A Holiday Break

season-of-promises-cover    Every year, I travel to a small town with friends for a weekend of girl-time (clarification-without husbands). You know the kind—where we hash out our problems, catch up on our families, delve into what’s new, discuss books we’ve read, where we’ve traveled. Life stuff.

But we go to this specific town for the Christmas Candlelight Home Tour. Many of the homes predate the 1850s and are designated historical by the state. The Historical Foundation picks four homes which are decorated with natural elements like cedar, magnolia, fruit, nuts. There’s also period ornaments and decorations, music, and candles. Docents point out items of interest and tell us facts about the homes. Some of the churches present choir performances. The Foundation sells Christmas trees as a img_00000246fundraiser. The trees are set up in the park and decorated.

After our traditional Italian dinner, we tour the homes and debate over which is best. Usually, we find something to like at each one. We return to our B&B, dress in our jammies, and share gifts. There’s lots of laughter and oohs and aahs. The next day, we shop at the various small stores and antique malls. Dinner at a fabulous restaurant follows. This year, we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” too.

I have written a lot of Christmas stories. Some were published in the True magazines. Others with another publisher. Over the last three years, my holiday stories have appeared in the Season of Magic, Season of Surprises, and Season of Promises. I’ve been inspired by ribbon candy, Grandmother’s tomato cake (anyone want the recipe?), family ornaments, and the fragrance of Christmas trees. Grumpy Grandpas, klutzy architect, a reformed high schooler turned attorney, a pretend plumber, and scam artists faking their way through a holiday baking contest. I take in the lights, the colors, the sounds, the smells and apply to my work. That makes it real. It’s easy to be inspired when the season surrounds one.

So I’m sharing three photos from the Foundation’s tree display. When you look them over, what do you see? What do you feel? Do you smell the tree’s fragrance? Are you ready for Christmas?

tree-one

tree-two

three-three

And don’t forget:

happy-holiday-book-giveawayfromthe-sisterhood-of-suspense

21 Comments Add yours

  1. Melissa Keir says:

    Sounds like a fun time. There’s a bunch of homes at Greenfield Village. They are all set back in the time and during the holidays are decorated for the season. It’s a wonderful time.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jeannie Hall says:

    Reblogged this on Jeannie Hall Suspense and commented:

    Merry Christmas from the Sisterhood of Suspense!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. vicki says:

    Hi, Melissa! I especially like seeing the homes on the tour because they were so rundown and lots of money and hard work has lifted them again. This town nearly died because no one was visiting and way back when, the trains went south, thus cutting off the way to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeannie Hall says:

    Love this post, Vicki! Love the pics and the whole idea of opening gifts together in your Jammies! Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. vicki says:

      Hi, Jeannie! I feel so fortunate to be able to share this every year. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post and great tradition with your gal pals! I love to visit historic homes too especially during the Christmas season to see the love and care that brings history back to life. It is a great way to fundraise for a town and every town has its unique character and story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. vicki says:

      Hi, Charlotte! Can you imagine the little ladies of the Garden Club joining forces to put on this event? They did and it has continued over the years, changing as things often do. I was also grateful there wasn’t a horrible cold snap. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Vicki!
    I always LOVE your stories!
    Great post!
    Happy Holidays!
    Liese

    Liked by 2 people

    1. vicki says:

      Hi, Liese! And I love your essays and Sherlock Holmes stories. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This post makes me think of ginger snaps and hot chocolate and the sweet peppermint taste of candy canes, everything that makes the season so festive 🙂
    Thanks, Vicki, Happy holidays!

    Like

    1. vicki says:

      Oh Jacquie! So funny you mentioned the goodies as in all the shops it was wassail day! We sampled everywhere we went.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Angela says:

    This sounds like my kind of evening out! Thanks for sharing!!

    Like

    1. vicki says:

      Hi Angela! I truly cherish these trips and was lucky Handsome helped maje themcone true. Hugs!

      Like

  9. Hi Vicki, What a lovely Christmas tradition…traveling, eating, and shopping with special friends. Great pix! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. vicki says:

      Hi Joanne! Truly a special time. Hugs

      Like

    1. vicki says:

      Thank you so much, Ilona! Just the iphone stuff. I think the beauty is in the dark sky and the lights. There are so many trees and each is decorated differently. I have so much fun wandering around and looking at what people have done. One was decorated like a Charlie Brown tree–one red ball. LOL

      Like

  10. N. N. Light says:

    What a great way to get in the Christmas Spirit and with your best friends, too! Thanks for sharing the pictures and memories, Vicki. You brought up ribbon candy and it totally brought back memories of my great-grandmother bringing some every Christmas. I loved it as a kid and love it today. 🙂

    Happy Holidays everyone! MRS N

    Like

  11. vicki says:

    Hi, NN! When my son announced his engagement, I got to work. I found a stocking to stitch for my future daughter, covered in ribbon candies. On Christmas day, she went to get her stocking and saw what I’d done. She cried. What a special day. Hugs!

    Like

  12. S.A.Taylor says:

    This sounds like a wonderful trip, Vicki! I can see how these trips serve as great inspiration for your stories. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. vicki says:

      As they say… inspiration is everywhere!

      Like

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