Christmas Memories

Dec 16, 2010
Shana Norris is back today and is sharing her Christmas Memories with us.

Troy High by Shana Norris
Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.
Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider who fears that an epic high school rivalry is about to go up in flames, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena—who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders—transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten.

The Trojans and Spartans pull wicked pranks on each other as homecoming approaches. And the Spartans’ wildcard football star, Ackley, promises to take down the Trojans’ offensive line. But the stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school. Troy High will seduce readers with its incendiary cast of mythic proportions.
So, click read more to find out how Shana remembers her childhood Christmases and what she does to keep her traditions today...

Christmas Memories by Shana Norris

When I think of Christmases from my childhood, the first thing I always remember is the cold hardwood floor beneath my bare feet as I tiptoed through the house at six a.m. I could never sleep in on Christmas morning because I was always way too excited, but my parents had a rule that we weren't allowed to wake them up until 8:30. My mom would lock the living room door so that we couldn't sneak in and open up our presents early. So needless to say, the two and a half hours between 6:00am and 8:30am felt like an eternity! One year I considered setting all of the clocks ahead two hours to make my parents think that it was already time to get up, but I never did it because I figured my mom--who was always the world's lightest sleeper--would hear me fiddling with the alarm clock by her head and catch me in the act.

I loved how the house was decorated for Christmas. We always had a live tree and so the smell filled the house all the way through. When I came home from school during December, I would stop and breathe in deep when I walked in the front door, enjoying the smell that just meant "Christmas" to me. My mom taped up cards from family and friends to the back of the front door and hung gold garland from the curtain rods over the windows. We had special Christmas toys that only came down from the attic once a year--Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, a skating bear, and a little elf puppet that we called Jack, though I don't know if that was really his name. I'm sure the sounds of those toys drove my parents crazy during Christmas because my brothers, sister, and I would play with them all the time.

It's funny that despite how excited I was back then over the toys I'd be getting for Christmas each year, I barely even remember now what I received. What I do remember are the construction paper ornaments that my siblings and I had made in school and that my mom hung on the tree each year, even though they quickly became faded or torn or wrinkled. I remember my mom's Christmas quilt that she had made entirely from scratch and that she would lay across the back of the couch each year. I remember red stockings with our names written on them in glitter, stuffed full of chocolate and apples and oranges on Christmas morning (I always ate the chocolate first before the fruit). And I remember wondering one year why Santa's handwriting on the gift tags looked an awful lot like my mom's. ;)

I remember reading the stories in a little Christmas book we had to my younger brothers and sister. The First Noel; Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus; The Gift of the Magi. And the four of us singing Christmas carols horribly off-key.

I have a home of my own now and live several states away from the rest of my family, but I try to keep a few of the things that I loved about Christmas as a kid alive still. The angel that goes on top of my Christmas tree every year is the same one that sat on top of my parents' tree for most of my childhood. My husband and I always have stockings stuffed full of chocolate and oranges on Christmas morning--and I still eat the chocolate first. I put up our Christmas cards in the living room so that we can look at them.

And yes, I still sing Christmas carols horribly off-key. But it just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

-Shana Norris


  1. Great interview and Thank you Shana for sharing your Christmas memories. I have never heard of Troy High, but I definitly want to read it. It's sounds awesome! Thank you!

  2. Aww, this is such a wonderful post. I love all of Shana's Christmas memories. It makes me so nostalgic of MY christmas memories! :) It's so sweet that she still uses the angel that went on top of her childhood trees.


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