Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Hope

One of my favorite messages of Christmas is hope. More often than not things do not go the way we planned or wanted, so we have to take life as it comes. We all find this really hard sometimes because everyone wants a sense of security and stability, and when we find ourselves in situations where we have no control it can be overwhelming.

Christmas, as the celebration of Christ's birth, reminds us that God is our only true security. In joy or sorrow, wealth or poverty, sickness and health, God is the one constant in our lives. He alone is unchanging, which is why we need to hold onto Him in difficult times, instead of questioning why He allows things to happen, trusting that all will be well.

The virtue of hope stems from joy. Feelings of happiness come and go, but true joy can remain in the midst of suffering because we are happy with whatever God does. If that is the underlying sentiment in our hearts, it produces hope because we have confidence in God that "all things work together unto good for those who love Him."

Christmas is my favorite holiday because we rejoice and have hope in the Christ Child, Who became a baby for us. God's love is most visible through the Incarnation because it is the event which brings Christ into the world--and ultimately leads to Our Lord's triumph in the Cross and Resurrection.

May we all treasure this holiday time with family and friends, and not let it pass us by year after year. We can all get so absorbed in the cares and frustrations of life that make holidays more difficult, but this Christmas will only come once. 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Traditions

It's that time of year! You have to pull out all the old Christmas classics and watch them like they are new movies. I just went to see my favorite Christmas film, Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version!), at a local theatre that plays old movies. It never gets old! Everyone's favorite scene in the court room with Mr. Gailey triumphing with his packages of letters is one of the most clever ideas I've seen done in a story. What are your favorite Christmas films?

Traditions are so special, especially the ones associated with holidays. Every family has their unique way of celebrating. One debate that seems to be the most controversial is real or fake tree! But no matter what your preferences are Christmas time has the most beautiful and special traditions. My favorite decorating tradition is putting up our Christmas village. We have a whole collection of St. Nicholas Square pieces. We started with just a little house and added one year after year, until our finished setup takes up an entire room and is quite a picturesque town!

And what about Christmas songs? There are more songs about Christmas than a person can even count. My favorite is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Christmas songs really get you in the spirit for celebrating and bringing people together. And, of course, the best traditions of all are attending Christmas Mass, whether it be Midnight Mass or morning Mass. Today, Gaudete Sunday, reminds us of the true joy of the season, that is the coming of Christ.

Let us cherish our traditions because they have been handed down to us and remind us that we celebrate this holiday year after year to rejoice in the Savior of the World.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Christmas Picture

It's here! The Christmas Picture! Curl up next to a warm fire with your copy of my new novel. This one has been my favorite to work on. It is a Catholic novel with themes about trusting in God amidst suffering and trials, forgiveness of others and ourselves, hope in miracles of Christmas, and valuing family and friends. A message we all need to hear time and again to remember what Christmas is all about.

A brief summary: Lucy Harris has long forgotten about Christmas, family, and God after losing her twin brother, Jim, in a fatal accident. She is given a chance to change that event when she is transported back in time a few days before that tragic Christmas Eve. Lucy tries throughout the novel to save her brother by several different plans and schemes. She also encounters some familiar figures like her old boyfriend, Michael, whom she hasn't seen in five years, as well as some new people like the choir director Maggie and a little girl in a hospital, who both teach Lucy important lessons. You'll have to read the novel to find out if she is able to save Jim and if her character changes by the end of the book!

The Christmas Picture is available on Amazon at amazon.com/author/theresejroberts for $2.99 Kindle edition or $7.99 paperback. Or you can get a signed copy for $8.00 on Etsy at handmadecatholicshop.etsy.com. Get yours for the holidays! And check out the "look inside" feature on Amazon for a sneak preview of the first chapters!

Here's to more brainstorming for the next book! Still trying to decide what my next one will be--probably the second installment of The Amanda Case Files to be available sometime in the Spring. Happy reading everyone!