A Christmas To Remember is the new book from Jenny Hale which consists of the magic of childhood memories. I sat down with the author who is known for her well loved characters.
Q. A Christmas To Remember is available for readers to download onto their Kindle. What is the book about?
A. A Christmas to Remember is about nanny, Carrie Blake, who has worked so many years as a live-in nanny that she hasn’t ever had a chance to have her own life. She decides to take one final, temporary job watching the Fletcher children for Christmas. It’s here that she meets their father, single dad, Adam Fletcher, who has made himself a quite wonderful life, but he works so much that he doesn’t ever enjoy what he’s built for himself. As his family arrives for Christmas, including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving, elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realizes that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. She wants to make this his family’s best Christmas, but in doing so, she may have a quite memorable Christmas herself!
Q. Your new book is all about childhood memories. What is your favourite childhood memory?
A. I have so many wonderful memories of my childhood, but I suppose if I had to pick one, it would be when my parents would drive us to my elementary school on snow days. When it snows in Virginia, the neighborhood roads don’t get plowed sometimes for a few days. The school buses can’t run on unplowed roads (although cars usually can do okay) so schools are closed. My elementary school sat atop a hill that was so high that to a child, it seemed like a mountain. My mom would pile our sleds into the car and drive us there so that we could go sledding. We’d stay until we could hardly feel our fingers and toes. It was so much fun.
Q. Christmas is THE best time of the year. I’m in the UK whereas you’re in America. How do you think the festive period differs between the two?
A. To me, it’s actually quite similar. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is the food. Most of it is the same: We often have a big Christmas dinner, like in the UK (although some of us have our big meal a month before at Thanksgiving) and we eat turkey with cranberry sauce or a ham. The differences: We do like to mash our potatoes rather than roasting them. I ate a lot of Brussels sprouts in the UK. We have them, but I can’t say I’ve ever prepared them before! In the southern US, we usually make green beans that we stew all day with a ham hock which gives them a very salty flavor. What I’ve never had in the US are Christmas pudding or mince pies.
Q. If you could write a Christmas book with ANY author in the world, who would it be and why?
A. I think Harriet Evans would be fun! I love her stories.
Q. What’s the best part of Christmas for you and your family?
A. It’s hard to pick just one. Let me make you a list:
-baking cookies for Santa (Chocolate chip is his favorite.)
-watching the kids as they eye the new presents under the tree each morning
when I’ve wrapped new ones (I wrap on and off through December.)
-decorating the tree
-tracking Santa with the kids! We go to http://www.noradsanta.org and watch where he
is all over the world on Christmas Eve.
-making treats for our neighbors and watching the kids deliver them
-of course, seeing the kids’ faces on Christmas morning
Now for the quick fire round…
Christmas Eve or Boxing Day?
– We have no Boxing Day! Christmas Eve.
Father Christmas or Santa?
Mince Pies or Leftovers?
– Leftovers. (I’ve never had a mince pie! Are they any good?)
Jingle Bells or Santa Baby?
– Santa Baby.