Each day for the next 12 days each of our blogs will feature a different author. There will be guest posts, interviews and giveaways! So be sure to stop at each blog to join in the fun!
A special thank you to all the authors who are participating and those who have donated prizes!
Today's guest is:
When you live in the hot tropical climate of South Florida, forget “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” and start thinking, “Feliz Navidad!” Doo-doo-doo-doo (read sound effects as humming and shake your hips here—this rhythm is not only catchy, it’s quick!)
As a Miami native, I can well remember the days of running around outside on Christmas morning, bright-eyed and barefoot and absolutely thrilled the moment had FINALLY come. I mean, my brothers and sister and I thought Christmas morning would never arrive! But it did. It always did, and the awe and amazement never ceased for us, nor did it dim.
Oddly enough, as an adult I still feel that same excitement when it comes to the holidays. I don’t know if it’s because I have kids or want to remain a kid at heart, but when the holiday season arrives, everything feels more magical, more warm, more loving.
Which is saying something around these parts, because unlike New York City which becomes decked out in full Christmas regalia with its 50 ft. tree in Rockefeller Center, store windows dressed in bows and glitter, snow falling, lights flashing—
Oh wait. Er—those were blue and red. (Lots of blue and red flashing around the big city, but no need to dwell on it.J) Moving right along!
As I was saying, Central Florida doesn’t quite hit the ambiance spot when it comes to Christmas. Not really, anyway. Despite being raised in Miami, I always yearned for cozy fires and heaps of snow, horse-driven carriages lined with bells, commandeered by men with top hats. Where did I derive these expectations? Too much television, you say?
Maybe. Yet whatever the reason, my imagination runs north this time of year as my heart and body reside in sunny Central Florida. Why do I stay? Why not pick up and move to the glorious hillsides of Carolina, the snow-covered mountains of New York or Vermont where I might actually live this dream? It’s a logical question.
And the answer is easy. Because the true meaning and splendor of Christmas don’t lie within the warm embers of a fire, they lie within the warm hearth of family. You see, my entire immediate family lives within an hour of me and without them, this season wouldn’t be the same. Without my children to surprise and delight, the pile of gifts would simply be another stack of pretty boxes. Without my parents and siblings, the grand turkey feast would simply be another dinner to cook, more dishes to clean.
For me, without my family to share the magic of Christmas, it wouldn’t be the same, because the magic is created by love, a love that can be shared by family, friends, even those folks we don’t know, yet identify as “in need” of love, companionship, even a toasty meal.
Christmas tends to bring out the generosity in us, the goodwill, and while many of us choose to express this feeling with gifts, they are merely symbols of the greater good that dwells within our spirit, the joy that is the spirit of giving. So as we count down the days until Christmas, remember to dole out a smile full of cheer to everyone you meet. It may just prove your greatest gift of all.
Dianne is the author of these wonderful books:
JENNIFER’S GARDEN epitomizes the showdown between a career woman’s criteria for the perfect husband and what true love means.
In a race against time, cardiologist Jennifer Hamilton is caught between her mother’s dying wish and taking the risk of a lifetime with Jackson Montgomery. He’s the man hired to complete the landscaping for her new home; the venue for her upcoming wedding. Jackson’s everything she never wanted in a man, but as the job progresses, his lure pulls strong. It’s an attraction she cannot deny.
And one that puts her career on the line.
She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it. Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life. One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far... Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part. Until Vic walks away.