Favorite Christmas Memory

My favorite Christmas memory actually is a fairly recent memory. Normally we celebrate Christmas morning at home, Christmas afternoon at my parents and Christmas night with my husband’s family.

A few years ago I received a teary phone call from my mom. She had the flu and couldn’t host Christmas. My husband’s sister was celebrating with her in-laws that year who happened to live in England. So we found ourselves with nowhere to go on Christmas. We had no food in the house because part of our Christmas was a surprise vacation for the kids and we were leaving the next day.

We played with our toys, laid around in our jammies all afternoon until hunger drove us from our home. But where to eat on Christmas day? IHOP, my husband said. So we piled into the car and drove to IHOP only to find it closed.

We eventually ended up at a Chinese restaurant where we laughed, afraid we were going to recreate the scene in Christmas Story. Turns out others had the same idea because the restaurant was packed.

Even then we knew that was the best Christmas ever. Just the five of us. No hurrying from one place to the next. No hustle and bustle. Just a very laid-back, stress free day.

What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

 

To Card or Not To Card

4169-merry-christmas-rudolphI send out Christmas cards every year and look forward to it. For close friends I take a picture of my kids at the pumpkin farm and get it made into a cute card. I’ve done this for twelve years. This year’s card had two pictures. One of my kids in 2000 when I first started the tradition and one of my kids now with the shot recreated. So darn cute.

However, I’ve noticed that as the years go by I get less and less cards in return. I don’t think it’s because I’ve been naughty and have been taken off my friend’s cards list. At least they tell me that’s not the reason.

The reason is because they’re too darn busy with everything else going on over the holiday.

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail and will proudly display each and every one. I love seeing pictures of everyone’s kids and I even love reading the cheesy Christmas letters.

This not sending cards thing makes me sad.

What about you? Do you still send Christmas cards?

Cyber Shopping vs Store Shopping

Over the past several years I’ve slowly become a cyber-shopper. There is nothing easier than sitting on the couch, in your jammies, scrolling through websites and hitting the buy button. Nothing, I tell you.

However, I will only cyber-shop if there is no shipping and handling or if the product I’m looking for can’t be purchased in a nearby store. If its something I can easily pick up close by, then I won’t waste my money on shipping and handling.

Yesterday my husband and I went Christmas shopping and while it was fun, it was tiring. I got hungry. I got thirsty. My feet hurt. I had to wait in line. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

We picked up quite a few presents and then I came home and finished off my list while sitting on my couch watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Yeah, I’m hooked.

What about you? Do you prefer cyber shopping or store shopping?

 

 

Christmas is Coming!

So you know how I know Christmas is coming? Because all of the Christmas cartoons are on. We probably have all of them on DVD but there’s something about watching it on TV that makes it special. Maybe because when I was growing up we didn’t have VCRs or DVD players and we actually had to wait until it was on TV.

I remember being so excited about Christmas that I couldn’t STAND it. I thought Christmas would NEVER get here.

The other night we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Shrek the Halls. I’ve never seen Shrek the Halls before but am definitely adding it to my favorite Christmas show list.

So ‘fess up. What’s your favorite Christmas cartoon?

 

Six Sentence Sunday

These six sentences are from my romantic suspense, Obsession. About a husband and wife trying to find their way back to each other. Keeping with the Christmas/holiday week, this scene takes place around the Christmas tree.

“You got rid of me. What’s a box of ornaments?”

She sighed, pulled her hands up into her sleeves and stepped closer to the tree. “Getting rid of the ornaments would have hurt more than putting them on the tree.”

“So you want the memories, just not the person attached to them.”

She spun away. Instead of mere inches separating them, a couch, a dog, five years of marriage and six months of separation lay between them.

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Sweet Saturday Samples

Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Samples. Sorry I missed last week–Thanksgiving and all. So, I thought I’d start off the holiday season with a holiday sample. This is from my romantic suspense, Obsession, which takes place over Christmas. As you can tell, this is a very emotional story.

Her gaze darted around the room, flitting here and there, everywhere but at Alex. She settled on the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree. Her attention sharpened, focused. She pushed herself up from the couch and walked with slow, hesitant steps to the tree where she touched the apple-shaped bell, sending a merry tinkling through the still house. Her gaze shifted to the bear pulling a tree behind him and then to the red glass globe painted with the Cincinnati skyline.

Memories hit her with enough force to double her over in pain. Only the weight of Alex’s watchful gaze kept her back stiff.

When she swung around to face him, his brown eyes bore into hers, daring her to say something.

“When did you do this?”

“Two days ago.”

“You had no right—”

“I had every right.”

“How do you figure? We’re—”

“Still married.”

She took an involuntary step back, startled at his angry tone. He had a tight hold on the beer bottle and his shoulders were tense. He acted as if he hadn’t known. Surely his attorney had told him she’d canceled the court date. Surely Alex had known she would never dissolve their marriage while he was in the hospital.

His lips thinned into a tight line, his eyes narrowed.

He hadn’t known.

But he knew now.

Oh, God.

“I’m sorry. I thought your attorney told you.”

“He did. Two days ago.”

The day he put the ornaments back on the tree. “I would never do that. Divorce you while you were in the hospital.” She sat on the couch.

The pinched look around his eyes softened. He plucked her hand away from her robe and held it in his. The warmth of his skin heated her in a way the flames from the fire couldn’t.

“When I moved out, I was angry,” he said. “Angry because you couldn’t accept me for who I was. But I thought, given time, you’d realize… Hell, I don’t know, Tess. I guess I thought you would ask me back.” He turned her hand in his, so their fingers intertwined and she felt the smooth band on his finger. When had he put his wedding ring back on and why hadn’t she noticed until now? “Why didn’t you ask me back, Tess? What’d I do that was so awful you’d throw me away forever?”

Her heart rolled in her chest at the vulnerability echoed in those words. For so long she’d concentrated on her own pain that she’d pushed Alex’s to the back of her mind. After all, he’d been the one who refused to compromise. He’d been the one who refused to see his faults.

Maybe she should have demanded less, requested more. Maybe if she’d asked him to go to counseling instead of assuming he’d refuse, they’d be looking ahead to a lifetime together instead of back at a failed marriage.

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