It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection

Posted December 9, 2018 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, Christmas, Erica Vetsch, giveaway, historical, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) 2018, romance / 27 Comments

Christmas is only 16 days away!!!! Did you get snow this weekend? We were supposed to but we got nuthin. I’m so annoyed. haha!

As you know by now… ‘Tis the season when I start craving cozy Christmas reads. (Okay – I crave them all year round but now’s when I can get away with talking about them LOL) I had so much fun with this series last year, so I decided to make it an annual thing 🙂 Continuing through the end of the year, I’m going to spotlight several new/recent Christmasy releases. So… snuggle in, grab your fave hot beverage and comfiest blanket, turn on some Christmas tunes and start your bookish Christmas list! Oh… and did I mention there are GIVEAWAYS with EACH POST in this series??!! (Because authors are awesome!)

Today’s book is a collection of romances set around a Victorian Christmas, including ‘The Perfect Christmas’ by Erica Vetsch – and a bonus guest post from Erica on de-stressing Christmas!

Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?

The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch
1880s London
Melisande Verity might be in over her head trying to create the perfect Christmas window display, but if she succeeds, will she finally attract the attention of her boss, Gray Garamond?

Other stories include:

Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley, One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase, Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher, The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels, Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze, Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad, A Christmas Vow by Gabrielle Meyer, and The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach

Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at where she spends way too much time!

website | Facebook | Twitter

De-Stressing Your Christmas

Christmas – It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and yet…It’s a push-pull, isn’t it? I love the decorations, the music, the goodies, and the sense of anticipation. But I don’t like the commercialism, the ‘me-first’ grabbiness of the shoppers, and the frenzy of activities and obligations. I love the lights and the little girls in flouncy, sparkly dresses at church, but I don’t like the pre-occupation with the holiday to-do list and having to remind myself constantly amid the distractions to remember the Reason for the Season.

Can we have one without the other? Can we have the things we love at Christmas without the things we don’t?

I think so, but it’s work. It takes some planning.

Here are a few of the things that I’ve learned along the way that make my Christmases merry and bright.

1. List the things that make the run-up to Christmas special for you. The things that fill your Christmas cup of cheer from Thanksgiving to The Day. For me it would be:

  • Christmas music, both on the radio and sung at church.
  • Family ornaments, the ones we’ve had for years, that bring back great memories, like our first Christmas together as a couple, the ones our kids made when they were little, the ones we inherited from our parents.
  • Nativity sets. I collect nativity sets, and I try to get a new one each year. I love the whimsy and fun and variety.
  • The Christmas Eve service at church. This is my favorite service of the year. Everyone is so happy, and the lights are beautiful, the music sublime, and the subject matter so joyful.
  • Baking with my girl. Peanut brittle, cookies, butterscotch drops. We love baking special things at this time of year.
  • Classic Christmas movies. I can’t have the Christmas season without the 1951 Alastair Sim version of Scrooge.

2. What makes Christmas Day special for you? Here are mine:

  • Reading the Christmas story aloud together. A Vetsch family tradition. We take it in turns each year, and I think this year might be My Turn! Yay!
  • Christmas waffles. It might be a silly thing, but it’s become a tradition in our house to have Christmas waffles before we do any gift opening.
  • Mid-afternoon Christmas meal together. Sometimes it’s turkey and the fixin’s, sometimes it’s a new recipe I want to try. Whatever it is, we all gather around the table and share a meal and Christmas memories.
  • Giving just the right gift to my loved ones.

3. What stresses you out during the holidays or takes away from your joy? Mine are:

  • Black Friday shopping.
  • Over-committing to parties and programs and gift exchanges and cookie exchanges and concerts and all that stuff. Being on the run and never having any breathing room during the holidays makes me nuts.

Using these lists, I can ‘design’ a holiday season that keeps things on a ‘busyness’ level that I can deal with.

To make the things I love happen, I plan ahead. You can tailor your plans to fit what you filled in for the points above. Remember, these are my go-tos, and yours will be different.

  • Make decorating the house an event. My daughter and I both love the decorating, so we choose a time when we can both be present and take our time. This usually happens the weekend after Thanksgiving, and because we plan ahead, we’re not trying to cram it in between other commitments. When we decorate, we take the time to reminisce about the ornaments and the nativity sets. This fills both of our holiday hearts right up and gets the season off to a great start.
  • Break out the Christmas CDs, download some Christmas music to your phone, and when you’re at church singing those Christmas carols, close your eyes, embrace the worship, and really be present during the song.
  • Streamline and simplify the Christmas baking. You don’t have to make it all. Choose your favorite two or three things and make those. Baking is no fun if you’re doing too much—biting off more than you can chew—say. Make a thorough shopping list and only make one trip to the store. While you’re there, get the supplies for the Christmas waffles and the Christmas dinner.
  • Stay home on Black Friday. And Small Business Saturday. I can shop at local businesses the following week or two and not face the same crowds and acquisitiveness that occur the weekend after Thanksgiving. I also do some point-and-click shopping. I also streamline the gift list. Buying for everyone and his neighbor’s dog is exhausting and expensive. Where I can, I give a family gift or make a donation in the name of a family in order to accomplish my gift-giving in one swell-foop. 🙂
  • Probably the biggest thing I do to make my Christmas season a time of joy and not drudgery is to limit the number of commitments I have. It’s okay to say no to some things. You don’t have to attend every party and program. Assess what your holiday stress levels are, and only commit to those things that make sense. Possibly you’re a go-getter extrovert and can’t get enough of the going and the seeing and the doing. If so, rock on! But if you’re finding yourself being swallowed by the busyness of the season to the point that you forget what it’s about, dial it back and stay home some.

In addition to these tips, I also make time in the schedule for at least one December evening where my husband and I turn off all the lights and sit near the Christmas tree and talk. Really talk. We reminisce about our lives together—we were married in December almost 29 years ago now!—about our favorite Christmas memories, about the past year. It’s a time to decompress and remember and enjoy.

So, tell me a few of the things that fill your Christmas Cup of Cheer! I’d love to hear about your traditions and memories!

Erica Vetsch is giving away an ebook of The Victorian Christmas Brides to one of my readers! Open internationally. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What fills your Christmas cup of cheer?

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27 responses to “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Reads) GIVEAWAY: The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection

  1. Janice Moore

    I love the Christmas cheer brought through the smells of cups of wassail and banana split hot chocolate, among other things.

    • Erica D. Vetsch

      Lual, books make the BEST gifts! I love it that my daughter loves to get books for Christmas. It fills up my happy cup procuring them for her.

  2. Anne Rightler

    I love to give gifts and try to think of things that I think each person will really like. I love the extra time w/ family too.

    • Erica D. Vetsch

      Anne, I love finding just the right gift. It isn’t always easy, especially for my husband, but I usually manage to surprise him with something he will like.

  3. Kay Garrett

    Agree with the Grinch we he talked about Christmas doesn’t come from a store. It comes without ribbons, without tags and without packages, boxes or bags. Christmas is gift form our God felt in the heart, a feeling, the smile of a child.

    We have always made Christmas about sharing and giving. I love to share the bounty of my kitchen and give of my time. Hubby and I love to bake. Nothing makes me happier than to bake up some holiday goodies and then share them along with my time by delivering them to those even older than me, those that can’t get out or those that maybe it will make their day just a little bit brighter. I’ve also found that giving of ones time can be the best gift of all. To run that errand, invite over for a meal, or just sit and chat can mean more than any store bought gift to someone that sits all day with no one to talk to or has no visitors.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    • Erica D. Vetsch

      Kay, what a lovely tradition you’ve built, baking with your husband and sharing your gifts. The time you invest, not just in the preparation, but in the delivering, too, is such a sweet gift!

    • Erica D. Vetsch

      Christmas with kids is just all kinds of adorable! I can’t wait to be a gramma someday and spend Christmas with the grands!

  4. Amelia

    I love giving! I also love spending time with my family. Christmas is the one time of year that we all get together!

    • Erica D. Vetsch

      Books for Christmas is the BEST! 🙂 You can never have too many books…just not enough bookshelves.

  5. Janet Estridge

    Christmas might be 16 days away but I’m already into the next year.
    I’m sick and have been since Dec. 1st and I don’t expect to get over this anytime soon.
    So there will be no Christmas cheer for me this year.
    It’s all I can do to try to get well.

    • Erica D. Vetsch

      Janet, I do hope you can heal up and feel better soon! Curl up with a good book, and get some rest.

  6. Debbie Clatterbuck

    Hot cocoa of course. Haha just kidding. I like singing Christmas carols to get in the Christmas mood and reading the story of the birth of Christ in the Bible. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck everyone.

  7. Kelly Youngblood

    Time with my family fills my cup of Christmas cheer, especially now that the oldest two have moved out and the next one is moving two days after Christmas. I still have one at home and I enjoy the time with him when he is home.

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