Winter Blogfest: Christmas Memories by Jana Richards

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.

Christmas Memories

When I think of Christmases past, it’s not the gifts I remember. It’s not even the decorations, although there are a few decorations that are dear to me, like the ornaments my grandmother made from egg cartons, glitter and pipe cleaners. The Christmas memories that are most precious for me are those spent with family sharing the food of the season.

When I was a little kid, I participated in the children’s concert at church on Christmas Eve. I’d have a part to recite and Christmas songs to sing along with all the other kids. For our efforts, we received a small brown paper bag filled with candy, nuts and a Christmas orange. How I loved that little treat bag! Today getting a mandarin orange is no big deal; you can get them at the grocery store year round. But back then, they were only available at Christmas, making them very special. I still love them.

After the concert, we gathered at my maternal grandparents’ house to open gifts. How we all got into their tiny house I have no idea; Granny and Grandpa had six children and fourteen grandchildren, but somehow we squeezed in. I know we opened gifts, and I was probably excited about them at the time, but I can’t name one gift I received back then. What I do remember is Granny’s dining room table overflowing with food. Everything was homemade, from the fresh bread, cookies and cabbage rolls, to the pickles Granny had preserved. The potatoes and carrots and other vegetables came from the massive garden Granny and Grampa lovingly tended over the summer. But the star of the show was Granny’s apple strudel, also homemade. It was light and flakey and delicious, and since Granny’s been gone, I’ve haven’t tasted a pastry nearly as good.

Pearls 'n Chocolate cookiesBetween Christmas and New Year’s Day, we went back and forth each night for dinner to the homes of my aunts and uncles on both sides of the family. So much food! I remember my mother baking cookies and Christmas cakes for weeks leading up to Christmas. None of it ever went to waste.

To this day the thing I most enjoy about Christmas is being with friends and family, sharing some laughs and a good meal. May all our Christmases be spent with the people we love, eating the food we love.

What are your favorite Christmas foods? Is it your mother’s famous shortbread cookies, or your Aunt Mabel’s turkey dressing? Let me know in the comment section and I’ll enter your name in a draw for a $5 Amazon gift card. Merry Christmas!

perf5.000x8.000.inddRenata Cabral needs to hide for the weekend. Her cousin’s Valentine’s Day wedding means she’ll face embarrassing questions from her large, extended family. Questions like “Why aren’t you married yet?” Since the breakup of her last relationship, she’s not ready to answer that question. She invents a work-related excuse and escapes to a friend’s lakeside cottage.

Noah Brownlee has been hiding for two years. But now he’s ready to come home and mend his broken relationship with his brother. When a friend offers the use of his lakeside cottage, Noah arrives in the middle of a blizzard with his English Mastiff, only to find the place is already occupied. With her big brown eyes and quirky sense of humor, Renata stirs feelings he thought long dead.

As the blizzard rages, the candy hearts predict love. Can Valentine’s Day work its magic between them?

About the Author: Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm, working at her day job as an Office Administrator, or dealing with ever present mountains of laundry, she can be found on the local golf course pursuing her newest hobby.

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren and a highly spoiled Pug/Terrier cross named Lou.

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Buy the book at Amazon.


  1. Loved your Christmas memories.

    Your story sounds really great. Loved the excerpt.

  2. Sounds like a great read.

  3. kim amundsen says:

    Always enjoy christmas memories.

  4. Thanks for sharing your special Christmas memories. Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday foods, since it reminds me of my father who would buy because he knew I loved it.

  5. I enjoyed your blog post about your Christmas memories. It’s amazing how food plays such an important role. Food is made by family members and it’s made with love. Toys break but loving memories last forever. My favorite is my mom’s bread stuffing, my sister-in-laws pumpkin roll, my memere’s French meat pie and my Grandma’s German Chocolate cake. My memere has been gone for 19 years, my Grandma 10 years, and I miss them, and to this day I’ve yet to taste a French meat pie or German chocolate cake that come anywhere near to how theirs tasted. I think it’s sweetened by the memories – and will always be special and unduplicated in my mind. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family holiday memories!!!

  6. My grandmother was a needle woman, so we always had homemade presents. I still have my hand knitted Christmas stocking! I think my favorite food is the homemade cinnamon rolls we always had with the meal, althogh we have new traditions now. For my kids, I think it’s more about the pinwheel cookies. Merry Christmas!

  7. Question to the author: If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

    • Wow, that’s an interesting question. I’d trade places with Nora Roberts for a day. I’d love to learn how she works, and how she comes up with her many wonderful stories. I think I could learn a lot from her! Have a Merry Christmas!

  8. Enjoyed reading your post about your Christmas memories.
    My favorite Christmas food was homemade Christmas pudding, I have never been able to duplicate the recipe

    • My mother used to make a Christmas pudding, too. I think it had carrots and raisins in it, but the best part was the sauce. I was pretty young when she made it, but I think it was basically brown sugar and butter, and maybe a little rum! Have a great Christmas, JeanMP.

  9. nice memories

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  10. My favorite Christmas food would have be a nicely roasted Cornish game hen. They’re divine! 🙂

  11. Jeanine Lesperance says:

    I love home made candy Mostly chocolate with salty stuff. Yummy

  12. Loved your Christmas memories, Jana. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and have added Chill Out to my Wish List. My favorite Christmas foods are ham, Yule Logs, and sugar cookies.

  13. I’m late picking my winner because we were out of town helping our daughter move in another province. So sorry! But here I am now, and I randomly drew a name to receive the $5 Amazon gift card.

    And the winner is … Michele! Michele if you’re out there, please contact me at Congratulations!

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