Saturday, December 4, 2010

Spirit of (Western) Christmas

I love nothing more than reading a good cowboy Christmas romance. Cocoa goes really well with a blanket and paperback this time of year!

As I was pulling out my Christmas decorations this week, I pondered my favorite things about the holidays. The heat of a fire. Christmas tree hunting. Cranking those ol' music boxes I've listened to every holiday season since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. The scent of pine and chestnuts. And, yes, sneaking time in between my notorious bouts of frantic last-minute shopping and family time to read a holiday romance. Some of my favorite holiday re-reads are of the western variety. For example, the inspirational western Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart. This story isn't necessarily a Christmas romance, but it does take place during winter. With every re-read, I can hear the crackle of the blazing hearth and the chiming of sleigh bells. In fact, it is a near-accident involving a horse-drawn sleigh that brings the hero and heroine together.

Christmas is meant for making memories and bringing family together - but I find the holidays to be very romantic. And one of the most romantic things, to my mind, about the Christmas season are sleigh rides. Who can forget the song?

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling
Ring ting tingling too.
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling 'Yoo-hoo.'
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up,
Let's go, Let's look at the show,
We're riding in a wonderland of snow.

Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up,
It's grand, Just holding your hand,
We're gliding along with a song
Of a wintry fairy land.

Our cheeks are nice and rosy
And comfy cozy are we
We're snuggled up together
Like two birds of a feather would be.

Let's take that road before us
And sing a chorus or two
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you.

There's a birthday party
At the home of Farmer Gray
It'll be the perfect ending a perfect day
We'll be singing the songs
We love to sing without a single stop,
At the fireplace while we watch
The chestnuts pop.
Pop pop pop.

There's a happy feeling
Nothing in the world can buy,
When they pass around the chocolate
And the pumpkin pie
It'll nearly be like a picture print
By Currier and Ives
These wonderful things are the things
We remember all through our lives.

Despite the upward tempo, fun whip cracks, and equine backup singers, the picture "Sleigh Ride" paints is quite romantic, is it not? Whenever we're shopping at the local Christmas tree farm, there's a sleigh that takes customers from one side of the fir-lined acreage to the other. No matter the temperature - or whether the horse's hooves are churning up sleet or mud (usually the latter here in the South) - the jingle of those sleigh bells always make me feel very warm and nostalgic. My imagination transports me to a winter fairy land, a powdery white vista, in the old west and the romance of a sleigh ride. With a cowboy at the reigns, it makes the perfect picture! (Now if only Currier and Ives had painted that....)

Readers, I'd love to hear your western romance holiday favorites and the meaning behind your favorite Christmas songs!

Amber Leigh Williams
"Williams has brought the romantic back to romance!" ~ Long & Short Reviews
BLACKEST HEART ~ 1st Place More Than Magic Novella
FOREVER AMORE ~ LASR Best Book of 2009 Nominee


  1. AMBER--now I'll be singing "giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up let's go" all day. Favorite Christmas song? There are so many, in fact Christmas also spells Music, doesn't it? Christmas is magical and precious on its own, but the music makes it even more special. I love all the old hymns we've sung in church from the time I can remember--the same familiar ones that seem fresh, new, and lovely once again: O Little Town of Bethehelm, Silent Night, Joy to the World, and so many others. Secular songs? I absolutely adore Elvis' Blue Christmas. It always send shiver over me, and I looooove to sing along! Thanks, Amber--I love your photos, too. Celia

  2. Lovely post, Amber. I envy you riding in a sleigh to choose a fresh tree each year. It sounds romantic. Our tree is a realistic looking fake because of our unromantic allergies. Still I love Christmas. My favorite secular song is "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt and my favorite religious one is "O Come, O Come, Emauel" but I love most of the season's songs. I love everything about this season, in fact. Hope yours is wonderful!

  3. Amber, ditto what Caroline said. Picking out your Christmas tree during a sleigh ride sound sooo romantic!

  4. I've always wanted to go on a sleigh ride. Years and years ago my brother-in-law in Wisconsin promised one, but doggone we've never been back there during the snow season since. I guess I will just have to go on dreaming about one...

    Wishing everyone fun times while decorating and preparing for your big day. :)


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