Anne Elizabeth’s favorite holiday traditions

Posted December 14, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Book Tour, Guest Post / 17 Comments



Opening holiday storage boxes is an emotional experience. We carefully unwrap childhood trinkets, handmade ornaments, craft projects, old pictures, weathered stockings, and scented candles. Even as the wood in the fireplace snaps and crackles, emitting small plumes of smoke, we carefully fill the surfaces of the living room, every table, chair, and couch with our mementoes. Putting together an old recycled Christmas tree and placing the cool-lights around, we place the ornaments together.

For my husband and me, this has become a time of heartbreaking sorrows and soul-touching moments, remembering those who have passed or those who have become physically or mentally more fragile. We honor these precious souls by decorating ornaments with their names, quotes, or pictures to honor each spirit with a unique creation and then we place it on the tree. It does not erase the pain, but it helps us celebrate treasured souls and share experiences about what these individuals have meant to us.

As we dim the lights and plug in the tree, we are grateful for each opportunity to love. Every day is a gift, whether it is for a brief moment or a lifetime, it adds to life’s journey. From our home to yours: May your holiday season be blessed with health, happiness, and delight, and may peace and joy flourish.

Do you have handmade ornaments? Do you treasure them? And, how do you remember those who have passed?


During the holidays, music fills the house. Some of our favorite singers are Eartha Kitt and Nat King Cole. The holiday classics make us nostalgic, and I love those times when my husband pulls me into his arms and dances with me. Oh, to dwell in those romantic moments, as we cuddle close and move slowly to the rhythm. This harmonious connection chases away every thought, except for one–being together. As my husband nuzzles my neck, I smile musing on the fact that this is my all-time favorite part of the holidays. Being together. Connection and music, whether it comes from the stereo or from our hearts, this time is the best gift of all.

Is there something special you do with your mate, a friend, or family member?


On Christmas Eve, it’s a tradition in our home to make hot cider. I’ll pull out the chipped crockpot with the broken handle. After rinsing the detachable bowl and top, I’ll add fresh cider, granny smith apple slices (leaving the skin on), the peel of half of a lemon and the entire peel of a whole orange. Then I’ll add three cinnamon sticks, a dash of allspice, and anise, and as soon as it heats to a boil I’ll add a tablespoon of maple syrup. After stirring in the syrup for a full minute, I turn the heat down to warm and prepare to serve it about twenty minutes later. The scent of mulled-goodness fills the room as I make popcorn with real butter and a dash of pink salt. It might not be the most gourmet approach, but for us, the taste sensations are delicious. Have a blessed holiday season!

Are there any special recipes that you make during the holiday season?


Holiday songs remind me of my childhood. Attending church with my parents and brother, and listening to the exuberance with which the congregation sang inspired intense warmth and comfort. Voices lifted in song varied from out-of-key to perfectly pitched tones, and it was wondrous! Each individual contributed to the joy as we created these beautiful sounds together.

After services, most of the congregation was full of cheer and would hurry outside for hot cocoa or tea. With cups in hand, we walked as a group down to the live action crèche. It was here that we sang the last Christmas song of the night, Away In The Manger. Of course, the goats bleated and donkeys brayed along with the clucking chickens and mooing cow; and all the sounds blended together. To this day, I still wonder if the animals were commenting or singing along.

Do you have a special holiday song, and why is it a favorite?


Living in Southern California, snow is a rarity. In Julian, we see snowstorms now and then, but nothing can compare to the snow seen in the rest of the United States. Yet, we are full of glee the moment a flake drops from the sky. I always rush outside and turn my face upward in hope of tasting the first snowflake. When I was little, I believed that each snowflake tasted differently, because my brother said that this was so. Even though, I’m all grown-up now, in my imagination I still pretend that there are sorts of unique flavors out there, and I’ll keep catching snowflakes in remembrance of him.

Are you ever tempted to catch snowflakes on your tongue? What’s your favorite childhood winter memory?

Title: The Power of a SEAL
Author: Anne Elizabeth
Series: West Coast Navy SEALs
Pub Date: December 5, 2017
ISBN: 9781492650928

With over two decades of experience, Navy SEAL Leaper Lefton is bringing his expertise to young and impressionable SEAL trainees in BUD/s. As an instructor, he knows he must prepare them for all kinds of situations—and there’s a perfect opportunity for hands-on training when he spots a woman in danger in rough water. Kerry Hamilton, a marine mammal veterinarian for the U.S. Navy is beyond grateful when Leaper saves her from the rough seas, and their attraction is instant. But after everything Leaper has been through, can he truly love again? And is Kerry willing to give him the chance?


New York Times bestselling author Anne Elizabeth is an award-winning romance author and a popular comic creator. With a BS in business and MS in communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of the Author’s Guild, Horror Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound


Five copies of The Power of a SEAL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 0 votes
Article Rating
The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Debbie Haupt
3 years ago

Ah Christmas traditions. I long for the days of old when the kids were young and things seemed much simpler but I love today too that the family has grown with the kids, adding in laws and out laws too 🙂 Thanks

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

I feel the same way. I miss the simpler times, but also love our larger extended family now. 🙂

3 years ago

I have a box of ornaments from my childhood – so there probably close to 40-45 years old. They are kind of beaten up and ugly at this point lol but I’ve started hanging them on a small table top tree along with gifts that my husband’s grandmother had made us when we first got married. It’s just a nice memory of everyone that we miss having with us.

For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Karen

That is a wonderful way to display the older ornaments. They have sentimental value even if they’re a bit rough around the edges. I have a few of those, too. 😉

AngieElle @ Ba_BAMB
3 years ago

Thanks for sharing Christmas traditions!

My favorite Christmas song is Do You Hear What I Hear?, specifically the versions from Third Day and then Whitney Houston.

Merry Christmas!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Love that song, Angie. My favorite version is still the old Bing Crosby one. 🙂

AngieElle @ Ba_BAMB
3 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

Holy flashbacks batman! We would hide my mother’s Bing Crosby CD on her every year, and every year she managed to find it. LOL

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Buahaha! I get that. I do love to torment my sister in law with my oldies and I know she probably has the urge to deep six my CDs. LOL

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Ah, a small little church Christmas does sound sweet. I can see why you miss it.

3 years ago

some sweet things. We don’t have or ralrely haves now in the south of France so well I never tried that. I have the songs in mind but I don’t know about the names

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

So many traditions around the world for the holidays. I enjoyed reading Patricia Sands’ second book about Provence and the South of France during the Christmas holidays. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

I just got two handmade ornaments from my 4 year old grandson this year. I’m sure that those will make me smile for years to come.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Ahhh, I’ll bet. There’s just something about a child’s handmade gifts. 🙂

3 years ago

We don’t have homemade ornaments but this year was the first in our house and my dad gave me all the ornaments they used to use when I was a kid 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  LilyElement

Oh how cool! My mom gave me several ornaments when I first moved out into my own place, too. They still mean a lot. 🙂

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

That’s really a bittersweet moment. We don’t have many homemade ornaments but many that are special because of the memories they hold as well. My mom sent me a photo this year in the mail of my very first ornament on my very first tree when we lived in Germany and with it a photo of the same ornament 35 years later on her tree at home in Florida. It’s amazing the things you can find in those boxes.

(Sophia I’m still poking around in posts I missed so feel free to ignore lol)

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Pshaw! I’m not ignoring you. I love reading and responding to your posts.

Ahhh, love that your mom preserved that ornament and shared the picture with you.