Book birthdays, holidays, and an approaching new year. Wickeds, any special celebratory practices you’d like to share? Are there any interesting practices your characters have?
Edith: I’m not sure about my characters. Certainly not Rose Carroll. Quakers traditionally didn’t celebrate holidays. I don’t think I’ve shown Robbie Jordan celebrating particularly, or Cam Flaherty. I don’t think I’ve even shown Mac Almeida celebrating on Cape Cod yet. This is a good prompt to be sure I include a celebration in my WIP with Robbie back in her native California.
I posted about my Christmas Eve traditions here yesterday, and today will be quiet, with gifts and then dinner and games with good friends. For almost any celebration, though, I like to pop a bottle of bubbly, as I did last Tuesday!
Sherry: We have a long standing tradition in my family of having pizza on Christmas Eve and then going out to look at Christmas lights. It started when I was a kid. We were snowed in one year and couldn’t travel. Last year we started a new tradition with neighbors. My daughter met them at the winery she works at and realized they lived a few blocks from us. We’ve since become friends. Last year we took the pizza (my husband makes it) over to their house and then we all went out to look at lights. That’s what we will be doing this year too. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.
Liz: Christmas Eve was always the big celebration night in my family, with fish and eggnog and lots of anticipation. When my grandparents were alive, my brother and I would spend hours playing 45s (a Boston-area card game) before dinner. In later years, we’d watch Christmas movies. We would open most of our presents that night, leaving all the big “Santa” gifts for Christmas morning, even when we got older. I’ve always loved the feeling of Christmas Eve.
Julie: As my sisters have families of their own, celebrations have changed over the years. Over the holidays we try and get together for a few days, which is lovely. I am very fortunate that my Maryland brother-in-law is an extraordinary baker, so celebrations include wonderful cookies. In my Clock Shop mysteries I celebrated New Years in the shop, and that a fun scene to write. The book I’m working on now takes place over Halloween, and I may make my way through the entire holiday season. It’s fun to make “new” traditions for my characters and their families.
Barb: We have so many traditions and rituals, many handed down from when I was a child, others for when my kids were children and now some new ones. Everyone opens one present Christmas Eve. My five-year-old granddaughter has been here since Friday and she has been debating which present to open several times every day as new presents appear under the tree. Then cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, a reading of A Night Before Christmas, and to bed for the little ones. The adults madly assemble the Santa presents and fill the stockings. (We do adult stockings, so it’s a little crazy.) Today we’ll have thirty people for dinner, thirty-six for dessert. I’ve written two Christmas novellas about the Snowdens, and I know they have a big meal with friends, extended family, and the occasional stranger on Christmas Eve.
Jessie: Even though the kids have grown older most of our traditions and celebrations have remained the same. We wait to decorate the tree until we can all be together even if it means waiting until Christmas Eve, as it did this year. I lay out a spread of appetizers and sweets as well as eggnog and champagne and we have an old Big Crosby album we play while we trim the tree. Christmas Eve, evening, we spend with my sisters and their families. Christmas Day we open stockings then have a sit-down breakfast and then open gifts. We have a leisurely dinner in the late afternoon, usually with my husband’s family. We often celebrate the new year up at the beach where there are fireworks on New Year’s Eve and viewing The Lobster Dip on New Years Day, a plunge in the ocean to raise money for the Special Olympics.
Readers: Do you have any special holiday celebrations this time of year?