For the fourth time, a group of Harlequin Heartwarming authors is opening the holiday season with an anthology, Heartwarming Holiday Wishes, based in beautiful Christmas Town, Maine. Our theme this year–using the term loosely because there are ten of us; we go every which way!–stems from a magic stocking that made an appearance in last year’s anthology, A Heartwarming Holiday. We’re grateful to Coffee Time Romance for having us to visit. Since we’re big into stockings this year, and always big on the magic of the holidays, we thought we’d talk about how we’d fill stockings for people who are special to us. If we give you some good ideas along the way, we’re happy for that, and we’d welcome any ideas you have for us, too! We’ll be here for three days, from October 10 through October 12, so we hope you stop by and see what material’s added each day. So, without further ado–oh, man, I almost forgot! We have a giveaway, too! Comment to enter–just one entry person over the three days–and you’ll be in the running for a virtual stocking full of Harlequin Heartwarming romances! So, NOW without further ado, let’s fill some stockings.
Christmas Stocking for a toddler
Anna J Stewart, The Christmas List
There are times I purposely choose things out of my comfort zone just to challenge myself. I’ve done just this with the idea of putting together a Christmas stocking for *gasp* a toddler. And just to up the stakes, I made it a toddler boy. Disclaimer: I don’t have kids. I was also an only child so my knowledge of little boys is about as limited as my experience with nuclear fusion. That said, one of my best friends has gorgeous and super-smart twin two-year old grandsons who, when I see pictures of them, just brighten my day. So, using my imagination along with Callum and Sebastian to come up with a few suggestions. Here we go.
Choose a fun, toy themed stocking (I wouldn’t necessarily choose a movie or story character unless they’re already obsessed, which they could be!). Snowmen, Santa, oooh, trucks. I bet a stocking with a truck would be a huge hit. Now, hit the toy section of your favorite store and be on the lookout for MegaBlocks and chunky Legos (that they can’t choke on. Stepping on them is a whole other topic and a necessary evil apparently). Go gender neutral when you can and a great place to check is IKEA. MatchBox cars, I’d lean toward unusual ones, will entertain for hours (as will the packaging it comes in no doubt). And can any Christmas stocking be complete without some bubbles? I know I’d like some. Hmmm…Oh, and don’t forget a couple of books. Board books are ideal for this age level and can take a beating. Personally, I’d stay away from the candy since they’re already going to be overloaded on candy canes and chocolate kisses. Or maybe that was just in my house. Mmmm….candy canes. Is it Christmas yet?
And, along those gender neutral lines, I hesitate to say these are all “boy” suggestions. Personally, I LOVE Legos and toy cars, so feel free to use these ideas for little girls, too. You never know if you’re encouraging a budding architect or car mechanic.
Visit Anna’s website, www.authorannastewart.com, for all her social media links, information on her books and writers’ workshops, and to sign up for her newsletter (she does giveaways in every issue!). Anna also runs a content editing business for authors and is looking to expand her client list! More info on her website under extras.
Next up is Cari Lynn Webb, author of Jingle Bell Love.
Stocking Stuffers for the Teenager
Cari Lynn Webb, Jingle Bell Love
Any day living with a teenager can be surprising. There are days I like surprises and other days I wish for a little bit more calm in our house. A teenager’s mood I’ve discovered is often unpredictable like this morning my daughter was fine, almost pleasant. Then she went upstairs, picked up her backpack and returned in a foul mood and I’ve yet to determine what happened during that short five-minute trip. Teenagers can be fickle, frivolous, and funny all within the same hour. Therefore, I think the best stocking stuffers for the teenager are the ones that encompass a teenager’s ever-changing mood.
- Daily Essentials: Hand sanitizer, body wash, body spray, lip balm, nail polish, make-up, deodorant, razors, toothbrush (All those things to ensure our teens at least look and smell good ?)
- Fun items: Movie ticket gift cards, ear buds, deck of playing cards, sunglasses, custom water bottle, photo frame, colored pens and journal
- The Unexpected: The book she mentioned in passing as we rushed through the book store, the 5-pound bag of Swedish Fish I told her to put back in the grocery store, the Minion fuzzy socks she discovered in the department store (and the ones I told her that she didn’t need) or the Harry Potter necklace and earrings (because-and I quote-mom, you can never have too much Harry Potter stuff).
- Something that brings back the inner kid and reminds my teens to believe in the spirit and magic of the season: snow globe, ornament from a favorite movie of the year (on our list this year: Beauty & The Beast, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy), inspirational charm bracelet or even a little stuffed animal that makes them say, ah, so cute. (And on the days I’m not in line a for a hug, at least that little stuffed animal will get one ?)
Here’s hoping your holidays are filled with laughter and love!
Cari Lynn Webb
Filling a Christmas Stocking For a Special Couple
Tara Randel, The Christmas Window
Filling Christmas stockings can be fun, and at times, challenging. You want to make sure you get just the right balance of fun mixed in with the holiday spirit. As an author, I love it when I can add books to my gift list, but to fill an entire stocking? Now that’s a dream come true for me.
I talked to some friends of mine, a couple in their early thirties, with four young children. When I asked them what kinds of books they’d like to find on Christmas morning, I had to wait for the laughing to stop before I got an answer.
“Read? Really? With four children in the house?”
Did I mention the children’s ages range from seven years to seven months?
So you can see why they found my question humorous. But once we continued the conversation, I determined the type of reading material they would enjoy. Both were on the same page about reading nonfiction. With limited time to enjoy a book, they both wanted something with substance, so they could ponder the contents during the day.
The father/dad loves reading about Pioneers of the Faith. To him, his dream authors would be A.W. Tozer or Andrew Murray.
The wife/mother enjoys books about prophecy. There are many interesting things going on in the world right now and these events are right up her alley.
Both agreed they like books on prayer. Raising a family today takes lots of prayers so they’re on the right track.
So I’m thinking that not only do I have an idea of what kinds of books to fill this stocking with, I also need to add a coupon for free babysitting so this wonderful couple can indeed get some reading done. Hey, anything to keep the Christmas spirit alive year round!
Come back tomorrow to see how more of us would fill stockings! Don’t forget to comment!
This holiday season, warm your heart with 10 connected sweet, clean & wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 10 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today bestselling authors.
This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, Maine, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually.
A Heartwarming Holiday will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1000 pages.
Santa’s Secret Heart by Anna Adams
Merry Christmas Carol by Melinda Curtis
Miracle on Joyful Street by Liz Flaherty
Finding His Fiancée by Christmas by Cheryl Harper
The Christmas Window by Tara Randel
Mistletoe and Holly by Leigh Riker
Gingerbread Girl by Carol Ross
The Christmas List by Anna J Stewart
A Case for Christmas Magic by Amy Vastine
Jingle Bell Love by Cari Lynn Webb
Be sure to join our Facebook page! We have lots of fun stuff going on! And don’t forget to comment to be entered in the giveaway. Stay tuned for more tomorrow and the next day!
- About the Author
- Posts in the Past
Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and doing whatever else she wants to. She and Duane live in the old farmhouse in North Central Indiana they moved to in 1977. Theyâ€™ve talked about moving, but reallyâ€¦30-some yearsâ€™ worth of stuff? Itâ€™s not happening!