Secrets of the past intrigue me. Our DNA includes people who went before us. My mother died at age 48. Her mother seemed old to me at age 40, and she died at 72. I would love to have glimpses of them in their environment as young women, especially watch as they fell in love with the men they spent their married lives with.

 

The writing of Hiding from Christmas was unique because it’s the first time the premise for a story other than slipping back in time, wasn’t my own. I asked avid reader and virtual assistant Sharon Dean if she wanted to see a particular Christmas story written. She immediately thought of her own grandparents and sent me some ideas. My brainstorming began based on her memories of their conveyed love.

As I was going through my own ideas and photographs, I ran across a picture I took last fall of an abandoned farm home. That old house inspired the homestead setting Calissa had always been drawn to in my story. It is pivotal to her heritage, and also the setting where she and Monte rendezvoused as teens. While preparing the collage I use as a visual when I write, I was influenced by replica Victorian Christmas cards. I incorporated a box of cards signed with a unique closure as well as new cards Monte gives her in hopes of reviving her Christmas spirit. He’s a banker, so that fits with a beta hero rather than alpha, but he is strong in the Lord.

Sharon read an early version of Hiding from Christmas and commented, “I really enjoyed this story as it hit home and the heart in many ways! I learned a lot about myself through Calissa, and think this story will flourish very well with readers. Revisiting our past and getting to know our ancestors is so very important these days. It’s something that is often pushed to the wayside.”

We live complicated lives. Especially at Christmas, memories strike emotional responses. Busy lives, miles between, past hurts, and values as varied as fishes in the sea weigh in on our perceptions.

One constant is God’s love for us. Every time I think that He knew me before time began, I’m humbled beyond words. Jesus came to earth as a baby to give His life thirty-three years later for you and for me. That’s why renewal of our spiritual relationship is vital at holiday time, and a reason I strive to write hope for Christmas.

 

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