A Very Virginia Christmas: Stories and Traditions (2012 Independent Publishers Gold Medalist) by Wilford Kale debuted last November at the Barnes & Noble in Colonial Williamsburg. I was among the authors who took part in the auspicious signing. Why, you may ask?
Because I'm delighted to have an account from my nonfiction book, Shenandoah Watercolors, included in A Very Virginia Christmas. My holiday excerpt in this wonderful collection describes celebrating Christmas at the old Family home place in the Shenandoah Valley. I'm honored to be among the illustrious authors who span centuries of life in my beloved Virginia, and proud to add my voice to the holiday reminiscences from our beautiful valley. If you haven't gotten your copy yet, you're missing out, and it's getting to be that time of year again. The book would make an excellent Christmas gift. A Very Virginia Christmas is available in hardcover at Amazon and from many other booksellers.
The publisher of this lovely Christmas Collection, Parke Press, has this to say about A Very Virginia Christmas:
"For the past 400 years, Virginians have created traditions of their own, borrowing from a variety of Christmas celebrations in other countries. This year, Wilford Kale has compiled the work of 16 contributors telling how Virginians observe the Christian wintertime holiday: from the Shenandoah Valley to the Eastern Shore, from colonial days up to the 21st century, in times of need to times of feasting and merriment. Read about eggnog, Robert E. Lee's Christmas, Parke Rouse's Christmas on the Southside, Richmond's Nativity pageant, and Earl Hamner's childhood Christmas in the Virginia mountains. You will also find stories including the Christmas Truce, the origin of "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph," along with other Christmas favorites. Your storytelling time at Christmas will be warmer and cozier than ever with these tales that remind all ages of the real meaning of "the most wonderful time of the year."
An article in the Virginia Gazette gives even more insights to this vintage Christmas collection and the special man behind it, Wilford Kale. Entitled A Jolly Collection of Virginia Christmases, the article goes on to say: "Who better to compile a book about Christmas in Virginia than a man who could pass for Santa Claus.
Wilford Kale, a long-time journalist, short-term politician and part-time Kris Kringle, has edited "A Very Virginia Christmas – Stories and Traditions," a new collection of stories, anecdotes and traditions about Christmas. He's included the work of some heavy hitters, including Earl Hamner of "The Waltons" fame, Booker T. Washington, Park Rouse and Francis Church. Oh, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Alfred Tennyson are included too.
The collection includes four centuries of Christmas memories and anecdotes, ranging from Capt. John Smith to the generations of children who visited perhaps the state's best-known Santa at Miller & Rhoads in Richmond."
To that I add, and me! For the complete article, I recommend you visit the link. And God Bless us Everyone!
***Images of the old family home place outside of Staunton, Virginia, a wreath in Colonial Williamsburg, and a Victorian Santa Claus (royalty free)