Sunday, December 14, 2008

Celebrating the Season with a Touch of Amore

When Faye Hughes, my non-fiction writing partner, asked if she could blog about the holidays here at Killer Fiction, I immediately said yes. Imagine my surprise when I found out she wanted to reprint an article she wrote about me for Houston Lifestyles and Homes. (Okay, so I was tickled pink!)

Here is Faye's article

~Crime Scene Christie

Celebrate the Season with a Touch of Amore

Romance Author, Christie Craig offers Seasonal Tips for Adding More Romance to Your Holidays
By Faye Hughes

The holiday season is upon us. Not only is there the house and tree to decorate, there’s gifts to buy and parties to attend. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that this time of year brings, but to make this holiday truly memorable, you should take some time out this December for a little romance.

That’s right. We said romance.

While Valentine’s Day is thought of as the most romantic holiday, Christmas comes in a close second, and for good reasons. “Christmas abounds with opportunities to introduce romance into your home and your relationship,” says Christie Craig, a Houstonian romance author. “From the black-tie parties and gift-giving rituals to mistletoe moments, Christmas is an excellent time to show your significant other how much they mean to you.”

Craig says it’s not so much about carving more time into your already hectic holiday schedule to introduce romance, it’s about bringing the romance into the seasonal rituals you already do. Below are Craig’s top tips on how you can add a little romantic sizzle to your holidays.

Think Romance when decorating for Christmas

Most everyone adds those decorating touches for the holidays. This year, as you pull together your home’s seasonal attire, take romance into consideration. “When penning a romantic scene in a book, a writer knows the importance of setting the scene to match the mood,” says Craig. “The right setting is just as important in real life.

Adding touches of romance to your home isn’t just about lace and frills and the color red, but about creating a luxurious mix of textures and surfaces.” Consider replacing plain throw pillows with richer fabrics like silk or chenille. If adding new tree trimmings to your decorations list, consider a few romantic symbols of heart-shaped ornaments, and a twig or two of mistletoe above a doorway is always good. When moving furniture around for the tree, consider facing the sofa to the fireplace for some after-hours snuggling, and move chairs a “touch-me” closer to create a more intimate setting.

Play with Light

“Light is a huge component when creating a romantic ambience,” says Craig. “You might be surprised how many times the lights go out in my books.” Adding dimmer switches, or replacing overhead lights with warm lamps can help set a romantic mood in any room. Candles or a soft roaring fire in the fireplace can also add that special touch. We’ve all heard of eating by candlelight; why not try eating by Christmas lights. Or eat in front of the fireplace. “If you are feeling really playful, take the Christmas lights into the bedroom. Stringing a few lights around the canopy of the bed is bound to put a smile on your lover’s face,” adds Craig.

Love is in the Air

Can you smell it? “While we’ve all heard the saying about falling in love at first sight, I discovered it would be more appropriate to say, falling in love at first sniff, after doing research for my novels on the physical aspects of falling in love,” says Craig. Scientific studies prove that your sense of smell affects the areas of your brain that project feeling and perceptions and it, therefore, affects mood. Adding scented candles to your home is a perfect way to bring in a hint of romance.

So, what scents are considered romantic? According to a study by the Smell and Taste Foundation, a study of over 100 men concluded that men found the smell of cinnamon to be more of an aphrodisiac than any perfume. Pumpkin pie was also a top pick. “Our grandmothers always told us the way to a man’s heart was through their stomachs,” jokes Craig. Other top scents were: vanilla, black licorice, lavender, Ylang Ylang, oranges, and jasmine.

Remember When

Ask any couple about the most romantic time in their marriage and they’ll probably name their wedding and honeymoon. “Bring back those loving feelings this holiday season by incorporating those wedding and honeymoon pictures as part of your holiday decorations,” suggests Craig. Invest in some holiday frames to display some of your favorite romantic occasions. And when you’re sitting down in front of the roaring fire, with the cinnamon candle burning, start a few conversations with, “Remember when…”

Movie Night

Taking a night out of the hectic hustle and bustle of the season to watch Christmas movies has almost become an American tradition. Why not choose a romantic holiday movie to add a bit more cheer to your season? Below is a list of some romantic flicks that bring out the holiday season:

The Bishop’s Wife

The Shop Around the Corner

White Christmas

Mixed Nuts

While you Were Sleeping

It’s a Wonderful Life

A Gift From the Heart

Nothing says “I love you” more than the right gift and it doesn’t have to come with a big price tag, either. “Be unique and playful with your gift-giving,” says Craig. “Make a pack to exchange at least one naughty and nice gift and move the holiday spirit into the bedroom.” Get some sexy Santa lingerie or festive silk boxers. Attach a bill or check to a Victoria’s Secret catalog, along with note to him saying, “Your choice.”

“Make the gifts personal,” says Craig. “Having a piece of jewelry engraved makes it ten times more special.” Another great way to make the gift special is to write love notes on the gift cards or add their favorite candy to the gift. Anything you can do to show that the gift was from the heart will add a bit of romance.

Take a Little R & R.

With so much to do and so many demands on your time, nothing can put you in the mood for romance more than taking time for yourself. A bubble bath with candles, a massage to help ease away the stress, whatever your secret pleasure, indulge yourself. After all, everyone needs a little rest and relaxation this time of year. “What better way to bring on a romantic mood than by reading a romance novel,” says Craig. “Christmas really is a great time to let our hearts grow fonder and to let love fill our lives and homes.”

Merry Christmas.


Refhater said...

Great Article, thanks for sharing.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Refhater!


Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Christie Craig said...

Thank you Faye for guest blogging.

Here's to everyone having a very merry and romantic Christmas.


Christie Craig said...


Thanks for stopping in at Killer Fiction and I hope you will come back often.

We have a lot of fun here.


Kathy Bacus said...

Just had an opportunity to read your post, Faye. Loved the tips Crime Scene offered on spicing up the holidays with a bit of romance! Thanks for blogging for us at Killer Fiction.

And a big welcome to Susan for visiting, as well. As Christie said, I hope you drop by often.

~Bullet Hole~