Welcome to my contribution to the 2015 Indie B.R.A.G. Christmas Blog Hop. As a writer of fiction, I had thought of doing “my own thing,” as a participant in this first-time event. However, I opted instead to respond to a series of questions provided by the great folks at “Indie B.R.A.G. Central.” Because each of the questions touches on an aspect of Christmas that is near and dear to me, this decision was really a “no-brainer.” I hope you have as much fun reading my answers as I did writing them.
1. What is a Christmas tradition you and your family have?
For the last thirty-four Christmases, my wife and I have hung a personalized stocking for each member of our combined family of six, somewhere in our house, on Christmas Eve. Through the years they have been hung in various locations, including from the base of a bow window, from the mantels of wood-burning and gas fireplaces, and currently from the top of a wooden bookcase. (I like the bookcase best, of course.)
2. What is or was your favorite stocking gift(s)?
As far back as I can remember, my favorite stocking stuffer has always been a cellophane bag or plastic candy cane filled with Hershey-ets chocolate candies. We have a tradition of putting several in everyone’s stockings. Just recently, I was treated to a picture of my year-old granddaughter sitting in a shopping cart holding—you guessed it—a candy cane filled with Hershey-ets. (In a future post, I’ll tell you a very special story concerning these delightful little morsels that will shock and amaze you!).
3. Is there a humorous gift that you received? What was it?
I honestly can’t recall any humorous gifts, but perhaps that’s because I have a habit of repressing any unpleasant memories. Okay, maybe there was a tie . . .
4. What is your favorite Christmas story?
One year, as a member of our local Chamber of Commerce, I volunteered to play Santa Claus at a function in our little town. My two sons, David and Matt, were quite young at the time (perhaps 6 and 2, respectively), and their mom surprised me by bringing them both to see “Santa.” I must have done a pretty convincing job that day, because neither one had a clue that it was me in the red suit, with the beard and fake belly.
5. Have you ever taken a Christmas Vacation somewhere? If so, were to and please share your experiences and what you enjoyed about it?
I’ve never taken a Christmas vacation.
6. What are some of you favorite books you have received at Christmas time?
I only remember one specific book I received at Christmas, and the primary reason is because it was the second time it was given to me. Yes, you read that right. Originally, it was given to me on my 12th birthday by my Aunt Tess in 1957. When I was divorced in 1981, it was left behind at the home of my former wife. Last Christmas, to my surprise and delight, I received it a second time, when my youngest son, Matt, found it at his mom’s house, wrapped it up, and gave it to me as a Christmas “gift.” How’s that for a Christmas story?
7. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Anyone familiar with my Matt Davis Mystery Series should know the answer to this one, but for those who aren’t, it’s definitely hot chocolate (Hey! We write what we know). I will have to admit though that I do have a soft spot on my taste buds for Jack Daniels Egg Nog on New Year’s Eve.
8. What is your favorite part of Christmas day?
When my brother, Gene, and I were kids, our parents always waited until the last minute to purchase our tree, and it was our custom to put it up and decorate it the night before the holiday itself. For many years, I thought that was just how it was supposed to be done. It wasn’t until I had a family of my own that I realized the real reason for waiting until the last minute—to get a lower price on the tree! Whatever the reason, Christmas Eve has always been my favorite part of the day (even though, technically, it’s the day before). When my own children were young, it was also the time when I would take a set of sleigh bells and clomp up and down the stairs to their bedrooms, pretending to be Santa Claus.
9. Do you go all out on Christmas decorations? Which is your favorite?
I have never been one to go “the whole nine yards” in decorating for Christmas. Howevcr, that has always been the preference of my wife. Her assortment of decorations would give the movie Christmas Vacation a run for its money. Personally, as long as I’ve got a decorated tree, I’m a happy camper—as long as I get to decorate it!
10. Which is your favorite Christmas movie and why?
This was a tough one. My all-time favorite is A Christmas Carol—but only the 1951 production featuring Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. The others are merely ersatz. It’s the first and best version ever, and I have watched it every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. (I will confess to having purchased a colorized edition several years ago, but I still prefer the restored, black-and-white version.) A close second is A Christmas Story. In fact, I’ve often been told that as a young boy, I resembled its main character, Ralphie, who was admonished by everyone to not wish for a BB gun, because “You’ll shoot your eye out.” I absolutely love the film’s narration by the creator of the story, the late, great, Jean Shepherd. Lately, though, we have taken to watching a double-header on Christmas Eve, consisting of our favorite, A Christmas Carol, and my wife’s second choice, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Well, there you have it: a glimpse into Christmas à la Joe Perrone Jr. How would you have answered these questions? Pick one or two, and answer them in the comments box. Until next year,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
The next stop on the 2015 Indie B.R.A.G. Christmas Blog Hop is tomorrow, December 22, with author Prue Batten. Please visit her blog, and share this link to the Christmas Blog Hop with your friends and families.
Note: If Santa puts a new Kindle in your stocking, you can always download one or two of the four books in the Matt Davis Mystery Series, or my coming-of-age novel, Escaping Innocence: A Story of Awakening. If you’d like to follow my blog, just click on the “Follow” button at the lower righthand corner of this page. You’ll be asked to enter your email address, and you’ll receive a confirmation email in return. I only blog once per week, and I never share email addresses. (NOTE: There will be no blog post next week, as we attempt to recuperate from the holiday season. SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!)