Welcome to the Spark, Spark, Spark stop in the Secret Santa Blog Hop. Glad you could come by and I hope you win loads of fabulous prizes. If you comment on my blog, click to follow my blog, and answer the question at the end of my blog, you’ll get three entries for the grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD loaded with books. Be sure to return to the Secret Santa Blog Hop master page when you’re done here to keep on hopping. You can find all the rules and how the hop works there, too. You can also click on the handsome man in the hat to return to Secret Santa Blog Hop master page and see the list of blogs in the hop.
And for stopping by and commenting, you’re entered in my personal contest to win a free ebook copy of An Improper Situation, in the format of your choice. At the end of the hop, I’ll read all the comments and choose a winner. Make sure you leave your email address so I can reach you if you win.
Let’s discuss Christmas, nineteenth-century style. On Day 1, we had a little fun with fashion. On Day 2, we discussed the tree and other traditions. It’s Day 3, let’s get to Santa Claus (no, not the half-naked guy above). Santa is, for many, the secular representation of Christmas. Has that jolly old elf always been so jolly? At least in America, the answer is yes.
Santa, as St. Nicholas, first appeared in popular form in the 1820s, in Clement Moore’s “An Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas” (also known by its first line as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”), complete with his eight “tiny” reindeer and a mini-sleigh. St. Nick was, indeed, a round, jolly elf dressed in fur who came down the chimney.
In the 1850s and 1860s, Santa was becoming more the modern Santa that we think of today. Thomas Nast (actually a political cartoonist and caricaturist) created Christmas illustrations introducing the idea of Santa’s workshop and of Santa having a record of whether kids were behaving well during the year. It was Nast’s colored illustrations, paired with George Webster’s 1886 “Santa Claus and His Works” that dressed Santa in red and made his domain in the famed and magical North Pole. Santa went from a Saint to an elf and back to a man again throughout the century.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Virginia O’Hanlon’s now-famous question to a newspaper editor, “Is there a Santa Claus?” could be truly answered that, at least in American culture, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” That was in 1897.
So now we get to the question part of our blog event. Should it be a classic question, such as boxers or briefs, chocolate or wine, cat person or dog person, circumcised or not? Well, we’re all romance-minded people here, so let’s go for something romance-related, yes?
Here goes: If you had your choice for a romantic getaway with your significant other (real or imaginary), which would you prefer?
a) a tropical setting, with umbrella-clad drinks, hot sun, and a private beach with warm white sand suitable for outdoor love making and beautiful blue shark-free waters perfect for skinny-dipping
b) a snowy mountain getaway, complete with secluded lodge with a crackling fire and a luxuriously soft rug in front of it, just begging for you to bare yourself, a stocked wine cellar, and a hot tub just a step outside the door (no bathing suit allowed).
So which is hotter, sexier, more romantic, in your opinion? Just answer “beach” or “snow”.
It’s Day 3, so I get to tell you my answer, “beach” because I don’t like to be cold and because I’ve never had one of those holidays where you just relax on a beach and drink fruity cocktails out of coconut shells and have your body massaged all over with almond oil and . . . sorry, I was getting a little carried away.
All right, make a comment, remembering to answer “beach” or “snow”, then click on the “Follow” button on the lower right of your screen to follow my blog and enter your email as indicated. Now, off you go, on to the next blog. Click the pink link to return to the Secret Santa Blog Hop master page where you’ll see all the rules and the list of blogs participating in the hop, or click on the handsome man in the hat.
Thanks for playing and I’ll announce the winner of my prize tomorrow and send the winner an email. The winner of the grand prize will be handled through the Secret Santa Blog Hop master page. Good luck!! And a very happy holiday season to you all.