Rae: Good morning guys, let’s just jump right in. What’s your favorite Christmas Memory?

Darcy: Oh my goodness! There are so many! Christmas morning is one of my favorite days of the year!

Quinn: That’s because you always got the most stuff…
Darcy: (rolls eyes hard) That’s not even a little bit true.
Riley: Actually…
Aidan: Hold on. Before this turns into some sort of argument, I think we can all agree that Darcy did get the most stuff because she was the youngest…
Quinn: And the only girl…
Aidan: (sighs wearily) Yes, she was the only girl, but because of the age difference, it just seemed like there was more for her.
Quinn: Or she was just spoiled…
Darcy: Any-way…My favorite Christmas memory is making breakfast on Christmas morning with my dad. As soon as I was old enough to help him, we’d stand side-by-side in the kitchen while my brothers would clean up all of the wrapping paper from our gifts and Dad would share stories about Mom and how much she loved Christmas.
Hugh:  Yeah.  She really did.  But Christmas breakfast was always the best.  Mom had a way of making each of us feel special and she was able to have a one on one conversation with us even over all of the other conversations going around.
Everyone nods in agreement.

Rae: What’s your favorite Christmas Recipe? Darcy you love to bake – where do you find your inspiration for your unique ingredient combinations.

Darcy:  Baking is a serious obsession.  I love following a recipe and thanks to Pinterest, I find all kinds of inspiration for baking.  Some recipes are keepers, others I just chalk up to curiosity. 

Riley:  But we are all seriously thankful for her baking skills.  Dad has never been a great cook, but we all knew we could choke down a home cooked meal as long as Darcy baked dessert.

Darcy:  Awww…it’s official.  You’re my favorite brother.

Hugh, Aidan, Quinn and Owen:  Hey! 

Quinn:  How is that fair?

Hugh:  I was just going to say…you know…all the stuff Riley said.

Darcy:  (laughing) So my favorite Christmas recipe?  Hmm…I don’t know if I have one yet.  I love making cookies the most.  All kinds of cookies.  I have the most fun with a simple sugar cookie but I make them in different shapes and then decorate them.  Decorating makes everything better.

Quinn:  And more delicious.

Rae: When it’s time to find a tree, do you head out to a special place or the street vendor down the road?

Aidan:  We are creatures of habit and there’s one particular tree lot that we’ve gone to for easily the last twenty years.  It’s a family-owned lot and we always have good luck there.

Hugh:  It was hard when Aubrey and I finally settled into our place and I had to find a lot to get a tree since we live a little over an hour away from all of you.

Darcy:  Admit it.  You considered driving the hour to look though.

Riley:  Don’t even try to deny it!

Hugh:  What can I say?  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Owen:  I don’t think that phrase particularly fits in this instance.  And I don’t think ‘ain’t’ is what you meant to say and…

Darcy:  Moving on!!

Rae: Darcy, how do you select your ornaments? Is there a theme each year?

Darcy: There really isn’t! I tend to find ornaments a lot of times when I’m traveling to visit one of my brothers – or at least that’s how it used to be – so most of the ornaments represented places I’d been to. I have a real thing for snowmen, though. I love a good snowman ornament! (adds a wink) Because I am just fascinated – for lack of a better word – with ornaments, if I find a shop that is selling them, I try and look for ones that have a special meaning or reflect something about my life or my family.

Rae: What is it about ornaments that makes the holidays so special?

Darcy: For as long as I can remember, whenever we put up our Christmas tree, my dad and my brothers would share some sort of story or memory for so many of the ornaments on the tree. I used to love sitting and listening to them talk about them and couldn’t wait for the year when there was a story about me to include. Those few hours while we decorated, no one fought, no one argued, it was just a great time to sit and share some happy thoughts. Plus, it was another time where they would talk about my mom and it made me feel a little bit closer to her.

Rae: You have a tree in your room that you decorate. How come you don’t include your ornaments on the family tree?

Darcy: (Laughs) To be honest, the first few I collected did make it onto the tree. That’s how I got to have a story about me when we decorated. But then I sort of got a little…shall we say…obsessed with collecting them and my dad is very particular about our family Christmas tree. He likes that he’s carrying on the tradition that my mom started with one new ornament a year and having these sentimental ones, and there I was coming up with things that didn’t go! So in order to make me happy, he surprised me with a tree of my own that I could decorate however I wanted. That first year that I did that, I had so many lights on it and there was maybe only a dozen ornaments, but to me it was the most beautiful tree in the world!

Rae: Any new traditions for the brothers now that you are all married?  How do you find the time to visit all the family?

Riley:  Christmas has always been a bit chaotic for us and now that we’re all married with kids, it’s gotten a little crazier.  Luckily with Aidan and Quinn both still living close to Dad’s, we can spread out and still be at home for Christmas morning.

Darcy:  I still have my own room so not much has changed for me.  Except I sometimes sneak one of the kiddos in with me to snuggle and read Christmas stories.

Aidan:  Like with the tree, we’re big on keeping with tradition.  I know there’s going to come a time when someone’s not going to make it for Christmas – especially since we all have in-laws now – but even if we don’t get to celebrate all together on Christmas Day, I know we’ll find time to do it on another date.

Darcy:  And then we’ll all get to celebrate twice!  How cool is that?

Rae: How has Christmas changed the most now that you are all grown? 

Aidan:  As the oldest, I think I can answer that the best.

Riley:  For the love of it…

Quinn:  You’re not that much older, Aidan.  It’s not like we haven’t noticed the changes.

Hugh:  And you and I are close enough in age that I think I’m a pretty good authority too.

Darcy:  I think we can all agree that Christmas got way better with the addition of all the girl stuff, right?

Owen:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much pink in one place as we had on Christmas mornings after you were born. 

Aidan:  You have no idea how clueless we all were about that.  The girl stuff.  When you were old enough to give us a list, it helped.  But before that, I think Dad would break out in a cold sweat when he prepared to go shopping.

Darcy:  Okay, dramatic much?

Hugh:  it’s true.  Dad was great about picking out sports equipment and video games, but he had no clue about dolls.

Darcy:  I didn’t only play with dolls…

Aidan:  Well, that’s what he thought.

Quinn:  And who knew there were so many of them.

Owen:  I think what’s changed the most about Christmas as we’ve grown up is…nothing.

Aidan:  What does that mean?  Of course things have changed!

Owen: (Shakes his head) Christmas has always been about spending time together.  Just us.  Mom, Dad and the six of us.  That hasn’t changed.  We still have a traditional Irish dinner on Christmas Eve…

Quinn:  Thank God Zoe and Anna took over cooking it though.

Owen:  We still all get together on Christmas morning to open gifts, then we clean up while Dad makes breakfast…

Hugh:  And our lovely wives assist with that now too…

Owen:  And even though Mom isn’t there with us…she is.  We spend the day not only making memories, but remembering all of the Christmas’s we had with her.

(Everyone grows quiet)

Aidan:  There weren’t enough of them.

(They all nod)

Darcy:  I think what’s changed is that we all appreciate one another more.  I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have such an amazing family and even though they all share memories of a time that I never got to experience, they have made sure that I always had a great Christmas.  (looks at her brothers) And I love you all for it.  So…thank you.

Rae: Thank you all. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and can’t wait to meet up again soon.

Holiday Spice is out tomorrow. Click on the cover and pre-order your copy now:

 

Coffee With Samantha Chase and The Shaughnessy Crew
Coffee With Samantha Chase

Author Info:

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

For more information, please visit Samantha’s website – www.chasing-romance.com

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