Spotlight & Giveaway: Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs

Posted October 27th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 87 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs to HJ!

Hi Susan, Welcome back to HJ!

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say about you?

Susan WHe or she would probably say, “Give me a break, will ya! Stop putting me through the emotional ringer!” (I tend to force my characters’ backs to the wall, emotionally, to see what they’re made of. No boring people or wimps allowed.)

Let’s talk about your newest release: Candlelight Christmas

Yay! I was so excited to write this one. I feel as if I’ve watched Logan O’Donnell grow up from a spoiled high school jock into a wonderful (but lonely) single dad.

If you had to summarize Candlelight Christmas the readers here ….

CCA single father who yearns to be a family man, Logan O’Donnell is determined to create the perfect Christmas for his son, Charlie. The entire O’Donnell clan arrives to spend the holidays in Avalon, a postcard-pretty town on the shores of Willow Lake, a place for the family to reconnect and rediscover the special gifts of the season.

One of the guests is a newcomer to Willow Lake— Darcy Fitzgerald. Sharp-witted, independent and intent on guarding her heart, she’s the last person Logan can see himself falling for. And Darcy is convinced that a relationship is the last thing she needs this Christmas.

Yet between the snowy silence of the winter woods, and toasty moments by a crackling fire, their two lonely hearts collide. The magic of the season brings them each a gift neither ever expected—a love to last a lifetime.

Please tell us about the characters in your book

Logan O’Donnell had a baby out of wedlock when he and Daisy were just nineteen. They’ve tried raising Charlie together, but ultimately, Daisy had to follow her heart, and she’s made a new life with Julian. That left Logan determined to be the best dad he can be to Charlie, and that includes making some major changes in his life.

What scene did you have most enjoy writing? why?

In Chapter 17, Charlie and his friend Andre “borrow” a bobcat snowplow and inadvertently run over baby Jesus in the manger scene. It’s classic Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer mischief and “felt” like a stunt my stepson, Carter might pull.
I would say Charlie’s Christmas morning surprise was the most fun, but I cried too much, writing it.

Who would who cast in the role of hero and Heroine if your book was optioned for a movie?

Oh gosh, I’m so bad with names. For Logan, I like Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games–that blondish coloring, square-jawed, twinkly-eye thing gets me every time. Darcy is a girl jock. She could be played by an actress who is cute but not a raving beauty, with a smoking hot body she doesn’t bother to show off because she’s modest. I’m not sure such an actress exists. Readers! Help me out here!

What are you currently working on?

Getting my Christmas shopping done early! And I’m writing THE BEEKEEPER’S BALL. It’s the next book after THE APPLE ORCHARD in The Bella Vista Chronicles.

What other releases so you have planned for 2013?

CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS is it for me. It’s been such a busy year, and I am gearing up for my first grandchild, an adorable tiny girl due in December. I’m so excited I can’t think!

Where can readers get in touch with you?

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/susanwiggs I have such a funny, honest, big-hearted group of readers there. We have fun.

Thank you for stopping by HJ!

 

GIVEAWAY: $50 Amazon gift card

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Excerpt

Summer’s End

Logan O’Donnell stood on a platform one hundred feet in the air, preparing to shove his ten-year-old son off the edge. A light breeze shimmered through the canopy of trees, scattering leaves on the forest floor far below. A zip line cable, slender as a thread in a spider’s web, hung between the tree platforms, waiting. Below, Meerskill Falls crashed down a rocky gorge.

“There’s no way I’m going off this.” Logan’s son, Charlie, drew his shoulders up until they practically touched the edge of his helmet.

“Come on,” Logan said. “You told me you’d do it. The other kids had a ball. They’re all waiting for you on the other side, and I heard a rumor about a bag of Cheetos being passed around.”

“I changed my mind.” Charlie set his jaw in a way that was all too familiar to Logan. “No way. No W-A-Y-F.”

Logan knew the shtick, but he went along with it. “There’s no F in way, dude.”

“That’s right. There’s no effin’ way I’m going off this thing.”

“Aw, Charlie. It’s almost like flying. You like to fly, right?” Of course he did. Charlie’s stepfather was a pilot, after all. Logan crushed the thought. There were few things more depressing than thinking about the fact that your kid had a stepfather, even if the stepfather was an okay guy. Fortunately for Charlie, he’d ended up with a good one. But it was still depressing.

Charlie spent every summer with Logan. During the school year, he lived with his mom and stepfather in Oklahoma, a million miles away from Logan’s home in upstate New York. It sucked, living that far from his kid. Being without Charlie was like missing a limb.

When he did have his son with him, Logan tried to make the most of their time together. He planned the entire season around Charlie, and that included working as a volunteer counselor at Camp Kioga, helping out with the summer program for local kids and inner-city kids on scholarship. The zip line over Meerskill Falls was a new installation, and had already become everyone’s favorite feature. Nearly everyone.

“Hey, it’s the last day of camp. Your last chance to try the zip line.”

Charlie dragged in a shaky breath. He eyed the harness, made of stout webbing and metal buckles. “It looked really fun until I started thinking about actually doing it.”

“Remember how you used to be scared to jump off the dock into Willow Lake? And then you did it and it was awesome.”

“Hel-Zo. The landing was a lot different,” Charlie pointed out.

“You’re going to love it. Trust me on this.” Logan patted the top of Charlie’s helmet. “Look at all the safety features on this thing. The harness, the clips, the secondary ropes. There’s not one thing that can go wrong.”

“Yo, Charlie,” shouted a kid on the opposite platform. “Go for it!”

The encouragement came from Andre, Charlie’s best friend. The two had been inseparable all summer long, and if anyone could talk Charlie into something, it was Andre. He was one of the city kids in the program. He lived in a low-income project in the Bronx, and for Andre, it had been a summer of firsts—his first train trip, his first visit upstate to Ulster County, where Camp Kioga nestled on the north shore of Willow Lake. His first time to sleep in a cabin, see wildlife up close, swim and paddle in a pristine lake…and tell ghost stories around a campfire with his buddies. Logan liked the fact that at camp, all the kids were equal, no matter what their background.

“I kind of want to do it,” Charlie said.

“Up to you, buddy. You saw how it’s done. You just stand on the edge and take one step forward.”

Charlie fell silent. He stared at the waterfall cascading down the rocky gorge. The fine spray from the rushing cataract cooled the air.

“Hey, buddy,” Logan said, wondering about his son’s faraway expression. “What’s on your mind?”

“I miss Blake,” he said, his voice barely audible over the rush of the falls. “When I go back to Mom’s, Blake won’t be there anymore.”

Logan’s heart went out to the kid. Blake had been Charlie’s beloved dog, a little brown terrier who had lived to a ripe old age. At the start of summer, she’d passed away. Apparently Charlie was dreading his return to his mom’s dogless house.

“I don’t blame you,” Logan said, “but you were lucky to have Blake as your best friend for a long time.”

Charlie stared at the planks of the platform. “Yeah.” He didn’t sound convinced.

“It sucks, losing a dog,” Logan admitted. “No way around it. That’s why we’re not getting one. Hurts too bad when you have to say goodbye.”

“Yeah,” Charlie said again. “But I still like having a dog.”

“Tell me something nice about Blake,” Logan said.

“I never needed an alarm to get up for school in the morning. She’d just come into my room and burrow under the covers, like a rabbit, and she’d squirm until I got up.” He smiled, just a little. “She got old and quiet and gentle. And then she couldn’t jump up on the bed anymore, so I had to lift her.”

“I bet you were really gentle with her.”

He nodded. After another silence, he said, “Dad?”

“Yeah, bud?”

“I kinda want another dog.”

Aw, jeez. Logan patted him on the shoulder. “You can talk to your mom about it tomorrow, when you see her.” Yeah,, he thought. Let Charlie’s mom deal with the mess and inconvenience of a dog.

“Okay,” said Charlie. “But, Dad?”

“Yeah, buddy?”

“Kids were telling ghost stories in the cabin last night,” he said, picking at a thread in the webbing of his harness.

“You’re at summer camp. Kids are supposed to tell ghost stories.”

“Andre told the one about these people who committed suicide by jumping off a cliff above the falls.”

“I’ve heard that story. Goes way back to the 1920s.”

“Yeah, well, the ghosts are still around.”

“They won’t mess with the zip line.”

“How do you know?”

Logan pointed to the group of kids and counselors on the distant platform. “They all got across, no problem. You saw them.” The other campers appeared to be having the time of their lives, eating Cheetos and acting like Tarzan.

“Show me again, Dad,” said Charlie. “I want to see you do it.”

“Sure, buddy.” Logan clipped Charlie to the safety cable and himself to the pulleys. “You’re gonna love it.” With a grin, he stepped off the platform into thin air, giving Charlie the thumbs-up sign with his free hand.

His son stood on the platform, his arms folded, his face screwed into an expression of skepticism. Logan tipped himself upside down, a crazy perspective for watching the waterfall below, crashing against the rocks. How could any kid not like this?

When Logan was young, he would have loved having a dad who would take him zip-lining, a dad who knew the difference between fun and frivolity, a dad who encouraged rather than demanded.

He landed with an exaggerated flourish on the opposite platform. Paige Albertson, cocounselor of the group, pointed at Charlie. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

“Oh yeah, my only son. Oops.”

“Why is he staying over there?” asked Rufus, one of the kids.

“I bet he’s scared,” said another kid.

Logan ignored them. On the opposite platform, Charlie looked very small and alone. Vulnerable.

“Everything all right?” Paige put her hand on Logan’s arm.

Paige had a crush on him. Logan knew this. He even wished he felt the same way, because she was great. She was a kindergarten teacher during the school year and a Camp Kioga volunteer during the summer. She had the all-American cheerleader looks, the bubbly, uncomplicated personality that most guys couldn’t resist. She was exactly the kind of girl his parents would want for him—pretty, stable, from a good family.

Could be that was the reason he wasn’t feeling it for her.

“He’s balking,” said Logan. “And he feels really bad about it. I thought he’d love zip-lining.”

“It’s not for everybody,” Paige pointed out. “And remember, if he doesn’t go for it, the world won’t come to an end.”

“Good point.” Logan saluted her and jumped off, crossing back to the platform on the other side, where Charlie waited. The zipping sound of the pulley and cable sang in his ears. Damn, this never got old.

“Just like Spider-Man,” he said as he came in for a landing. “I swear, it’s the coolest thing ever.”

Charlie shuffled across the wooden planks of the platform. Logan reached for the clips to attach him to the pulley. “That’s gonna be one small step for Charlie,” he intoned, “one giant leap for—”

“Dad, hang on a second,” Charlie said, shrinking back. “I changed my mind again.”

Logan studied his son’s posture: the hunched shoulders, the knees that were literally shaking. “Seriously?”

“Unhook me.” Beneath the helmet, Charlie’s face was pale, his green eyes haunted and wide.

“It’s okay to change your mind,” Logan said, “but I don’t want you to have any regrets. Remember, we talked about regrets.”

“When you have a chance to do something and then you don’t do it and later on you wish you had,” Charlie muttered.

Which pretty much summed up Logan’s assessment of his marriage. “Yep,” he said. “At the farewell dinner tonight, are you going to wish you’d done the zip line?”

Logan unhitched himself. Charlie studied the cables and pulleys with a look of yearning on his face. Okay, Logan admitted to himself, it bugged him that Charlie had conquered the jump off the dock with his mom, but Logan couldn’t get him to push past his fear of the zip line. He had a flashing urge to grab the kid, strap him in and shove him off the platform, just to get him past his hesitation.

Then he remembered his own pushy father: get in there and fight. Don’t be a chickenshit. Al O’Donnell had been a blustering, bossy, demanding dad. Logan had grown up resenting the hell out of him in a tense relationship that even now was full of turmoil.

The moment Charlie was born, Logan had made a vow. He would never be that dad.

“All right, buddy,” he said, forcing cheerfulness into his tone. “Maybe another time. Let’s climb down together.”

The final dinner of summer at Camp Kioga was served banquet-style in the massive dining hall of the main pavilion. There was a spaghetti feed with all the trimmings—garlic bread, a salad bar, watermelon, ice cream. Awards would be given, songs sung, jokes told, tributes offered and farewells spoken.

The families of the campers were invited to the event. Parents arrived, eager to reunite with their kids and hear about their summer.

A sense of tradition hung like the painted paddles and colorful woven blankets on the walls. The old Catskills camp had been in operation since the 1920s. People as far back as Logan’s grandparents remembered with nostalgia the childhood summers they’d spent in the draughty timber-and-stone cabins, swimming in the clear, cold waters of Willow Lake, boating in the summer sun each day, sitting around the campfire and telling stories at night. In a hundred years, the traditions had scarcely changed.

But the kids had. Back in the era of the Great Camps, places like Camp Kioga had been a playground for the ultrawealthy—Vanderbilts, Asters, Roosevelts. These days, the campers were a more diverse bunch. This summer’s group included kids of Hollywood power brokers and Manhattan tycoons, recording artists and star athletes, alongside kids from the projects of the inner city and downriver industrial towns.

The organizers of the city kids program, Sonnet and Zach Alger, pulled out all the stops for the end of summer party. In addition to the banquet, there would be a performance by Jezebel, a hip-hop artist who had starred in a hit reality TV series. The show had been filmed at Camp Kioga, chronicling the efforts of the outspoken star to work with youngsters in the program.

Tonight, the only cameras present belonged to proud parents and grandparents.

Charlie was practically bouncing up and down with excitement, because he knew he was getting a swimming award. Andre was next to him as they took their seats at their assigned banquet table.

Paige, who stood nearby, handing out table assignments, leaned over and said, “Those two are such a great pair. I bet they’re going to miss each other now that summer’s over.”

“Yeah, it’d be nice if they could stay in touch. Tricky, though, with Andre in the city and Charlie off to an air force base in Oklahoma.”

“Must be hard for you, too.”

“I can’t even tell you. But…we deal. I’ll see him at Thanksgiving, and he’s mine—all mine—for Christmas.”

At the moment, Christmas seemed light-years away. Logan wondered how the hell he’d keep himself busy after Charlie left. He had his work, a thriving insurance business he’d founded in the nearby town of Avalon. If he was being honest with himself, he was bored stiff with the work, even though he liked helping friends and neighbors and made a good living at it.

Initially, the whole point of setting up a business in Avalon had been to enable him to live close to Charlie.

Now that Charlie’s mom had remarried and moved away, Logan was starting to think about making a change. A big change.

His sister India arrived to join in the festivities, and Logan excused himself to say hi. Her twin boys, Fisher and Goose, had spent the summer here. Charlie had had a great time with his two cousins, who lived on Long Island, where India and her husband ran an art gallery.

Red-haired like Logan and Charlie both, and dressed in flowing silks unlike anybody, India rushed over to her twin sons, practically in tears.

“I missed you guys so much,” she said, gathering them against her. “Did you have a good time at camp?”

“The best,” said Fisher.

“We made you some stuff,” said Goose.

“Real ugly jewelry, and we’re gonna make you wear it,” Fisher told her.

“If you made it, then I’m sure it’s beautiful,” she said.

“Uncle Logan taught us how to light farts.”

“That’s my baby brother,” India said. “Now, you need no introduction, but I’ll introduce you, anyway.” She indicated the woman behind her. “Darcy, this is my brother, who probably needs to be sent to the naughty corner, but instead, he’s a volunteer counselor.”

“And head fart lighter,” said the woman, sticking out her hand. “I’m Darcy Fitzgerald.”

He took her hand, liking her straightforward expression. She had dark hair done in a messy ponytail and a direct, brown-eyed gaze. Her hand felt small but firm, and she had a quirky smile. For no reason Logan could name, he felt a subtle nudge of interest.

“Are you here to pick up a kid?” he asked her. “Which one belongs to you?”

“None, thank God,” she said with a shudder.

“Allergies?” Logan asked.

“Something like that.”

“Then you came to the wrong place.” He gestured around the dining hall, swarming with excited, hungry kids. To him, it was a vision of paradise. He liked kids. He liked big, loud, loving families. It was the tragedy of his life that he was restricted to summers and holidays with his only child.

“Except for one thing,” said Darcy, turning toward the dais where the band was setting up. “I’m a huge Jezebel fan.”

“You must be. We’re a long way from anywhere.”

She nodded. “I came along for the ride with India when she invited me to pick up her boys. Thought it would be nice to get out to the countryside for a weekend.”

“So you live in the city?” he asked.

“In SoHo. I didn’t have anything thing else going on this weekend. Yes, I’m that pathetic friend everybody feels sorry for, all alone and getting over a broken heart.” She spoke lightly, but he detected a serious note in her tone.

“Oh, sorry. About the broken heart. Glad to hear you’re getting over it.”

“Thanks,” she said. “It takes time. That’s what people keep telling me. I keep looking for distractions. But hearts are funny that way. They don’t let you lie, even to yourself.”

“Not for long, anyway. Anything I can do to help?” He instantly regretted the offer. He had no idea what to do about someone else’s broken heart.

“I’ll spare you the details.”

Good.

Copyright © 2000–2013 Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All Rights Reserved.

87 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Candlelight Christmas by Susan Wiggs”

  1. Winnie Lim

    I’ve never had any surprise for Christmas. My family is not very big on Christmas. We usually just have a family dinner together and some gifts exchange.

  2. Karen H

    Not really a surprise, but one Christmas I spent days in the airport – airline strikes, storms- but finally made it home on time for Christmas.

  3. Jenn McElroy

    I don’t know that I’ve ever had any Christmas surprises. I love celebrating it as much as the next person, but I’m not much for surprises. Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  4. Margaret

    I can’t really think of any big surprises that have happened at Chris tmas (outside of being a kid and Santa showing up!) My family always celebrates Christmas Eve together, so I guess I could say that one of the best surprises over the past few years is how our event has grown to include close friends and extended family.

  5. Jan Hall

    When I was a kid we went out to dinner to allow time for Santa to visit our apartment. My folks had given him their key to get it. He locked the door when he left. My folks were very surprised. We had a hard time getting back into the apartment. All the kids were happy when we finally got inside to see that Santa had comes

  6. Crystal Young

    I haven’t had any surprises at Christmas. When I was three I had to have eye surgery and I was in the hospital just before Christmas and Santa was at the hospital and I got a doll (which I still have.) Not really a surprise but a great memory.

  7. Debra A.

    When my family got out of the military we didn’t have a job, it was close to Christmas and didn’t expect anything for my boys. But Christmas Eve there was a knock on the front door and “Santa” was there with presents for my boys. It was the best Christmas for us all. One I have never forgotten and have tried to “pass it on” as many times as I can. My boys are now grown and still remember that night. They were 12 and 8 yrs old.

  8. Annwitch

    The biggest Christmas surprise I ever got was a Tiffany necklace from my husband for our 25th anniversary. He couldn’t afford it on our anniversary, so he saved up and got it for Christmas.

  9. Sharlene Wegner

    I like to say my pregnancy with my daughter was my Christmas surprise. I found out right before Christmas after 7 years of trying. Best present ever!

  10. Marcy Meyer

    When I was a kid, it was when my sister and I got the Barbie dream house. It was so exciting to see it sitting there in our living room Christmas morning. As an adult, I don’t really think I’ve had any big surprises. It’s gotten to the point where we give specific ideas for gifts or pick them out ourselves. lol

  11. Ann Tracy

    When my better half bought me this really expensive ring and necklace even though I know he could not afford it he still got it for me

  12. Diane Sallans

    probably when I was a kid when I got my first Barbie and a whole bunch of clothes too (with a special carry case also of course)

  13. Marisa Veloccia

    My biggest surprise was when my family visited from Florida…without informing us that they were coming!

  14. cahmmerritt

    I pulled a newly purchased pregnancy test out of my stocking … did the test… found out we were pregnant – we’d been told it might not happen for us – but Christmas miracle – it did – Her name is Kenzie and she is now 16…

  15. Marcy Shuler

    I can’t recall any big surprise for Christmas. I like to give gifts more than get them

  16. Lily B

    Good surprise? When I got a rangers jersey from my sister and her husband, when I been wanting one for years and a snowflake necklace from my husband that I been eyeing all season. I had some sad surprised too 🙁 like my chinchilla passing away after taking a turn for the worse on christmas, but i try to stick to the happier memories.

  17. Cari White

    an HDTV that I hadn’t asked for. My hubby gave it to me a couple of years ago. I do most of the shopping for Christmas, so very few surprises.

  18. girlfromwva

    The biggest surprise was finding out i was pregnant with my daughter (who is now 27!) Gift wise, a white gold necklace my bf had made for me with my name on it.

  19. Mary Preston

    I’ve had invited guests bringing along their own guests. It made for one very awkward, and annoying, occasion. Surprise!!!

  20. felicia sidoma

    My big surprise was when my boyfriend was was in the army at the time. He was not going to be with me because he was going to out of town. Well he flew in to town just for Christmas Eve. It was great!!

  21. belindaegreen

    You asked: What is the biggest surprise you’ve ever had at Christmas?

    I received a new used car. Didn’t expect to get one because of the expense. My 2nd year of college I was able to live off campus and needed transportation. That Xmas my dad presented me with the car. It was an awesome gift!

    Belinda G
    belgre at comcast dot net

  22. Jennifer F

    I was surprised with a cruise to the Caribbean. It was amazing! Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. Sandy Xiong

    I honestly don’t know. Maybe getting a nook last year for Christmas because it had always been clothes? lol

  24. Kai W.

    Seeing snow for the first time when my family decided to go to the nearby mountain with my uncle, aunt and cousins for Christmas.

  25. Anita H.

    I would say my biggest surprise was the year my sister got me tickets to my local team. They’d been long sold out and I expected it would be years before I could see a game live but she had a few tricks up her sleeve and got a hold of two so I could go!

  26. Leslie Miner

    My late husband asked me to marry him. He bought a big fake ring and had that wrapped. After I opened it and figured out what was going on, then I got the real ring and the proposal.

  27. Rachel Brimble

    The best Christmas surprise ever is when my husband presented me with a second engagement ring after I lost my first when we were caught up in the 2010 French floods 🙂

  28. Laurie G

    When I was in 4th grade I received a blue Schwinn 5 speed bicycle! I was so excited. In fact I still have it and it works!

  29. Sharon

    I know you said Christmas but my husband and I exchange on New Year’s Eve. Two years ago he got me a Labtop! My last one was stolen and I was trying to figure when we could afford to get a new one. He surprised me with it! Based on how the last one was stolen this made it more than just a labtop to me!

  30. Sue G.

    A friend of our family, who is in the Army and stationed in Germany came home and surprised everyone. We hadn’t seen him in 6 years! Everyone was so excited!

  31. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    My biggest surprise was on the christmas after my 40th birthday, my sister-in-law bought me a charm bracelet that my niece and nephew picked out the charms for. It is very special to me. thank you for the chance.

  32. Kathleen O

    I have had lots of surprises over the years at Christmas, but the one I remember most was getting my first formal gown to wear to a new years party when I was just 17… It was green with gold braiding around the empire waist and it had this little drape on the back that made it a little bit daring… I loved that dress..

  33. BethRe

    a pair of black pearl earring and a black pearl ring from my husband. That year his father was diagnosed with cancer and he said right now things seem very black but one day we’ll be able to see the beauty in it
    just like these pearls

  34. Connie Fischer

    The best Christmas present I ever got was my now husband of 47 years. We married on December 17th and on Christmas morning, all I wanted was him! I still feel that way.

  35. Karen j

    A few years back my husband surprised me with all kinds of pretties for the house. I know it may not sound like much, you just have to know my hubby! I was convinced he didn’t buy my anything and I was really surprised when the gifts just kept coming! lol

  36. Meaghan

    The first year my husband and I were married he bought me everything on my list. I was completely shocked and thankful!

  37. Erica M

    When my sister and I were younger our Mom always asked us what we wanted for Christmas and our answer always was a PONY. So a few years ago she asked us what we wanted and we said again a pony, so that morning we were opening presents and we opened a box and she got us PONIES, OK so it was a My Little Pony, but hey she got us what we wanted, a pony !!

  38. Josette Schaber

    I met my husband at Christmastime and both of my kids began walking at Christmas. As far as gifts, the one gift that stands out is a kitchen set when I was 5.

  39. Autumn Kelley

    Okay……so 3 Chirstmases ago I was opening gifts and I open a ring box and there is sitting (what I think) a BEAUTIFUL engagement ring! I had been with him for 7 years at that point and was just so excited! I start freaking out in my head as I am just staring at this gorgeous ring…well I look at him and he is just sitting there, no getting down on a knee or anything…so doubt slips in my head. I then ask him…”Clay is this?” He responds “Is it what?” and I just stare at him…then it hits! “Oh GOD NO!” I blink, stand up, put it down, walk to our bedroom, close the door, go to the bathroom, turn on the shower….BALL MY EYES OUT!!!! Worst Christmas ever! He didn’t realize that in fact it does look like an engagement ring. He thought it was pretty and that I would like it. ***Happy to say that on 3/24/2013 he did finally propose to me and we will be getting married 5/10/2014 after being together for more than 9 years now.

  40. Jessica R

    Best Christmas surprise… The year I was on bed rest (8 months pregnant) and I was unable to go celebrate Christmas with my family that lived 3.5 hours away. Christmas morning there was a knock at my door…. my mom made the drive here (snow and all) just to see us on Christmas, BEST GIFT EVER.

  41. Andra Dalton

    My best Christmas gift by far has to be finding out I was pregnant with my two amazing children don’t think anything will ever top that feeling!!! Thanks for giveaway & good luck to all!!!☺

  42. Janice Hougland

    The biggest surprise I’ve ever had at Christmas was taking my new baby daughter home from the hospital. She was my second baby but wasn’t due for several weeks. I’d had the flu and was urping my guts out over the toilet when my water broke and labor started…we just made it to the hospital in time…she was born 40 minutes later! What a wonderful Christmas that was!

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