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Sunday, December 4, 2016


Post by Doris McCraw (c)

December is a time of snow and cold in the Northern hemisphere, sun and rain in the Southern. It is the month of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. A time of gifts and celebrations.

The gift giving of the three wise men in the Bible are part of the tradition. However the idea of gift giving is a much older one. Ancient Rome, and early Pagan religions had celebrations with gift giving during the winter months, usually starting on what would now be December 17th.

The decorated Christmas tree is credited as having started in Germany in the 16th century, when early Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. They were not the first, however to celebrate with greenery. Most early societies believed the ‘evergreen’ plants were special, especially so during the cold winter months of the Northern Hemisphere. In my story, “Lost Knight, Out of Time” I fudged a bit and brought the decorated tree into the story. But if you read it, the concept fits.

New Year’s celebrations of January 1 began in Rome in 153 BC, because that was the beginning of the civil year when newly elected Roman Consuls took office. In fact January and February were not even part of the calendar until around 700 BC. Prior to that, New Year’s was celebrated in March.

From Authors (C) collection
So as we get ready to share our imagination, our stories and ourselves this season, think back to the rich history that comes with this time of year. The many authors here and elsewhere have spent time creating stories for you and your reading friends.

It is with joy and sadness I prepare to read Sara Barnard’s final ‘Everlasting Hearts’ story. The two wonderful Christmas anthologies PRP “One Winter Knight”, and “Cowboy Under the Mistletoe” are sure to please many. Zina Abbott’s “Bridgeport Holiday Brides” is out and my own “Gift of Forgiveness” is coming soon. Painted Pony Books has “A Christmas Spider” by Randy Lee Eickhoff. Watch for these and so many more stories for the Holidays, and don't forget all the other greats ones that have come to us throughout the year from Prairie Rose Publications and their imprints. 

I am a firm believer in books as gifts. When you give someone the gift of a book, you are not only sharing your love of reading, but the heart and soul of the author. When you have a book, and you know how to read it, you will always have someone with you. So this Holiday season, whether in the Northern hemisphere, where you bundle up to read and stay warm, on in the Southern where the beach is calling., you can’t go wrong with books.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and remember, these traditions go back many centuries! (And yes, I do enjoy Alice Cooper's music, just not his stage shows *grin*)

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:


  1. Thank goodness human beings came up with things to celebrate in the winter months. All the darkness that comes with shorter daylight hours, the bitter cold, and the lack of food supplies in those earlier days unless people worked hard in the warmer months to preserve food--all these hardships need something to cheer people up to make it to Spring. Entertainment in earlier times of story telling by the fire and the retelling of adventures from the warmer months must have been welcome pastimes. Now, of course, we can binge watch on Netflix and other streaming companies can make the time pass more pleasantly. I'm loving on the Christmas tree with its colored ornaments and bright lights to cheer the house.
    This was a lovely blog, Doris. I liked reading about how some of these celebrations and customs evolved through history.

    1. I agree Sarah. Sometimes I wish we could just step back and share stories like they used to. Maybe that's why I became a storyteller.

      If you're speaking of the Christmas tree on this post, thank you, I decorated it myself. *Smile*

      Thank you for the kind words, and here's to storytelling. Doris

  2. Nice post. I agree with you that books make great gifts. Hope all have a joyous holiday.

    1. Robyn, for me, books are about the only way to go, that and some good turkey. Here's to happy holidays and lots of great books to read. Doris

  3. A lovely post, Doris. I must remember to gift more books!! Happy Holidays and here's to a great 2017 filled with lots of stories.

    1. Kristy, I love your 2017 wish. May all PRP authors find even greater success.

      Thank you for the kind words, and books are the gift that keeps on giving, at least in my world. *Smile* Merry Christmas and have a great New Year. Doris

  4. Doris,

    I love gifting books as much as I love receiving books. I give books to my grandchildren at Christmas and on their birthdays. :-)

    And Alice Cooper rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Kaye, someone who gets Alice! You just made my day.
      Books are the best, I am thrilled your grandchildren get books. To this day, that is one of the best gifts. Friends have learned, the best way to my heart, a gift card to a bookstore. Merry Christmas Kaye. Doris

  5. Alice Cooper? Okay, me included. Great blog, Doris. I love Christmas and so enjoy writing and especially reading Christmas stories. I make sure when doing book signings that I have a poster of some sort suggesting gift giving of a book--you can't believe how many people read that and say, "Hey what a great idea." It's just a wonderful time of the year to share love and happiness with others and such joy of help or giving to those many who are less fortunate than we. I too am grateful the holiday spirit started way back when and continues on today. Thanks again, for a delightful post. And Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  6. I know Bev, some folks wondered about Alice Cooper, but he wrote and sang so great lyrics.

    Thank you for the kind words, I so enjoy giving books, it gives me hope for the imagination people. Here's to a wonderful time of the year! Doris