I love Christmas! I love everything about it, from baking (and eating!) those Christmas goodies to trimming the tree to the parties and the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. It’s the one time of year we really focus on thinking of others. It’s about grace, love, and celebration.
I make sure the residents of my fictional town, Icicle Falls, celebrate the holiday to the max. In Icicle Falls you’ll find people enjoying the little skating rink at the center of town, drinking hot cider and inhaling the fragrance of roasted nuts, making friends, making dreams come true, and falling in love. Icicle Falls is the perfect place to do all that, especially during the holidays. On the weekends, the town dresses up in thousands of lights to celebrate. There’s a tree-lighting ceremony every weekend for both residents and visitors where everyone gathers to sing Christmas carols and light up the enormous tree at the center of town. Ah, if only there was such a place.
Actually, there is. Icicle Falls is based on Leavenworth, Washington, one of my favorite towns in the entire U.S. Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, this charming Bavarian village attracts visitors from all over the world, especially at Christmas. Being in Leavenworth in December is rather like being in the middle of a snow globe.
One of the reasons I chose to honor this town in a book series (besides the fact that it’s adorable and is filled with great people and fabulous shops) is because I so admire the spirit of the people who live there. A little over fifty years ago it was on the verge of extinction. The railroad had relocated, the timber business was dead, and people were leaving town. The remaining townspeople realized that if Leavenworth was going to avoid becoming a ghost town they would have to do something. So they put their heads together and came up with the idea of celebrating their alpine setting and turning the town into a destination spot with a German theme. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The town now hosts several festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from Maifest to Oktoberfest. One of the most popular celebrations is Christmas, and they really do it up right. I have to admit, for my town of Icicle Falls I added the skating rink (and the chocolate factory – every town should have its own source of chocolate), but things like the gingerbread bakery and the funny hat shop and many of the B & B’s mentioned in the series do homage to my favorite town.
There’s something special about living someplace where friends and neighbors all have time for you. And where, when things don’t go as planned, when the holidays aren’t so jolly, people pull together and support you. And give you chocolate! I realize not everyone can make the trip to Leavenworth, WA, but we can all spend some time in Icicle Falls and come away with a smile on our faces.
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About the author:
Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. She’s been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Her band days are over, but she still enjoys writing songs. Sheila’s books are best sellers and often appear as Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Her novel On Strike for Christmas was a Lifetime Network movie and her novel The Nine Lives of Christmas is now a Hallmark movie, scheduled to air November 8th.
When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences or hanging out with her girlfriends she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.
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