Happy Holidays Newsletter
Dec 21, 2021 9:27 am
Christmas brings back memories of bygone times and it’s still one of my favorite times of the year. People are what make the holidays special. When I was a child, we began preparing for Christmas right after the big Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents’ home. Mom and Grandma would make plans for the next month while we cleaned up after the meal. Well, at least the women and girls cleaned, putting away food and washing dishes while the men-folk watched TV with Grand-dad. He was the ruler of the set in its big wooden entertainment center and since these were the days before remotes, my youngest boy cousin was in charge of changing the channel and adjusting the volume.
Meantime, in the kitchen, we decided when and where the guys would get the tree, a huge evergreen at least eight foot tall. We always knew it would go in the front corner of the living room and my uncle would help Grand-dad shift the sofa to make room. My Uncle Patrick did that while my grandfather directed the action. Once it was in the stand, my uncle and I would do the lights, again under Granddad’s strict, loving guidance.
There would be days when we’d visit and help trim the tree, do holiday baking, and freeze the goodies for Christmas Day. My baby sis always managed to snag a ‘date bar’ or two, her favorite treat. For me, it was the doughnuts that Grandma fried. She poured the grease into an old coffee can, then froze it from one batch to the next. There were always traditional sugar cookies to frost.
Nothing interrupted Grand-dad’s favorite westerns or boxing on the TV, so we sang Christmas songs while we cooked. If we forgot the words, we made up our own lyrics. We shopped in downtown Seattle at long-gone discount stores and rode the bus out to my grandparents’ home in Ballard, wrapping our purchases in the paper Grandma always had on hand. She’d bought it the year before when the stores had their ‘after Christmas’ sales.
If she ran out, there were the ‘funny papers’, brightly colored comics leftover from the Sunday edition. On Christmas Day, we’d do chores early on the pony farm, share our gifts – most of which were homemade or recycled – my parents bought me a used three-speed bike one year and repainted it to look new. My dime store dolls often had hand-sewn wardrobes made by Mom.
Yes, the extended family was poor, but we kids didn’t know it. This year, I’ll send gift cards to family members who don’t live close enough to visit. I’ll pick up toys to donate to the Christmas House the volunteer fire-fighters host. I’ve already ordered presents for my riding students and hopefully, they’ll arrive at the barn early enough to be given out before the day. In Western Washington state, we rarely have snow, but often it rains. The days are shorter now, so the neighbors’ holiday lights brighten my drives to and from work.
While I create sugar cookies from my old Betty Crocker cookbook held together with duct tape, I’ll stir up a few memories too since my grandparents are gone now and we lost my uncle last January, although it wasn’t due to the pandemic. And I’ll turn on the radio to sing along with holiday favorites.
May your holidays be merry and bright and may we all have the happiest of days to come in 2022!
Hero Spell Book Four in the Liberty Valley Love series came out on November 30th! To celebrate Book One of the Liberty Valley Love Series A Man's World (e-book) is on sale for $0.99! Get your copy today! Find it on Amazon ~ A Man's World (Liberty Valley Love Book 1).
Read an excerpt of Hero Spell!
Enjoy the Liberty Valley Love trailer.
Also Liberty Valley Love books five and six will be making an appearance in the new year. Stay tuned for release dates.
Books 1 - 3 of the Baker City: Hearts and Haunts series are available on Amazon ~ Baker City: Hearts and Haunts.
Book Four is set to release in June of 2022 so stay tuned for updates.
My gift to you this holiday season is a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card! You can enter via my social media pages. Click the link and comment on the Christmas giveaway post! Entries are available until 12/25 at midnight.
Hero Spell is currently on tour! You can enter to win a giveaway by participating in the tour. Just comment on the blog posts to rack up those entries. You can find the start of the tour here.
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