Holiday time can be such a mixed bag for some people. The smell of peppermint cocoa can stir up sweet cozy memories of Christmases past for some…and pain and depression for others. And what about the expectation level that seems to escalate in December? Whether it’s looking forward to a picture-perfect Christmas…or just hoping a prodigal child makes it home in one piece, we sometimes set ourselves up for disappointment.
Having grown up in a “broken home” and having raised children who have struggled with things like addiction, I’m familiar with the heartbreak that often accompanies the holidays. And yet…I love Christmas! Call me a sentimental optimist, but I can tear up over a Christmas carol; I enjoy decorating my home; and I even like baking sugar cookies from scratch. I know this is because I appreciate the true reason for the season.
Not having grown up in a traditional or churched home, I didn’t find God until I was a teenager—and in that moment I went from bleak darkness to dazzling light. I still remember the complete awe I felt at my “first” Christmas, a few months later, when I finally understood that God had sent his beloved son into the world just because he loved us so much! Why shouldn’t we celebrate!
So now…even when the holidays throw me a curve, which happens a lot, I still love Christmas. I love that it reminds me how God sent his son to pour out his love and grace—freely and to everyone. It’s a celebration of second chances for all! And I suppose it’s the reason I’ve written more than a dozen Christmas books over the years.
Melody Carlson, author of The Christmas Shoppe, Christmas at Harrington’s and more…
Melody Carlson published her first book in 1995 and she has been writing prolifically ever since. To date, Melody has published over 200 books, making her one of the top 20 most prolific authors of all time. With total sales of over 5 million her award-winning books include: Homeward, Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon; Limelight; the Diary of a Teenage Girl series; the True Colors series; and the Carter House Girls series.
In her professional life, Melody has worn many hats: from pre-school teacher to political activist to senior editor. Currently, she writes full-time, and freelances from her home. She has two grown sons and lives in Sisters, Oregon with her husband, Chris, and Audrey, her yellow lab. They enjoy skiing, hiking, and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.