Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Guests day 8: Christine Steendam

Welcome to day 8 of my 12 days of Christmas Guests! Today my guest is Denis Steendam, 5 Prince Publishing author of Heart Like an Ocean releasing early 2013.  Remember to leave a message below for your chance to win an eBook copy of Christine's book when it releases.

Christmas with Family V

The Holidays come with many memories, ghosts of Christmas past and present and inklings of Christmas future. They can come with hard times, stress, busyness, but always joy.
I am fortunate enough to have four large extended family gatherings during the holidays. This makes for a very busy holiday season but also one filled with many memories. The most memorable Christmas event occurs at one family gathering in particular.
We’ll call them family V.
Family V not only celebrates Christmas according to tradition with drinks, food, gifts, and laughter to spare, but we also celebrate with our annual ping pong tournament. In fact, it wouldn't be Christmas without it.
It usually starts out pretty tame, no one really pays attention to the preliminary rounds that start early in the afternoon, but pretty soon as the wine starts the competition gets fierce; then the real entertainment begins. There are always cousins, and occasionally a few uncles and aunts, standing beside the table screaming, screeching and hopping up and down like monkeys trying to distract their chosen loser. These spectators only get louder and crazier as the finals grow closer. Players get more desperate and the ones that have been fueling their game with wine slowly drop out. One cousin, in particular, can always be counted on for some kind of distracting costume when he plays what is sure to be his last game of the night (mainly because he's laughing more than he's playing).
The night is ended with the family trophy being awarded to the winner by our grandmother and along with it comes the bragging rights for a whole year. This is a very coveted award among the members of family V.
There is something about sitting upstairs and hearing the jeers and cheers that makes you laugh and imagine something akin to Lord of the Flies must be occurring, then run downstairs to see who is winning. I highly doubt antics like these would ever be found in any normal family gathering. And yet, this is what makes my memories from Christmas with family V so precious. Because for just a moment, everyone can forget about work, responsibility and any every day or holiday stress, and remember what it is like to be a kid again. And I think everyone needs that.
Christmas to me is about family and friends. My dearest memories are never about the gifts I received or the food that I ate, instead they are about the laughs, the smiles, the hugs and jokes that come together during this festive season. And, of course, the annual ping pong tournament.
Christine has been writing stories since she could put pen to paper and form words. Now, many years later, her debut novel is scheduled to be released and her second book is in the works.

Christine has spent the better half of her life owning and working with horses, and these four legged companions often find their way into her stories. After all, no work of women’s fiction would be complete without a horse or two (in Christine’s opinion at least).

She currently makes her home in the center of the world—no, really. Look at an atlas. 


  1. Great story, Christine. I agree, it is the unique and unusual activities that create the long-lasting memories concerning family gatherings.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    1. Thanks, Doug. And thank you Bernadette for hosting me :)