Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas with my Grandmother

The thing about my grandmother is, she always went all out for Christmas. Their house was always decorated to the hilt--a huge Christmas tree with ornaments that I could spend forever looking at, their picture window decorated with snowflake clings, another smaller, fiber-optic tree, and other snowflake ornaments, and wreaths, jingle bells, and anything else you could possibly imagine all around the house. Her and my grandfather would get up at 6am to start cooking and baking--my family and I had turkey and ham sandwiches for the next week or so, at least.

We’d open gifts at my home first, get a chance to play around with them or whatever it was that we wanted to do for a few hours before heading over to my grandparents’ house. My mother would head to the kitchen to chat with my grandmother as she continued to get dinner ready, and my brother and I would head to the living room to sit and watch what sports game was on with my uncle. Or, if we were lucky enough to arrive before he did, we’d watch cartoons or whatever was on that interested us at the time. We’d also sit right near the tree, and my brother would be the one poking around through the gifts to see which ones were for us, and how big they were. We could always pick out the ones that had just clothes in them, too, because they were wrapped in the flat boxes--we were only wrong about it a few times, when my grandmother decided to prove us wrong and put a new video game or CD inside.

Once my uncle and, sometimes my father, arrived at the house, we’d impatiently wait for everyone to gather in the living room before dinner to open gifts. We had the option to eat dinner first, but with two impatient children in the house, it wasn’t often that we took that option. My brother always appointed himself to handing out the gifts, and once we had the piles in front of us, we all dug in.

After that, we cleaned up the wrapping paper and said our ‘thank yous’ to everyone in the room before heading into the kitchen for dinner. My uncle would never let me eat in peace--and still doesn’t--by poking me, or putting foods on my plate that he knows I don’t like. That’s more of a tradition than anything else. He will now follow me around the table and wait until I sit down so that he can sit next to me, just for that purpose. It doesn’t help that everyone humors him and will purposely leave the last two seats that are next to each other empty. I escaped during dessert, when I could opt to eat in the living room or at the very least, choose a different seat.
With dinner and dessert finished, my grandmother, grandfather and mother would clear off the table and clean the kitchen while the rest of us went to the living room. MY brother and I found some new toy that we’d just been gifted with while my Uncle and father would watch some kind of game. We’d stay there until everything seemed clean, then head for home.

Those were our Christmas traditions. They may not have been anything spectacular, but they were ours.
Unfortunately, my grandmother has since passed away, and as you can imagine, things haven't been the same.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TWCS PH Author Blog Hop!

Our authors are hosting a blog hop Dec. 12 - 23. Each day an author will post on their blog a personal holiday tradition or a holiday tradition of their characters. They will also post the blog hop icon. You will notice in the bottom right hand corner of the icon a holiday/winter object. You will need to write these objects down and keep the list handy. In addition to great giveaways happening each day on the authors' blogs, we will have a grand prize drawing on TWCS's website. To enter the grand prize drawing you will need to have collected all 11 objects.
What is the grand prize? An ebook of Season of Love, your choice of paperback (Connected, Take This Regret, Slave, or Fourteen), TWCS coffee mug, bookmarks (many are signed by the author). TWCS pen and notepad.

December 12: Veronica Breville
December 13: Kathryn Gayle
December 14: JD Watts
December 15: Michele Richard
December 16: Jennifer Schmidt
December 17: Sophia Duane
December 19: Sherri Hayes
December 20: Michelle Birbeck
December 21: Lindsey Gray
December 22: Me :)
December 23: E. L. James

Be sure to write down all the little holiday objects you see on all of the blogs for a chance to win the grand prize! Happy Holidays!