Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Top 5 Holiday Secrets from Carol Oates

Merry Christmas! Today's holiday secrets are from Carol Oates, author of Shades of Atlantis, Ember, and Iridescent (Embers #2). For more information on Carol and here books, click here.

Favorite Holiday Drink - Let’s get started with a cocktail or two. We usually have a big family Christmas and it’s also my birthday, so it’s a double celebration. We usually start with the morning with a breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with bucks fizz(champagne and orange juice). In the afternoon we have nibbles and cocktails. My brother will make me a pina colada, not very festive, but I do love them.
We also have a drink called an Oates Special. My dad makes these legendary creamy brandy cocktails with just a touch of ginger and keeps the exact recipe secret. Neighbors and friends have popped in for one for many years before dinner. A real winter warmer and absolutely my favorite.
There’s always a little eggnog to round off the day.

Why I Love the Holidays - This is an easy one. I love having family around me at Christmas. It’s hard to get everyone together through the year.

Favorite Holiday Tradition - We have family traditions of course. My son(18) is special needs so he is not a fan of Christmas. There has to be some kind of structure to the holidays to help him participate. So we have a lot of traditions. We visit the Christmas market every year and drink hot chocolate. Christmas week we’ll go into the city to see the lights and more hot chocolate. We’ll also go to a nice food shop in the city where he’ll pick out his own food for the day, among other traditions.

They might sound like peculiar favorites but anyone with an autistic young person in the house will know how much it’s taken to get to this stage. I really love it when I see him get excited about these few things.

I have a couple of personal traditions I really enjoy and they allow me some downtime on what can otherwise be a frantic month. I put the tree up when there’s no one around and I’ll put on a Christmas movie and have a glass of wine, taking a few hours to get it just right. On Christmas Eve, I do all the food prep and makes three or four desserts while the house is quite. Then I’ll arrange the table with that years arrangement. This leaves me plenty of free time on the day.

Favorite Holiday Treat - This is sort of another tradition really. On the 26th, I spend the day watching movies with my son or reading a book and eating leftovers. After all the rushing about it’s wonderful.

Favorite Holiday Movie - I know the question is for one, but there are so many to choose from. Love Actually is a favorite for tree trimming. I like that there isn’t a happy ever after for every character, some reach acceptance and a sense of peace with their lot. I think there’s something very real about that. I also love A wonderful Life for the same reason. I’m sort of sad they are attempting to remake it. It’s a classic. I’m a sucker for old movies and The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant was ruined for me when they remade it to The Preacher’s Wife. I can’t watch the original without thinking of the disaster of a remake.

Happy Holidays! 



  1. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas. Your dad's drink sounds delicious and I think it's wonderful that you have so many family traditions. =)

  2. Happy Birthday, Carol! I love movie marathons as well...this with my mom.

  3. Happy birthday and happy holidays, Carol!