When I was a kid, my family didn’t watch a lot of TV. My parents were very firm about us: A) not “wasting our lives staring at the boob tube like zombies,” B) being productive, a.k.a. doing a lot of chores and doing well in school, and C) socializing as a family and playing outside.
They also had clear guidelines and notions about what constituted “acceptable and appropriate” viewing.
I’m making my parents sound very . . . un-fun. Really, nothing could be further from the truth. They were strict (sometimes, aggravatingly so), but they were also supportive of our hobbies and passions, read to us a lot, played with us a lot. And when we did watch television, it was an event. (Our weekly Disney-viewing tradition remains one of my treasured family memories.)
“Movie night” became a bi-monthly or so thing when I was nine or ten (when VCRs became popular—and most people just rented them because they were so expensive). After getting movie-pic feedback from my mom, my dad would go to the local video store and pick out a “kids’” movie (usually animated), a “family” movie (often a Disney classic, like the original “Parent Trap,” or “Old Yeller,” and an “adult” movie (not that kind of adult, LOL. Get your minds out of gutter!) for him and my mom to watch after we went to bed.
My mom would make homemade pizza dough and put out every kind of topping you can imagine, and each of us kids would get to create a personal pizza with our own version of topping heaven. As they cooked and cooled, my dad would make huge stainless-steel bowls of popcorn—one each!—that he popped in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove. Us kids would get our pajamas on and collect our stuffed animals and “snugglies”—quilts that zipped up like sleeping bags but that had holes for your face, hands, and feet.
Then pure imagination plus carb overload delight would reign! For an hour or three, we’d be caught up in the hilarity or heartbreak (or both) of whatever that evening’s viewing entailed.
One year, near Christmas, my dad came home with “A Charlie Brown Christmas”—and I, being a huge Peanuts™ freak, practically lost my mind with glee, doing my own ecstatic spinning version of Snoopy’s happy dance.
Sweet and sentimental, funny but also a little melancholy and blue initially, it captured the feeling of Christmas so well to me, even as a young child.
Earlier this year, when I received the exciting invitation to be part of this amazing box set of Christmas romance novels, Love, Christmas 2, where each story was to be somehow inspired by its author’s favorite Christmas movie, there was no question in my mind as to which movie my book would somehow incorporate: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” all the way!
And just as instantly, Sharla Brown—who’s really tired of the Charlie Brown jokes she’s endured all her life because of her name—sprang into my head. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is her favorite Christmas movie for all the same reasons it’s mine. She and I hope you love her story—and all the rest of the merrily festive, heartwarming Christmas romances in Love, Christmas 2.
Wishing you a lovely fall and cozy winter, full of wonderful “small” things that really are huge: family, friends, pets, love, and laughter. (And, of course, good books!)
P.S. If you haven’t pre-ordered Love, Christmas 2 yet, do it quick! ? I’d hate for you to miss out on the fabulous pre-order price! ?
Ev Bishop lives and writes in a remote small town in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada—a place that inspires the setting for her cozy sweet romance series, RIVER’S SIGH B & B.
In addition to writing novels—her favorite form of storytelling!—Ev was a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard and is a prolific scribbler of articles, essays, short stories and poems. To see her ever growing body of work, please visit her website.
When Ev’s nose isn’t in a book or her fingers aren’t on her keyboard, you’ll find her hanging out with her family and dogs, or playing outside with friends, usually at the lake or in some garden somewhere.