Christmas Off the Beaten Path: Patricia Meredith

Christmas Off the Beaten Path: Patricia Meredith

Welcome to the final installment of my Christmas interviews with my fellow authors in the Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path anthology, available for purchase right here! If you missed the other interviews, find them here:

Ronnell Kay Gibson— “Those Who Stayed”

JPC Allen— “A Rose From the Ashes”

Sandra Merville Hart— “Not This Year”

Laurie Lucking— “Return to Callidora”

Michelle L. Levigne— “Crystal Christmas”

It’s time for me to answer the same questions I put to my cohorts, but if you’re local and available to hear the answers to some of these in person, I encourage you to head to the South Hill Branch of the Spokane Public Library TODAY at 2:00 to hear me read my short story in person! Copies of the anthology will also be for sale, so then you can get one signed by one of the authors and skip the shipping/handling. 🙂

Whether you can make it down today or not, I invite you to join me for a quick interview in response to some fun Christmas questions as we count down the last couple weeks until Christmas!

For those who haven’t had the chance to enjoy reading our anthology, let me give you a quick pitch regarding my featured story:

“Mary, Did You Know”Inspired by the song of the same title, this short story shares a mother’s memories of events leading up to and following that one holy night, revealing there’s really nothing new under the sun when it comes to motherhood.

You can learn more about it here. Now let’s get into the fun Christmas questions…

1. What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Although “Mary, Did You Know” is of course toward the top of the list, my very favorite is probably “Carol of the Bells,” which is one I’ve enjoyed ever since singing it in choir in middle school. I was an alto, and I always enjoyed hearing how all the parts came together into a whole.

2. Hot cocoa, pumpkin latte, or apple cider?

I was going to say pumpkin latte, but then JPC Allen reminded me of chais, so I’ll have to agree with her on that one!

3. What’s the first thing to go on your Christmas tree each year?

After the lights, it’s the new ornament we’ve made that year. I started a tradition with my kids to always make a family Christmas ornament each year, rather than spending money on buying new ones. This way, we have something commemorative of that year and our time together. (This has gotten much easier in the past two years as the kids have gotten old enough to really make something!)

4. If you could be any character in The Nutcracker, who would you be and why?

My daughter LOVES this ballet and we’ve watched almost every rendition of it. I’m looking forward to taking her to see it live next year! As far as characters go, I actually got to play Clara in my kindergarten version, and it was one of the highlights of my childhood. That’s probably when I got the theater bug…

5. When do you start watching Christmas movies and what’s your favorite?

Christmas movies must wait until Thanksgiving day, and we always watch A Charlie Brown Christmas first. I feel like it’s a good reminder “that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

6. What’s your favorite Christmas treat?

We call them snowball cookies, but I’ve also heard them called Russian tea cakes—the walnut powdered sugar balls that go down way too easily. I have to hide them from myself. 😉

7. Which version of the Grinch do you prefer? The book? The classic cartoon? Jim Carrey? Or the newest version?

I’ve always enjoyed the cartoon the best because I feel like it’s where Seuss got the chance to complete the rhythm and rhyme of the book‘s story where it was (I’m sorry to say!) somewhat lacking in the original book. Plus it has that classic Christmas song…

8. If you could be any ornament on the Christmas tree, what would you be and why?

Probably the ice skating Snoopy on a pond while the Peanuts gang sings “Christmastime Is Here”that or the polar bear soaking in a cup of hot cocoa. Both of those seem to capture Christmas memories for me!

9. What’s your favorite Christmas story?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is by far my favorite Christmas story. I love its many retellings, and I feel like it is a timeless tale of second chances and redemption. My favorite version used to be Muppet’s Christmas Carol, but I throughly enjoyed The Man Who Invented Christmas.

10. How do you keep Christ at the center of your Christmas?

I find it’s very helpful to have young kids in the house at this time of year. They help me to stay focused because they are constant reminders of what I want them to remember about Christmas when they’re older. Not Santa or presents—I want those family times shared together baking cookies, making ornaments and presents, telling the nativity story, reading Christmas books, singing carols, and enjoying experiences like sleigh rides and building snowmen to fill them with a glow when they’re adults.

11. Why did you write your story for Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path? What makes your story “off the beaten path”?

You’ll learn more about this in my blog next week, but for now I’ll say that as a young mother with a baby it often comforted me during those difficult moments to think that even Mary, mother of Jesus, must have experienced the same. The same poopy diapers, the same cries in the middle of chores, the same moments when her infant child taught her something about Gods love. One of my favorite Christmas songs is Mary, Did You Know for that very reason, and I realized I could consider those similarities through the lens of that song. The rest was all God. Every time I read my story I cry, because I swear most of it wasnt written by me, just through me.

12. If you could ask for one thing for Christmas this year, what would it be?

That my kids make unforgettable memories! 🙂

Thanks again for joining us at our table this week! We’d love to hear your responses to these questions in the comments below! I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a chance to know all of the authors included in the Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path anthology.

Remember, if you’re in need of a copy of this wonderful anthology, you can purchase a copy here, or if you’re in the Spokane area, join me for my reading TODAY, December 7, at 2:00 at the South Hill Branch of the Spokane Public Library. Signed copies will be for sale, without shipping/handling. 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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