Meet Roxanne! (is that a dreaded fruitcake I see in her hands?)
Roxanne Henke’s, first novel, After Anne, was selected as Christianbook.com’s Favorite Book of 2002. Her subsequent five books (Finding Ruth, Becoming Olivia, Always Jan, With Love, Libby, and The Secret of Us) have appeared on a Bestseller list, been “Top Picks” for Romantic Times magazine, and given a Retailer’s Choice award. Her most recent release is titled, Learning to Fly. (Coming in January 2008) Roxanne was named Writer of the Year at the 2003 Mt. Hermon Writers Conference in California, and has served on the faculty of the Glorieta Writers Conference in New Mexico.
In addition to writing, Roxy also speaks and teaches at conferences and events across the nation on the topics of friendship, depression, achieving goals, and writing. She writes from her home in rural North Dakota, where she lives with her husband and an annoying-friendly dog. She has two, young-adult daughters who are also friendly…but not annoying! Two wonderful son’s-in-law have recently been added to their family. You can find Roxy on the web at: http://www.roxannehenke.com/
Tell us about your first Christmas memory?
Besides opening up a very LARGE box that was filled with homemade Barbie clothes (that my mom had sewn…including a prom gown and cheerleading outfit in our school colors), the incident burned in my mind is when I was at my cousin’s house (before Christmas) and he told me, “There is no Santa Claus.” I didn’t say a word. I got up from where I was sitting, walked out of the house and walked home, pondering what he’d said. I was in shock. I had no idea~!
Growing up, did your family have Christmas traditions?
When I was growing up we always celebrated Christmas with several Aunts and Uncles and lots of cousins.
One tradition was making homemade ice cream in the basement. The kids would line up, youngest to oldest, and take a turn at cranking the ice cream machine handle. It was easy to crank at first (which is why the youngest got to go first), but then got harder and harder. Eventually our dads took over.
As the ice cream grew stiff we’d stand around and count out loud, amazed at how strong our dads were.
When do you put up your tree?
I almost always put up my tree on Thanksgiving weekend. It’s nice when our (grown) girls are home for Thanksgiving…I get some help putting my almost 300 ornaments on the tree. Otherwise, my husband sets up our artificial tree, and I’m on-my-own for decorating.
He doesn’t “do” ornaments. I leave the tree up through New Years. I have a Dec. 29th birthday and I enjoy not having the un-decorating mess until after ALL the holidays of the season.
What is your favorite Christmas song or album?
Can I say “all of them?” I love Christmas music. But I do have a couple time-tested CD’s that are favorites.
I have an “old” Amy Grant CD called ‘Home for Christmas.’ (My favorite song on that album is “Breath of Heaven.” Just beautiful!) In the a-little-bit-off-beat category I love the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s CD “The Christmas Attic.” It’s different and I love it.
Tell us about your Christmas setting?
I live in North Dakota…the perfect Christmas setting! Snow. Cold. Hot cider. Friends. Family.
Everything you imagine Chirstmas to be. It’s perfect…except now that our two girls are grown and married we have to “share” them every-other-year with in-laws. Sigh…
It’s Christmas Eve. Describe your day and evening.
Christmas Eve starts out leisurely…sleep in, coffee, cereal, and the newspaper. My husband usually has to work that day, so in one sense it’s a “regular day”…but one with lots of anticipation surrounding it. As evening arrives we don’t have dinner…just snack on whatever is around.
Then it’s off to church and our traditional, little-kids’ Christmas pagent, ending with a candlelight “Silent Night” with a few verses in German. Then it’s back home, to have Green Punch (a family recipe and tradition), lots of snacks, and OPEN GIFTS!! We’re never in bed until after midnight. (And Santa still comes!)
Confession time: shop on-line or at the mall?
I live 100 miles from a mall. I do most of my shopping on-line…and it gets delivered right to my door!
Christmas grows more and more commercial every year. Setting the hustle and bustle aside, what does Christmas really mean to you?
Celebrating the birth of Jesus by gathering with family (we live far apart so getting together is NOT easy…but we do it as often as possible). One of our traditions is going to the Christmas Eve service reeeeaaaalllly early in order to fill two pews so we can all sit together.
It’s Christmas day. what’s for dinner?
Christmas dinner…it varies from year-to-year, but it often is a peppercorn rubbed beef tenderloin (a holiday splurge). And LOTS of side dishes!
Do you make cookies or other traditional foods?
I don’t do a lot of baking since our family isn’t real big on sweets. But I do make an Italian cookie (Pizzelle’s–we are NOT Italian, which makes it all the more unusual that we love this anise-flavored cookie.) I also make a wonderfully-delicious fruitcake (no jokes, please!). It weighs four pounds and I send half of it to my mom in Arizona, and we eat the rest. Sometimes, if they’re lucky, I share a slice with friends. ; ) Yum!
Tell us about your favorite Christmas memory.
I have a dozen favorite memories, but one that comes to mind is the year our youngest daughter was born on December 14th. We’d only had her home from the hospital for a short time when we heard a knock on our door. It was Christmas caroler’s come to sing to us.
They stood outside in the snow in front of our living room window and sang, while my husband held our new baby, and our older daugther (age 5), and I stood inside and listened. One of the caroler’s told me later the scene reminded her of a Norman Rockwell painting. And I remember it ‘feeling’ that way, too.
What are you plans for this season?
Oh, goodness, they are still up in the air. It was supposed to be a North Dakota Christmas, but our youngest daughter and husband are in the process of moving to the Chicago area and will barely “be there” by late December. We’ll still trying to figure it all out.
Any final thoughts on Christmas?
I wish readers everywhere a Christmas filled with faith, family, and friends…and just a little bit of time to sit down and read a great book!
Good suggestion Roxy … any “great book” suggestions? 🙂
Other authors spotlighted on the 12 Author’s of Christmas:
And here is the link to the first 12 authors that Rachel Hauck featured on her blog –Gail Martin, Deb Raney, Marlo Schalesky, Donita Paul, DiAnn Mills, and more!