I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
                                                               By Catherine Lanigan

             I was watching the “Countdown to Christmas” on Hallmark and one of the movie clips has the hero saying to the heroine, “I’ll bet you’re one of those people who plays Christmas music before Halloween.”  Her answer, “Of course.”

            My reply: “Guilty of that and more.”

            I love, love, love Christmas. I’ve been stockpiling my baking ingredients to make my thousand cookies for friends, my dozen or more fruit and nut filled cinnamon coffee rings that I distribute on Christmas Eve to my friends and family, for over a month. 

Slowly, week by weekend I slip another Christmas angel among my autumn decorations. And yes, there’s Frank Sinatra singing, “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas” wafting through the house.And this year, I’m more excited than ever because my HOME FOR CHRISTMAS is released in November.      

             Along with much too early decorating, ordering Christmas Cards, baking cookies, I not only watch very old Christmas movies---"Bell Book and Candle”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but I read or re-read Christmas romances. I gather up Heartwarming Christmas books old and new and indulge. Why not?  There’s nothing happier than a love story set amidst the magic of winter’s long nights and the sense of hope dancing in the air.

            My Prism Book Tour starts November 11th and extends till November 23rd.  I have extensive posts on the tour about the inspiration for this story---but here’s the nutshell version.

            When I was growing up here in my hometown of La Porte, Indiana,  part of our holiday tradition/ritual was to go to the Bernacchi Greenhouses and pick out our special poinsettias for friends and family. My mother was raised in Florida and she adored tropical flowers at Christmas. She not only had poinsettias but there were always blazing red Anthuriums on the dining room table. We had Paperwhites in the south windows and amaryllis in the living room. Christmas isn’t Christmas to me without lots of real flowers in the house.

When the greenhouses had to close a few years ago, it was like I experienced a death. My husband, Jed, nearly went into depression. 

Our wedding anniversary is on the winter solstice, December 21, and he spent days picking out different poinsettias for my birthday, December 11, our anniversary and Christmas. (He also liked keeping the house filled with flowers).

         To continue:   I was standing outside the greenhouses one day, reminiscing with my Aunt Sara, who had come to town from Oregon, and the story for Home for Christmas burst into my head, nearly full cloth. I saw the characters re-opening the greenhouse, decorating a monster Christmas tree and even the Golden Retriever puppies being born. (Mine were born on December 1 many years ago---but yeah…puppies at Christmas? Of course.)  New York based, Joy Boston’s story of losing her beloved Grandpa, discovering that he’d been lying to her about the financial health of the greenhouses, returning to Indian Lake and coming face to face with her first love, Adam Masterson, is one I hope you enjoy. And that you might even re-read next Christmas!

      I hope you’ll join me on my tour. 

            Because I’m always very curious about other people’s traditions, do you like fresh flowers at Christmas?  And what about the new hybrid poinsettias? Jingle Bells? Striped ones? I saw a mustard colored one in Southern Living Magazine a few years ago. I kept the magazine I loved it so much. 

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @cathlanigan and on Facebook for announcements of my Amazon card raffle on the tour and give me your comments and ideas. 

Merry Christmas to all and God Bless Us, Every One!



  1. I love Christmas too and started playing Christmas movies as soon as Halloween was over. I'm always picking up new ornaments. I got a Befana ornament once (love that folktale!)but can't find it, so hoping I'll run across another. The one I found wasn't quite what I wanted. I'd like to find a Catalonian Santa Claus, just because their tradition on it is so strange from our perspective, but I think I'd just like to have it, not hang it on the tree. I haven't got a pickle yet, but it's showing up a lot of places now. I like the new poinsettias, but am careful. We've got a cat that seems to chew on everything, so we don't want to take chances.

    1. You have "highered" my education. I do not know this Befana folktale and MUST know it right away. Too, I have to look up Catalonian Santa Claus. I have a Norwegian Santa I adore that was gifted to me from a friend 25 years ago who was a native of Norway. I used to have a huge Santa collection, but between children, grandchildren and nieces, etc. they have new homes now. And I have dozens of pickle ornaments. I love them. Lots of birds in nests. Spiders in webs are for wealth. The birds are happiness. I believe. I could be wrong.

    2. Befana is the Italian version. In Russia, she's called Baboushka, though she's pictured differently there. They are gift-givers in those cultures.

  2. I do like flowers at Christmas, especially amaryllis. I love the way you can almost see them grow. I tend to prefer the old-fashioned solid red poinsettias and amaryllis, although the white markings on some new ones make a nice contrast. Can't wait to read the story!

    1. Yes, yes, those purist colors, that red, makes everything so cheery during dark , short winter days. I hope you like the story! Your Christmas stories are on my nightstand...again!

  3. A lovely idea for a Christmas book, Catherine. Going home for Christmas is often a mixed blessing for some people, isn’t it? As always, I’m in awe of your organization and decorating skills. Would love to see that house. As for the baking....yum.

    1. Hi, Janice! C'mon over! I've got the first double batch of cookie dough in the fridge to bake tomorrow. Getting the ladder out to put up garlands. If I just get the lights on this week I'll be happy. AND they just revised the weather forecast--snow in 48 hours. That part, I'm not ready for! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I also love Christmas. I loved your book excerpt that you shared earlier too. This story sounds beautiful and I love the inspiration that lead to it!

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