Jenny Holiday’s most recent book A Princess For Christmas was released in October and is available at all book retailers & e-tailers! Thank you Jenny for sharing some of your non-traditional traditions with us!
Watching Hallmark Christmas movies with my dad.
He is always genuinely worried about how the main characters are going to resolve things, and I always have the plot figured out within ten minutes.
Christmas tree ornaments with the wrong name on them.
It’s a long, convoluted, silly story, but my parents once ended up with three ornaments with variations of my name on them (Jennifer, Jenny, Jen), one that said “Jerry” (we have no Jerrys in our family)—and none with my sister’s name on it. I still tell her it means I’m their favorite.
Christmas trees that won’t stay up
For years running when I was a kid, our Christmas tree fell over. Usually, we would arrive home to find the Christmas tree tipped over and water all over the carpet, but once it happened in slow-mo while we were all sitting in the living room, and we all cracked up. (Somehow, this never prompted my parents to buy a new stand?) One of the colleges I applied to way back in the day had an essay question as part of the application and we were supposed to talk about a holiday tradition. I told the story of how the tree always fell down. I did not get into that college. (Suck it, Stanford.)
Pumpkin chiffon pie > pumpkin pie
My late Grandma Blanche’s pumpkin chiffon pie is famous in my family. What is a pumpkin chiffon pie, you may ask? It’s like regular pumpkin pie but with egg whites beaten through it so it becomes all custardy and light and then served with a layer of spiced whipped cream on the top. Every year I’m sure this is the year I poison someone with the raw egg whites, and yet we’re all still standing.
My kid used to be obsessed with Harry Potter, and he wanted to sort the whole world into houses. He made me take the sorting quiz at Pottermore three times, and I came out Slytherin every time. He was dismayed, but I embraced my Slytherin identity, in large part to annoy him (we are jokesters in our family). So every year I give him a little Slytherin-themed present, which he pretends to hate.
Two months + five days of Christmas carols.
Christmas carols start in my house on November 1, aka the day after Halloween. I can get away with this because I live in Canada, where Thanksgiving is the second week in October. So there’s no “Can you at least wait until Thanksgiving is over?” argument that works on me. My birthday is January 5, so that’s the other bookend on the Christmas season. Hark the Herald Angels Sing!
About the book
From USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday comes a modern fairy tale just in time for Christmas about a tough New Yorker from the other side of the tracks who falls for a princess from the other side of the world.
Leo Ricci’s already handling all he can, between taking care of his little sister Gabby, driving a cab, and being the super of his apartment building in the Bronx. But when Gabby spots a “princess” in a gown outside of the UN trying to hail a cab, she begs her brother to stop and help. Before he knows it, he’s got a real-life damsel in distress in the backseat of his car.
Princess Marie of Eldovia shouldn’t be hailing a cab, or even be out and about. But after her mother’s death, her father has plunged into a devastating depression and the fate of her small Alpine country has fallen on Marie’s shoulders. She’s taken aback by the gruff but devastatingly handsome driver who shows her more kindness than she’s seen in a long time.
When Marie asks Leo to be her driver for the rest of her trip, he agrees, thinking he’ll squire a rich miss around for a while and make more money than he has in months. He doesn’t expect to like and start longing for the unpredictable Marie. And when he and Gabby end up in Eldovia for Christmas, he discovers the princess who is all wrong for him is also the woman who is his perfect match.