Scarlett Cole: My guilty holiday secret!

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Hey, there. It’s Scarlett! I LOVE Christmas. I’m the person who breaks out A Muppet’s Christmas Carol in October. My house starts to look as though Christmas vomited all over it by mid-November. And I may have already eaten a metric ton of mintree-1ce pies.

But… I have a confession to make… and when I tell people this, I get the strangest looks.

I have my own tree. And when I mean my own, I really mean my own! Decorated by me, and only me. Yes, I said it. I am quite possibly the only mom I know who doesn’t let her children decorate her tree. Now, before you peg me as a total Grinch, they each have their own tree, decorated with all manner of hand procured ornaments, including surplus Skylander characters, unwanted “Gymnast-of-the-week” stickers, and *shivers* all manner of tinsel and beaded strands placed erratically over the branches. We decorate them at the same time so we are creating all the family memories, and they put them by their bedroom doors, out of my immediate line of sight.

img_20151209_091000-1To me, mis-matched tree decorations are akin to running nails down a chalkboard. It makes me feel queasy to see too many baubles of the same color bunched up together. I can’t bear tinsel. Small kids also have limited reach, so the bottom half ends up way more decorated than the top.

I love balance. And co-ordination. And my precious collection of Swarovski snowflakes. To quote Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life, if the sound of a bell ringing means an angel gets its wings, then the sound of a bauble shattering surely does the opposite! The thought of someone else touching them makes my chest tighten.

img_20161204_203406I’ve been known to fix other people’s trees. Even trees in malls if they offend my sense of balance enough. My friends are used to it. They tag me in photos of their family’s trees to mock my dislike. And just this weekend, I got upset at a Hallmark movie, A December Bride, because the heroine said that decorating the Christmas tree was not about the finished product, and I most definitely disagree.

Everything else I can deal with. Odd-sized candles on the mantelpiece – no problem. Off-centered wreaths on the door – I don’t even notice. Streamers hanging from the ceiling – yes, please. But simply thinking about an unbalanced tree brings me out in a cold sweat!

So, there you have it. My guilty holiday secret. Let me know what yours is in the comments below.



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Scarlett Cole is a contemporary romantic suspense / contemporary romance author. All four books in her debut series, SECOND CIRCLE TATTOOS, are published by St. Martin’s Press and available now. When Scarlett isn’t writing, she spends her time reading, hoarding mason jars, and working out to off-set an epic sour candy habit. Having travelled the world for work and fun, Scarlett is a citizen of both Britain and Canada. A true city-dweller, she considers Toronto and Manchester home and likes to set her books in vibrant locations such as Miami and Los Angeles. Twitter: @itsscarlettcole Facebook: Website:

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2 Responses

  1. Victoria Vane

    Our tree is quite the opposite! We used to have a special collection of ornaments that we lost in a move. Now it’s mostly the handmade ornaments from when the boys were small, but I love them even more now than I did back then.