Christmas Shoppe Magic Revisited (Juliette Hill’s Christmas Shorts) by Juliette Hill
As 2013 comes to a close, this holiday season has reminded me of how every day should be treasured, and how very special all my family and friends are to me. Running late as usual with my Christmas cards, I opted to forego including our annual holiday letter, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t stop and remember some special moments that my husband and I experienced visiting with family and friends this year, not to mention taking a little downtime to recharge our body and spirit.
Taking in a performance at the National Theater with our Godson and nephew; watching the sailboats in Annapolis and enjoying a nice Birthday dinner; enjoying a week in Florida relaxing by the ocean; seeing the Parade of Ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando; visiting my Georgia relatives on the Fourth or July and touring the Tennessee Aquarium, not to mention the spectacular boat ride along the Tennessee River on the Gorge Explorer; touring a historic hotel in my mother’s hometown of Chatsworth; going to a Frederick Keys baseball game; going to a Nationals’ game; meeting and having brunch with fellow authors; and celebrating birthdays and holidays with family and friends were among the highlights of my year.
On the professional side of things, I accomplished much this year thanks to my friend, editor and publisher, Annie Acorn. Collaboratively writing under the pseudonym of Charlotte Kent we wrote, edited and published three full-length contemporary women’s fiction romances in our Captain’s Point Stories series, as well as two short stories. I had my first Christmas story collection, Finding Christmas Love and Other Stories published containing Finding Christmas Love, A Christmas Quilt, Country Cabin Christmas and A Christmas Kiss. Additionally, I completed Christmas Shoppe Magic – Revisited, the second in what will be my Christmas Shoppe Magic series. I’m working hard on multiple writing projects for 2014!
Personally, this has also been a year that has been a test of faith. Experiencing difficult times, hectic times, hard times and sad times, 2013 has been one of challenge and loss. We lost several special relatives this year, and whether young or old, taken by age, disease or unexpected tragedy, we grieve their loss deeply and words cannot express all the emotions felt but we have our memories of special times, shared experiences and treasured moments to remember.
Cherishing each day and expressing the gratitude and love that we feel for our family and friends allows us to appreciate what we have a tendency to take for granted in this busy and often stressful world of our everyday lives. A theme I try to thread through all my stories, one generation learning from another, values and traditions that are woven through our lives remind us everyday of the power of faith, family and friends.
Best wishes for the New Year!