Caren Crane’s Top 5 Christmas Diversions

Kick-Start-for-Barnes-and-Noble_2Hi, everyone! ‘Tis the season to be sweating bullets about what to buy for others, what to make for the umpteen holiday parties you’re attending and what to resolve to be resolute about come the New Year. Because of all this (and to put off dragging out the holiday decorations as long as possible), I like to indulge in a few Christmas Diversions. Some might call them Mechanisms For Procrastination, but I prefer Diversions. *ahem* Here are a few of my personal favorites:

1. Holiday Movies – Who doesn’t love to site down for a viewing of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’? My personal favorite is Will Ferrell’s ‘Elf.’ It is must-see viewing around my house!

2. Holiday Baking – I love to bake any time of year, but at the holidays the oven stays cranked a lot of the time. My girls love to bake cookies for friends, so between the ones we bake for us and those we bake for others, we go through lots of flour, sugar and butter!

3. Holiday Romances – Last year, I went on a real binge and read about 14 holiday romance novels and novellas. I’ve already read 3 this year, so I am off to a strong start this year, too!

4. Holiday Lights – Not at my house. Heavens, no! I like to drive around and see other people’s holiday light displays. It’s something my whole family enjoys and each of us makes a game of spotting houses during the day we want the rest of the family to check out when it’s dark.

5. Holiday Music – I am a sucker for holiday music. I love Christmas carols, the played-to-death Christmas music on the radio and, especially, Christmas hymns. I try to ensure I hear plenty of holiday music by attending the handbells concert at our church, the Christmas Chorale at church, carolers when I am out shopping and any holiday concerts I hear of in our community. Too much? Never!

Of course, I can’t avoid the shopping and decorating forever, but I find plenty of ways to postpone the inevitable and get in the Christmas spirit at the same time!

I hope you’ll share your favorite Holiday Diversion with me. One lucky commenter will win a copy of my debut novel, Kick Start, in the e-book format of your choice. I can’t wait to hear from you!



Caren Crane grew up in Nashville, TN, and as a result does not care for country music. However, she cares a great deal about family, friends and men in boots. She blames her love of reading on a childhood devoid of TV and heavy on amusing oneself. She now lives in North Carolina with her tall, handsome husband and a very chatty and irascible rescue cat. She is sometimes visited by her three grown children, who are busy having wonderful lives and only require: beds during college breaks, food, rides back to school and sometimes cash. Which leaves her with lots of time to write funny, heartwarming stories set in her adopted home state, North Carolina, and to investigate the Smoky Mountains, from whence her mother’s people all came. She fills her books with family, friends and happy-ever-after endings. Which all books should feature, in her opinion.

21 thoughts on “Caren Crane’s Top 5 Christmas Diversions

    • Andrea, thanks for the Tweet! Aren’t the Christmas lights just the best? I love it when there is obviously a neighborhood competition going on for who has the best/brightest/tackiest decorations on the block. Those people tend to get really out-of-control some years! 😀

      I hope to find some new competitors this year. Today, I’m actively avoiding decorating my own house for Christmas (so far, I only have the flag outside and two wreaths up) and it’s a gray and gloomy day. Maybe someone will have their lights on NOW if I go for a drive!

    • Andrea, there’s a new kind of outdoor light that I see around this year that I haven’t before. Usually strung on the roof or under the rain gutters. They’re gorgeous and look like a million strands of pearls looped together.

  1. I love totally tacky Xmas lights! None of that single color serene holiday stuff for me! I also enjoy a warm fire with some mulled wine.

    • Susan, aren’t the tacky lights the best? I’ll bet you have plenty in your neighborhood! LOL

      Mm…some mulled wine would be a lovely distraction today. It’s so gray and dreary out! Even putting up Christmas lights in my house hasn’t dispelled the gloom. Must watch ‘Elf’ and practice my Christmas cheer!

  2. Hi Caren! I LOVE driving around looking at how people do their lights. It’s so fun! From the tackiest of the tacky to the sublime, we love them all. Grins. As for diversions, baking would be one of mine as well. Cookies, filled breads, cake…yep. That’s what jacks the electric bill in December ’round here! Ha! Have fun!

    • Jeanne, I adore the displays with coordinated music. So tacky! So fun! Yes, we do FAR too much baking around here. We need to give it all away, though. Eating all those cookies and things bodes for a depressing January!

    • Baking, baking, baking, Jeanne! I love to make cookies, especially cut-outs with frosting and decorations! I always do it with the grandkids, but they’re getting too old now :-((

      If I do much baking during the year I just eat them all, so it’s fun to bake and give them away as gifts. My waist appreciates it!

  3. Hi, Caren! What a delightful diversion (giggle). Mine are pretty much the same as yours: reading, holiday movies (My favorite is “A Christmas Story”; I still get a good laugh over that one, baking.

    Christmas cards sending is more a chore than a diversion, but we have so many folks we only hear from once a year that I hate to give it up.

    There are several things I only bake at the holidays: pumpkin bread (and I have the best ever recipe!) and vanilla fudge.

    • Jo, I was thinking about Christmas cards today. I haven’t sent them the past couple of years, but I miss it. I think I’ll have to get my pen fired up this year. Maybe tomorrow, in fact!

      I adore pumpkin bread. I may have to break down and make some this year!

  4. Caren,

    Your Holiday Diversions are very similar to mine. Although I have a lot of Christmas presents bought this year, I haven’t started baking. Sigh. Have a cold and I don’t bake in case I’d pass it on until I’m better. But once I start, Oi! At least six different kinds of cookies…and of course BUCKEYES!

    • Suz, I hope your cold is better soon! I probably won’t do any serious baking until the college kids get home. They are currently suffering through exams! I would love to be at your house for the cookie testing. And I LOVE buckeyes! 🙂

  5. Hi Cindy! Hi Caren! Caren, what a fun post! I love this time of year. We’re heading up to midsummer in Australia, so the days are long and the pool is cool and the beach is, well, beachy. Clearly I have a career as a writer ahead of me. I love Christmas music too – I actually love going to see Handel’s Messiah at this time of year. Really puts me in the mood for the season!

    • Anna, we did a series of talks at church on Handel’s Messiah last year. I have to say, it isn’t a piece I grew up with, so I’ve never really appreciated it. After the study, though, I did appreciate it a bit more. I love Handel, too, so I’m surprised I didn’t dig it more all along. No accounting for taste, I guess! I imagine it’s harder to work it up for Christmas when it’s almost summer! I always look forward to the winter solstice, though, since it was my father’s birthday. I like that it kicks off the lengthening of the days. Looking forward to that! 😀

    • Bn100, that’s one of my very favorites. Considering it today, because it’s so very cold outside! Nothing makes the house feel warmer than a hot oven and the smell of cinnamon. 😀

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