Hello December and hello favourite holiday treats!

Nov 30, 2023 | 2 comments |

After a busy and stressful November, December has crept up on me.

While I’m not ready for the last month of the year, it’s also the season of favourite holiday treats.

Starting the month is an advent calendar. I’ve had one since childhood and it’s a tradition I also share annually with English Rose.

This year, and in the absence of the nativity advent calendars I chose when we lived in England, Tech Guy gave me a “Santa’s Workshop” chocolate calendar which will make me smile from December 1st until Christmas Eve.

I’m also excited about a holiday treat I’ve missed for almost a decade. Part of my Christmas present from Tech Guy is going as a family to see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB), my hometown company, perform The Nutcracker in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

While I know and love different versions of this iconic ballet, from an ice hockey game on a frozen pond to RCMP officers, polar bears and more, this one is uniquely Canadian and extra special.

I’m sending the fourth book in my Montana Carters miniseries to my Harlequin Heartwarming editor this Friday, and while I have to think about and write several short projects by early January, after this week I’ll be working at a slower pace.

That will give me time to make holiday cookies, write and send cards, parcels and email greetings and finish my shopping.

One of my favourite holiday treats is that ‘gift of time’ which I’ll spend with my family as well as reading holiday books, taking walks to see colourful lights and decorations and enjoying feel-good holiday films.

After the sudden, unexpected death of Dawn Dowdle, my U.S. literary agent a few weeks ago, I’m reminded more than ever that life is short and precious.

This season, as my heart goes out to her husband and daughter, I’ll remember Dawn who, in launching my writing career and as a friend and colleague, changed my life in ways I’ll always be grateful for.

I hope you enjoy your own favourite holiday treats this December and, no matter what you celebrate, meaningful moments with those you love.


  1. Heidi Vanstone

    I love the Advent centrepiece photo, as it reminds me of happy family meals around the table!
    My childhood Christmas treat was always given to us by our next door neighbour. The box of Turtles never lasted more than a few days.
    In my current life, my indulgence of choice is a square of dark chocolate. So delicious!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Heidi. I’m glad you like the Advent centrepiece and it brings happy memories!

      Turtles are so yummy and were one of my late mother’s favourite chocolate treats. Enjoy your current indulgence of choice. Chocolate does make life better! 🙂


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