Guest Post: Counting Down to Giftmas

TGiftmas Blog Tour December 2015oday is my turn to host in the Giftmas Blog Tour, and I bring you author and editor Rhonda Parrish. Rhonda has written and edited a bunch of things, but readers of this blog will know her as the editor of Fae, Corvidae, and Scarecrow. Please don’t forget to enter the contest for free books and stuff! You’ll find the entry below the post. Catch the whole tour here. Thanks, and in case I don’t catch you tomorrow, Merry Christmas!

Counting Down To Giftmas

Growing up my family had holiday traditions, traditions that I carried on even after I moved away from home. Then, when I moved in with my husband fourteen (!!) years ago he had his own holiday traditions and we (my husband Jo, daughter Danica and myself) had to find a way to try and mesh our traditions together into something that worked for us. One of Jo’s traditions which I was super happy to adopt was advent.

There are tons of ways to celebrate advent, but we do it with candles, music and chocolate.

Every year on December first our fireplace mantle is a mess of phone chargers, CDs, random books and bits of paper and looks something like this:

Before Advent

Before Advent

But we clear it off, clean it and fill it back up with candles and seasonal CDs so it looks a little something like this:

For Advent

For Advent

And then each evening after dinner we turn off the lights, play some holiday music, break out the chocolates and light the candles. We light one candle for every day into December it is (1 on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd) and just hang out. Together.

This year we’re just sitting out around the dining room table enjoying one another’s company, the candy, music and firelight but in the past Danica and I have listened while Jo read A Christmas Carol or The Cricket on the Hearth (the books get easier and easier to see as the month goes on!)

midway through Advent

Midway through Advent

Once the 25th has come and the last candle has been lit, the mantle is a beautiful blaze of light–bright enough to push back the shadows of winter and make everything warm and golden. For me it’s about pressing pause on everything outside our family and appreciating everything we have (and chocolate!). It’s one of my favourite parts of the season.


Enter the Rafflecopter for a ton of prizes connected to the tour. Do it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rhonda ParrishRhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She was the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for eight years (which is like forever in internet time) and is the editor of several anthologies including, most recently, Scarecrow and B is for Broken.

In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in publications such as Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012 & 2015) and Mythic Delirium.

Her website, updated weekly, is at


Bookmark the permalink.


  1. My family celebrates Catholic Advent, so we have an Advent wreath, but I love the idea of accumulating candles throughout December, and especially of turning off the lights for a while and just basking in the candlelight–and chocolate. :)

    • While I love our advent, there are so many beautiful Advent wreaths, I imagine that’s a totally magical experience as well :)

    • …uh. On my first reply, those were totally separate thoughts which I somehow managed to mush together.

      1. Advent wreathes are beautiful. I often find myself tempted by them but it would seem somewhat disrespectful for me to use them (as centerpieces on my table) because I’m not Christian.

      2. I bet Catholic Advent is a wonderful and magical experience for those who believe

      Merry Christmas :)

  2. I love this. Also, we have a daughter named Danica as well. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *