2015 End of Year Greeting

Hello and happy holidays to you all.  As always I am super busy at this time of the year.  This year we stayed home for Christmas.  I made my holiday dinner, including a vegan tofurky, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie.  Christmas as always been a special time for me.  As a child I loved watching the Christmas specials on TV.  My favorite is ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.’  I like him because he’s easy for me to relate to.  In the end, he overcomes everything and becomes a leader.

Growing up in Michigan, many times we had a white Christmas.  We would deck out the entire house with garland, Christmas candles, and a wreath on our stone mantel.   We’d either put up our artificial tree or

a real one.  No matter which one we had, they looked dynamite, decorated with toy ornaments.  One year we got my dad to put up lights on the outside of the house.

We’d always have a family gathering on Christmas Eve in the family room and had a real fire in the stone fireplace.  I used to read a Christmas chapter from one of the Laura Ingalls books.  Then we would all share positive things.  Many years we went to Midnight mass, which was actually held at 10pm.  Other years we went to services on Christmas Day.  On Christmas  morning, my sister and I would wake up really early and go sit on the landing of the staircase and talk until one of us dared the other to go wake up the folks.

We alternated the holidays with my aunt’s family, who lived 40 miles away.  It was always such a delight to go over to her house and I have many sentimental memories.  My aunt Ginny would decorate her house incredibly.  One thing she liked to do was attach a ribbon to the wall around her dining room door jamb and festively hang her Christmas cards.

My aunt always had more than enough h’ors d’oerves and I was never one to shy away from them.  I remember there being whole shell nuts that we had to use a nutcracker to open.  It was so fun to crack them.     Somehow eating them never ruined my appetite for the main meal.

On the years we had Christmas at our house, we’d bake up Christmas cookies.  Also we were never low with the chocolate and had lots of chocolate Christmas balls and bells.  Many times we got a chocolate Santa in our stockings.

My mom liked to prepare a dish that was passed on from her mother.  It was gelatin with vegetables.  This, too, is a memory I will always cherish.  After dinner I would help her put on the coffee, decaf Sanka.  It wasn’t until I was older that I requested the leaded stuff.

This year we put up our small Christmas tree and decorated it with toy ornaments and lights.  On the front door, we have a pretty wreath.  On the hearth we have a tinsel garland draping it.  I enjoy listening to Christmas music and will put it on during the day.  Our house has such a festive feel to it.

Xmas 2015

I have always loved this time of year and this year was no different.  It is fun going Christmas shopping, seeing all the stores decorated for the season.  I am so glad that the ‘Holiday’ season includes all holidays.  I heard a Hanukkah song on the radio and just loved it.  This year we were also able to go to a Jewish blessing during Hanukkah for our friends who just got married.  Their Rabbi made it really special and I felt honored just to be there.  A few weeks after that blessing we attended their wedding which was again beautiful, meaningful and we are very happy for our newlywed friends.

Another holiday is the Solstice, which was on the 21st, the shortest day of the year.  This year we spoke of goals that we wanted to accomplish in the New Year.   To kick things off, I made a nice pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Bread

*****

Some of the things that I’ve been doing this month are beta reading as well as participating in an author book-blog-blast.  I love beta reading because it gets me in tune with the author and hence understand the story deeper.  It is such a great feeling helping them with their work.  It makes me stoked to read the published copy.

The book I read for the blog blast was Olivia Howe’s ‘Pretty Bird.’  This is a suspense thriller, meets romance story, that has an intense plot.  I actually found myself scared for the main character, who is very likable.  The strength of this person was astonishing and I enjoyed watching them grow.  I highly recommend this read as it will grip you from the start.

My ‘Pretty Bird’ Review

This month I’ve become inspired by many authors on Facebook.  I received some clarity regarding another story that I’m working on.  It is going to be a series and I’m very excited about the dynamic plot and the deep, complex main character.  This is a story that ignites me and I feel like I have a friendship with the main character.

Last week, I interviewed author Linda Bates, author of ‘Everlusting Love’.  Linda is a very compassionate and caring woman who looks at the brighter side of life.  She is a delight to speak with and I know you are going to love her.  Feel free to leave a comment.  I would love to hear how you love this story, as it is very dynamic and has a rich complex main character.

For those of you who missed the interview, just click on the link below.

Linda Bates Interview

I want to thank all of you for being so supportive this year with all your shares, retweets, and comments.  I really appreciate this.  I would like to wish you all the best in the upcoming year.  Remember to be gentle with yourself and reach out.  Be courteous to others and lend a hand when you can.  People really appreciate this even if they don’t seem like they do.  All it takes is one person to start the chain of events and soon we have a hundred like-minded people striving to make positive change.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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