12 Days of Christmas – Nancy Castaldo

Earlier this year I was thrilled to be able to run a workshop for the SCBWI Eastern New York crew which is led by my wonderful friend Nancy Castaldo. We had great fun and we were able to see the sights of Hudson too.  And like Nancy, we have a real Christmas tree, the scent of which fills our house, and our tree is also decorated with Christmas themed ornaments collected from our travels as well as some very old glass ornaments.

So read on and find out about Nancy’s wonderful Christmas memories!

nancy castaldo

As a child stockings would be left out – along with milk and cookies – for Santa to fill. He never disappointed. Opening stockings were and still are my favorite part of the Christmas gifting tradition. And I know that Santa still fills them. Even my daughter knows that!

We spent the holiday visiting grandparents on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was a time to enjoy yummy traditional foods and play with cousins. It was a time for surprises and magic and blessings.

We cut our own Christmas tree each year at a nearby tree farm and often we get more than one! We decorate one with all of our collected Christmas ornaments – ones that we have purchased on our vacations, my daughter has made and have received as gifts. We add white lights and garlands made of beads and flowers. The other one we decorate with our old family glass ornaments. It sparkles with multi-colored lights and antique tinsel! Both twinkle with memories of wonderful family Christmases.


Nancy Castaldo is the SCBWI Regional Advisor for Eastern NY. She makes her home in New York’s beautiful Hudson River Valley where she writes both fiction and nonfiction books. Her latest book will arrive in bookstores just in time for summer of 2014 – Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (And Their Noses) Are Saving The World. Another book about seeds and biodiversity is due out in 2015.

You can find Nancy at her website at http://nancycastaldo.com.

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