How was your weekend? Hopefully good and not toooooo terribly busy ; ) I have a special guest for you today, so we're starting the week off on a great note!!
I met this wonderful woman.....well.....actually I can't remember. That's terrible! I think it might have been in Seekerville? But I'm not 100% positive! Egads, sorry about that! In any event, she has become a special guest on my blog : ) Always positive, happy, caring, and kind, this nurse turned author is always reaching out to her readers. I feel very lucky to have connected with her myself : ) Everyone, please welcome my friend, Candace Calvert!!!!!
Hannah: Candace, thank you SO much for joining us today!!!! Two years and strong, eh? : ) When does the Christmas season officially start in your household? What is the first thing done that marks the start (i.e. putting up Christmas tree, baking first gingerbread men, etc)?
Candace: Decorating the house, then the tree—this year I did that early (for us), the weekend after Thanksgiving. I unboxed and fluffed what I call the Faux-Ho-Ho tree, wrapping it in gold ribbon garland, sparkling icicles and the big fabric butterflies that lined the walk at our garden wedding. It’s fun to hang memory-stirring ornaments—mostly from our travels. Like a mini-cruise ship, a glass Maine lobster, and even the Sphinx pyramid!
H: *snickering* Faux-Ho-Ho tree! That is absolutely hysterical XD Coming from someone who cannot imagine having ONLY a fake tree :O But I completely agree about the ornaments, ours are the same way! In a Christmas fantasy land – who would be the famous figures, past and/or present, at your dinner table and why?
C: I think I’ll hit the Easy button on this question and go for the silly answer: Ralphie and his crazy family from the classic comedy “A Christmas Story.” Complete with ever-hovering mother, the Major Award Leg Lamp, Bumpus bloodhounds . . . and Chinese food. Why? Because . . . laughter is good medicine.
H: Ohhhhhh Candace, I LOVE your answer!! You're so right :D I would love that too, especially considering Chinese food is one of my favorites! What did you ask Santa for Christmas this year? *wink*
C: (Still laughing) A Kindle Fire—actually delivered hot-off-the-assembly-line before Thanksgiving. It was hubby’s surprise, BUT he was so excited that he insisted I open it immediately. I plan to re-wrap it and stage an Academy award winning scene of surprise Christmas morning!
H: I WISH I could see that!!! You should make a video ; ) Very cool gift though! What is one unique tradition for your family during the month of December to celebrate Christmas?
C: Not unique, but I love setting up our nativity scene—one that my mother gave me when the kids were small. This year was especially wonderful because our 2-yr. old grand daughter, Ashland Skye, was old enough to delight in it, and listen to the story of that miracle. Big lump in this grandmother’s throat, for sure.
Baking is another tradition in our family—and it must be gingerbread! We host a small gathering of family and friends on Christmas Eve, and guests are delighted to see their names in frosting on their own gingerbread man or woman. (Chuckling) The photos show both the cookies and cook—though scrubs, pearls, and a stethoscope aren’t my normal kitchen attire!
H: You look so happy, Candace : ) I love your smile - it's infectious! I also love that story about the Nativity set, that is so special. How will you be spending your Christmas day this year?
C: Because we entertain the evening before, hubby and I like to have a quiet Christmas morning together—breakfast in front of the fire, then opening our gifts to each other (“Oh my goodness, a Kindle Fire!” How am I doing?). We’ll call family in other states, weather permitting (and it usually does here in northern California) we’ll take a hike along one of the beautiful nature trails nearby. We’re avid birders, so you can bet we’ll have our binoculars.
H: Once again, so interesting to hear about everyone's Christmas days! That is such a unique day, love that! And for the record, I think you'll do fabulously ;D What have been the highlights throughout 2011 for you?
C: Ah, so many blessings this year!
The biggest “highlight” of 2011 was the birth of our newest grand daughter, Piper Coraline. Combined, we now have a total of seven wonderful grand children raging in age from 21 yrs. to 8 months—we are so thankful for them!
Not long after Piper’s birth, we climbed aboard a cruise ship and sailed across the Atlantic, in a romantic anniversary trip that began in Ireland, included Wales, Scotland, London, and Paris. I’m still goose bumpy from all that we saw: like the Blarney Stone at the tip-top of Blarney Castle in Ireland. You can bet that this author kissed it! And apparently the promised “gift of gab” stuck, because . . .
I’ve signed a second 3-book contract with Tyndale House! The Grace Medical series (set in Texas) will debut in May of 2012 with the release of Trauma Plan. I can’t wait to share it with readers.
H: WOW!!! That trip :D Been to all those except Scotland myself. Truly amazing, isn't it? I can't wait to see if Gramma and Grampa will be able to do a trip this coming summer. At 85, they've seen better days, though they still do amazingly well.
(Alicia and I at the bottom of Blarney Castle :D)
YAYAYAYAY!!! Can't wait to see that manuscript as a book, Candace! That'll be awesome, seriously can't wait! Do you have any New Years resolutions for the upcoming 2012?
C: No particular resolutions—simply to maintain a healthy balance in life: Faith, family, health, and good work.
These are some “short answer” questions. You can answer them in as few words as possible, if you want.
Last Christmas song you heard? “Silent Night” from the music box on our nativity scene.
Favorite food to make or eat during the season? Gingerbread! (Who woulda thunk it!?)
Briefly describe your favorite ornament. A handmade shimmery ball which holds: petals from hubby’s wedding boutonnière and my bouquet, and the pearls from my upswept hairdo. It’s a romantic reminder every year.
Anything else you would like to say? : )
Thank you for hosting me here, Hannah—I’m honored. I wish you and your readers a warm and wonderful Christmas, and a new year filled with unexpected blessings.
Thanks so much again, Candace!! This was wonderful hearing about your holiday : ) I wish you the happiest season yet! To visit Candace stop by her website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter (@CandaceCalvert). She loves to hear from ALL her readers!!
It's GIVEAWAY time!!! Candace wants to give one lucky commentor their choice of one of her books! This includes: Critical Care, Disaster Status, and Code Triage :D
~ Leave a comment for Candace
~ Must leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you win!
~ Must have a US mailing address for this contest
+1 - Become a new follower of my blog
+1 - Sign up for Candace's newsletter
+2 - Being an old follower of my blog : )
Contest is open until December 27, 2011. Winners will be drawn randomly from the List Randomizer at Random.org by December 30, 2011.
Everyone have fun chatting with Candace today! And please think of me during my first final at 10:30am today, please and thank you :D We've got another author interview and giveaway tomorrow, so be sure to stop by!!!