In my search to find Christmas themed stories, I stumbled upon Kat Martin and her story of The Christmas Clock. This is a different kind of story, but it's definitely one I could see becoming a Hallmark Channel or Lifetime Network movie at some point in the future. This story is somewhat along the lines of the story, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. Where The Notebook focuses on a man's attempt to reconnect with his wife, The Christmas Clock focuses on Teddy, the young grandson of Lottie Sparks (his only family) and his quest to obtain a certain antique clock for his grandmother before her Alzheimer's takes her away from him forever, leaving him an orphan.
Where will Teddy's quest take him? Will he succeed?
You'll have to read the book to find out.
Now, let's get on to Part 1 of my interview with Kat:
ME: Do you have a movie that you must watch every Christmas? What's your favorite Christmas movie? Do you have a favorite Christmas character or character type?
KAT: Of course everyone loves some version of the Christmas Carol. Secretly, I love Home Alone. One of my favorite things to do is watch some of the great Hallmark channel Christmas movies. I love Jolly Old St. Nick, the guy at the shopping mall or ringing Salvation Army bells on the street corner. You can’t beat him as a character for making you smile and putting you in a good mood.
ME: Do you have any Christmas traditions like decorating your house, having house parties, making cookies etc.?
KAT: We have lots of Christmas traditions at our house. We love being up in Montana where it’s a white Christmas with snow on the ground. We do a very big Christmas tree and have fun decorating it together. We usually do a Christmas ham and we bake homemade cookies and pies. We love having people over on Christmas Eve.
ME: If you do make Christmas Cookies, what kinds will you be making this year? What was your all-time most favorite Christmas Cookie that you ever made? Why? Care to share the recipe?
KAT: I’m afraid I just love good old-fashioned oatmeal, raisin, walnut cookies. Sometimes I throw in some chocolate chips. The recipe I use is on the Quaker Oats box!
ME: Do you celebrate St. Nick’s Day? Why or why not? On what day do you celebrate it, on December 6 or some other date? Are the stockings a big deal? What is the biggest present you’ve received/given for St. Nick’s Day?
KAT: We celebrate Christmas on Christmas eve and Christmas day. We are Christians and so we celebrate the birth of Christ. We hang stockings and fill them. We’re pretty traditional about all of it. I got a wonderful set of hand made dishes one year, designed by my husband with wolf and deer prints pressed into the plates, which fit our new log home. They look beautiful in our dining room. Over the years, I’ve added stemware to match and all the right table accessories.
ME: Even if you don’t put one up, do prefer real or artificial trees? Why?
KAT: Oh, real trees for sure! Living in Montana, we are surrounded by beautiful forests. The tree has to be real to feel right.
ME: Have you ever made your own Christmas presents or decorations? If so, what were they? Were they successes or failures? Did you have fun while making them?
KAT: Years ago, I took champagne bottles and made decorative collages out of them. I cut out little sayings from magazines that fit the person it was for and whatever relationship we shared. I pasted the sayings and pictures on the bottle, then glazed over them. The bottles lasted for years and it was a really fun thing to do.
ME: What foods will be at your Christmas celebration this year? What is the most unusual food that you saw at a Christmas feast? Would you eat the fruitcake or use it as a doorstop?
KAT: Ham will probably be the centerpiece. Old fashioned red eye gravy for the mashed potatoes. Some homemade cranberry sauce. The oddest food we’ve ever served is probably moose sausage stuffing. My husband is a hunter (all the men are up here) We eat all the meat that he harvests. Moose is unusual even for us. He had a special permit, since they are rarely allowed to be hunted. The meat is terrific.
I suppose I am one of the few people who actually likes fruitcake!
ME: Do you celebrate Christmas on the Eve or Day? Why?
KAT: We celebrate both evening and day. Evening is for visitors and friends to join us. Christmas day is reserved more for family.
ME: Who, if anyone, in your family plays Santa Claus to hand out the presents? Or do they just “magically” appear under the tree? How do you handle presents that just don’t fit under the tree?
KAT: Fortunately, we have a very big living room. And always have a very big tree. Lots of presents will fit! Grampa hands them out, but everyone helps!
ME: Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Christmases.
KAT: The cat made perfect little paw prints through the pumpkin pie one year. Another year, the dog stole part of the turkey. We cut our own tree the first year we moved to Montana. It still had a little snow on it when we brought it in the house. When it thawed, it rained mud and bugs in the living room! A major mess to clean up, since it was so big. We buy our trees now.
ME: Do you send out greeting cards to your friends and family? Why or why not? What greeting do you like to see on the greeting cards you send? On the ones you receive?
KAT: When we are in Montana for Christmas, we often send cards. But I usually have a book out end of December which puts a lot of extra work on me, so time is precious and we don’t send all that many. Some years we spend Christmas out our home at the beach. I don’t usually get cards out because of the time that’s involved in moving from one house to the other. I like to see Merry Christmas on the cards, though almost all of the greetings are precious. Certainly thoughts of joy and peace.
ME: Other than money (because who doesn’t want more of that), what would your ultimate gift be?
KAT: Probably a diamond pendant to go with the gorgeous wedding ring my husband gave me when we got married. Better yet, I’d rather have good health for myself, my husband, and our family.
An inspiring holiday story of vows broken and love redeemed, of courage and strength, in a memorable tale that will resonate long after the book is over.
Teddy Winters was eight years old that Christmas, too young to understand all the undercurrents swirling around him in the tiny Michigan town of Dreyerville.
He wasn’t able to value that Christmas for the miracle it truly was.
Teddy only knew he wanted to buy the beautiful Victorian clock in the window of Tremont’s Antiques as a Christmas gift for his grandmother, Lottie Sparks, a woman desperate to find him a home before her rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s left him an orphan.
Teddy didn’t know that in trying to buy the clock he would meet Sylvia Winters and Joe Dixon, a couple, once in love, desperate to overcome the past. He didn’t know he would form a friendship with his neighbors, Floyd and Doris Culver, two people struggling to revive their long-dead marriage.
Teddy didn’t know the people he met would fill that Christmas with magic. That the love of his friends would change his world, and he would forever change theirs.
Sylvia Winters returns to her hometown where eight years ago she broke her engagement to Joe Dixon. Stricken with cervical cancer, Syl moved away for treatment but never told Joe the truth. To heal the pain of his fiance’s imagined betrayal, Joe turned to drinking and accidentally killed a man. Now Joe is out of prison and Syl is back in town but it will take a miracle to restore their lost love.
Lottie Sparks and her grandson, Teddy, are also in town. Eight-year old Teddy lives with Lottie, his only living relative. Teddy loves his grandmother and for Christmas, he desperately wants to buy her the old Victorian clock she adores in the window of Tremont’s Antiques—a clock that vividly reminds her of her childhood.
But the memory is soon to fade along with all the rest as her Alzheimer’s advances.
Summer turns to fall and Lottie worsens. With winter approaching, will a Christmas miracle be enough to bring the people of Dreyerville hope, love, and redemption?
Be sure to return on Thursday for the second half of my interview with Kat and a sneak peek into her newest release in her Intoxicating Bride Trilogy this month, Reese's Bride!