Friday, December 14, 2007

The 12 Authors of Christmas Final Bonus, the lovely Tricia Goyer

Please welcome friend and author, Tricia Goyer. I've known Tricia for several years now and she is one person I always look forward to seeing at writer's conferences or retreats.

Her warm smile and love for others wins everyone over.

Welcome, Tricia.

Tell us about your first Christmas memory?

I remember being an angel in a Christmas pageant and my little brother was baby Jesus. I was four and he was four months old. I remember being very concerned when he started crying from his manger.

Growing up, did your family have Christmas traditions? Tell us how you incorporated them into your family life. Or, how you created new ones.

I remember after that going to my Grandma’s house for dinner. We always spent Christmas with her and my grandpa. All the aunts, uncles, and cousins would come together to celebrate. We'd have a big dinner, usually with homemade enchiladas or tamales. We'd have an adult's table and a kids' table. For most of my growing up years it was just me, my brother and my two cousins at the kids table.

Now that I have my own family, we still have a big gathering. My grandma lives with us, and we have three teenagers. We also invite over my husband's whole family and friends who don't have family nearby. Last year we had 35 people, and I expect the same this year.

(rh: Wow, sounds fun.)

When do you put up your tree? At my house, it goes up right after Thanksgiving. My husband works assembly and outside lights. I do the rest. Describe the decorating at your house.

I usually put it up after the kids keeping bugging me and bugging me. This year it was on December 2nd. We put it up Sunday after church.

(rh: Ah, my dad could relate to you. I bugged him until he put up the tree.)

My kids help decorate and the young woman I mentor and her family come over too. Her kids are 6, 3, and 1 … so there is a lot of commotion!

What is your favorite Christmas song or album? I grew up with a Johnny Mathis Christmas CD and it's still one of my favorites. My other is a copy of Mel Torme singing his "Christmas Song."

I love lots of different kinds of Christmas music. I love old songs that are sung by new artists with a new twist. This year I found a new cd called Unexpected Gifts, and I've listened to it at least 10 times every day.

It includes "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (Bethany Dillon); "Do You Hear What I Hear" (Nichole Nordeman); "O Little Town of Bethlehem" (Steven Curtis Chapman); and "Silent Night" (Sanctus Real).

(rh: Tricia confessed to me she didn't even know who Johnny Mathis is, but I'll forgive her. Young'un...)

Christmas morning, my parents didn't want us in the living room until the tree was plugged in. So, we'd wake up early, five a.m. or so, and bang on the floor to stir my parents awake. Relive your childhood Christmas mornings for us.

We'd usually get up, get dressed and head over to my grandparents' house where we'd all open presents together.

I think that as we got older my brother and I complained because around junior high we started opening them at our house. I don't remember getting up super-early, but I do remember the smells of Christmas dinner cooking while we open gifts.

Also, I loved it because everyone was together and focused on the celebration. In fact, those Christmas days are some of the few times I remember my parents playing games with us. That's why I'm big on family time and games on Christmas!

Seems to me snow and Christmas go together, but I’ve been a Florida girl for 33 years! Tell us about your Christmas setting?

I grew up in the mountains of Northern California. We had lots of snow. Lots!

I remember one Christmas Eve driving from my Grandparents house to our house. It was a blizzard and I didn't know how my dad could even see the road. I remember thinking that the snow hitting the window looked like the opening of the Star Wars movie when the stars were zooming lines in space.

It’s Christmas Eve, describe your day and evening.

We usually attend a Christmas Eve service and then spend time with friends. This year we're going to church and then we're having the families from our small group come over for snacks and a white elephant gift exchange. There are five families and between us we have twelve kids between 4-18. We’ll eat, open gifts, sing and play games.

Confession time. Shop on line or at the mall?

Half and half. This year my daughter and I are making blankets for my nieces and nephews, so we have fabric and stuff all over the house.

But most of the stuff - for my kids and husband - I buy on-line. It's too hard to shop and not have them with me. Every time I go out the kids say,
"Can I come?"

Christmas grows more and more commercial every year. Setting the hustle and bustle aside, what does Christmas really mean to you?

Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Lord with friends and family. It's taking time to enjoy each other and spend time with those we love the most.

It's Christmas day, what's for dinner? Do you make cookies or other traditional foods?

I don't make many cookies . . . because I end up eating too many! Our Christmas dinner is similar to Thanksgiving.

We have potluck style and everyone brings something. Since it's usually at our house, I make a turkey, potatoes, and some type of dessert. There are usually 5-6 people scrambling around my kitchen and it's tons of fun.

Tell us about your favorite Christmas memory.

My favorite Christmas memory is when I was twelve. I received a cassette play with a microphone that could record. My Mom, Dad, brother and I sat around and made up stories and recorded them. I still have that tape somewhere.

What are you plans for this season?

The holiday season also means basketball season. In addition to all the holiday fun we travel every other weekend for games.

Since we live in rural Montana we often travel 4-5 hours for two or three basketball games. Of course, these are great memories too . . . dashing through Montana, talking in the car, replaying the game's highlights with our words.

Since my oldest son is a senior in high school thing years I’m enjoying every moment.

Any final thoughts on Christmas?

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

The official word on Tricia Goyer.

Tricia Goyer is the author of seven novels, six non-fiction books, and one children's book.

Tricia was named Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference "Writer of the Year" in 2003.

In 2005, her book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion. Also in 2005, her novel Night Song won ACFW's Book of the Year for Long Historical Romance.

In 2006, her novel Dawn of a Thousand Nights also won Book of the Year for Long Historical.

She’s written over 300 articles for national publications and hundreds of Bible Study notes for the Women of Faith Study Bible.

Tricia lives in Montana with her husband and three kids where she homeschools, leads children's church, and mentors teenage mothers.

1 comment:

Ausjenny said...

Thanks Tricia i enjoyed reading your memories. Here Christmas is Cricket season and the day after is the traditional Boxing day test.
its played in melbourne but i watch on the tv.
2 years ago i went and it was really exciting.
you talking about playing games at christmas reminds me of the many years we played Cricket in the backyard on Christmas day and of trips with my neices to the playground so the "adults" could have a nap.