***Contest: She's giving away a PDF copy of the 2012 Christmas Collection to one lucky commenter. Read on to find out how you may be the winner. Good Luck!!
Psst...When you're through here, don't forget to pop on over to Steph's Blog where I'm visiting and chatting about Christmas in California, too!! See you there! http://sgcardin.blogspot.com/
Christmas in California By Stephaine Burkhart
Growing up in New Hampshire, I could always be certain of one thing – there would always be snow for Christmas. I was a kid. I loved it. I could play in the snow for hours. Knit cap? Check. Snowsuit? Check. Boots? Check. Scarf and mitties? Check. I loved making snow angels, snow forts, snowmen and having snowball fights.
Then I married a guy who lived in California – southern California. There's snow in the mountains, but I'm not driving 2 hours to make a snowman with my boys.
Christmas in California is green. But it's still fun. My husband takes immense pride putting up the lights on the house. My kids love placing ornaments on the tree. Everyone bakes cookies for Santa. I get "in the spirit" by burning the Christmas scents from Yankee Candle.
This year, the boys and I visited Solvang, CA for Christmas. Solvang is about 2 hours of our house, past Santa Barbara, about 20 miles east of Vandenberg AFB.
What I love about Solvang is that it's a Danish themed village. It's cool to find a little bit of Denmark in California, especially since my husband and I were married in Denmark.
During December, Solvang has "Julefest." There's an official tree lightning ceremony and a parade. Sadly, the boys and I missed the activities, but we had a blast walking around, poking through the shops, buying gifts, eating pastries, and geocashing.
Yes – geocashing. The boys found 3 geocashes. They couldn't help themselves – give them a GPS and they were off.
The town also plays host to a nativity pageant on 15 DEC and a tree decorating contest. If I lived closer, I'd be there every weekend.
We arrived around 1230 and the first shop I found was the Santa Ynez Olive Oil store. I love dipping bread in olive oil so I raided them for a bottle of basil, garlic, and rosemary.
The boys had to visit the Santa Ynez Mission and found a geocash. Then we peeked into the shops and admired the Christmas trees that were in front of the businesses in the town. We found the "Jule Haus" where it's Christmas all year round. I bought several novelty ornaments and candles for our family's German Christmas pyramid.
The boys found another geocash in the bus stop then we visited the coffee and chocolate shop. I spilt an éclair with my husband along with a coffee. Andrew had a butter cream bomb and Joe at a chocolate cookie.
The boys found a 3rd geocash and I bought some gifts to ship back east. Joe was staring to poop out so we hoped in the car around 4.
Now I know where Santa's elves hang out during summer vacation.
***Contest: Question for you: Who loves dipping bread in Olive Oil? Leave a comment and an email address and I'll pick one lucky winner to receive a print of the 2012 Christmas Collection featuring my short story, "Gifts."
Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She always puts a star on her Christmas tree and loves to bake cookies for Santa with her boys. Her short, "Gifts," is a sweet international Christmas story that will take you to the Netherlands for the holidays.
BLURB: Will Christian and Famke's attraction interfere with them earning a spot on the Netherlands Olympic pairs skating team?
Stephen turned onto a street in the Noord district of Amsterdam where he lived. The apartment buildings were about five stories tall, but weren't very wide. Stephen drove his compact car into a parking structure near his building. "We're here."
"I need a nice long bath and a bite to eat." Famke stepped out and shut her door.
"Chris, can you take her to the apartment? I'll run to the store for some food."
"Sure." Chris opened the trunk and grabbed her bag.
"I can take it." She gestured for the bag, but Chris waved her off.
"I've got it." He paused. "I always insist on carrying a lady's bags."
"And you are a lady," he said.
Smiling, Famke nodded, discovering a small dimple in his cheek when
he smiled so warmly.
FIND ME ON THE WEB AT: