington since she first self-published her debut novel Beyond Grace's Rainbow so it's my absolute pleasure to host Carmel on today's stop for her latest book Every Time a Bell Rings.  

I think a lot of our traditions stem from happy childhood memories, don’t they? I was very lucky, I had a wonderful childhood crammed full of magical Christmas moments. Now, I include so many of those early loved traditions with my own children.

On Christmas Eve we start the day off by baking sausage rolls and mince pies. That smell, both savoury and sweet, is unmistakably Christmas, isn’t it?

Munching on the finished goods, burning your tongue as you sneak a bite, too impatient to wait for them to cool down, is another! I’ll never learn…

There will be a couple of visits in the afternoon to family and friends. And with each visit, the children will get more and more excited. And I won’t lie, I’m not far behind them. 

We try not to eat too much on Christmas Eve, as we know that the next couple of days are going to be rich food central! 

In the evening, we go to a beautiful children’s Christmas mass. I love this, because it’s all about family and the feeling of love and goodwill in that church never fails to get us in the Christmas spirit. 

Then when we get home, it’s time to sprinkle reindeer food on our lawn, so that Santa knows where to land his sleigh. The reindeer food has glitter in it, to help guide Rudolf. The children will also leave carrots on our door step, and a plate of sausage rolls, mince pies and cookies, with milk for Santa.
We also have this wonderful tradition, taken from my childhood, where we get to open one present each! I love watching the children as they squeeze presents, looking for a good one. Oh and of course, all of this is done in our new Christmas PJ’s! I’ve already bought them and hidden them away for Christmas Eve. Snuggling on the couch, cosy and warm in front of an open fire, watching The Polar Express, is my happy place. When the children's eye’s get heavy, we lift them to bed and then Roger and I will turn on It’s A Wonderful Life. With a glass of something bubbly, we finish our last minute preparations for the big man in red to arrive and watch Jimmy Stewart turn us to mush. 

Is it Christmas Eve yet? I just cannot wait!

Happy Christmas everyone
Carmel x

An angel gets its wings…

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.

As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.

Hence, Christmas is cancelled.

So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.

But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…

Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

1 comment:

  1. Reading about Christmas traditions always brings a smile to the face. Great start to Christmas on the Blog Sharon. I am waiting to get my hands on one of Carmel's books soon. She is brilliant.