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Monday, November 18, 2013



We all have family traditions. Some of these are developed with new families, some are carried down through generations. In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Such was the first Thanksgiving, although it's doubtful they called it that.

This week we began planning our own Thanksgiving dinner. We lean toward a more Southern menu, I think. Starting with the oven roasted turkey, we add mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, kernel corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy and dressing -- not stuffing -- cornbread dressing. Dessert includes pumpkin and pecan pies. In the last few years, my daughter has been making cheesecakes that would give any one's efforts a run for their money.

 All of our immediate family will be coming to our house, including our daughter and her husband, our son and his wife and our three grandchildren. Each family will contribute to the meal. The atmosphere will be chaotic and tremendous fun. Family.

The day after, when everyone has gone home and my husband has left for the deer lease, I will begin decorating for Christmas. Putting up the tree and all the decorations usually takes me about two weeks. It seems I'm always finding additional trinkets to put out. Thankfully last year we bought a pre-lit tree. Best decision we've made in a long time.

 I'm fairly certain that our family traditions, including the decorated tree, started, at least, as far back as the late 1700's to early 1800's. The trees through the years have come in all shapes and sizes. Growing up we had short ones, tall ones, fir, white plastic and a cedar that my dad cut for us one night. It was such an adventure having daddy cut down our own tree, that is, until we saw the sign saying we were on land belonging to a state park!

My husband and I started our family's tree tradition with a Lionel train set and a town consisting of a farm, train station and Santa with reindeer. While the placement and additions have changed throughout the last 40 years, it's content remains circa 1955. The following shots are from our tree last year.

I'd like to share with you, now, my news of a short story I've published on Amazon called, A SANTA FOR CHRISTMAS. It takes place in San Antonio, Texas in and around the River Walk.
Merry Hernandez has lost both her father and her brother in the last year to unfortunate circumstances, and, due to a bad economy, stands to lose her business, Very Merry Events, as well.,. No one is spending unnecessarily for parties they can plan themselves. While that is bad, she regrets most not participating in the  Riverwalk Christmas Pageant in San Antonio, Texas, where her father always played Santa and handed out toys to the children. Will the handsome stranger and his father be able to help her fulfill her dreams?
Sam Claus has journeyed to Texas with his father to help him make a young woman's Christmas wish come true. Due to the older man's illness, Sam doesn't see a way to help Merry Hernandez. Throughout their evening together on Christmas Eve, too many circumstances occur that he can't explain. Will Sam be able to turn the tide of events in her favor?
Will Sam and Merry realize their special connection and reach their Happily Ever After?
A SANTA FOR CHRISTMAS is available on Amazon,
I hope you're able to read my short story and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. While you're there, I've also released a short story for New Years Eve that I'll talk about next month called, LILAH BY MIDNIGHT.

Please share your family traditions with us in the comments. I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Thanksgiving,



  1. Traditions are fun to have for the holidays. I always wanted a train around the tree but hubby wasn't for it. Instead I make a garland of gingerbread men and women decorated like the family members. Good luck with your Christmas books!

    1. Paty, I love your idea for a garland. Do you make the gingerbread cookies yourself? Do you string them together as we would beads or popcorn? I would love to see a picture of your tree. I bet it's gorgeous and so fun!

    2. Carra, I make the cookies. Large gingerbread cookie cutters. about 4 inches. I use a straw to make a hole in the top of the cookie before baking. Then after they are decorated, I use curling ribbon and slip short pieces through the holes and then tie that to a long piece that gets wrapped around the tree. I'll have to see if I have some pictures and put them up next month on my day. It is time consuming but Christmas is about love and giving, not time or money.

    3. It is time consuming, but when else do we take the time to make memories? I love that you do this, Paty, and I look forward to pictures!

  2. Since my family has grown and we have blended family, we always celebrate the Saturday before Christmas. There are usually around 30 of us. We pick a different theme for food each year. This year is a baked potatoe bar. We play games and have a "Chinese" gift exchange. Last year we played musical chairs for the gift exchange. We have a great time! We rent the XXCC for our event since no one's house is big enough for all of us!

    1. Wow, Karren, you do have a large family! That makes celebrating Christmas so much fun. I love your ideas for themes and gifting. Each year is unique unto itself! Thank you for sharing and best wishes for this holiday season!


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