Favorite Things



The holidays are a wonderful time of year. A time to spend time with family, to bask in the joys of giving, and a time to deck the halls.

Decorating is a big part of the holidays, and I have a friend who really gets into it. Absolutely adores his Christmas tree. He’s convinced he has the best one, and from the way he describes it (complete with peppermint lights), I’m quite sure he does. Anyway, all his talk recently about trees made me realize that they are one of my favorite things about the Christmas holiday.

To be honest, my tree isn’t something that would ever grace the pages of a decorating magazine. First off, it’s an artificial tree. I tried the real tree route once, but having to vacuum all those dead needles from the carpet turned me into an artificial tree kind of gal. My kidlet picked the current one out a few years ago, and that explains a lot about it. Kids don’t always go for the most expensive, most elaborate thing. Kids have that honesty about them – they know what they like and that’s what they go for. And my kidlet liked the tree at the lower end of the price spectrum (she got my thanks for that, considering I can be rather cheap at times). The branches aren’t thick and full – they’re actually rather sparse and have that pathetic air about them. And there is no way anyone could ever mistake it for a real tree. But it came with pretty, twinkling multi-colored lights. So she loved it. And I bought it for her. This year she wanted to be in charge of decorating it. The ornaments are strewn haphazardly about the tree and she opted out of a star or angel for the top of the tree. But you know what? This year’s tree is my favorite tree of all.

To me, a Christmas wouldn’t be a Christmas without a tree. But Christmas trees actually haven’t been a tradition for all that long. They didn’t become a recognized and common component of Christmas until the Victorian era. It wasn’t that no one did the Christmas tree thing before the mid-1800’s (Queen Charlotte is credited with putting up a royal family Christmas tree in 1800). But there was a large class divide before the Victorian era – there were a select few ‘haves’ and most of the masses fell into the ‘have nots’ that simply didn’t have the means to indulge in elaborate and costly traditions. Christmas was more of a spiritual and social holiday during the Regency era, and one must remember that England was at war during the time period. They more celebrated the season with gatherings of friends and family. Christmas day itself was typically spent with a church service followed by a family meal. The day didn’t start with a mad dash to find the presents under the tree. Besides the fact they didn’t have a tree to run to, gift giving during the Regency wasn’t at all what it is today. Sure, they gave gifts, but it was definitely tempered. A gift given to the landowner or to charity or something small for children.

Christmas traditions have certainly changed since the Regency, but like today, the focus was on friends and family. On celebrating the season and taking the time to give thanks for all that we are blessed with. And this year, I am most thankful to have my family, which includes a kidlet who has become quite the master tree decorator.

Advent Calendar Giveaway!

So what’s your favorite thing about Christmas? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win your choice of one of my books from my backlist – Bound by Deception, Bound to Him, Object of His Desire or Convincing Arthur. On December 24th, I’ll pick a winner at random.

Happy Holidays!

Ava March
M/M Erotic Romance…in the Regency era

12 Responses

  1. My favourite thing about Christmas is being able to order a gingerbread latte at the village coffee shop without someone saying “Ooh, isn’t it the wrong time of year for gingerbread?” LOL

  2. My favourite thing about Christmas is being able to make my grandmother’s wonderful secret rum butter recipe without guilt! I think my husband enjoys that part of Christmas too :))


  3. My favourite part of Christmas is almost 3 weeks of holidays so I can finish/edit a novel without being distracted by pesky work.

    No, also love sending off presents and getting presents and catching up with people. I got a packet from the Fatherland with ‘cinnamon stars’ (iced Christmas cookies), nougat, marzipan and ‘domino stones’ (three layered German cookies). That was very nice and a real taste of Christmas.

  4. Hi Ava,

    I love your work. I’ve read Bound by Deception, Bound to Him, and Object of His Desire. I really enjoy the regency era.

    My favorite thing about Christmas is the feeling the season inspires. Let’s face it sometimes the holidays can be the hardest time of the year for people, but a lot of people grasp on something small like the twinkling lights on houses, or the festive music in stores and that can be what it takes to brighten up their day.

  5. So hard to choose a favourite. Christmas carols, a real tree, checking shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, mince pies, Christmas cake.

    I’ll think of my tummy and go with mince pies.

  6. I’d have to say that my favorite thing about Christmas would be buying gifts for people. Sure I love the decorations, being with my family and friends, but I really like to shop for other people. Then there’s the anticipation of watching them unwrap it, waiting to see if they like the gift, and the feeling of accomplishment for getting someone something that they’ll really enjoy.

  7. I wish I could say my favourite thing about Christmas. For so long it was a holiday that made me sad every time because I didn’t have a stable family. We’re so dysfunctional and miserable, that every Christmas (or any other holiday, or rather almost every other day of the year) there’s some fight, yelling, insults, slammed doors, or escapes made. Nothing is really changed since then. I’m always on the outside watching other people enjoy the holiday with family and other loved ones and I’m always alone. Furthermore, I haven’t followed Christianity since 2004. I’m pagan now, and I focus on Yule now, but even then- still no one to share it with.

    I suppose if pressed, my favourite thing about the December holiday is the excuse for hot choco, apple cider, and the holiday sales.

    p.s. I’ve been dying to read Convincing Arthur. 🙂

  8. My favourite thing about Christmas? Midnight Mass, definitely. In my younger, pre-children days it’d be off to the pub and then dashing back just in time for the service, slightly tipsy; now it’s more about getting the kids to bed, watching a bit of telly, then heading on out to church with the brother and sister in law, then coming back and fighting in whispers over who gets to eat Santa’s mince pie and nibble the carrot left for Rudolph while we put the stockings under the tree.

  9. Everything except the commercialism. I’ve loved the Christmas season as long as I can remember, and gifts were always the least of its splendors for me. It’s impossible to single out one thread in the tapestry.

  10. What a lovely post.
    I’m with your daughter. I love the twinkling, multi-colored lights. And the non-twinkling ones, too. Turning off all the lights and turning on the tree. Very magical. Especially late Christmas Eve, in a quiet house. It feels like time stands still and Christmas could go on forever.

  11. Lovely post. My favorite thing is probably the memories of the ones before. Which sounds silly. Why not just enjoy this one? But there you are. Oh, and also the traffic. Christmas is a great day to drive.

  12. Very nice post, Ava. I currently have an undecorated Christmas tree sitting in my living room.

    I keep waiting for elves to show up and take of that for me. *g*

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