Writing, Kids, and Regency Yuletide Tidbits
by Linore Rose Burkard
“Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul”
Writing historical romance doesn’t mean my head is always in the past–though sometimes my kids seem to think so. In fact, at times I think I have to prove to them that I am still involved in their daily lives. (Just cooking, cleaning, keeping the family calendar straight, paying bills, chauffering, and all that doesn’t do it, you know!) One year, I baked up piles of little cut-out cookies and constructed an Advent calendar using simple plastic snack bags (like sandwich bags, only smaller) and pinned them (using safety pins) in calendar fashion, to a felt background. I hung the finished “calendar” from a wooden dowel. Each day’s bag held four cookies–one for each child, as I only had four, then–and was numbered on the outside with a permanent marker. My calendar wouldn’t have won any “Good Housekeeping” awards for beauty, but oh, the children loved it! Since it was a visual reminder of the coming big day as well as a gustatory delight, it had a double impact. Add to that a simple daily reading from scripture or an appropriate book of our choice, and we had a wonderful family activity that brought meaning to all the bustle and busyness of the season. Importantly for me, it also “translated” into kid consciousness that I was still their mom, still involved with THEM. Kids can sense when your activity does NOT have to do with them, by the way. They never say, “Mom, you cook too much,” or, “Mom, you do too much laundry.” These things have to do with them. But they sure can say, “Mom, you write too much!”
And Christmastime gives me no break since I enjoyed researching Christmas during the Regency to such a degree that I eventually wrote a whole book about it. (Regency House Christmas: The Definitive Guide to a Remarkably Regency Yuletide!) The downside of having done this research, however, is that I’m always adding to my files, keeping the ebook alive with marketing during this busiest of seasons, and in short, missing the very season that I love! Or could be, if I let myself. I try not to let myself. And my kids don’t let me, either! Fortunately for them, we’ve started traditions that they hold me to, and I have to admit, I’m blessed that they do! By the way, another downside of researching an early 19th century Christmas is that I sort of wince when I see a Regency set during the holidays on the shelves of a bookstore. Most of them show big Christmas trees on the cover–wrong. Regency homes didn’t always have a tree at all and if they did, it was a table-top one, not the big tall type the Victorians popularized. More often they had the “Yule Log” and a hearty fire as a result, with wassail steaming over it, and a pudding wrapped in cloth in another pot. The regency didn’t have the commercialism, the huge number of presents, Christmas cards, or outdoor caroling parties. (“Carolers” were usually “the waits,” a special town band, who got remuneration for their efforts.) Instead, Christmas was more centered around the church calendar, and decoration was mostly live greenery with berries, including mistletoe. So many differences! Was anything the same? Yes. Joy at the birth of the Saviour. I wish you a Merry Christmas. May it be happy, healthy, warm and wonderful. And for a special treat, enjoy a historical romance! What better time to curl up with a good book and travel through time than during the holidays?
Thank you for this opportunity!
Linore Rose Burkard.com
Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul
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