2015 Indie B.R.A.G. Christmas Blog Hop

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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?

stockingsFor 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 bagHershey 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, Famous Paintingsand 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?

CHief davisAnyone 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 Xmas Treenight 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?

christmas vacationI 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?

ScroogeThis 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 Christmas Story Kidyoung 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!)

 

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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of four books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at: http://www.joeperronejr.com.
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22 Responses to 2015 Indie B.R.A.G. Christmas Blog Hop

  1. My advice, when it comes to setting family traditions is think it through, very carefully. Because my children, now ranging from ages thirty-three to thirty-nine still expect the outside lights, the inside bannister lights, the homemade apple crisp and poppy seed roll and nut roll, the real tree with a manger at the bottom, an elf nest half way up, the two love birds somewhere near the top. Miss one item and they regress, replete with pouting faces and looks of disappointment. Yet, when I’m eighty-five, I’ll have good reason to rise on Christmas morning, hang the stockings by the fireplace, and watch the great-grandchildren smile. Never mind. Line through the first sentence. Go crazy on Christmas, and keep going crazy…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. layeredpages says:

    Our family does personalized stockings as well! So much fun! And hot chocolate is a must! Great post, Joe! Enjoyed reading very much! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I say a stocking isn’t filled until it has CHOCOLATE in it, right? Thanks for the stories! Love the house lights. Is that your example of not going all out?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I, too , love the 1951 Christmas Carol, but my sons insist on the Patrick Stewart version, back-to-back with the Muppets Christmas Carol! Christmas Eve means the Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire classic, Holiday Inn. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, okay. Here’s the Hershey-ets story.
    Many years ago, when my children were small, we went on a camping trip to Hershey, PA. As part of the trip, we toured the Hershey factory. At that time, Hershey-ets had pretty much disappeared from the stores in our area, and were becoming increasingly harder to find. Imagine my joy at finding them on sale at the factory store in 14.5 ounce bags. I purchased a half dozen bags, with the rationale that I would dump them into a giant glass mug, and nibble them, one or two at a time over the next few years.
    Well . . . that’s not quite how it played out. I ate all six bags (nearly six pounds of chocolate) in the course of ONE WEEK! During the night, following the consumption of the final morsels, I awoke with my skin itching like crazy. When my wife turned on the light, there was hardly a square inch of my skin that wasn’t covered in hives. She rushed me to the emergency room, where I received a life-saving injection of epinephrine. Needless to say, I never did anything like that again.

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  6. J. F Ridgley says:

    What a fun time you have over Christmas. May you be blessed with so many more

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: 2015 Indie B.R.A.G. Christmas Blog Hop | Writers Riding

  8. Could I add one more question? What does Christmas mean to you? For me, it is the time of the year to fill my heart with God’s love, so I can share it with everyone for the whole next year without running out of my supply.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Maggie Pill says:

    Very entertaining answers. The question is was the tie meant to be humorous????

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A man of discerning taste, I see. Hot chocolate for me as well! Here in Sweden, Christmas Eve is THE day – maybe there’s a Swedish gene or two somewhere way, way up your family tree 🙂

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  11. Allie P. says:

    I loved getting the chocolate filled candy cane as well. I’ve travelled over Christmas, but I’ve never considered it a vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. nwmoors says:

    Love the story about getting the book for the second time. Great blog

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Valerie Biel says:

    I almost forgot to get the Hershey-ettes candy canes this year — Phew!! They certainly would have been missed. I am totally in favor of Jack Daniels egg nog. We may have to start a new tradition at our house. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

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