Davalynn Spencer writes inspirational Western romance complete with rugged cowboys, their challenges, and their loves. She won the 2015 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award for Western Inspirational Fiction and makes her home on Colorado’s Front Range with her handsome cowboy and their dog, Blue. Connect with her at www.davalynnspencer.com.
Is Christmas Simplicity Possible?
Christmas is my favorite holiday. That preference links back to childhood memories of crisp fall air, colorful decorations, the scents of pine and clove-studded oranges. Shopping.
Ugh. Sometimes I’d like to banish the blitz of Christmas marketing that strings garland in retail stores before the Thanksgiving turkey is even on the table!
I long for simplicity, and maybe that’s why I depicted Christmas as I did in “The Snowbound Bride,” my contribution to Barbour’s collection, The 12 Brides of Christmas.
As a Christmas-loving author, I took literary license and dispensed with all but the essentials of the season. I don’t want to give away any surprises, but I can say that my heroine faces the holiday with no money to buy presents for the very important people in her life. No malls, internet, or last-minute shopping in 1885 on a ranch in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. But oh, how I loved the feel of a home-made Christmas that wrapped around me while I wrote the story.
Today’s celebrations are far from more humble times when Christmas promised peppermint candy in a youngster’s stocking, a special dinner with roasted game, and the Christmas story read by lamplight.
Over the last several years, our eight-member family (not counting little ones) has exchanged names and put a price limit on gifts. Rather than buying for everyone, we each buy for one. It has become quite a tradition, and as the official name-exchanger, I receive phone calls and texts from family members starting in November asking whose name they have! Guess you know what I’m busy doing while stuffing turkey and baking pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving dinner.
When I recall my best childhood memories, they never involve the gifts I received, though I had just as many as most children. The treasures I hold in my heart include the year my mother nailed our tree to the floor because she couldn’t get it to stand up straight. I remember her cloud-like divinity melting on my tongue—a feat I’ve never been able to equal in my candy-making.
A favorite Christmas memory from when my own children were little is the year our Jack Russell terrier “anointed” the burlap-covered dirt ball supporting our living tree. I used an entire can of pine-scented air freshener before any of us could stand to be in the same room with the tree.
Other important events include my husband reading the second chapter of Luke to our children, and the year we gave a secret gift to a needy family.
Options for Christmas giving are endless and more meaningful, I believe, if we can avoid modern commercialism. After all, God nestled His gift in a feed trough, not a palace garden or courtyard. He sent His son to the stockmen of the day and culture. I treasure that fact as I write my cowboy romances.
This year as you give, open your heart to hear from the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Maybe He has a surprise in store, a gift of love He’d like you to help Him deliver.
On the run from a heartless uncle, Arabella Taube hides in Nate Horne’s buckboard just as a blizzard sweeps into Colorado. Can she find her way out of the storm—physically and emotionally—or will the handsome mountain horseman steal her heart?