BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Christmas Trees - Live or Fake? A Guest Post by Jessica Scott & An iPad Mini Giveaway

The party continues! I have a guest post from Jessica on Christmas rituals. We all have them; well, we all have rituals for holidays that we celebrate whichever holiday that may be. I could relate to this one as my father and mother's Christmas tree rituals were different from later Christmas tree rituals of my father and stepmother.

Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of OIF/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.

She's pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

Find Jessica Online:

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Favorite Christmas Rituals

My husband and I spar every year over something incredibly foolish. Every year, he walks by the fake Christmas trees and says something to the effect of “see? 100$ and we never waste money on a dead tree again”.

And my response is pretty straightforward: “We need a real tree at Christmas”.

Now, my response really doesn’t make a lot of sense. There is no ritual in my family surrounding real trees – at least not one that I’m going to publicly announce anyway. But my grandmother had a fake tree and we always had a real tree. And Christmas was almost invariably at our house, with the tree decorated with pictures of us as we’ve grown up, a couple of beaten up Santas from the 70s and the fire in the wood stove keeping us all toasty.

Nothing about those memories requires a real tree. And yet? I’m not having a plastic tree. It’s completely irrational. Real trees require watering, they have the needles all over the house. They’re a pain in the rear to dispose of. And they never look like they do in the pictures from everyone else’s house or magazines.

So what gives? Where does this insistence on a real tree come from?

I honestly don’t know but there’s something about going through the process of picking it out every year. About tying it to the roof my ancient explorer and hoping we make it home without killing anyone. About swearing and cursing while you try to get the bottom even and into the stand.

And finally, about standing it up and decorating it with pictures of the kids from each year and pictures of the pets, past and present. There’s something about that ritual – as much headache as it involves – that’s special, that I want to preserve.

So my husband will continue to complain about real trees and I’ll continue to put one up. And our kids will have to figure out what holiday rituals they want to keep or give up.

What are your holiday rituals?

*Click here and here for excerpts.*

Spotlight on "Home for Christmas" by Jessica Scott & JoAnn Ross

All Major Patrick MacLean wanted was Christmas with the woman and child who were his family in everything but name. But Captain Samantha Egan has come back from the war a different woman than the one who left - and she doesn't know if she can love him anymore.

But neither of them counted on the determination of a little girl they both call daughter and if Natalie has her wish, her parents may have no idea what's coming for them. It's going to take Christmas miracle to bring these two wounded warriors back from the edge of a broken heart.

Publisher: Jessica Scott 
Series: Coming Home #5.5 
Format: ebook 
Release Date: October 22, 2014 
Buying Links:  Amazon* | Kobo | Google Play | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.



Jessica is giving away an iPad Mini to celebrate the release of "All I Want for Christmas Is You". Open internationally, where available. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. We had a live tree when I was growing up--went out in the woods and cut it down every year (a $1 fee from the Forest Service!). But for most of our married life we've had an artificial tree. I don't know what my kids will do!

    1. I do an artificial tree; less maintenance and easier on my allergies.


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