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Happy Girls' Day!

I realize it’s not a traditional hinamatsuri photo, but I couldn’t help it, the cat was so cute! Happy Girls’ Day!

The 12 Authors of Christmas – Tracey Bateman

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.19.2007

Continuing the 12 Authors of Christmas, here’s author Tracey Bateman!

View the tour, including Rachel Hauck and Tricia Goyer’s authors, here.

About Tracey:

Tracey Bateman has published over 30 titles with 900,000 books in print. She lives in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks with her husband and four children, where family and church are key components of everyday life. She is living her dream of being a fulltime writer and attributes this miracle to the grace and love of God. She loves to encourage new writers to dream big.

Words to live by: He leads me beside still waters: He restores my soul.

Tell us about your first Christmas memory?

I was four years old and as the youngest of seven brothers and sisters, I was merely a an innocent by-stander in their search for hidden Christmas presents. (smile) The guilt is probably what makes me remember that Walking Doll I got that year.

Growing up, did your family have Christmas traditions? Tell us how you
incorporated them into your family life. Or, how you created new ones.

Visit for the answer to this one! I just blogged it there!

When do you put up your tree? Describe the decorating at your house.

We have a seven and a half foot tree and we put it up Thanksgiving Weekend. It used to always be Thanksgiving night, but since we've started being the house for the family dinner, we've sort of pushed it off to Friday and Saturday. We use poinsettas and Santa and a nativity. We have a countdown to Christmas that the kids do starting December 1rst. Outside, we only do hanging lights in the front of the house. I don't like a lot of outside decorations like blow up Santas etc. I am seriously considering buying an outside nativity for next year.

What is your favorite Christmas song or album? (Feel free here to talk about choirs or other musical things you participate in during Christmas.)

I love The Carpenters Christmas. And Amy Grant.

Relive your childhood Christmas mornings for us.

Nothing spectacular-- early morning rising, Mom and Dad were in the kitchen getting the turkey ready to go into the oven. (The really exciting thing was the day before when the turkey stayed in the bathtub all day). We'd start opening presents. Traditions started changing when I was around 10 years old when my sisters started moving away. We still had mom and dad in the kitchen and present openings, but it was less chaotic. I remember one year I saved all my presents up to open all together. LOL It was weird and I was the last one finished. Ahh I relished the envy in my siblings' eyes as I slowly opened each one. Naw, they didn't care, but I pretended they did.

Tell us about your Christmas setting--do you have a white Christmas?

That's really iffy in South Central Missouri. We hope every year, but I don't remember too many. If it's really cold and we can build a fire Christmas Eve, I'm happy.

It's Christmas Eve… Describe your day and evening.

Oh boy. Christmas Eve we have the family over for gumbo and treats and we usually open presents from Grandma etc. So I cook all day between The Christmas Eve get together and preparing for the next day. Then after the kids are in bed, we wrap presents while watching It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas and A Christmas Story---in that order and that's how long it takes. I get to bed about 3 am on Christmas morning and the kids always wake up about four and sit around the tree with just the Christmas lights on and wait until Six when they're allowed to come into our bedroom. They've done this every year. We don't put any presents under the tree until after they go to bed on Christmas Eve, so when they wake up it's like Santa was there. None of them believe in Santa anymore, so I've offered to start putting them under the tree as they're bought and wrapped, but the kids are having none of that! Tradition must stand!!

Confession time. Shop on line or at the mall?

Both. And Walmart.

Christmas grows more and more commercial every year. Setting the
hustle and bustle aside, what does Christmas really mean to you?

It really does mean a lot of commercial things, PLUS family and Jesus. I think as Christians, we can have it all. We remember Jesus and his birth every day, just like we remember his crucifixion and resurrection every day. Christmas is a holiday to be enjoyed and celebrated. I mix the traditions.

It's Christmas day… what's for dinner? Do you make cookies or other
traditional foods?

Christmas cookies are for Christmas Eve in our house. Turkey, ham, rice dressing, stuffing, mashed potatoes, seven layer salad, (Lordy I'm getting hungry), yams (which I hate, but a couple of people like--we throw more away than get eaten), Greenbeans cooked with sauteed onions, mushrooms and butter. :).

Fruit salad, pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate pie, lemon pie, cheesecake, cake. mmmmmm

What are your plans for this season?

This year I planned my schedule so that I could be off for the most part in December. So I'm enjoying my house and my kids and my husband. I'm relaxing for the most part and really seeking God about His plans for me in the coming year. I've worked nonstop for several years now and I think it's time to settle in and slow down and really begin the process of taking my writing level up a notch and maybe write something a little different. I just don't know. But there's a lot of reflection going on in my brain even as I prepare for Christmas and enjoy the season itself.

Any final thoughts on Christmas?

Just enjoy it. Eat a lot, give of yourself because that's truly what you have to offer, and remember that Love is why Jesus came to earth. God has been teaching me about walking in love and becoming less selfish with me. I encourage everyone to find a family to adopt for Christmas and share time and finances as you can. For me, that gives me such pleasure. Even if it's just buying a turkey or one gift per person. You'll be amazed at how awesome it feels!!
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts on Christmas
Love Lots
Tracey Bateman

Camy here: Thanks for sharing, Tracey!

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