I grew up celebrating Hanukah, I’ve always been lucky to have friends and family who celebrate other faiths and traditions. We enjoy lighting our menorah, spinning the dreidel and eating fried foods like latkes and donuts in our own home. We also have fun at my best friend’s house every Christmas Eve listening to carols, eating party fare and exchanging presents. Like me, my kids grew up having the privilege of seeing, and respecting, many different traditions.

While Hanukah is not one of the major Jewish holidays, celebrating it as a family is always a delight. The menorah, a nine-candle holder, is used to hold the burning candles; we light one for each of the eight nights and add one more the next until the entire candelabra is burning bright. The ninth candle, the Shammas, is used to light all of the other candles. I’ve always given my kids eight presents each and even now, as adults, they still get a present for each night – some may be as small as a scratch off lottery ticket. The most beautiful aspect of all though is watching my daughter and her husband, and my son and his girlfriend, standing around the table as their father chants the prayers and kindles each light; even with everyone’s busy schedule we still manage to have at least of the eight nights together.

By the way, I often use the all-inclusive “Happy Holidays” greeting. While I am never offended by specific holiday greetings such as Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukah, I don’t always know what an individual celebrates. In December alone, some of the holidays observed are: Ashura, Las Posadas, Bodhi, Hanukkah, Festivus, Yule, Santa Lucia Day, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve…whew. And that doesn’t even begin to include January’s festivals.

I included a Christmas celebration in my novel Courage of the Heart, it starts Christmas Eve with an Episcopalian church service and follows through with the family celebration and dinner on Christmas Day. I will give away a .PDF copy of Courage of the Heart to one person who shares a favorite holiday tradition in the comments below – please be sure to include your email as well. The winner will be announced no later than midnight on December 19th.

Whatever you do celebrate, I hope you have a holiday that fills your heart with joy.

Each participating author has a contest on their blog with so many treats up for grabs it’s enough to make every reader’s Christmas just that much happier!

Participating Authors (Click name to visit site)

Chelle Cordero 
Markee Anderson:
Willa Edwards:
Siobhan Kinkade:
Naughty Night Press:
Erica Pike:
Stephanie Dagg:
Kelly Jamieson:
Lee Brazil:
Sue Brown:
Harper Kingsley:
Shannon West:
Ambrielle Kirk:
Victoria Adams:
Elyzabeth M VaLey:
Chelsie Shakespeare:
Daryl Devore:
Laura Tolomei:
Regan Walsh:
Cynthia Arsuaga:
Marguerite Butler
Annette Snyder:
Brenda Wood & Steve Tindle:
Blaire McDowell:
Stephanie Campbell
Z.A. Maxfield:
Lisa Worrall:
Dominique Eastwick:
Jianne Carlo
Shermaine Williams:
Heather Boyd:
Grace Wen:
Mary Montage Sikes:
A.J. Jarett:
Mickie Sherwood:
Jenna Jaxon:
J.L. Campbell:
Sam Cheever:
Frances Paul
Pink Squirrel Press:
PD Singer:
Juniper Bell
Candice Butler:
Jewel D’Arcy:
Tonya Callihan
Sloan Parker:
Randy Atwood:
Drea Becraft:
JBP Book Reviews:
Avril Ashton:
Cassandre Dayne:
Dakotah Black:
D.H. Black :
Jean Joachim
Kharisma Rayne
Erotic Diaries
Havan Fellows:
Robin Badillo:
Elizabeth Black:
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy:
Sandra Sookoo:
Karenna Colcroft:
Jambrea Jo Jones:
Ruth J. Hartman:
Liz Crowe:

Lucy Felthouse:
Kerry Adrienne:
Desi  Moon:
Ella Jade:
Mari Carr:
Coffee Beans & Love Scenes:
Raine Delight:
Kellie Kamryn:

Rose Anderson:
Daisy Dunn:
Casea Major:
Alexx Miller:
D.C. McMillen:
Abby Hayes:
Tamara Monteau:
Cathy Greenfeder:
Julia Barrett:
Lorelei Confer:
Ju Dimello:
Naomi Bellina:
Kallypso Masters:
Lyric James:
Lisa Fox:
Kathleen Grieve:
Cari Quinn:
Elizabeth Noble:
Wendi Zwaduk:
Megan Slayer:
S.J. Frost:
Anne Holly
Dakota Trace:
Fiona McGier:
Amelia James:
Kaily Hart:
Dawne Prochilo:
Secret Cravings Publishing:
Jesse V. Coffey:
Pender Mackie:
Stacey Kennedy:
Lisa Kessler:
Clarissa Yip
Rosalie Lario:
Anne Barwell:
Trinity Blacio:
Barbara Westbrook :
Wendy Smith:
Nina Pierce:
Stacy Juba:
Kiru Taye:
Lily Sawyer:
W Lynn Chantale:
Laura Kaye:
Natalie-Nicole Bates :
Xandra James
Jane Wakely:
Ursula Whistler:
Ana Hart:
Ashley Marie Lucas
Casey Crow:
Victoria Blisse:
Selena Kitt:
Tammy Dennings Maggy:
Sara York:
Dana Pratola:
BL & Rawiya:

Gabrielle Evans:
Diane Alberts:
Nicole Zoltack:
Cindy Jacks:
Sara Trimble
Roxanne Rhoads:
Jodi Redford:
Bianca Sommerland:
Lexxx Christian:
Simply Erotic Reviews
Cassandra Dean:
Kay Springsteen:
Vanessa Morgan
James Robert Myers
Crymsyn Hart:
Natasha Blackthorne:
W.J. Howard:
Tarah Scott:
T.C. Archer:
Sable Hunter:
Jayne Rylon:
Marika Weber
Jennifer Labelle:
Carrie Ann Ryan:
Giselle Renard:
Mary Abshire:
Cassidy McKay:
Kasey Hammell:
Ashley Blade
Ayla Ruse:
Tara Lain:
Julie L Hayes:
Jamallan Bergman
Keta Diablo:
Sarah Makela:
Vanessa Johnson:
Rhian Cahill:
Romance Writers Behaving Badly:
Mary Quest:
Louisa Bacio:
Beth Carter:
Darcia Halle:
Kinley Baker:
Sarah Ballance:
KT Bishop:
Marie Rose Dufour:
Nichelle Gregory:
Lacey Wolfe:
Marteeka Karland:
Kerrianne Coombes
Doris O’Connor:
Emma Short
Morgay Leah Justice
Amy McCorkle/Kate Lynd:
Suzzana C Ryan
Leann Arndt
Elizabeth Morgan:
Kaye Manro:
Staci Brush:
KoKo Brown:
Shay MacLean:
BA Tortuga:
Joselyn Vaghn:
H.B. Pattskyn:
Stephanie Draven: