The six authors of the Christmas anthology Merry & Bright tell us about their favourite holiday traditions.
Laura Chapman: Christmas is such a busy time of year. Growing up as one of four children, sometimes it could be loud, too. Maybe that’s why my favorite Christmas tradition is singing “Silent Night” at church on Christmas Eve. No matter how big or small the church, it looks magical in the candlelight. And the sound of all the voices singing is beautiful with or without professional singers. It’s the one time of my year when everything stops and becomes completely peaceful and lovely.
Cindy Arora: In my short story Christmas at Mulberry Inn, I use pie making as a focal point for the characters because there’s nothing like baking during the holidays. It’s my absolute favorite holiday tradition. Right around the first week of December, I get out my cookie cutters, my Bundt pans and pie pans, turn on my favorite Christmas music radio station, and get to baking. From cranberry crumbles to brown sugar short breads, baking always gets me feeling merry and bright!
Isabella Louise Anderson: One of my favorite holiday traditions happens on Christmas Eve. About ten years ago, my mom and dad started giving me and my brother tacky pajamas (even buying a pair for themselves, too). After having a huge laugh, we all put them on and take a photo. Year after year, they’ve gotten a little less tacky (thank goodness), but it’s the one gift I look forward to opening on Christmas Eve.
Libby Mercer: My favorite holiday tradition has always been trimming the tree. I haven’t actually done it in years—these days I usually celebrate the holiday in a very low key way with my dad and his partner who are just about the most un-festive people you’ll ever meet—but I hope to resurrect this tradition in the future. Maybe next year. And, of course, I’m a fan of holiday food. Spiced cider, gingerbread… and my mom makes the most amazing rum cakes!
Lauren Clark: My favorite holiday tradition has to be decorating the family Christmas tree with my two boys. We unpack boxes and boxes of ornaments–and each decoration has a special story behind it. I’ve saved every homemade reindeer, angel, and holiday bell my sons have made throughout kindergarten and elementary school. They are definitely more precious than anything money can buy! Many of our keepsakes include photos of my boys, and it’s so amazing to see how they’ve changed and grown from year to year. It’s a tradition my parents began with me, and one I hope my boys savor for many years to come.
Nancy Scrofano: I love going to the Christmas tree lot with my family every year and choosing a tree. Then, we bring it home and decorate it while listening to The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas album. I don’t know why we chose that particular group/album or when that tradition started, but as long as I can remember, it’s always been playing while we string the lights and put the ornaments on the tree. I also bake cookies for all of us to enjoy.
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