Monday, December 8, 2014

Small-town Christmases by Cheryl Harper and Pamela Tracy

Hi, everyone, it's Cheryl! Since I’m currently caught up in the revision hunt, searching for new and interesting ways to say “glance,” I asked Andi from A Minute on the Lips to tell us a little about the holiday decorations going up in Tall Pines. Enjoy!

I’m an officer of the law, not a writer, but since the newspaper man has implied he has his doubts I can pull this off, I’m determined to describe the holiday scene in Tall Pines. As you know if you’ve read A Minute on the Lips, the town square is always picture-perfect. The mayor insists. But in November, after the leaves have fallen, Christmas lights take over the courthouse, city hall, and shop windows. We’ve got a sleigh in the center of town, and Santa’s workshop has taken over the park’s gazebo.
Even Jackie at the Country Kitchen gets the spirit. While

nothing is allowed to obstruct the view of his trophy case and the gleaming proof of his chili cook-off wins, every table has a new centerpiece: a poinsettia in red and green candy. I managed to snap a picture, although the last person who tried that to add a pin to Pinterest will probably need a lawyer. Jackie takes his d├ęcor seriously. If he finds out who's eating his centerpieces (Mark, the newspaper man), he'll definitely sue.

At the sheriff’s office, we’re doing a coat drive. Anyone who brings in a coat gets to take a shot with Santa. Ray’s not thrilled to be playing Santa, but the sheriff was the only one who fit the suit. Gram and the ladies at Shady Pines are actually producing their own Christmas play next week. Thanks to Edna, the town’s already heard the reviews. The angel is a true acting prodigy. Who plays the angel? Edna. Some things don’t change, even with the holiday season. My advice? Skip the mall. Purl’s Place is decked out, too, and gift cards to the town’s best yarn store are always in style.


And I'm Pamela.  I asked Meredith from Holiday Homecoming to tell us a little about the holiday decorations going up Bridget's Animal Adventure. Enjoy!

I do like Christmas, really I do, but I'm the head keeper.  As all the strings of lights go up through-out the animal habitat, it's my job to make sure none of the animals' routines are disrupted.   These lights take on the most amazing shapes.  You'll see giraffes and elephants and more. 

The bears pay no attention to the what's happening near their area; they do, however, pay attention to the smells.  I'm thinking cinnamon is their favorite.  Ollie the Orangatan is going crazy because someone strung popcorn balls near his enclosure.  Not sure who it was, but Jasper (Ollie's main keeper) says he's gonna find out.  It won't be pretty.  I'm going to remind  Jasper that it's the season to forgive.

This year, near the cat area, Luke (He's the director and owner) has a man-made snow slide area.  The money we make from it will be for the new wolf habitat.  It's rather fun to watch Aquila, our black panther, run back and forth as kids on inner tubes slide down.   

As for me, well, when Holiday Homecoming, (I was the heroine in this November Heartwarming) ends, I start planning a wedding.  It will be at Grandpa's house, I think.  Which, of course, is still decorated for Christmas, right down to the barn.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is driving around to see the lights. Tell us about your town's holiday spirit for a chance to win a copy of A Minute on the Lips and Holiday Homecoming!

31 comments:

  1. You both have fantastic imaginations, making your creations come to life. Happy holidays.

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    1. Marion,
      I'm thinking you've seen Zoolights ;)

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  2. Wonderful holiday memories from the great characters in your books.

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    1. This was Cheryl's idea, and such a good one. I twas nice to sit down with Meredith again.

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    2. I had a great time doing it. I love Mark and Andi, but Jackie and Edna are too much fun. The whole gang comes back in The Bluebird Bet (March) because I hate to say goodbye.

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  3. I enjoyed this--it was especially good to hear from Andi. I got way attached to Tall Pines when I visited!

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    1. Yay! Yay, yay, yay! Both Andi and Mark show up in the next book, The Bluebird Bet. I missed them, too, but they're happy!

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  4. Thanks for the tour. I used to always go to Tucson's Zoo Lights. Each grade school here decorates a tree and every year is a different theme. I missed it last year. Will have to make the effort to go this year. And the very name: Tall Pines is intriguing.

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    1. Roz,
      I definitely don't like change. Here in Phoenix, they keep adding more but giving less. My favorite part was the dancing lights, where I could just sit, close my eyes, and listen. Now, they've moved it so it's across the water. Not as cool.

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  5. Querida, the small town in IN MY DREAMS, coming in January, is in southeast Texas on the Rio Grande. Decorations there are strings of pepper lights, Santa in cowboy boots, cactus strung with lights. In Astoria, where the creator of Querida lives, we have white lights and garland strung across the street from one globed street light to the other. Tall pine tree at a highway juncture is decorated with colorful lights and when you cross Young's Bay Bridge to Warrenton, a little scruffy tree sticks out from somewhere under the causeway, and someone has hung tinsel and a few ornaments in it. Spirit abounds!

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  6. Enjoyed the Christmas decorations...around here we have the ordinary ones...except for a huge oak that has lights on ever limb. It's really quite beautiful. I might just snap a picture for my blog just before Christmas!

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    1. Definitely do it! I love to look at Christmas lights.

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  7. How fun! Love Tall Pines and Scorpion Ridge! Thanks, ladies, for taking me back there for a bit this morning.

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    1. I just finished Yolanda's story, so you'll go back again.

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  8. Thanks for the great post, Andi and Meredith! Can you come decorate my place? I want those giraffes!

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    1. Hehehe, my husband does all the decorating. I'm lucky if I remember to hide the Elf on the Shelf

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  9. I forgot to say what Rula just did--I want those giraffes, too!

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  10. They are really on display at the zoo here in Phoenix.

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  11. I enjoyed these small-town Christmases and their lovely decorations! Thanks so much for sharing this fun post! We always look forward to driving around town to see the Christmas decorations and lights. One local business puts up thousands of lights in a drive-thru display. They also offer horse-drawn carriage rides through the lights. It is such fun to sip hot chocolate and enjoy the wonderful display!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, a drive through display would be so cool!

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  12. Our local park has a Christmas light display that we love to drive through! They've added more each year, and my favorite display is an animated carousel and Ferris wheel. They're both so pretty and colorful!

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  13. Oh, and I should have added--my 14 year old neighbor won a contest to design the newest display last year. She drew a little red pickup truck with a fresh cut tree in the bed. They took her design and created a light display. It was very sweet.

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    1. Christy, I wish you could post a picture of it. Sound beautiful.

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  14. Here's a link if you're interested:
    http://www.oglebay-resort.com/fol.htm

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