Sunday, December 09, 2012

Great Christmas Tree Tour: Alison Henderson

Christmas Tree Memories by Alison Henderson

When my daughter was little, one of her favorite books was Christmas Tree Memories by Aliki.  In it, a family explores their favorite shared memories, each represented by a unique ornament.  My Christmas tree tells the same kind of story for my family—every ornament reminds us of a special time or place.

We love to remember favorite vacations, so I’ve bought ornaments in Disney World, Hawaii, and London, as well as one featuring a hand painted picture of Split Rock Lighthouse from a trip to the north shore of Lake Superior.  We have a beautiful painted glass ball with a Siamese cat that reminds of our beloved Cleo.  Six crocheted snowflakes came from a friend’s church bazaar in Omaha, and the list goes on and on. 

As we make more memories, I keep buying new ornaments.  My husband teases me that he sees a second tree in our future, and he’s probably right.  I can’t seem to resist (not that I try very hard).  My ornaments are heirlooms; they represent more than thirty years of family history.  Some of my very favorites are the needlepoint pears, each with a representation of one of the twelve days of Christmas, which I made for my first tree three decades ago.

I’ve told my daughter that as soon as she has a big enough place to have her own Christmas tree, she should take her favorites to start her own collection.  I love the idea of these special ornaments being handed down for generations, along with the stories they tell.

In her race against rival bone hunters, the last complication paleontologist Caroline Hubbard needs is an unconscious stranger cluttering up her dig site. Nicholas Bancroft might have the chiseled features and sculpted physique of a classical statue, but she's not about to let him hamper her quest to unearth a new species of dinosaur and make her mark on the scientific world.

Nick has come to Wyoming in search of silver but, after a blow to the head, finds himself at the mercy of a feisty, determined female scientist. Despite his insistence that he's just passing through, he agrees to masquerade as Caroline's husband to help save her job. Once their deception plays out, they face a crucial decision. Will they be able to see beyond their separate goals and recognize the treasure right in front of them?

Alison Henderson grew up in Kansas City on the edge of the prairie and has always loved all things Western. One of her favorite memories is of the fringed turquoise cowgirl outfit she received for her fifth Christmas. She went off to New York to study art history at Vassar College but never lost her admiration for the fortitude of the pioneers who settled the American West. She began writing when her daughter entered pre-school and was quickly captivated by the creative process.

Although she has traveled the world from Japan to Tunisia, Alison has never strayed far from her Midwestern roots. She and her husband are empty nesters living in Minnesota, and their daughter is a graduate student in Chicago. She invites you to visit her website at


  1. Alison,

    I also purchase Christmas ornaments when we go on trips. I don't have enough to cover one tree though, guess that says something about our travel life!

    Thanks for sharing yours. Your tree is beautiful.

  2. I do the same. Some years I haven't found any where I am visiting and then have to search later but I find them.

    Peace, Julie

  3. What a beautiful tree and lovely memories. Thanks for Sharing
    Merry Christmas!

  4. Such a beautiful tree! It does remind me of your gorgeous house and the warmth and friendship we've shared at holiday parties there. I love that you have special ornaments. While our kids were growing up, we let them pick out a special ornament each year. Once they married and moved into their own homes, they took their boxes of ornaments and had a good start on their own memorable decorations. We kept the ones that we got in our special travels and we have such a good time hanging them each year. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  5. Your tree's gorgeous, and I love the idea of buying ornaments while traveling.

  6. I love the picture of your tree, it is a lovely Christmas tree. I think that is a wonderful ideal - buying ornaments from where you have visited.

  7. Thank you for being my guest, Alison! Your tree is beautiful. xoxo

  8. We like to collect ornaments from places that we get to travel to. Alison's tree is beautiful. The description of the new book sounds like something I'll really enjoy.

  9. Oh Alison, your tree is just gorgeous! I love it! That book of yours sounds great, too.