Christmas

My Writing Ramblings: My Christmas Traditions

rp_Laura-Book-300x2251-300x2251-300x225-300x225-1-300x225-1-1-300x225-1-300x225.jpgAs I get older, Christmas traditions have become all the more important to me.

When I was growing up, it was the magic of waiting for Father Christmas. We’d leave the milk and biscuits and we’d get so excited when there would be presents waiting for us under the tree in the morning.

My Mum would hide a stocking filler and give us clues to find it. Then my Grandparents would arrive at some point.

I still have the same level of excitement about Christmas. some of the old traditions are still there joined by some new ones.

Family must be involved in my day, even if I am working. I have been known to make an eighty mile round trip after a night shift on Christmas Day so I can spend time with family.

Most of my traditions usually begin on 1st December once National Novel Writing Month is over. This is when the Christmas music is transferred to the iPod, the Christmas themed mugs come out, the Christmas phone case is used, Heart Xmas is set in the car and this is when we buy our tree. A real tree can’t be beaten.

Once my husband and I have the usual ‘can you get the decorations from the loft’ conversation, he and I both decorate it with a Christmas film or music on in the background.

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My Favourites: Christmas Movies

scroogedChristmas is only a few days away. I can’t hardly believe it. This time of year is probably my favourite.

I love being able to snuggle up in warm pyjamas and slippers. The Christmas Tree, twinkle lights. I love it all. I even love the repeated Christmas music.

One of my traditions is watching Christmas themed movies (not that I need much of an excuse.) With it being the festive season, it got me thinking about which films I can’t have Christmas without. The danger with a question like this is that I could have gone on forever so, because I don’t like making things easy for myself, I have limited it to five. So, in no particular order, here are my favourites.

 

Scrooged (1985)

Staring Bill Murray and Karen Allen, this is my favourite adaptation of the Christmas Carol. It’s a film that has been part of my Christmas for a long time and it never gets old. At the beginning, Frank Cross is so easy to hate. He is horrible to everyone around him and oblivious to the needs of others.

There are some aspects to the story that have been adjusted or added to this film which keeps it fresh.

There are some laugh out loud moments, some heart-breaking moments (Norman,) and by the end, I’m always humming along with the cast when they sing ‘Put A Little Love in Your Heart.’

For me, it’s one of the perfect Christmas films.

 

holidayThe Holiday (2006).

This film focuses on two women who need to get out of their comfort zone and decide to swap lives over Christmas.

Awwwww, I adore this film. The four main cast members are just fantastic in this festive film about two women who are looking to escape their every day life and prove that going somewhere else for a while can be the best thing you ever do.

I have completely fallen in love with both houses for a start and would be hard pushed to be able to pick one if I was told that I could live in either Rosehill cottage or Amanda’s house.

Jude and Jack make lovely heroes. It’s funny, this is my favourite role of Jack Black’s and it’s not the kind of role he usually takes. I wish there was more Miles and Iris in this movie.

Plus, it came out a year before I got married to the day so it will always be a little bit special.

 

nativityNativity (2009)

This stars Martin Freeman and is such a sweet film. I am always impressed that it was mostly improvised and some of the kids are hilarious. There is something very original about this film. I will always cry at the end no matter how many times I see it. I can’t help it.

This movie brings back memories of when I was an angel in my school nativity ( I know, strange casting decision right. Haha.)

This film above all makes me feel festive and can put me in the best of moods.

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Christmas: My Gift Guide For The Reader or Writer in Your Life

normal_bespoke-book-clubHere’s my Gift Guide for 2017.

I can’t quite believe it’s time for another gift guide. It doesn’t seem five minutes ago that I compiled the one for last year. I love looking at people’s various gift guides as you’ll possibly come across the perfect present for someone.

This guide is for writers and readers and I’ve picked some things I know I would love to receive.

The first gift I have found is this fantastic Bespoke Book Subscription from The Willoughby Book Club.

There are options for a three, six or twelve month subscription. It’s tailored to the person getting the subscription so whether the book lover in your life is into romance, classics, mystery or sci-fi, this subscription has you covered.

It comes in a gift tin with details on how the subscription can be activated and each month, a new book will arrive gift wrapped.

Book_Lover_Pencil_Set_1_1024xWhat I absolutely love about this particular subscription is that for every one sold, Willoughby Book Club donates a new book to the Book Aid International charity.

These pencils I think would make a wonderful stocking filler for the reader and writer in your life. This very cute and colourful book lover pencil set are five 2B lead pencils.

Embossed with gold foil, each one has a different phrase: ‘Just one more chapter,’ ‘Read More Books,’ ‘I like Big Books,’ ‘I’d rather be reading,’ and finally the classic ‘Once Upon a Time.’

There’s also a handy eraser on the end of each pencil. These particular ones are available via The Literary Emporium.

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December’s Novel Kick’s Book Club: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

Gabe is the homeless man who sits outside Lou’s office. When Lou invites Gabe into the building and into his life, Lou’s world is changed beyond all measure.

A Christmas story that speaks to all of us about the value of time and what is truly important in life.

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Competitions: Win a Signed Copy of Christmas Cakes & Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

christmas cakes and mistletoe nightsCarole Matthews is back with Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights which was released by Sphere on 19th October. 

Thanks to Carole and Sphere, we have ONE SIGNED COPY to give away to one lucky winner.

 

Fay and Danny are madly in love and it’s all Fay’s ever dreamed of. But she left everything – including the delightful cake shop she used to run – to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. And as she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn’t always smooth sailing!

Then Fay gets a call from her friends, a call that sends her back to her friends and the Cake Shop in the Garden. It will be hard being away from Danny but their relationship is strong enough to survive . . . isn’t it?

Fay soon falls happily back in love with her passion for baking – especially now she’s on dry land again! – and starts to wonder if she ever should have left. With Christmas around the corner, Fay is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but does that mean even more time away from Danny?

 

How To Enter: 

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Phillipa Ashley Shares Her Favourite Christmas Scenes

Phillipa AshleyI am delighted to be welcoming Phillipa Ashley back to Novel Kicks today. Phillipa’s latest book is very much festive themed and is called Christmas at The Cornish Café. It’s the second novel in the Cornish Café series and was released by Maze.

Christmas will be slightly less turbulent than summer, won’t it? Demi certainly hopes so.

She and Cal are keeping their fledgling relationship under wraps for now. But then Kit Bannen, a hunky, blond – and somewhat mysterious – writer arrives at Kilhallon Resort, and not everyone is charmed. Cal is sure that Kit is hiding something. But is he the only one guarding a secret?

Demi is busy baking festive treats for the newly opened Demelza’s cafe, but when Cal’s ex Isla arrives to shoot scenes Christmas at the Cornish Cafefor her new drama, Demi can’t help but worry that things aren’t quite over between them. Kit flirts with both women, fuelling Cal’s suspicions that Kit has hidden motives for staying on at Kilhallon. Then Cal has to go to London, leaving Demi and Kit to decorate the cafe for Christmas . . . all by themselves.

A storm is brewing in more ways than one. As surprises unfold and truths are uncovered, can Demi and Cal finally open up to each other about their feelings?

 

As it is nearly Christmas, Phillipa has shared some of her favourite Christmas scenes. Over to you, Phillipa…

Believe it or not, after 16 books and over a decade of writing, Christmas at the Cornish Café is my first ‘Christmas’ novel. Even though my debut novel, Decent Exposure, was made into the Lifetime movie, 12 Men of Christmas, it was never written as a Christmas book.

It was important to me that Christmas at the Cornish Café truly reflected the challenges my characters and the community might face in a small Cornish fishing village – and how people might pull together to help each other against all the odds. I hope you enjoy reading it. Now, here are some of my favourite scenes from seasonal books, films and TV.

 

The Carrs’ Christmas Box – What Katy Did at School

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