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Tradition, Tradition!

The Christmas holiday begins next weekend and the common question asked is, “Are you ready?”  Well most of you are not as lucky as me.  I have a personal assistant named Nick, that makes sure I am ready long before the Christmas rush.

Starting just before Thanksgiving, Nick begins reminding me that Christmas is coming up.  He has a list in his mind of all the things that are needed so we have the perfect Christmas holiday celebration.  Most of these “must do’s” come from the things that I did for my kids when they were small in my attempt to create memories and traditions.

It seems that I was very successful.  It is really odd how some family traditions begin.  We must have lights on the house.  My dad used to have them on the house year round and just turned them on after Thanksgiving.

The tree is decorated in a particular pattern and order with the angel being the last things to go on the tree.  I believe that tradition started the year that we couldn’t find the angel for about 3 days and every year after that, the angel has been put on the tree at least one or two days after the rest of the decorations.

Stockings for everyone are hung anticipating the big event.  My mom made me a rather large stocking when I was a child and that is the pattern I used for my kids and now grandkids stockings.

Every flat surface and empty wall space is filled with lights, wreaths, figurines and dancing Santas.  The cacophony of sound when everything is turned on is incredible.

We have carolling books that we made years ago.  The pages are dog-eared and this year we noticed that a couple of them need to be re-stapled.  We used to carol outside wearing Santa hats, walking from house to house, with a large group of our friends, now we are involved with a carolling party for the young kids at our church.  For some of our traditions we need to be a bit more creative to complete them.

Baking and decorating Christmas cookies are a must do as well as making “Gingerbread” houses.  Our houses are made with graham crackers and Royal Icing before they are loaded with candy.  Definitely a sugar extravaganza.  It does get a bit competitive.  Years ago, we had to implement one rule.  You can’t use a glue gun to pre-assemble your house.   In our family, we do believe in forgiveness, so I can’t tell you whose actions necessitated this rule.  But the perpetrator was repentant and never tried it again.

We listen to Christmas songs on the radio and watch Christmas movies on TV.

The main reason we do all these things is to gather family and friends around, enjoying these activities together.  The love that we feel for each other is a reminder to all of us of the real reason for the season, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Nick loves this time of year.  He does remind me often that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.  With all of the things to do and lists to cross off, it is good to be reminded.  I hope that you have a wonderful holiday.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.