Mary Alice Monroe is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels and children’s books. Her holiday book, A Lowcountry Christmas, is a perfect stocking stuffer for the reader in your family.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. The magic of Santa Claus and his reindeer remain alive and well in my heart this time of year. My most favorite memories of the season include decorating the tree and mantle to the sounds of Perry Como and Harry Belafonte, and the family feast on Christmas Eve night.
Every year, my parents reminded my nine siblings and me “it is better to give than to receive”–a familiar holiday mantra that has been stated by many, I’m sure. It’s a statement that’s hard for a young child to understand. But as a mother and grandmother I fully appreciate my parents’ wise words. It thrills me to find a meaningful gift for my loved ones, especially my five grandchildren, that make their eyes light up with the wonder of Christmas.
In my first ever holiday novel, A Lowcountry Christmas, now available in paperback, the greatest gift the main characters give each other is love. And they give love to one another in different ways. For the holiday gift-giving season, I thought it’d be fun to imagine the gifts I think my most memorable characters would give to a loved one. I hope the list below inspires you as you work on your holiday shopping list.
Taylor McClellan (A Lowcountry Christmas and Lowcountry Summer Series)– Growing up as the son of a shrimper in coastal South Carolina, Taylor would share a family recipe for Shrimp and Grits, and the grits have gotta be stone ground. A perfect gift would be a Lowcountry breakfast sampler pack from Geechie Boy Mill that features stone ground grits, cornmeal, a cast iron skillet, local Charleston roasted coffee, and applewood smoked bacon.
Cara Rutledge (Beach House for Rent and The Beach House Series)– A beloved character by so many of my readers, Cara is appreciated for her strong-minded independence. She calls the Isle of Palms her home and I think she would buy loved ones coastal-inspired art from Sandpiper Gallery located just across the waterway on nearby Sullivan’s Island. You can buy ornaments, jewelry, even inexpensive fine art prints, including the cover of my novel Swimming Lessons.
Harper Muir (A Lowcountry Christmas and the Lowcountry Summer Series)– Harper is a sophisticated big city girl who loves the laid back beauty of her grandmother’s seaside home and cherishes the summers she spent at the beach house with her older sisters. Harper would give her two sisters a beautiful tote from Spartina 449, a Lowcountry-based fine handbag and accessories company. Everything they make is gorgeous!
Carolina Morrison (Last Light Over Carolina)– Married to a lifelong shrimper, Carolina’s gifts for her husband Bud must be practical. No fancy sweaters or ties for her cowboy of the ocean. Because shrimpers spend long hours trawling the ocean, Carolina would give Bud a hard Yeti Cooler, which has a reputation of ruggedness and durability. Perfect for any outdoorsman!
Lovie Rutledge (The Beach House Series)– A longtime turtle lady on the Isle of Palms, Lovie would share her passion for helping loggerhead sea turtles by giving the gift of a membership to her local aquarium, The South Carolina Aquarium, which also houses the Sea Turtle Care Center. And she would encourage her friends near and far to support their own local marine life organization by investing in a membership for yourself or a loved one.
Devlin Cassell (Lowcountry Summer Series)– A loveable, confident real estate agent who knows no strangers in and around Charleston. He’s a South Carolina boy who enjoys a good cocktail. To celebrate the holidays, or any occasion, Devlin would treat his clients and friends alike with a locally-made batch of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka or Firefly Moonshine, made in the Lowcountry at the Firefly Distillery. Cheers to that!
Marietta Muir (Lowcountry Summer Series)– Also known as “Mamaw”, she gave all three of her granddaughters a strand of pearls when she turned eighty. It’s a southern custom for one woman to pass on their pearls or another special piece of jewelry to the younger women in their family. She dives into her jewelry box to pass on her special treasures to those who mean the most to her. Each piece she gives has a story to tell. It’s a gift of her heart that is priceless.