A Nod to Christmas’s Past and #giveaway by Darci Hannah

Hi! Barb here to welcome our guest Darci Hannah to the blog. Darci shares my love of Christmas and I so enjoyed her delightful post. Darci is giving away a copy of Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off, the third book in her Beacon Bakeshop Mystery series, to one lucky commenter below.

Take it away, Darci!

Wow! It’s so great to be a guest today on the lovely Wicked Authors Blog, especially since it’s December, and there’s no better month than December to share a little bit about my latest Beacon Bakeshop mystery, Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. With a title that boasts Christmas cookies, you can bet that there are plenty of scrumptious cookies mentioned throughout the book, as well as recipes. (It wouldn’t be very nice of me to chat-up cookies for three hundred pages without giving you the means to try them too!) And talk about Christmas spirit! Let’s just say that the town of Beacon Harbor, Michigan has plenty to go around, that and a healthy dose of holiday inspired competition.

When I was given the opportunity to write a Christmas cozy mystery, I jumped at the chance. No hesitation here. I went in with both feet! That’s because deep down I’m the Clark Griswold of my family, (if the reference is unfamiliar, please see National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!) a perpetually optimistic Christmas enthusiast to a fault.

You would think by now, having children in their mid-20s with oodles of Christmas’s under my belt, that I would have learned that striving to create the perfect Christmas experience for my family and friends is beyond the grasp of mere mortals like me. And yet (here’s where the optimism comes in handy), I keep trying. I keep trying because sometimes I get close, and the genuine delight on the faces of family and friends when they open an unexpected gift, or taste the fruits of my kitchen, keeps me reaching for more. Unfortunately, I bequeathed to my protagonist, Lindsey Bakewell, these sugarplum visions as well. Lucky Lindsey!

This love of Christmas for me goes way back to my childhood. I can’t help from being a touch nostalgic at the holidays, thinking of how I felt as a child at Christmas, of the magic and wonder of the season, and how my parents strived to create the perfect Christmas experience for their family and friends. The first time I saw Christmas Vacation, I fell in love with it because it was so relatable. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in the 1980’s, which is the setting of Christmas Vacation. Watching that movie somehow brings me back to that place and time.

Every year my parents would take us to Marshall Fields (remember that elegant department store?) to see the decorations, do a little shopping, and to have lunch beneath the giant tree. Somehow that store felt like Christmas—from the spectacularly decorated Christmas trees heavy with giant ornaments, to the hint of Chanel No5 (or whatever pricy perfume they were sampling that day), to the minty, chocolaty goodness of the complimentary Frango mint handed to you at the door. Every inch of the place was Christmastized to the gills, inspiring us, filling us with Christmas cheer, and making us believe that we could do the same in our own house.

Although our Christmas’s were wonderful, they were never quite perfect, but that’s what made them so memorable. Every year my parents hosted Christmas Eve, inviting all our relatives to our house for dinner. With visions of a Marshall Fields Christmas still swirling in their heads, they would strive to fill the house with pretty decorations too. Oh, they tried, but once they were given the large, plastic, gaudy Mrs. Claus, it all kind of went downhill from there.

Thanks to Mom and her gourmet lunch club (Yep, we had a gourmet lunch club in our town. I miss the 80s!) the food was always delicious. Her desserts were legendary too! (Baked Alaska with a brownie base, peppermint ice cream, covered with a dome of toasted meringue, and served with homemade hot fudge sauce!) Yet once the guests started to arrive, there was always a mishap or two in the kitchen (because everyone wanted to mill around in the kitchen when Mom was cooking!). Dad was put in charge of the drinks and shooing everyone back to the living room. He never could tell the difference between the spiked eggnog and the one for the kids.  

My younger brother liked to tell inappropriate jokes to the adults. My older brother liked to capture it on video. The family dog liked to unwrapped gifts while we were eating. That’s when my dad discovered that Grandma had wrapped one of her presents in a Kotex box. When he confronted Grandma, she feigned ignorance then giggled. That’s when we knew she had done it for laughs… which set the bar pretty high for the next year.

Thanks to my parents, our Christmas’s were absolutely perfect. After all, as Clark Griswold teaches us, chaos is the catalyst for true Christmas spirit. Perpetuating the spirit of giving, embracing the meaning of Christmas, and passing on cherished family traditions to the next generation while making new ones of our own, I believe is a very worthy endeavor. Go ahead, channel a little Clark Griswold of your own this holiday season. Your Christmas may get a little chaotic, but it will also be perfect.

Readers: How about you? Are you still determined to capture the spirit of the holidays of your youth, or have you settled into a more sedate, and perhaps less chaotic, routine? Answer the question in the comments below or just say “hi” to be entered to receive a copy of Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!

About Darci

Cozy mystery author, Darci Hannah, is a native of the Midwest and currently lives in a small town in Michigan. Darci is a lifelong lover of the Great Lakes, a natural wonder that inspires many of her stories. When Darci isn’t baking for family and friends, hiking with her furry pals, Ripley and Finn, or concocting her next cozy mystery, she can be found wandering around picturesque lakeside villages with her hubby, sampling baked goods and breaking for coffee more often than she should. 

Website: www.darcihannah.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Christmas-Bake-Off-Bakeshop-Mystery/dp/1496731735/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1637938788&sr=8-1

B & N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-at-the-christmas-cookie-bake-off-darci-hannah/1138537903?ean=9781496731739

BAM: https://www.booksamillion.com/search?filter=&id=8281008351580&query=Murder+at+the+Christmas+cookie+Bake-Off

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781496731739

88 Thoughts

  1. I love the movie Christmas Vacation but I wouldn’t want that for myself. It’s just my husband and myself and then my son facetimes me so I can see my 3 granddaughters open up their gifts that we sent them on Christmas morning and that is crazy enough. But I love every minute. Thank you so much for this chance! Happy Holidays!! pgenest57 at aol dot com

    1. Oh, this is so sweet. Connecting with family over the holidays is what it’s all about! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks Darci, for your Christmas memories. My mom scoured Good Housekeeping for novel recipes, then tried them out on dad and four brothers. After one memorable experiment gone bad, the youngest brother summed it up. “Oh my gosh, Betty Crocker struck again!”

    1. As a mother of 3 sons, I love this memory! Your mom gets an A for effort from me! My mom used to do the same. One year Midwest Living convinced her to make a figgy pudding for us. We couldn’t wait. It sounded delicious. But in reality a traditional figgy pudding is nothing like you imagine. It was a gelatinous lump of currents and raisins and whatnot! She never made it again! Lol. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  3. Welcome to the blog, Darci! Is that a reindeer eggnog mug? I don’t go over the top at all any more, except in miniature. My nativity scene includes, in addition to the usual crew, Snoopy and Garfield, Big Bird and Pokey, and now Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

    1. Thank you, Edith! And that is a Wally World Moose eggnog mug from Christmas Vacation. We all have one and they come out every year because we’re ridiculous. My dog thinks the gingerbread man on my sweater is a chew toy, so it’s a bit crazy at the Hannah house over the holidays! I love that you go all out with the miniatures! I’ll get there one day, but for now they’re likely to be chewed. Oh, and I think we have a mutual friend, the lovely Ann Easter Smith. Ann was gracious enough to give me a blurb when my 1st historical novel came out! Wishing you, your family, and your miniatures a very merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you, Sherry! I’m so happy to be here today! And I have to agree, Christmas in Chicago is magical! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!🎄 ❤️

    1. Oh, that’s sounds like my perfect Christmas too… and the chaos descends and the reality of a crazy Christmas begins! Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a lovely brisk walk on Christmas Day!

  4. Oh I love the busyness of the season for children, I think it keeps it magical for them and creates terrific memories, like yours! My children and grandchildren will be traveling from the south up here and will have to visit many relatives, so it will be busy for them. But here at home, it will be quite quiet for my husband and me.

    1. I too think that a busy holiday season is the stuff of childhood dreams! I’m so glad that you’ll be sharing Christmas with your family and grandchildren! It can be overwhelming visiting so many relatives and friends. Spending one entire day over the Christmas holiday in pajamas is a must… that includes cuddling up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book too! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  5. My Christmas’ have been all over the board. Cherish those of my childhood which memory has them being perfect – but I’m sure they weren’t quite so at the time. Through my adult years, I’ve always loved getting into the holiday frame of mind. At one time we had 7 trees throughout the house plus a G scale train that had like 14 cars running on on about 50 ft. of track. One of the trees was 11 feet tall, rotates and held over 300 Hallmark ornaments. The outside was also decorated. We would start several weeks ahead to get it all done in time for holiday parties with many folks requesting a chance to come back to see the yearly additions.

    Now as a senior with some medical issues and after downsizing and moving to our dream destination to build our much smaller dream home, we still get into the Christmas spirit, but on a much, much smaller scale. If I attempted to do what I did then, I’d have to start the day after Christmas of this year to get it read by next Christmas. Now it’s fun to relive our memories through videos and pictures and watch the joy through the decorations and work of others to create that fabulous Christmas display of decorations.

    Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win a copy of “Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off”! LOVE the cover and the book sounded so wonderful to me that it’s been on my TBR list since I first read about it. Shared and hoping to be the fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Hi Kay! Oh, your Christmases sound ability perfect! I can’t imagine all the work it took to put up all those decorations, but I’m sure it was so joyful and wonderful in your home at Christmas. Really, any effort to make it special is what it’s all about. Thank you for sharing this with us! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!🎄🎁 ❤️

  6. The older I get the less I like chaos at any holiday. Last year we got right on the Christmas decorating (I think we wanted a little sparkle after the summer of 2020). This year, not a single thing has been done and I’m not sure when it will be. Now that both kids are off at college, I can only move as fast as my husband brings the giant boxes up from the basement.

    1. I totally understand what you mean! Last year we couldn’t wait to get the tree up and surround ourselves with the joy of the season. This year we put up the tree but the outside lights might not get up this year. We will see! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  7. I also loved Marshall Fields! It was a huge treat to go to the flagship Chicago store and see the huge Christmas tree. Of course, we’d stop for some Frango mints to take home with us, although I preferred the pure chocolate! Thanks for the trip back in Midwestern time! Congratulations on the new book!

    1. Oh, I love that you have such fond memories of Marshal Fields at Christmas! We always left with a box of Franco mints too! Thank you and wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  8. Christmas time is my family’s time to focus on the birth of our Lord and Savior. Yes it is nice to see all the glitter and lights but somehow the true meaning gets lost. We don’t due hectic in our household since my son is Autistic and anything out of the norm plays havoc with him. I still wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to one and all.

    1. This is a lovely message and so true. It’s so important to keep the reason why we celebrate front and center. Part of our tradition is attending the Christmas Eve service at our church. As a mother it’s always a very moving experience for me. Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  9. We are now retired and we celebrate Christmas at our son’s house, so I don’t go overboard like I used to. My husband was in the military, so we have had more than one hot Christmas, Christmas in Germany (which was magical but we ended up with a Charlie Brown tree one year), and even some “normal Christmas” days here in the states. I was taken back to my childhood by your comment about Marshall Fields – I grew up in the Philadelphia area and our store was Wanamakers. The downtown store had a center area that went up 8 or 9 floors, and each balcony on each floor was decorated with Christmas themed lights. They also had a wonderful organ that played Christmas music that was synced to the lights, and it was a great show! Everyone met at the eagle (the statue on the ground floor) and stood to listen and watch. It was the highlight of the Christmas season.

    1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful Christmas memories. I can’t even imagine how magical Christmas in Germany must have been! And those big department stores really knew how to get us in the Christmas spirit with their amazing decorations! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  10. We are not chaos Christmas folks. Our Christmas is pretty low key, revolving around “the reason for the season” and sharing our love for family and friends. I have not read your series, but wish you much success!

    1. Thank you very much! I love that you get together with family and friends. What better way is there to celebrate Christmas than being with the ones we love when we can! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  11. Wow, Darcy…What a delightful and cozy summary of the Christmases of years ago in your family! Kudos for trying to replicate Clark Griswold’s extreme endeavors to create the perfect Christmas for his family. I will never get tired of watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! I only have the first book in your series, but I must correct that quickly. I am somewhat of a Griswold myself, though now I am “The Grrrandpa”…I have not used a Kotex box (yet), but I love pranks, so you’ve given me food for thought for this year! Please have a Wonderful, Merry and Blessed Christmas, and thank you for sharing your writing talents with us readers! Luis at ole.travel

    1. Oh, I love this message! We are definitely on the same page regarding our passion for the Grizwold Christmas experience! And I apologize to your grandkids in advance for sharing my grandma’s present wrapping strategies. She always made us laugh, which made for the best Christmases! I love that you keep that spirit alive in your family! Thank you for reading and the kind words too! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  12. Christmas is my favorite time of year. I have always decorated to the nines adding new things every year. I can’t do those marathon decorating days anymore due to age and health so I start earlier. When you do that much and have the whole extended family in one place at the same time there’s bound to be something happen to make that year memorable.

    1. It sounds like you host a wonderful Christmas over there! We had a lot of extended family living by us when we grew up, so there was always a crowd, and yes, there was always something that made the day very memorable! Love these memories! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  13. Your Christmases sound fun and so does this series. Ours are very calm. It’s fun to remember the old days though.

    1. We do try to make it a special celebration, but a quiet Christmas is a nice change. Hang on to those beautiful memories! Thanks for commenting! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  14. Growing up, Christmas was always OK,, but far from perfect. And I make no effort to make them perfect now. However, they are a lot more pleasant and fun. We have a bunch of personal traditions that are silly and create a lot of laughter which is a good trick with only 3 of us. Even tho’ it is harder than it used to be, the outside bushes are covered with lights, and the tree is a masterpiece of lights, garlands and 48 years of collected memories. Oh, and the somewhat scorched stockings that our daughter hung by the fire (without enough care) one year without opening the vent in the fireplace.

    Looking forward to reading your latest book. I love the series.

    1. I’m laughing at the scorched stockings! It sounds like you have some wonderful Christmas traditions! I can just picture your beautiful tree! Enjoy the season and wishing you a merry Christmas!

  15. I try to capture the magic of Christmas again. It’s nice that I have friends coming over regularly to see what I’ve done so all the effort in my condo isn’t just for me. But I also like to have time to enjoy it. So right now, I’m trying to get all the decorating done as quickly as possible. I think that will be Sunday’s big project.

    My issue is always trying to motivate myself to take stuff down. It often stretches into January. Late January. One year, it was Super Bowl Sunday that I finished taking stuff down.

    (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

    1. We never take the tree down before Valentine’s Day. Way too much work putting it up for a short time. One year, we actually left it up all year. It was beautiful!

      1. Oh, this is what I do too, although Valentine’s Days has been my limit (so far!). My husband starts complaining, but leaving a little memory of Christmas up throughout the year (I have a gingerbread man on of my sons made in grade school) can make you smile all year round! Thanks for the comment. Whishing you a very merry Christmas!

    2. One year I tried to sneak our tree to the curb pick up on Super Bowl Sunday, disguised by wrapping it in a sheet. Needless to say, it didn’t work.

      1. This is hilarious, Barb! Kudos to for keeping it around so long. When my kids were little we used to get a live tree. My husband never wanted to throw them out, so he started a tradition where he’d let the tree get good and dry, take it into the garden, and set it on fire for the kids to watch. It was the annual burning of the tree, and boy do those things go up in a flash! We did that for a few years and then decided that a fake tree was the way to go for us!

    3. I love that you go all out and decorate! It really can be a pain, but once it’s up I bet it’s beautiful! And as far as taking decorations down I have you beat! I’ve been known to leave my tree up through Valentines Day! Shameful, I know, but the lights look so good! Thanks for the comment! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

    4. Oh my gosh, Mark, I have to apologize but I’ve been in the car all day (had to drive down to Indianapolis!) and have been trying to reply to these lovely comments on my phone. Somehow my reply to you ended up a few posts down, lol! But let me just say that I love that you try to capture the magic of the season by decorating! I’m sure all your friends appreciate your efforts. I know I would. And it’s perfectly normal to leave your decorations up until Valentines Day (right??). I just find that when it’s so cold and dreary out those holiday decorations make me smile! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  16. I love Christmas and things at our house are generally chaotic. Which is weird because there are only two of us these days – everybody gets gifts – cats, birds, husband, me – and they are always wrapped. The past two years have been in house treeless, so I decorate some of the outside trees with homemade suet ornaments. Birds are not fans, raccoons – oh yes! Next year I plan to revive the home-cut tree (we have 167 acres, no shortage of volunteers) and setting up the Christmas houses.

    Happiest of yules to you – I’m looking forward to sampling some of your Christmas cookies!

    1. Well I can feel your Christmas spirit from here! I love that you go all out for your husband and all the animals in your care! Every year I think to myself that I’m going to make suet ornaments for birds (I can’t believe they don’t like it, lol!), but it never happens. I bake too many cookies and then I get tired! Maybe this year will be the year! Oh, and please do try some of the cookie recipes. You won’t be sorry you did! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  17. Hi and Congratulations on your new book, it sounds like a great read and I love your book cover. I love everything about Christmas, Its all about great family time. I have 5 siblings and while growing up at home we always got what we asked for plus more, our mom and dad always made our Christmas and all our holidays pretty special. My mom was not a dessert baker but we always had goodies, she was a Great cook though. My husband and I have 2 adult children with little families of their own, so when they were growing up, I tried to make their sure all the Christmas’s and their bdays and all the holidays were as special for them as my parents made them for my siblings and I. We have 3 grandchildren and we make it very special for them also, it is always so very nice when my children and grandchildren come to our house for Christmas. When my 2 children were growing up at home, we would go spend Christmas with my parents and family or with my in laws. My parents are no longer living, but I do have Special photo ornaments of each of them, so they are with us in spirit. Thank you for the chance at your great sounding book.

    1. Oh, thank you, Alicia! And your Christmases sound absolutely wonderful. Such fond memories of past Christmases, and now that you have grandchildren, I bet it’s wonderful to be with them on Christmas and pass on those treasured family traditions. Thanks for sharing your memories with us! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  18. I love a quiet Christmas just watching my daughter enjoy her gifts and relaxing with her and my husband.

    1. Heather, that sounds absolutely delightful! Now that our sons are in their mid 20’s my husband and I get up before they do on Christmas morning, brew a big pot of coffee, put cookies on a plate (Nothing goes better with morning coffee than Christmas cookies!) then blast our traditional Christmas music from Manheim Steamroller to wake up the boys. Then we drink coffee while they take turns opening presents. There’s nothing better than Christmas morning with kids! Wishing you and your family a very merry and quiet Christmas!

  19. I love to try to capture the magic, cozy feeling of Christmas that I remember as a child. With 4 children, I try to avoid chaos as much as possible so I try to have a gameplan to get things done so I have time to just enjoy the fun stuff with the kids (baking cookies, Christmas movies, games, luminaries, Advent activities, etc). It’s never perfect, but I hope when my children are adults they’ll have wonderful memories of our family Christmas

    1. Hi Kelly! It sounds like your children are going to have very special and wonderful memories of their family Christmas! You have so many fun activities for the family planned! I love making luminaries. We haven’t done that one in a while, but there is nothing prettier than Christmas luminaries on a snowy Christmas Eve! Thank you for posting! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  20. Our Christmas is quiet and sedate. Both our daughters and families live on the West Coast and we live in the Midwest. So the best we do is Facetime on the holiday. I try to incorporate some Christmas spirit in our lives by decorating the house, sending cards and making a special meal, even if its just the two of us and our cats.

    1. Hi Dianne! Even though your Christmas will be quiet, I love that you have the perfect plan for putting a dash of Christmas spirit in your home. It’s hard when family members move away (my oldest is on the West coast too, and I live in MI!) but any effort to make the day special is well worth it! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  21. I would absolutely like to recapture some of the spirit of Christmases from my youth! I’m feeling kind of nostalgic for those times with friends and family who I don’t get to see anymore.
    I love the gingerbread lighthouse on the book cover, and it’s funny that your dog looks like he is trying to eat the cookie off your sweater. 😁

    1. Hi Shannon! Oh, I hear you about trying to recapture some of that Christmas magic from our childhoods. Last Christmas I spent a lot of time looking through pictures and watching old videos of our past Christmases when I was a kid. It was both wonderful and very bittersweet. I cherish those memories, and hope to make new ones with my kids. Even the old Christmas music gets me. We play a lot of it! Thank you for posting! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

      1. We are trying to make some great new memories with our kids, too. Luckily, we still get to go spend time with my parents at Christmas, so we’re looking forward to that. Merry Christmas to you and your family, too!! 🎄

  22. Christmas here can be quiet…until the whole family shows up on Christmas Day. Then it gets crazy! But in a good way. I love it. The more presents and food and people, the better.

    Love the cover of Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. It’s so festive.

    1. Hi Ann! Oh, isn’t that the truth! It’s the calm before the storm, but like you, I love both sides of that coin. I like having a quiet kitchen so that I can make all the food a head of time, and then I love when everyone shows up for the fun. It’s what makes Christmas so special! Thanks for sharing! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  23. Christmases will be changing for us. My first grand baby was born on October 6, 2021!

  24. Oh my gosh!! Congratulations on your first grandbaby! This is going to be one magical Christmas for your family! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you! We’ll be taking lots of pictures this year!!! Merry Christmas!

  25. I like a sedate, less chaotic Christmas, but every once in a while…we need a little craziness. Thank you for your article.

    1. Sometimes those “sugarplum” visions of a quiet Christmas just get away from us. Happens to me every year! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  26. Every year I try to have a more relaxed christmas, and it seems like every year I fail

    1. Your in good company! My plans usually get hijacked by chaos at some point. But it’s all part of the charm of Christmas! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  27. Sedate or chaotic or a mix of both doesn’t matter as long as loved ones are gathered and memories are made – it’s the holidays.

    1. Thank you. I love this cover too. It manages to capture the spirit of the book so well. The cover artist is a genius! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!!

  28. My family’s tradition growing up was we stay up on Christmas Eve and open presents at midnight. Leading up to midnight, we eat lots of food, play games, chat and laugh over funny memories.

    1. Oh, I love that tradition! Christmas Eve was very big in our family too, but we had to go to bed well before midnight or Santa wouldn’t come to our house, lol! Thanks for sharing that special tradition. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  29. I have so very memorable Christmases from growing up and with my husband and boys and now add in the grandchildren. But I have never had a perfect Christmas. It would be nice but I am not that person and could never carry it off!

  30. I think Christmas is magical. Magical with some chaos and slight stress lol. I love going to helpful m pick a tree at the Christmas is tree farm and drinking hot chocolate. Cookie exchange parties and lights everywhere. My scouts decorate our an park every year. It’s magic to me.

    1. Oh, I’m with you! I think the season is just magical and I enjoy every crazy, chaotic moment of it! Thank you for sharing this! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  31. I’m on my own again for Christmas this year and don’t even know whether there will be a Feast of Love. For decades a local church has hosted a Christmas Day luncheon open to everyone. Last year they did boxed lunches Haven’t heard whether anything is happening this year.

    1. Oh, I so hope they do a Feast of Love this year at your church! We’ve had some very unsettling times since 2020, but some traditions need to continue. I hope this one does for you, my dear. Wishing you a merry Christmas!

  32. Loved reading all the comments! I don’t think anyone as old as I am wrote so here goes! In the 1950’s we always went into Atlanta for the lighting of the Christmas tree at Davison’s or Rich’s department stores on Thanksgiving. There were no shopping centers then. When going to Atlanta to shop it was dress up time as if going to church – hats, heels, gloves. Some people rode the “Nancy Hanks” up from Savannah or Macon to shop. That train went up in the morning and back in the evening every day!

    We sometimes went to Midnight Mass and got to open one present at home afterwards Otherwise we opened all presents after church on Christmas morning. Often Mama’s siblings and spouses came to our house for Christmas dinner from Macon and Statesboro. Other years we drove to her oldest sister’s home for Christmas, my brother and I crowded in the back seat beside my uncle for the long drive! No interstates then!

    When Mama’s parents were still living we would go to their farm at Christmas. There was no running water nor furnace. Well water and roaring fireplaces and a potbellied stove in Gramma’s room. We slept on featherbeds with a Chamber Pot underneath! It was always grand to be there! All the relatives visited each other and there were a lot of them even some young cousins my age to play with. All the food was home grown or raised on the farm. Meals were delicious cooked on Gramma’s wood stove! I never knew how she could bake such delicious cakes in a wood stove oven.

    Then we would go to Macon to my Daddy’s home to visit with Papa and the numerous aunts, uncles and cousins there.

    Leading up to Christmas we would decorate our house and tree. Daddy would put the electric train under the tree. We would wrap packages and write Christmas cards on a card table set up for this in a corner of the living room and all the while listened to Christmas records playing -especially the Irish ones Daddy loved! We sang along. Sometimes the records were Glenn Miller and other bands from the 30’s and 40’s and Daddy would dance with me or Mama.

    I had Christmases when Daddy was overseas in the war and my present was an old doll dressed in new handmade clothes. A very sparse Christmas in the early 50’s when Daddy was between jobs. But always was surrounded by love!!!

    When our children were growing up, we alternated Christmas with my parents in Georgia and his in Vermont. When we had teenagers, we had Christmas at home here in Florida (we had moved around a lot). Sometimes my parents came for Christmas, sometimes my brother and his sons came. I loved decorating and hated to take it all down after! I emulated the Southern holiday meals I grew up with and used the best china and silver for my children to enjoy not saved just for company!

    After all the children left home, we had a chosen family of close friends who came for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Some of our children and grandchildren were here sometimes. Some years we were at a child’s house.

    Now we try to spend Thanksgiving on a cruise ship where we also celebrate our wedding anniversary!

    Christmas is with our granddaughter’s family in Maryland. The two great granddaughters are a delight and there is nothing like Christmas morning with young ones!

    In Maryland I get to help in the kitchen and my grandson-in-law is from the South and he likes all the traditional foods I am used to. We all wear matching pajamas and may keep them on all Christmas day!

  33. Ours is usually crazy and loud! I enjoy it though! Congratulations on your book! Love the book cover! Thanks for the chance!

    1. I embrace crazy and loud too! Thank you. I’m so happy that you love that book cover. I love it too. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

  34. Hello! I’ve settled into a more sedate, less chaotic, routine. I mean, for me… I want to see the decorations, but not be overwhelmed by them. A little shopping is good, a slew of baking is better, and, overall, still feel the hope that I and my guys won’t feel too disappointed on that holiday morning.

  35. I plan for a quiet organized Christmas but it is hard to make it happen After the chaos by early Christmas Eve it is wonderful.

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