Seekerville: The Journey Continues | category: Christmas


Seekerville: The Journey Continues

What Did Mama Really Want for Christmas in 1970?

What Did Mama Really Want for Christmas in 1970?

We’re three days away from Christmas, and I don’t want to bog everyone down with a how-to post, a craft post, or lots of reading to wade through. Instead, I’m going to continue the thread of Christmas memories, traditions, favorite recipes, movies, and books.

When I was a kid, Christmas gift giving was fairly small at my house, but as far as I knew, it was that way for everyone, so I didn’t know any better. We got a gift or two at home, we exchanged gifts at school and at church, and I received gifts from both of my grandmothers. That was FIVE gifts spread out over five different events. That was enough to make any child … or at least THIS child … giddy with excitement!!

The rest of the Christmas season was spent waiting for the last day of school, practicing for Christmas plays at church and spending time with friends at the Christmas church potluck and cousins at grandma’s house.

I always find it interesting that we remember little snippets of things that happened in our childhood, but then nothing at all of many days and weeks. Maybe there was some little thing that really stuck with us about a certain event, a toy, or a person. One Christmas that I remember well was around 1970. Honestly, I don’t remember if we got to pick out our own presents every year, but I do know that year in particular, we did. So maybe that’s why it sticks out in my memory so much. I was six years old.

My older brothers wanted a race track from Sears-Roebuck. The race track costed over $75, which was way more than any one family member could spend for Christmas. We had $25 for Christmas. $25 in 1970 would buy a lot, at least in MY world. But it wouldn’t buy the coveted race track found in the Sears-Roebuck catalog. So my brothers talked my daddy into pooling “his” Christmas money with theirs and buying the race track. It was a huge affair, taking up the length and width of an 8 foot x 10 foot plywood table that was set up in the living room for several months. I’m sure Mama made sure I didn’t get roped into adding my Christmas money to the race track fund because I got a little wooden doll high chair and a doll.

What Did Mama Really Want for Christmas in 1970?

My family made the trip to Sears which was a good 50 miles away for our shopping trip which was a big deal for us during those days. I still remember walking around looking at all the toys, trying to decide what I wanted to buy. I finally settled on the high chair. But the problem was that Mama knew I didn’t have a doll at home that would fit in the chair. So, my poor mother used part of her Christmas money to buy a doll with bendable legs to fit in the chair. It’s been so long ago, and my memory is hazy, but I think that was the year I got a doll with retractable red hair. A search of the internet brings up the “Chrissy” dolls of the 60s and 70s, and mine was probably that doll.

What Did Mama Really Want for Christmas in 1970?

We also went to eat at a steakhouse, which was probably a bigger deal than going shopping in the “city”. All these years (and they are a LOT of years), I still remember the high-backed booths in the steakhouse. The doll and high chair, and the race track were wonderful, but the memories are what make me smile.

All these years later, I wonder what Mama and Daddy really wanted for Christmas for themselves. Did Mama have her eye on a pretty store-bought dress or new black patent-leather purse? Maybe Daddy need a new white shirt and black pants for church, or even a new pair of dress shoes.

What Did Mama Really Want for Christmas in 1970?

But they didn’t get those things. Instead they got a race track, a doll and a little wooden high chair. But I have a feeling they didn’t mind. They were making memories with us kids, much like I’m doing with my kids and grandkids these days. I really don’t need anything. My old purse suits me just fine. I have enough shoes to last a lifetime, and my closet is full.

As is my heart.

Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

and a Very Happy New Year.

A Child's Christmas in the Midwest


Welcome to the last week before Christmas!!!

As a child, I counted down the days until could there be so many??? Could we survive the wait?

And then suddenly it arrived. Somewhere between visiting Santa at Rike's Department Store downtown, baking cookies with my mom, an evening of decorating those cookies with my brother (and maybe a few cousins,) and wrapping presents, Christmas came!

Christmas 1961

The Christmas Eve service, candles glowing, Silver Bells playing on the radio, the excitement of finally hanging our stockings, and reluctantly heading to was magic.

Do you remember that same magic? That same Christmas feeling?

Christmas sometime around 1965

But things changed when I became an adult. I realized that Christmas isn't just ribbons and bows and toys and Christmas cookies...Christmas came to mean A LOT MORE. 

That Christmas giddiness of my childhood was as sweet as sugar, and just as fragile. But as an adult, that sugary sweetness was slowly replaced by lasting, pure AWE.

This Jesus whose birth we celebrate at Christmas was born to glorify the Father, and born to wear the thorns for me...

Another thing that has changed in these grown-up Christmases is that I'm eating a LOT less sugar these days, and I've slowly been adjusting my favorite Christmas treats to sugar-free treats.

It isn't as horrible as it sounds!

My go-to fudge recipes these days come from a website called "My Montana Kitchen," and they are no-guilt delicious!

They all start with a basic recipe - Sugar-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Yes, sugar-free condensed milk. The recipe uses cream, butter, and a stevia/erythritol sweetener blend (aka "Gentle Sweet" from Trim Healthy Mama, or you can use the recipe found on the My Montana Kitchen website.) The recipe takes time, but it's worth it. I have to keep myself from making it too's that delicious!

Here's the link to that recipe: Sugar-Free Keto Sweetened Condensed Milk

Once you have that basic recipe, you can use the sweetened condensed milk in all sort of recipes, and my favorite is chocolate fudge. Here's the link to the fudge recipes: 5 Sugar-Free Fudge Recipes

Eating mostly sugar-free has been an easy transition with recipes like these. I still make the regular fudge for family and friends...but that's okay. I get the sugar-free version all to myself!

Wishing you a blessed Christmas from our family to yours!

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.

Comfort and Joy


If we happened to be playing a word association game, and I said 'Christmas' you would undoubtedly reply with something cheerful. Words like 'merry' or 'carol' or 'cookie' (yum!) or even 'cheer' itself. And yet, for some people Christmas isn't quite as merry this year as it has been. 

Because, let's face it, life is hard lately. 

For me personally, the approach of Christmas also means the approach of the one-year mark (Dec 13th) since my precious Daddy met Jesus face-to-face. I know I'm not alone in this struggle, as I have over 30 friends who have lost a parent in 2021 or 2022 - including a few of the other Seekers, too. And while Christmas is still my favorite holiday, my enthusiasm is tempered a bit again this year with grief.

This co-existence of sorrow and joy is something I've been pondering this year, and so it's no surprise that the words of the English carol God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen jumped out at me this year like never before: 

                        TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOY 

The word 'comfort' implies that there is some sort of sorrow present, doesn't it? The need to be comforted rarely comes without pain or loss or grief. But we sing about those tidings of comfort alongside the tidings of joy without really stopping to realize what we're singing, don't we? Comfort... and the need for it... and joy co-existing? How is that possible?

I love these lyrics from 'Comfort and Joy' by Tasha Layton:

There's no need to keep your tears from falling
Sometimes what's most painful are those holidays
But Christmas shows that God cares for us deeply
The same boy in the manger holds you still today

Because yes, in a few days, it will be one year since my dad left this earthly life and saw Jesus face-to-face. And yet... in 17 days, we will celebrate that same Jesus who was "born that man no more may die". It's the reason i love Christmas so much - it changed everything. And this juxtaposition of 'comfort and joy' MEANS everything. It means that I can laugh with my nephews' infectious giggles when they're trying to keep me from 'memorizing' them with selfies. It means I can smile at the Christmas songs & the decor & the goodies & the presents & the happy memories of past holidays. It means that I can do a happy dance when I *finally* win a game of Munchkin with our older nieces & nephews. And... it means I can have a grief meltdown without being consumed by hopelessness. God knew we would need both comfort and joy in this life, so He sent His Son to make a way for them to co-exist with an assured HOPE that death is not the end. 

I am so so grateful for a Savior who enters into our grief with us and says “you’re right, it’s not supposed to be like this and I’ve come to make a way - THE way - for all the sad things to one day be untrue.” Yes, we grieve. We cry. We ache for one more hug, one more conversation. Sometimes we even stay curled up in our car, sobbing, instead of going into the Christmas party we planned to attend. (Ask me how I know this.) But we do not grieve without HOPE. He binds up the broken-hearted and He knows every tear we cry. But He’s also told us the end of the story - the happily ever after made possible because of the Light of the world.

Another song I've come to love lately is Francesca Battistelli's Behold Him:

In your silent nightWhen you're not alrightLift your eyes and behold himFeel the thrill of hopeYou are not aloneIn this moment, behold him
Christmas changed everything, y'all. When grief threatens to consume you this season, lift your eyes and behold Him, the Son of God who was 'born that man no more may die'. Can sorrow and joy coexist? Yes! Because Christmas changes everything!! The moment Jesus was born in that long-ago stable, death ultimately lost its power for all of us who accept the gift of His death & resurrection.

One of the things that also brings me joy each Christmas season are the banana drop cookies my grandmother made every year - and that my husband now makes in her stead. These are everything lovely and comforting about banana bread... in a cookie!!!


1 & 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, unbeaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
2 & 1/4 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

plus (for topping)

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream sugar, shortening, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in mashed bananas. Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add and mix well. Chill 30 minutes (the dough, not you…. although you can chill too if you’d like lol). Drop by teaspoonfuls 2″ apart on greased baking sheets. Mix the extra sugar & cinnamon; sprinkle over unbaked cookies. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.


Praying you experience His comfort and His joy this Christmas season,


The Wonder of Christmas


The Wonder of Christmas
by Mindy Obenhaus

Have you ever seen the look in child's eyes when they stare at a Christmas tree? It's an expression filled with awe and anticipation. And that is exactly how we should feel during this season of Advent. In awe of the fact that Jesus stepped down from heaven and came to earth as a helpless baby--not in splendor, but in the squaller of stable--to save the world. And in anticipation of His second coming and the joy of the holiday season.

Some people say Christmas has become too commercial. And while that may be true, Who else do you know whose birthday is a month-long event filled with special songs heralding their birth, twinkling lights...

The Wonder of Christmas

And treats that make an appearance only this time of year?

The Wonder of Christmas

I understand that Christmas can be overwhelming for many. I mean, we already have a gazillion demands weighing us down. And then along comes Christmas adding to that ever-growing to-do list. If that's where you are, then stop and take a deep breath. If Christmas is about those things you have to do, then don't do them. Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." He is the reason for the season, so it only seems right that He should be the driving force behind whatever you do during it.

The wonder of Christmas should live inside us all year long. But come December, it can no longer be contained and spills over into this most wonderful time of the year. A season filled with sights, sounds and smells that bring us comfort and joy.

Here's one of my favorite holiday recipes. One that even those who don't cook can appreciate.
The Wonder of Christmas

Christmas Scent is comprised of an orange, a lemon, four cinnamon sticks, three bay leaves, and a good handful (approximately ¼ cup) of whole cloves. For gift giving, the ingredients can be placed in a cellophane bag and tied with a pretty ribbon adorned with the Christmas Scent label with instructions on the other side. The instructions read:

Cut lemon and orange into quarters; combine fruit, spices, and one quart of water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer as long as desired.  (Add more water, as needed.)  Any leftover mixture can be covered and refrigerated for several days to be reused.

Oh, and did I happen to mention I have a new book on store shelves now?

The Wonder of Christmas

Can a property dispute… Turn into a holiday blessing?
When single mom Annalise Grant inherits a fledgling Christmas tree farm in Texas, she vows to do whatever it takes to make it a success. But when neighbor Hawkins Prescott claims some of her trees are on his property, the only option is a partnership. As Christmas draws closer, Annalise and Hawkins find themselves growing closer as well. Could a family by Christmas become part of the deal?

Available at these online retailers

HOWEVER, in the spirit of the season, I'm giving away a signed copy to one commenter (US mailing addresses only, please). Simply leave a comment to be entered!

A Carol of Christmas

A Carol of Christmas


Silent Night, Holy Night. All is Calm, all is Bright…

Are you humming the tune to yourself? It’s the ultimate Christmas song, isn’t it?

What is it about this hymn that speaks so well to that deep place in our souls?

Maybe it’s the image the words invoke – the stable, the joyful receiving of a newborn baby, the night filled with stars –

Maybe it’s the nostalgia. How many Christmases have you sung this song at a Candlelight Service at church? How many idle moments spent humming the tune?

Just hearing the opening bars takes me back to a cold Christmas Eve at least sixty years ago and a snowflake-filled sky. The hymn spans the time and brings that scene to mind once more.

A Carol of Christmas

It’s all of that, isn’t it? 
But when I think of this Christmas hymn, it is the poetry that speaks to my heart the most.

Silent. Holy. Calm. Bright.

Mother and Child.

The Child? A baby.

But not just any baby – this baby is the Savior of the World.

This baby is the long-awaited Messiah.

And then another tune comes to mind…

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given. So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.

A Carol of Christmas

The Hope of mankind, given so humbly. So silently. So gently.

During this Christmas week I intend to put away the trappings that have been distracting me since the end of November. Shopping, wrappings, trees, baking (endless baking!) Even Christmas parties and church preparations.

Putting them all away for now because the time of preparation is nearly over.

Christmas Day is nearly here… It’s time to let silent contemplation have its way.

A Carol of Christmas

Joy to the World! Our Lord is come!

Have a blessed and joy-filled Christmas!

New Release!

by Mindy Obenhaus

Happy December! Yes, the holidays are upon us and there's only one thing that could make me happier. The release of a new Christmas book! 

Yesterday was release day for the fourth and final book in my Bliss, Texas series. Their Yuletide Healing is a sweet story about overcoming the wounds of the past to embrace the future God has called you to.

Rae, our heroine, always wanted a whole passel of kids, but her ex-husband was too focused his dreams to consider a family--until he left Rae for another woman. But Rae doesn't need a husband to have a family. Instead, she becomes a foster mom to six-year-old Maggie and her five-year-old brother, Max. Rae is determined to give them the perfect Christmas. One they will always remember, even if her dream of adopting them falls through. But her holiday plans are threatened when she's suddenly put in charge of the town's biggest holiday event.

Cole, our reclusive, anti-Christmas hero, grew up in an environment that has kept him emotionally shutdown for most of his life. That is, until his aunt coerces him into helping Rae with the town's Mistletoe Ball and he finds himself drawn to her foster son. Little Max has seen the worst life has to offer. Something Cole recognizes and has him longing to help the boy. But first, he’ll have to earn Max’s trust and that will entail spending time with the boy’s pretty foster mom. 

Yeah, you know where this story is headed.

To celebrate the release of Their Yuletide Healing, I'm giving away a copy of the book AND a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter (US mailing addresses only, please).

As her plans unravel, can she give her children what they truly need?

Foster mom Rae Girard’s determined to make her children’s first Christmas with her the best they’ve ever had—and she’s shocked when the town scrooge, attorney Cole Heinsohn, offers to pitch in. Rae’s young charges have melted Cole’s heart, and he wants them to experience the special day he never had. But when disaster strikes, an imperfect holiday might bring them something better: a family…

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching copious amounts of the Hallmark Channel. Learn more at

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

I'm not going to talk about personality types.

I'm not going to mention we all had eleven months to get to this point, because I think the holiday crazies aren't about planning. Life interrupts the best of plans and when you're self-employed like we are, we have to keep that reality in the back of our minds.

Can we meet that deadline if catastrophe hits?

Can we volunteer for that Christmas play and get revisions done when that email comes in on December 4th and they need them by December 23rd?

Can we get those lights strung in the shape of a Star of David while setting up a Living Nativity with borrowed sheep and camels?

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Okay, the camels might be a stretch! :) But you get the gist. It gets tricky.... and trickier yet when we worry that we're disappointing parents (throw in a nursing home or assisted living or illness into the mix, right?????) or disappointing children, spouses, editors, friends, neighbors.... the list is long and intense, my friends!

But life happens. Whether you're a Type A "Planned-to-the-minute" gal or a "Let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may" kind of person, the holidays have their own brand of pressure. 

My advice: Breathe. Blink. And breathe again.

Scale down. Trim back. Pray. Talk to God. Spend more time with your Nativity scene and less time with Amazon and QVC.... You can stretch your arms and your efforts toward the things of God... and shrug off the things of national advertisers.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Christmas is a beautiful season, but Lord have mercy! It has become its own temptation. 

I used to be a super shopper.... I blush to remember it! What was I thinking????

About fifteen years back I realized I was stupid. No, don't pat me on the back and say "Oh, you weren't stupid, Ruthy!!!!"  Trust me: STUPID.

And then God gave me a smack upside the head, said "simmer down, there, little lady..." and I took His advice. 

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

I still love to do things. Decorate. Bake. Laugh. Pray.... but I learned to never have a December deadline and if someone tries to push one on me, I say no. Nothing is going to mess up my Christmas, the prayerfulness of Advent, the joy of a Savior's birth... and I feel the same way about Lent before Easter.

I put out Great-grandma's handmade reindeer and Santa display.... I set up our thirty-year-old resin outdoor Nativity scene. Dave and the kids bought a piece each year for about three or four years... They haven't all weathered well! Kind of like me. They have their aches, cracks and pains, but passers by don't see that. They see the image of a family, struggling, tucked in a stable, having a baby... Lit by ground lights, they light up the night with the hope of Christmas. The meaning of Christmas.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

I still work early in the day, like always. But removing deadlines and not overly-committing myself means that I can embrace the "Mary" part of me, the part that's often overshadowed by my Yankee "Martha" self. :)

And then if catastrophe strikes in the form of illness, breakage, sadness or grief, I can move forward.... share cookies from the freezer... Hugs from the heart.... the work of human hands to ease someone's heavy load.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

I am here in cold, wet Western New York wishing you all the most blessed and beautiful of Christmas seasons! For, unto us a child is born! Unto us a Son is given! And He shall be called Wonderful! Counselor! The Prince of Peace! The Everlasting Father!!! And we can go forward together knowing that what we do for the least of these, we do for Him.

That makes it the best Christmas ever.

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

And to make this a lovely bit of relaxation, I'm going to send one lucky person a copy of my BRAND NEW WISHING BRIDGE STORY!!!!

"Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge", just released this week.... 

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Leave a comment below and I'll tuck your name into the Sugar Cookie jar! 

We've got this!

Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a Catastrophe

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne loves Christmas but she also loves embracing the spirit of calm she avoided for way too long as she raised six kids and did too much shopping.... She loves God, her family, her country (yes, she bleeds red, white and blue proudly), chocolate, coffee, dogs and so many things! You can message her at or visit her website at Sending Christmas blessings! 

How Amish Fiction And Western Historical Are Similar

How Amish Fiction And Western Historical Are Similar


Hello everyone, Winnie Griggs here.
It's just a week until Christmas - where in the world did the month go? Like many of you my Christmas gathering will look a lot different this year and the plans are still pretty fluid. Several family members have tested positive at various times over the past few months - the latest one just this morning.  But I know God is  in control of all that's happening here and in the world at large. So my hope is in Him and in His awesome Love for us.


Anyway, a bit of fun news - My first Amish romance, Her Amis Wedding Quilt, released this week! As most of you know, for a little over a year now I’ve been immersed in writing the books in my Hope's Haven series. There will be three books in the series and I'm currently wrapping up book 2. It’s required a ton of research and reading all about this very unique group of people who have their own dialect and mores, but I’ve enjoyed the challenge.

One of the things I learned along the way, however, is that, at least on the surface, there are a number of similarities between Amish fiction and western historicals, the previous genre I wrote in.  Here are several of them


The most obvious is, of course the mode of transportation. My previous research into issues such as how to hitch a horse to a wagon and how long it takes a horse and buggy to travel xx number of miles came in handy for sure.


Another not-so-surprising similarity is the lack of technology in their everyday life. Although the Amish do make use of some technology they are very deliberate in what they allow into their homes and into their lives. So even though the Amish stories I’m writing are contemporaries rather than historicals, I have to avoid many of the trappings of present day life. Except for very strictly defined exceptions that can vary from district to district – no cellphone close to hand, no television, no computers or tablets. There’s also no electricity but these days many use generators or solar power.


Both groups have a strong feelings about the value of close ties to family and community and a belief in neighbors helping neighbors. It’s not unusual to find several generations living under one roof or in close proximity. And you can find several videos of Amish barn raisings, frolics (what they call their gatherings to help an individual in the community with a task) and other tasks.


Of course there are lots of differences too. The Amish dialect for one thing. And their strong belief in pacifism. And these book are set in the modern world so even though the Amish themselves don’t make use of all the modern conveniences they interact with those who do and even hire non-Amish to do things like chauffer them to and from places that are too distant for them to travel by buggy.


How Amish Fiction And Western Historical Are Similar

And in honor of this being release week for my first Amish book I’m doing a special giveaway. One of the visitors who leave a comment on this post will be selected to receive a copy of Her Amish Wedding Quilt AND their choice of any of the historical western romance books in my backlist.


So leave a comment – are there some similarities I missed? Do you prefer one genre over the other?

Or let’s just talk about Christmas traditions – I haven’t even gotten my tree up yet (yikes!!) but I have taken out the stockings which are my favorite decorations. And there will be a new addition to the crowded line-up on the mantle – my 6 month old grandson. I just need to get out my sewing machine…


How Amish Fiction And Western Historical Are Similar


How Amish Fiction And Western Historical Are Similar
An Amish seamstress and a single father have a chance to make a fresh start in this heartwarming first novel of a new series.

Spirited, forthright, impulsive -- everyone told Greta Eicher she'd have to change her ways if she ever hoped to marry. Then her best friend Calvin, the man she thought she would wed, chooses another woman. Now Greta's wondering if the others were right all along. Her dreams dashed, she pours her energy into crafting beautiful quilts at her shop and helping widower Noah Stoll care for his adorable young children.

Noah knows it's time to think about finding a wife. When Greta offers to play matchmaker on his behalf, Noah eagerly accepts. After all, no one knows his children better. But none of the women she suggests seems quite right, because, unexpectedly, his feelings of respect and friendship for Greta have grown into something even deeper and richer. But will he have enough faith to overcome the pain of his past and give love another chance?

Learn more or purchase HERE



Sharing Christmas Traditions

Sharing Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas! Over the next few weeks, we Seekers will be sharing some of our favorite Christmas traditions and we want to hear yours, too.

Like many of you, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Even with the year we’ve had, I’ve been anticipating Christmas for months. I’m the one who starts playing Christmas music in October (if not September). I start making lists then, too, and check them twice. And yes, I had two trees up and decorated before Thanksgiving, though that doesn’t happen every year.

One of the things that blesses me the most, though, is giving. I enjoy giving gifts. I also like wrapping them, so the recipient feels as though they’re receiving something special, no matter how small or simple the gift may be. Whether it’s a gift card or a plate of cookies, it’s all about the presentation.

This “gift” has been a tradition at our house for decades. It began when my kids were in elementary school and we were looking for teacher gifts. We wanted something special. Something they could actually use and would bring them joy. After a couple of years, they became so popular, we began giving them to the principal and office staff as well. And all we had to do was gather a few simple things and drop them in a bag.

Sharing Christmas Traditions

Christmas Scent is comprised of an orange, a lemon, four cinnamon sticks, three bay leaves, and a good handful (approximately ¼ cup) of whole cloves. The ingredients are then placed in a cellophane bag and tied with a pretty ribbon adorned with the Christmas Scent label with instructions on the other side. The instructions read:

Cut lemon and orange into quarters; combine fruit, spices, and one quart of water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer as long as desired.  (Add more water, as needed.)  Any leftover mixture can be covered and refrigerated for several days to be reused.

Sharing Christmas Traditions

Not only is this a gift tradition, it’s also a tradition at our house. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s almost always a batch of this scent simmering on the stove. I love it when my kids come home, step inside, sniff and say, “It smells like Christmas.” That’s when you know it’s a tradition.

Now it’s your turn. Share one of your favorite Christmas traditions with us. Remember, there will be several posts where you’ll be able to share more. One of today’s commenters will win an advanced copy of my March 2021 release, A Brother's Promise. (U.S. mailing addresses only, please)

Sharing Christmas Traditions

He didn’t realize he wanted a family… Until he suddenly became a single dad.

After his sister’s death, rancher Mick Ashford’s determined to ensure his orphaned niece, Sadie, feels at home. And accepting guidance from Christa Slocum is his first step. But just as Christa and Sadie begin to settle into Mick’s heart, Sadie’s paternal grandparents sue for custody. Now Mick must fight to keep them together…or risk losing the makeshift family he’s come to love

Sharing Christmas Traditions

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching copious amounts of the Hallmark Channel. Learn more at  
What Did Mama Really Want for Christmas in 1970?A Child's Christmas in the MidwestComfort and JoyThe Wonder of ChristmasA Carol of ChristmasShare Your Christmas Reading with Me!New Release!Juggling Holidays Is An Art: Or a CatastropheHow Amish Fiction And Western Historical Are SimilarSharing Christmas Traditions

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