The aroma of hot chocolate and peppermint sticks, a cushioned window seat and a new book of my own – not a library book. As a child, that’s all it took to make my Christmas holiday perfect.
I clearly remember running down the stairs of my parents’ house on Christmas morning and sorting through the glorious pile of wrapped presents to find my new book. There was no need for any coy box-shaking to hear how the contents rattle, or guessing about an oddly-wrapped cylindrical shape. The gift paper could be red or green, snowflakes or Santas but a book always felt like a book. I always looked for this package and opened it first.
Giving books to others is even more pleasurable than receiving books. I enjoy figuring out someone’s reading habits: Do they like fiction or non-fiction? historical, contemporary, fantastical or factual? Print books or eBooks?
My most special Christmas book is not a book that I gave, or that I received. One year, my friends and family were traveling and I spent Christmas alone. The house was quiet; the Christmas tree stood glowing in the corner. There were no parties to attend; no guests to wait on. I was all alone. I picked up a pen and started sketching out a novel that I had been thinking about for a long time. I started to write the first draft of THE EXPLORER’S CODE which last summer became my first published novel!
So even if you don’t receive or give a book this holiday season, you could always consider writing one. It might turn out to be the best holiday book ever!