WHEN would you spend Christmas?

How awesome is this time of year?  The decorations.  The look on a child’s face when they rip into the first gift. The FOOD. The excitement. Did I mention the food? The feeling of snowflakes dancing on your tongue..

OK– so that last one came from deep inside my wish-well. A white Christmas ain’t generally in the cards for we Southerners.  While we DO cross our fingers…We DON’T hold our breath. Ususally, snow is  one those elements you have to add in mentally.


Now when I try to conjure the perfect Christmas in my head–somehow it comes out looking like a 70’s nightmare. Huge bulbs on the tree. Fake-looking tinsel. Mind-blowing, God-awful matching Christmas sweaters.  You blend A CHRISTMAS STORY and NATIONAL LAMPOON’s CHRISTMAS VACATION–you’ve got my childhood Christmases. And though tacky by today’s standards… o..m..g., it was a beautiful, wonderful, simpler time.

However–being the history geek that I am–if I could actually choose the time period I’d like to visit for one Christmas Day, it would be way–WAY further back than a couple of decades.  (all right, no cracks about my age…)



What era comes to your mind when you think of the ideal Christmas?


A Royal Christmas Tree

A Royal Christmas Tree

I admit, I’m torn.  I write novels about Time Travel. {{And–SQUEE–btw– I actually GOT INTO THE FINALS OF  Brenda Drake’s PITCHWARS!!  I know, I can’t believe it either! Heather Webb–the phenomenal author of the beautiful, upcoming novel– BECOMING JOSEPHINE [Plume/Penguin 2014] picked me!!  Well, ok. So she actually fell in love with THROUGH THE DIM–my novel about a group of  teens who travel to medieval England to save one girl’s mother from a vindictive rival time-walker. Either way, I am honored beyond belief. Heather is soo flipping cool, and though she’s gonna be a tough mentor, I say BRING ON THE PAIN, BABY!  Anyhoo- keep your eye out for the contest results on the fabulous Brenda Drake’s website.  {{And wish us luck!!}}

As I was saying. I write about time travel. And spend a LOT of time thinking about the choices one could make if offered one day in the past. Since we’re on the cusp of the holidays, I started wondering where –if I could pick any TIME and place–WHEN would I spend Christmas??  I’m torn, to tell the truth.

An Ideal Victorian Family Christmas

An Ideal Victorian Family Christmas


Caroling in the Village

Caroling in the Village

On one hand–the late Victorian/Early Edwardian era is just the epitome of Christmas in most people’s imagination. Elaborate celebration and decoration had basically fallen out of style– in England, at least–until Queen Victoria made Christmas cool again. Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert, was German. And those German’s have always done Christmas right. Once the royals began celebrating with flair, the rest of the population followed and those normally-repressed Victorians went all out. When you see people dressed up in cloaks and bonnets, crooning and wassailing their butts off, you can thank good Queen Victoria for that.

Christmas Revels at King Henry VIII's court

Christmas Revels at King Henry VIII’s court

My other choice–of course–has to be the Christmas Court of King Henry VIII (in his early–married to Catherine of Aragon–years.) Don’t you just KNOW those folks partied?  And the clothes! Ensconced in velvet and pearls. A chunk of peacock in one hand and a marzipan treat in the other?  THAT’s how you celebrate Christmas, my friends..

Henry II: It's heavy. Eleanor, you've given me my tombstone.

Henry II: It’s heavy. Eleanor, you’ve given me my tombstone.

Though my novel depicts the 12th century during the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard the Lionheart, I have to say it wouldn’t be my first choice in which to spend Christmas. Unless you were a noble, chances are your Christmas would be dirty, smelly, and it was highly unlikely that anyone would need to undo their belt from being too stuffed.   No–this girl likes her comfort such a bit too much to do anything but view that time through pages and hundreds of years…

I’d love to hear your Christmas time-travel wish. If you could visit for one day at any TIME in the past… WHEN would you spend Christmas??



About Janet

I'm one of those girls who love books so much, I couldn't stand it till I wrote one of my own. I'm dreaming of the day when someone a LOT smarter than me will invent a real time machine. I have a wonderful hubby and two amazing boys, who--over the years--have ruined me forever for sappy chick-flicks. Now, I'm all about the fantasy-action. Thor...mmm... And GoT double mmm! I'm also an author with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt...INTO THE DIM & SPARKS OF LIGHT (coming 8/1/2017). I am repped by the phenomenal Mollie Glick of Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
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