Winter Holiday in Havasu

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving. My birthday fell the day before Thanksgiving this year. I spent most of the day wrapping up The Ghost and Little Marie, so I could send it off to my second round of Beta readers by Thanksgiving. It goes to the editor the first of December.

Instead of joining Black Friday shoppers, my husband Don and I spent Friday on the lake. We’ve a little pontoon boat—nothing fancy, but it does the trick. The weather was amazing. There were some folks on the lake in bathing suits. I kept thinking of my friends back in colder climates, bundling up in winter wear.

Saturday, we hauled out the Christmas decorations and put up our tree. It was exhausting! I remembered when my grandma Hilda told me she wasn’t going to put up a tree anymore, because it was just too much work. At the time, I couldn’t imagine such a thing. Now, I understand.

Today we finished decorating the tree, but I still have the Nativity set to put out and my Dicken’s Village—both of which once belonged to my mother. Mom lives with us, and will be ninety in April. As much as she loved setting up both the Nativity set and Dicken’s Village each year, it’s a tradition that has since been passed to me.

Another thing I brought out today—the Holmes Christmas book. It’s a tradition my husband started over 25 years ago, when our son and daughter were children. It’s a diary of sorts, that we each write in every year, traditionally on Christmas night—yet sometimes before the New Year.

When our children married, I gave them their own Christmas book—yet I’m not sure they’ve been as faithful as Don and I have been, writing in our book each year. It’s a tradition I encourage every family to consider.

Wishing you all a blessed holiday season.





I’m back!!

Christmas 2015
I didn’t actually go anywhere—but I did check out from most Internet activities, such as blogging or socializing on Facebook, and I didn’t work on my new book. But I’m back today, and I’ll be diving into The Ghost of Valentine Past.

So where did I go—if only figuratively? Our daughter and her family came for Christmas. Last year Don and I spent Christmas alone, and it’s been a number of years since any of our kids came home for the holiday. I made the commitment to be in the moment this Christmas—especially since these moments are so rare and precious.

We spent extra care decorating the house and guest house, and it’s been years since I did any holiday baking—but I did it this year. We got the player piano working and ordered some Christmas rolls (which arrived just hours before our kids did). If someone were to ask why we bothered getting the piano going, or why we made an extra effort to deck out the house for the holidays, I would tell them, we were trying to create memories.

I want our grandchildren to remember the Christmas they spent in Havasu with Grandma and Grandpa Holmes, and GG (the nickname for my mother, Great-Grandma Caroline.) I want them to have fond sentimental memories, like those I have of my grandparents at Christmastime.

I confess, I cried when they drove off yesterday morning, and I wished again that we all lived closer to each other. But I was also content and had some wonderful new memories to cherish.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas. Happy New Years!