posted on December 18, 2015 by Joanne Rock

Joanne’s Express Christmas

by Joanne Rock

Christmas With Christmas upon us and the days getting so busy, I thought it would be fun to share my Express Christmas To-Do list with you today as a way to share my holiday! We are travelling from Florida to New York at the end of December and spending the season there. It will be fun and I can’t wait, but travelling means that I can’t do the full, weeks-long Christmas prep I do other years.

But no worries… I’ve worked on a list of holiday Must-Dos to get the house in order and give us as much Yuletide spirit as possible.

  • Buy a tree- We like to go to a tree farm and cut down the real deal ourselves. We go as a whole family and friendly arguments about what makes the best tree are a longtime tradition. I like to gather fallen branches while we search, and I use these to decorate my mantel at home. Nothing communicates “Christmas” faster than a house that smells like fresh pine!
  • Decorate the tree- Everyone brings in a box from the garage, we crank up the Christmas tunes, and get to work! This year, we’ll decorate the house at the same time as the tree, picking a few favorite items so that the post-holiday clean-up doesn’t take too long.
  • Shop til I drop- Whatever I haven’t bought online, I’ll need to go find in stores.
  • White Christmas Wrap-a-thon- We like to wrap presents while watching White Christmas. Sometimes we’ll watch A Christmas Carol or Elf, but we’ve been on a White Christmas streak for a few years.
  • Cookie Classic- We have a family storytelling competition that surrounds the cookie decorating. We vie for the “best cookie” award through multiple rounds of voting, laughing, and lobbying for our favorites. It is filmed, so we need to bring our A game.
  • Bake enough to take to kind hostesses- for the lovely family members who host my clan over the holidays at parties and dinners, I try to bake special treats.
  • Christmas morning Caramel Rolls- My kids would revolt without the traditional breakfast
  • Visit, Visit, Visit- More than anything, I’m home for the holidays to be with family and we take so much joy in spending time with them. Whole days are spent gnoshing on good food, comparing notes on the holiday season, and generally making merry. If we are really lucky, my mother in law will play piano, but if nothing else, we can count on a few rounds of Christmas trivia. My author sister-in-law, Karen Rock, usually beats me at this…. She knows her Christmas movies!
  • Sit under the tree and enjoy a fire- It’s not Christmas until we have a night when it’s just my husband and I with our own boys, sitting around eating the last of peanut brittle and enjoying all the happy we created.

Merry Christmas, my friends! I’ve got a special present for one random commenter today—see pic! If you were paring down your holiday to the Must-Dos, what’s one thing that’s a Christmas Must for you?


Joanne Rock

Joanne Rock

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over seventy books currently writes sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin Desire and small town romance for Harlequin Superromance. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly—love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with fellow author and friend Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.

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2 thoughts on “Joanne’s Express Christmas”

  1. kris fletcher says:

    We did this a few years ago, driving down to Florida and renting a house for Christmas week. I asked each of the kids what one thing they needed to make it feel like Christmas. Since there’s five of them, they covered most of the essentials – stockings, Christmas brunch, a tree, etc. My one request was that there be some kind of Christmas Eve service, so at around 10 that night, we all gathered by the pool with candles, read Luke 2, and sang Silent Night. And thus it was Christmas 🙂

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Kris, we pulled it off! It was a busy race to the holiday, but a fun kind of busy. I ended up cooking more than I’d planned simply because I found myself *wanting* to enjoy that part of the holiday prep. I spent a lot of Christmas Eve in the kitchen, filling the house with the scent of clove and nutmeg as I churned out one recipe after another :-). Christmas comes no matter where you are, doesn’t it?

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