Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Party Post 12: Jolie Mathis


Jolie Mathis lives in Texas with her husband and two young children. Her debut novel, THE SEA KING, earned a 4 ½ star review, and Top Pick designation in the August 2006 edition of Romantic Times. You can learn more about her writing at www.joliemathis.com or at her blog, www.joliemathis.blogspot.com


Who among us has not seen THE CHRISTMAS STORY movie and laughed ourselves silly over that surreal encounter with Santa and his elf? What about the frozen flag pole scene? Or the advent
ures associated with an infamous Red Ryder shot gun? Thankfully as children, most of us weren’t forced to wear that pink bunny suit, and don’t own a leg lamp (“Frah-geeeee-lay”!).
Instead, I remember laying with my brother under the Christmas tree, staring up at through the boughs at the multicolored lights and ornaments, and dreaming about what Santa Claus would bring us. I remember stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands with my mom (and poking my thumb with the needle a million times!). And I remember my dad piling us all in the car on Christmas Eve so we could go see KING KONG at the movie theatre. Unfortunately, he “forgot” his wallet inside the house, so we sat in the car with our mom and waited … and waited … and waited for him to come back out. When he did, he explained that he must have misplaced the wallet, and it took forever to find. Imagine our surprise when we returned from the movies, and discovered Santa had been there …

What are some of your childhood memories of the holidays? A lucky participant will receive a signed copy of my Berkley historical romance, THE SEA KING, along with a fun holiday treat!
Ho Ho Ho!!!

40 comments :

Pam P. said...

Great book to win.

People in our town and nearby go all out decorating their yards, Jolie, some with more than just lights. We used to bundle up in the car and go riding out around to see all the sights. Still do that with the younger kids in the family now. One guy has a large property and goes all out with a big tree, and huge decorations, a table with hot dogs, cookies, hot coffee, hot chocolate and cider. Santa comes later in the night to pass out presents. Everyone child brings one marked boy/girl and age, wrapped to go in the sack, and they all wait, some impatiently, for their names to be called out. Every parent also has their kids bring an extra wrapped present to go under the lighted tree which he thens brings to a local organization for the needy. Never advertised, but plenty of comers. When we were teens and neighborhoods were relatively still safe, we'd go around singing Christmas carols, door to door.

Amy Andrews said...

Hi Jolie,

Wow, your cover is really impressive!!!

One of my most memeorbale Xmas's was in Switzerland with my husband.
We were in a ski resort called Davos. There was meters of snow - absolutely stunning for a girl used to parched earth Decembers - and horses pulling sleighs across the ice with their sleigh bells tinkling and we ice skated on a frozen lake Xmas morning.

Such a great Xmas memory.

Maureen said...

My brother and I would get up early (around 5am) and sit at the top of the stairs looking at all the presents. We would look at what we had gotten in our stockings and then we would look at the presents, shake them and try to guess what we had gotten.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful childhood memory of the holidays was the year Santa woke my sister and me up in the middle of the night on Christmas eve. We were allowed to open one present then and there before Santa left to continue delivering toys :)

Minna said...

We always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, in the evening when the Santa arrived from Lappland (yes, from Lappland, Finland. There is nothing for the reindeer to eat in the North Pole). On Christmas Eve we decorated the tree, watched Christmas programs on TV, in the evening there was Christmas sauna and after it we ate Christmas foods and opened the gifts.

Meljprincess said...

Hi Jolie!
I have SEA KING but I had to say HI. My favorite memories are of waking up and finding wrapped and unwrapped presents under the tree. My parents would watch as my Sis and I would unwrap and get all excited. My Dad would always make me try stuff on. I miss him so much.
Nice to see ya, Jolie.

CrystalG said...

Since we opened our presents on Christmas morning, my parents would let my brothers and I open one present on Christmas eve and give us our Christmas stocking. My brothers and I always loved the Christmas stocking.

Estella said...

My parents never put our tree up until we children were in bed on Christmas Eve. Waking up to the tree and presents on Christmas morning was magical.

Amy S. said...

One year, Santa came to our house. He gave us all a gift and left. We later found out that it was our neighbor that dressed up as Santa. We would also go around town and see all the Christmas decorations.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here drinking a Starbucks Peppermint Latte, and enjoying all of your Christmas memories! Keep them coming!!

And also -- I see that some of you have already read or own THE SEA KING! That's awesome! If one of you end up being my winner, I'll send you a different romance -- you can pick!

Joyce said...

My parents had the blinking lights and I always enjoyed turning out all the lights in the room except for the tree lights and watching the designs the tree lights reflected on the ceiling.

Kris said...

I just found out recently that my dh has never seen the Christmas Story, so we are watching that this year.
In the past we have gone to my parents for christmas and continued my traditions from childhood, but last year now that our oldest was 3 we decided that we were having Christmas at our house and the parents could come to us. If they wanted to be there for Christmas morning, so we are just starting our holiday taditions for our family and it is neat seeing what will evolve. But we read the Night Before Christmas and the story of Christ's birth on Christmas Eve and open one present. Those are traditions that we have carried over from our childhoods.

Diane said...

My parents never let us open our presents early (x-mas eve) so at 12:01 on x-mas day, we rushed downstairs and ripped open everything that was ours - and it was a few of us (8). What a big mess we created. Toys, wrapping and food. What great memories.

Little Lamb Lost said...

Christmas caroling in the neighborhood. It was always planned by various adults and their were planned stops at different houses where all were invited in for hot chocolate and Christmas cookies in order to warm us and provide energy for the next stretch. The last house always had us stay longer and provided for more gluttony.

Jennifer Y. said...

I love The Christmas Story.

One of my favorite memories is the year I really wanted to put up a tree early and we didn't have a new one yet...so I convinced my parents to put up our old artificial one...it was missing a few branches and my siblings called it The Charlie Brown tree, but I loved it. I also remember spending each Christmas Eve and Christmas with family. It was the time of year when I got to see all my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents...that doesn't happen that often now that we are older.

Your book sounds really good.

Joan said...

I love the cover!! My favor Christmas member is just staring at the lights at the Christmas tree and making candy. One Christmas eve, my brother and myself were so excited that we were running from room to room and jumping on the beds. We followed a pillow case with some gifts wrap in it. David went and got our Mom. She made us calm down then told us that she wsa giving these gifts away since we had found them. Well about a hour late, we still having calm down and there was a knock on the door when we look around the concer at to see who it was. We sere surprise that Santa was at our door. He gave us the gifts that we had found early but we were so stun at the time that we didn't realize it. I was in junior high before I realize it.

Got to go and visit your web site.

Happy Holidays!

Barbara said...

I was born and raised in Cuba: a communist country where any religious celebration was forbidden to us. I used to hide when I visited my church. I hided because if someone in my neighborhood must found out my family was in for big trouble. People in the neighborhood will discriminate us and give us a lot of trouble like throwing eggs into our front door. Religious’ people were considered as an enemy of the Cuban’s Revolution (they called us worms.)
Now things are very different and people get to practice their own believes. Thanks God for that!

I don’t have any memories of celebrating Christmas in the way that it’s accustomed here at the States. However I do remember that my Mom always used to save something nice to eat on Christmas’s Eve (Noche Buena.) She always used to say that Noche Buena was a special night that it should be celebrate with the best that we have. Navidad for Cuban’s is a time for forgiveness. I remember hugging my friends at my church and having that warm feeling on my heart. The expected gift was to say each other “Que tengas una feliz Navidad.”

Another wear thing about Cuban’s Christmas was that for some reason The Three Kings used to come to Cuba on July. Kids used to get an assigned number in your grocery store and with the number came the date and the store to go and buy their 3 toys.
Now I see it kind of wear. I guess, July was choose because it was on July 26, 1953 when the revolution started, so in that way the government will take away the whole meaning of The Three Kings and Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong I did enjoyed Christmas in the old Cuban way however when I came to the US 10 years ago, I was shock to see how different they celebrate it here.
I am sorry if I talk too much. It just hard for me to put in a few lines my memories of Christmas.

Que tengan una Feliz Navidad!
I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Barbara,

No, you did not talk to much. Far from it! I'm so honored that you could share those remembrances of Cuba with us. They would make a wonderful children's book/story -- are you a writer?

Que tengan una Feliz Navidad to you as well!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite holiday memories was when I was really little, we used to go to my oma and opa's on Christmas Eve with all my aunts, uncles and cousins. me and my younger cousin Sara were sitting on the kitchen floor staring out the back yard window because someone had told us Santa was going to come through the gate. I think we sat there forever lol until we saw Santa fall over the back fence, christmas presents in hand.
Every year one of my uncles (or my dad) would sneak out to a neighbors and dress as Santa then come over the fence to make an appearance. We'd all get gifts (there were about 8-10 cousins back then) and get our picture taken with him. Its funny none of us ever caught on to the missing uncle part of the scheme :)

Barbara said...

Jolie!
Thanks for your kinds words.
I am an Register Nurse at the University of Connecticut. I am currently working with HIV + patients in a medication adherence study.
Oh! I wish I could be a writer but I have a lot to work on my grammar to become a writer. However I do read a lot. I have your book on my wish list at amazon.com. The book has excellent reviews. I came across in a listmania.
Congratulations!
I visited your website a few days ago but couldn't find if they are any new books coming up.

Nalini Singh said...

Hey, I don't think I've seen this movie!!!

Carol said...

Sea King sounds like a really great book. I would love to win it!

I enjoyed visiting all my grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins during the holidays. We would all take turns going to each others homes. The week between Christmas and New Year's was always a fun time!

Anonymous said...

No way Nalini! You've got to see it. It's hilarious.

There is usually a 24 Hour THE CHRISTMAS STORY marathon on TV ... I wonder if they'd have that in NZ?

froggie said...

THE CHRISTMAS STORY is my husband all-time favourite holiday movie. He laughs at the same old jokes year after year. He particularly like the whole furnace debacle!
Although I've never put my tongue on a flagpole, I've know kids to do just that (on a mailbox & fence post) and get stuck, until some caring soal could come along with a container filled with hot water!!!

One of my best memories of Christmas is when, on Christmas eve, we'd take all the presents piled in the corner of my parents bedroom (obviously I didn't believe anymore) and place them under the tree. I'd spend the entire evening sitting there looking at all of those wrapped boxes and dream.

robynl said...

I loved coming home Christmas eve and, after taking off my coat, I would go to the living room and get down under the tree and examine the presents and see whose names were on them. This was always the first order of the evening for me. It was good to be home again for Christmas and taste all of Mom's baking and goodies that Dad had set out.

ellie said...

We used to take a drive in the car when we were kids and just gaze at the beauty of the decorations in the various special neighborhoods. It made such an impression upon us.

alissa said...

We were always invited over to these friends for the day and would spend the time eating, opening gifts and just relaxing in their home. It was such a special time for us to have that day with this family that we always looked forward to it every year.

bamabelle said...

I love that movie! My hubby and I watch it together every year. I love the part where he is in his snowsuit, and the layers of clothes are so thick that he can't move his arms lol.

I always loved sneaking into the living room at night, and just watching the lights on the tree too. We also would go around to other neighborhhods to look at Christmas lights.

jennybrat said...

Hanging a sock at the window hoping Santa will come visit. *w*

Anonymous said...

Barbara:

It sounds as if you are devoting your time to a very worthy occupation. Those patients are fortunate to have you.

I'm not presently contracted for more books, but hopefully soon! Thank you for asking!

Jennybrat - 80's era striped tube socks would work great for that, I bet!

Everyone, keep those stories coming! I am really enjoying these!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jolie,

The one Xmas that stands out while growing up was when I was in first grade and a week before Xmas our house burnt down. We (my parents, me, two sisters and a brother) moved into a small apartment a few blocks from where our house was. On Xmas morning we woke up and in our small apartment we had presents everywhere. Our town got together and bought us clothes and toys and other things that we needed. I ended up being a very nice Xmas after all.

Anonymous said...

Debra:

What a touching story! Very much in the true spirit of the holidays. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Pam P. said...

Jolie, I hope you have a book waiting in the wings and get a contract soon. Can't wait to read your next one!

Cathie said...

Hi Jolie!!! I have to say that this year is going to be special because last year was one that I was in the hospital during emergency surgery and a difficult time, so i'm so happy to be here for this Christmas!
I too remember one Christmas where I always help my grandmother on Christmas eve with cooking all day (she cooked and I cleaned. I loved being with her and would do anything for her). We had the Christmas eve at her house where i'd go around and give out food and drinks to our extended family. I remember one Christmas that it became after midnight and I was in the kitchen with her and she gave me a kiss and hug and told me I was her first hug for the holiday and I told her she was my best present and she cried. Miss her but have wonderful memories.

Anonymous said...

Cathie:

What a beautiful memory for you to have of your grandmother. (Okay, your story made ME teary!) I'm so glad you shared it here.

And Pam:

Thank you so much! And yes -- hopefully I can announce a book sale soon!

Neyjour said...

One of my best memories of Christmas, when I was a kid, was the year 'Santa' left a special prsent on the roof of our house. It wasn't until years later (when I finally realized Santa wasn't real - LOL!) that I found out the true story...

My Dad had cut a potatoe in half, carved them into hooves and used them to stamp reindeer hoof prints in mud on the roof. He also did some sled tracks and even sprinkled the roof with horse dung that he got from the stables down the road.

Our house had a low sloping roof section over the attached carport, and it was easy to climb up the water barrel by the edge and walk onto the roof. What I saw was evidence that Santa and his sleigh had landed on our roof (the real horse dung was very convincing too!) and left a pink bycycle for me! I'll never forget that. :)

Emmy said...

I remember when my sister was little and how scared of Santa she was. In order for my mom to get her picture taken with Santa I would have to go up first and then my mom would walk my sister up backwards and I would have to hold her next to him. The second she figured out what was going on she would start to scream. My sister and I are 8 years apart and by the time she was 3 I felt I was too cool to stand next to Santa with her screaming so no more Santa pictures were ever taken. I was relived my mom was sad and my sister never knew the difference. But to this day my mom and I still laugh about it every time we see a mall Santa.

Anonymous said...

Neyjour:

What a great Dad! Now that took some real effort! I would have believed too.

Emmy:

Do you still have any of those screamin' at Santa pictures?! Too funny!

Thanks everyone, for sharing. These were the best, and really have my Christmas season off to a wonderful start!

Sagittarius Uisce Beatha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sagittarius Uisce Beatha said...

I have to say that my most memorable Christmas was my son's first christmas. The look on his face at all the decorations, and all the shiny things that he wanted to touch. All the gifts that instantly went in his mouth as soon as he opened them. There's nothing more amazing than the wonder on a child's face at this time of year