Reflecting on some of my favorite Christmas memories, and wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
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December 2016
Since my last newsletter The Indian was awarded runner-up in the Great Midwest Book Festival. With Schmitty’s experiences on the Indian traveling through the Midwest, it’s only fitting he left his mark!

Recently, I spoke at luncheons to the Covington Optimist Club and the Florence Rotary. Both organizations are devoted to their missions and I appreciate being asked to speak to their members. I also participated in an Author’s Day at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park in Covington. They have an awesome Holiday train display and it was fun being with other local authors and the children with their parents visiting the museum. Thank you to the museum staff for hosting this event.

Barry Kienzle, Author of The Crossings and The Indian

A Special Time of Year

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season has always been special to me. My mother often said that of her seven children, I was the one most excited about Christmas. When I was old enough, I made sure the exterior of our home was decorated with lights. I continued the tradition on my own homes, even decorating my back yard in what I called “Winter Wonderland.”

One of my favorite memories of Christmases past was when we, seven of us, were children waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. We always had “believers” and “non-believers,” and we would huddle in the front room of our home following Christmas Eve dinner hoping Santa would pay us an early visit. My twin sister and I were the oldest, and we sat with our younger siblings reading, The Night Before Christmas, or singing carols as we waited. Santa always came on cue. It was the magic of Christmas.

When I was in college and lived at home, each year after semester exams I cut down a pine tree and brought it home for the family to decorate. I was always proud of my selection. One year I placed it on our back porch in a bucket of water. The next day I found it in a circular block of ice. Lessons learned!

It’s no wonder that in writing The Crossings and The Indian I have many references to Thanksgiving and Christmas, my favorite holidays. In The Crossings I describe my Dad’s Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1931 during the Great Depression. He told me for Christmas one year he got socks and an orange. Things were hard then but somehow Santa found his way, as he always does, even if it was with modest gifts. I used that information in the novel.  

In The Indian, which covers more than one year, there are multiple references to Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as New Year’s Eve. They cover from before Schmitty and George were in the service as well as during. They involve descriptions of family gatherings, dinners with other servicemen, as well as Schmitty’s romantic interludes. I enjoyed writing those scenes as much as I hope you enjoyed reading them.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

Books are Great Gifts for All Ages!
In Iceland, it's a tradition to give a book as a gift on Christmas Eve, proof that books make excellent gifts for family and friends at Christmas! Mine are available through my website at or through Joseph Beth Books in Crestview Hills, Headline Books, or which also has the Kindle version.


Barry Kienzle is an award-winning Kentucky writer and author of two books based on his father's journey from boyhood to manhood, from the Great Depression through WWII.

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