Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by and let us know what you think of the new look!

Friday, December 21, 2012



What Christmas Means To Me

by Joanne Stewart (w/a JM Stewart)

When I was little, Christmas was, of course, all about Santa and the presents. How many nights I’d try to stay up as late as I could until I just couldn’t stand it anymore, trying to catch a glimpse of Santa. Every noise outside was exciting. Could it be Santa’s reindeer on the roof? Tell me I’m not the only one.

Then one night, somewhere around fourth grade, I caught my parents putting out the presents. Santa was no more. I don’t recall being too disappointed, though, because you know, when it all comes down to it, I still got the goods. ;)

We decided to tell my son a few years ago that Santa wasn’t real. I’ll admit it. It was a lazy thing on our part. He was getting older and my husband and I were getting tired of having to wrap presents at two in the morning. Because we’d put it off until the last minute, of course. lol Surprisingly, my son took the news well. He didn’t have much to say about it, actually, for the exact same reason. He’s still getting the goods. He didn’t care where they came from. lol

My boys are older now. Teenagers. My oldest now has his license and a job. He’ll be eighteen in June. My youngest is twelve, going on thirteen in March. Christmases have morphed in the last couple of years. My husband and I don’t have any family nearby that we can share the holidays with, so for the last ten years, it’s just been us four. We’ve always tried to make Christmas something the boys would remember. We’d decorate the tree together, put out the stockings. My youngest, standing five foot nine and now taller than his mama, still enjoys the decorating. We have an old tree stand, given to us by my mother-in-law. It’s about as old as my husband, well over forty years. We aren’t entirely sure anymore. It still spins and it still plays Christmas songs. When my boys were little, that stand was always playing the songs. Oh how they loved to listen to it.

But really, for me, Christmas is about family. The boys are old enough now that it’s not all about the toys anymore. We’ve moved beyond Xbox’s and Gameboys and Hotwheels. Sometimes I miss those days. Now the holidays are about sitting around together. Enjoying the food and each other. Believe it or not, we actually enjoy spending time together.

I still believe in Santa, though. The presents may come from each other, but I still can’t sleep the night before because I’m too excited. And I still get up Christmas morning a little too early and so excited I can barely stand myself. My oldest is the same way. He gets up with me and we sit in the living room, eyeing the presents, wondering how long we have to wait until we can go pounce on my husband and his brother. This year, we’ll come armed with puppies who love giving kisses!

Wishing all of you, whatever you celebrate, the happiest of holidays. May your days be filled with the love and joy of the season.

I’ll be giving away a PDF copy of one of my books to one commenter. You get your choice of The Playboy’s Baby, featured with this post, or an ARC copy of A Second Chance at Forever. Because it’s Christmas, I think the choice should be yours. :)

They can't forget the past, but is it enough to create a future?

When an accident leaves her guardian to her six-month-old niece, Emma Stanton must return to her small hometown of Hastings, Montana to find the one man she's spent the last eight years trying to forget. She and Dillon had grown up together--he was her sister's best friend. But that hadn't stopped him from sharing a kiss with Emma that had followed her through the years. Now, not only must she break the news of her sister's tragic death to Dillon, but she must risk the only family she has left and tell him he's the baby's father.

Wealthy nightclub owner Dillon James has been used for his name and money one too many times, so when he comes face-to-face with Emma Stanton and her gorgeous lips, he's determined to keep things light. All he wants is to be the father his daughter needs, to make up for not being there for her and her mother. But spending time with Emma, as she shows him the ropes of caring for his daughter, is wearing down his defenses. Perhaps it's time he took a chance on love.

If only he can convince Emma to take a chance on him...
About the Author:
J.M. writes what she likes to call sweet and spicy contemporary romance. She’s a stay-at-home mom who lives in Seattle Washington, with her husband, two boys and their two very spoiled puppies. She’s been devouring romances for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.





Linda Swift said...

I enjoyed your memories of Christmas then and now. Love book cover and the plot sounds like a wonderful read.

Joanne Stewart said...

Thanks, Linda!

Paula Martin said...

Great memories, Joanne. I miss the days when my girls were small, and even my grandsons are grown up now. I miss buying toys at Christmas!

Joanne Stewart said...

Me, too, Paula! I miss buying toys and staying up to wrap them and then watching their little faces light up when they open them. Ahh, the days. Thanks for stopping by, Paula!

Debby said...

I miss having young children but Christmas is still about family and about love.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Joanne Stewart said...

I agree, Debby. We still enjoy Christmas, for exactly that reason. The boys got older, but we still enjoy our time together. Unfortunately for us, all our family lives too far away to visit for Christmas, so it's always just the four of us. I miss the big family get togethers.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday. :)

Mountain Laurel said...

My little ones are grown and married now...but I am a soon to-be- first-time grandma!! I am very excited about having a baby to spoil again at Christmas time! I have never outgrown Santa and I'll be one of those also who can't hardly sleep the night before waiting to see my grand-baby open her presents! Thanks for sharing your memories and have a wonderful holiday!

Joanne Stewart said...

Awww, congrats on being a grandma, Debbi! My boys are a bit young yet, but I look forward to that someday. I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday as well! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Joanne Stewart said...

First I want to thank everybody for stopping by my blog and allowing me to share my memories. I wish everybody a very merry Christmas.

Okay, according to my instructions, I'm to draw the prize winner today. Out of a completely random drawing (names in a hat! lol), Moutain Laurel ended up the winner! Congrats! I'll be contacting you shortly about getting the book to you.

Thanks again to everyone for participating! Merry Christmas to all!