What marks the start of the holiday season for you?
In the past, I've started listening to Christmas music in early September! It's some of the most incredible music ever written and there are so many terrific offerings, both old and new. Since our children are grown and we have young grandchildren, more recently we've waited until the weekend after Thanksgiving to plunge into all the trappings of the season.

Does your family have one very special holiday tradition?
We have several I love. One is making (and eating) a birthday cake for Jesus to be served on Christmas Eve. It's His birthday, after all. Another is setting out a variety of nativity scenes—from a teensy wooden one purchased when our married daughter was just a baby, to the large paper mache one for under the big tree in the living room. We also go a bit overboard in that we put up a tree in every room in our house, including the laundry room! And we make gingerbread houses as a family every single year, complete with picture-taking before, during and after. Don't even ask to see all the scrapbooks of this event.

What are you most looking forward to during the holiday season?
Having our special needs son and daughter home for Christmas again this year.

What’s your favorite holiday book or song?
Stories: “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Little Match Girl.” Songs: “Jesu Bambino” and “What Child Is This?”

Why do books make the best gifts?
Books have the power to live on in your memory . . . to motivate, inspire, educate and heal. They transport us to places of the heart and beyond.

What books are you planning to give to friends and family?
The Missing, my latest novel, as well as Lynn Austin's new novel, Though Waters Roar. Levi's Will by W. Dale Cramer, Gold of Kings by Davis Bunn and several old classics.

What was the best book you read this year?
Dewey by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter—absolutely loved it!

What’s your number one resolution for 2010?
Living with purpose and focus is my life mantra. I'm not very big on New Year's resolutions.

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