Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Traditions - TWCS Holiday Blog Hop

TWCS Author Blog Hop - Our authors are sharing holiday traditions 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.

Growing up, Christmas was an all day event.

The day would start out with my brother and I waking up as early as possible to open our Christmas presents. By the time we were finished unwrapping gifts, the living room was littered with wrapping paper. Mom would find little scraps lying around the room for the next few hours or clinging to the bottom of our feet.

Sometimes we’d spend the rest of the morning playing with what we received, however the morning also typically included a nap for everyone except my mom. We’d get up so early to open gifts (my parents finally put a 4am limit to how early we were allowed to get up) that we needed to recharge before the family activities started. While we napped, mom used the quiet time to prep the food for dinner.

At twelve thirty, however, everyone was up and moving. We would all choose a new outfit we got for Christmas and put it on before leaving for our grandparent’s house.

At one-thirty, our family Christmas tradition truly began. Our entire family, including all my aunts and uncles and cousins, arrived at our grandparent’s house for lunch. Everyone would bring a side dish. Grandma would have ham and would make her homemade chicken and noodles. Make shift tables made of plywood and sawhorses were set up in the living room so there was enough seating for everyone.

Once everyone finished eating, we’d all gather around to watch Grandma and Grandpa open their gifts. My grandmother grew up during the great depression and hated to waste anything, including wrapping paper. It would take her forever to open gifts as she’s gently put her finger under each piece of tape, trying to get it to separate the paper without tearing it. Grandpa on the other hand grabbed a corner and ripped without ceremony. It was always amusing and we joke to this day at the contrast.

With lunch finished and gifts opened, everyone helped clean up before piling in our vehicles and driving to my aunt and uncle’s house. There, we’d all gather in the living room. My aunt would bring everyone cookies and candies that she’d baked and she’d give each family a loaf of homemade bread. Then, we’d all watched as each member of their family showed what they’d received for Christmas this year.

The rest of the day continued on like this as we went to each of my aunt and uncle’s houses to eat more treats and see more gifts.

Around six o’clock, my mom and dad would always make sure we were the first to leave so that we could head back to our house; the last stop of the day. Growing up, my parent’s always put on a large spread for dinner. My mom would say that this was her Christmas present to her family.

My grandparents have long passed, and so have many of my aunts and uncles, so our Christmas no longer begins with lunch at grandma’s or the caravan of families going from house to house. One tradition, however, remains. On Christmas night, all my living aunts and uncles, my cousins, second cousins, and now even a few third cousins; gather together at my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. We laugh, we cry, we sing carols, and we remember those who are no longer with us.

Dec. 12 Veronica Breville

Dec. 13 Kathryn Gayle

Dec. 14 JD Watts

Dec. 15 Michele Richard

Dec. 16 Jennifer Schmidt

Dec. 17 Sophia Duane

Dec. 19 Sherri Hayes

Dec. 20 Michelle Birbeck

Dec. 21 Lindsey Gray

Dec. 22 C. M. Smith

Dec. 23 E. L. James

As an extra little treat, I am offering a 'Advanced Readers Copy' of my new romantic suspense novel, Behind Closed Doors, to one lucky winner. We are in the final stages of editing this novel, so the winner will receive the ebook ARC as soon as its ready. Below are instructions on how to enter. Good Luck, and Merry Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ilove it, thanks for sharing:)

  2. Oh Oh Oh, I wanna win one. Wow, I kind of sounded like Horshack, there didn't I? LOL.

    Sherri, you childhood traditions sounded much like my own. My parents and grandparents grew up in and around Pontiac, MI and as children we did the double grandparent trek on Christmas day. Sadly, my children only have one grandparent left, my husband's mother, Gloria and she lives in CO. She comes down in the summer, but this year we are going to try to get her to Skype with us on Christmas.

    Hope you and yours have the merriest of holidays.

    TTFN, kg

  3. Wow. Spunds like it's great fun in your house. No wonder you got teary writing it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. We also spent Christmas day with my Grandparents and all the aunts and uncles and cousins. My gran always put together such a spread. Everyone has grown up now and have families of their own, but my folks and my sister and I still go and see my gran on Christmas day. I'm not sure how much longer she'll be with us, and I want to spend as many Christmas's as are left with her.

    Thank you for sharing.

  5. I too have a grandmother, Nana, who grew up during the Great Depression and would save every piece of wrapping paper that she could. Nana just turned 94 last month. Nana would save the wrapping paper but my Dad would get really upset if my sister and I didn't destroy the paper. My Dad worked in the paper industry and saving it ment not buying more.

    Thanks for sharing your memories and reminding me of some of my own.


  6. I love hearing how people spend their holidays as children and how they do all grown up. It seems to me you still have a wonderful family gathering. Oh and chicken and noodles! My girlfriend and I use to make noodles. There is nothing like home-made noodles!

    Our traditions really changed when our parents died. My husband and our children live in Oregon and the rest of the family live in Ohio. We have made our own traditions. Life changes and I think it's good. It may not be what you had growing up, but you need to find your own way. The one tradition we still do is make pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. Hope you have a Christmas and New Year.


  7. Have to say that I love your book Slave and I am really looking forward to your new book! Thanks for sharing, Sherri.