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Winter Holiday Fireside Moments: Interview with Ellen Byerrum

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It’s that time of year when the chill in the frosty air brings us indoors to hunker down with thick comforters and mugs of steaming hot chocolate overflowing with fluffy marshmallows.  When holiday music and movies become the soundtrack to our everyday home lives. When we gather ‘round the fire for company, drink, food and love.  When we are celebrating and remembering those we treasure and hold near and dear.  When the real meaning of the season is family – by our DNA or by our heart.  When we reflect and give thanks for all we have. In a nutshell, unconditional love.

I’d like to welcome Ellen Byerrum to share the beauty of the season with us.

Favorite Holiday tradition?

Midnight Mass, caroling, and Christmas music.

Favorite childhood toy?

If I had one, I don’t remember. My companion was my imagination. And my brother, with whom I had many cap gun fights. I did like those toy pistols.

Favorite childhood game?

Games? I never liked games. Lost the pieces so I didn’t have to play them.

Snow ball fight or making snow families?

Snowball fight. With cap guns.

Sleigh rides, sledding or skiing?

A sleigh ride sounds fun, though I’ve never been on one.

Favorite holiday song?

“The Carol of the Bells”, it’s the most stirring, most mysterious carol of them all. 

Favorite holiday movie?

How to choose? I love almost all versions of A Christmas Carol, Christmas in Connecticut, and Moonstruck, which really is a Christmas movie, if you look closely. I like It’s a Wonderful Life, but boy it’s been overplayed on TV. I would like to see Meet Me in St. Louis all the way through this year.

Favorite holiday story to read?

Again, a Christmas Carol. (I’ve also written a couple of Christmas stories, my book Grave Apparel, and my play, A Christmas Cactus.

Snow on holiday eve, day or just a chill in the air?

Snow is fine if it doesn’t clog the streets. I like a dusting, an icing on the trees. A chill is fine. Being imprisoned by the white stuff. Not so good.

Most memorable holiday memory?

Don’t really know, but one comes to mind. I remember always being mesmerized by the lights on the tree.

Did you eat popcorn balls as a kid? If you did, do you still?

Never had them.

Real tree or artificial? Green or white?

I love them all. I used to have a real tree until it became too much. Now I have an artificial.

What do you holiday eve?

It’s usually quiet, in anticipation of Midnight Mass.

What are your holiday plans this year?

A cozy Christmas at home with my husband. We used to hang out with friends, but we moved far away. 

What’s the one holiday dish your family can’t go without?

  Some kind of red meat. Tender tenderloin comes to mind. Yum.

Please share a Holiday recipe.

Sorry. Fresh out of ideas here.

Holiday party tip?

Put on a big smile, a fun outfit, forget about yourself, and engage with everyone else.

Favorite holiday decoration?

How on earth could you choose. I’m into the more is more style of decorating.

Please share some magical holiday memories?

As a child, I remember a couple of night-time train rides to visit relatives, across the prairie and fields in the snow, in the cold, in the dark, passing through small towns, seeing houses and farms, all alone, with Christmas lights and Christmas trees and wondering who lived there. Who were they? Did they have children? What on earth did they do in those tiny cities? I was fascinated with those places that passed by in those quick moments, in the twinkling of an eye.

Wrap, gift bag or bow & go?

Gift wrap. I love pretty packages.

Gifts or gift cards?

Both are good, depending on the giver and the recipient.

Cyber shop or head out into the trenches?

I prefer hand-to-hand combat, er, shopping. The thrill of the hunt keeps me going.

Do you eat fruitcake?

Not if I can help it.

Do you head to the movies on the 25th?

Generally no. We’d just watch something at home.

What’s in your stocking?  *wink*

Sorry, no idea.

What do you want in your stocking? *saucy wink aka swink*

Tickets. They fit anywhere. They could be to concerts, but gee, I’d love a trip to Paris. Or Italy. Or London. Or New York.

Do you head out on the 26th into the madness to exchange or shop for anything?

Never. I’d much rather stay home and read, or take a long walk.

Thank you so much.

Happy Holidays from my house to yours!

 

Ellen’s Halloween Fright Bites.

Ellen’s Thanksgiving memories.

Review of Killer Hair.

Ellen’s website.

Twitter: @EllenByerrum

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About Diane Morasco