December 4, 2012

Tuesday’s Tidbits

Update: Randomly drawn winners are Carol O. and Jill H. Email me with a few book choices and your addy. :)

Original Post:
My Top Five Holiday Moments:

1. When my youngest turned eight she very solemnly told me she knew that Santa was a hoax. I said no, baby, it

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  1. Happy release day, Jill! Loved Mia and Nick’s story!!!

    Happiest memory is the year my mom got me my Cabbage Patch doll. There were none in the stores, yet somehow my mom got mine and it was the very last gift given that morning. I still have that doll to this day too.

    My dad has always made homemade pizza for Christmas Eve dinner. We all love it so much. Growing up we never left cookies and milk for Santa…we left pizza and beer.

  2. I was about 12, my momma had made us like a Thanksgiving dinner for Christmas. It was the next day and I was making my plate to warm up. I had just gotten my turkey out of the bowl. I was watching my brother do something while lifting the turkey bowl back to the table and dropped it all in the floor. I don’t think my momma talked to me for a week. Lol

  3. My most memorable Christmas was when I got the mumps (I don’t know if it’s called the same in the US) on Christmas Eve and my big sister had to get an injection against it as she was going camping just after Christmas. The needle was huge and she took forever to forgive me :) Hey at least she wasn’t violently ill all Christmas.

  4. Squirrel in my parents tree and a frantic call from my mom to my husband at 5 am is a classic moment :)

  5. There was the year that every gift I opened held pajamas. The year my uncle gave me a set of drums for Christmas. They stayed at my grandparents since my mom would let me take them home. I always spent a lot of time with my grandparents so I didn’t mind.

  6. Well, this year my oldest asked me if there really was a Santa…so this will be a memorable year since he doesn’t believe in Santa…however, it also makes it easier because now he understands that even Santa is on a budget and can’t buy him any gift he wants.

    There are certain gifts my kids have received over the years that I won’t forget the look on their face when they opened it. Congrats on Under the Mistletoe! I preordered it but also read it via NetGalley and it was good. I wasn’t sure if I would like Nick or Carlos better…but you made the right choice. :)

  7. The year I had all the presents wrapped and hidden in the basement in the closet under the stairs. Then at 5:30 AM one day I woke up to a rapidly flooding basement. Our hot water heater had sprung a leak…the hot water heater in the basement next to the presents. The boys were still asleep so I ran and grabbed all the presents but had no where else to hide them so I called my next door neighbor. She and her husband came over and we carried all the presents to their house before the boys woke up.

  8. When we lived in Italy, my mom bought a beautiful Italian creche. The Italian tradition is that the baby Jesus is not placed in the creche until Christmas Eve. We went by the traditional American way, and placed all characters in the creche when it was originally brought out each holiday. Over night, while we all slept, our Siberian Husky, Ivan, would gently remove the baby Jesus and hide him under the living room sofa. He did this every night until Christmas, then left him alone after that. True story.

  9. Santa almost told my daughter that Santa wasn’t real!

    Our tradition is opening presents on Christmas Eve (my husband’s from Germany, and that is the tradition there). I’ve always explained it to my daughter that Santa has so many places in the world to go that he has to bring some families’ gifts on Christmas Eve and others’ in the middle of the night.

    When my daughter was about 7, she went to a birthday party (late December birthday), and the mom had hired a Santa to come surprise the girls. Well, luckily I was there because he started to argue with my daughter that he came at night. Thank goodness I was there! I stepped in, gave him a crazy-eyed mother look and sternly told him the whole spiel:

    “Santa, remember, since you have so many houses to visit, you drop some gifts off early on Christmas Eve! Some in Germany, some here. We’re on your early list!” *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*

    I think I had him totally confused, but at least it shut him up.

  10. p.s. just bought “Under the Mistletoe” at the Sony eReader site. I’ll be digging into that tonight, dontcha know.

  11. Taking my then 3 yr old nephew to see Christmas lights. He fell asleep but woke up as we passed a brightly lit shopping center. The kiddo was never out after dark so he thought every neon light was Christmas decorations! He was thrilled no matter how simple or elaborate the light display. Even the walmart sign made him smile! :lol:

  12. My happiest Christmas memory was 8 years ago when my husband asked me to marry him. I hadn’t expected ever to remarry. I always tease him about how he chased me. He even had to wait for a first kiss which didn’t happen until about our 5th or 6th date. I’m not a prude, the time just wasn’t right. Both of us had been married before and I guess I just wanted to be sure he was perhaps the one!

  13. Loved your Christmas memories. My most memorable was my Senior year in High School. I had to have all of my wisdom teeth removed because they were trying to move my other teeth that I had worn braces to straighten. Spent the entire Christmas vacation laying around and living on milk shakes….well, that was good anyway ;-)

  14. My favorite Christmas is memory has to be my son’s 1st Christmas in 2007. He got a ball popper and I would get on the floor with him and we would laugh SO hard (him at the popping balls and me at him)! I will never forget that….

  15. It was always so exciting watching our children open their gifts with such enthusiasm. We’ve now had the chance to watch our grandchildren do the same. That brings back memories and always starts a bunch of stories from Christmases past! Happy Holidays!!

  16. When I was small (7 or so) my mom and dad put the Christmas tree up at the corner of the living room and I could see if from my bunk bed if I leaned just right. I woke up probably around 3 or 4 AM and looked down the hall. The tree lights we on, but not the color wheel, so it wasn’t very bright. All I could see was a set of beady eyes looking back at me and looked to be about my height. Scared me so bad I didn’t go down the hall to peek at the presents. My mom and dad got to sleep late that year and my sister got a life sized afghan hound stuffed toy for a present.

  17. When all my grandparents were alive, Mom and Dad would divide our time between these two. I am an only child and I was thrilled when I got to go to one grandparent’s house with all my cousins. Grandma would make everyone’s favorite dessert and that is a lot of desserts. Mine was yellow cake with chocolate icing and with pecans and cherries on top. When we went to my other grandparent’s house, I got to see my other cousins and run around the farm aggrevating all Grandad’s farm animals. Loved those days and I will never get them back because my grandparents have passed away. All the cousins are grown and have families of their own to visit.

  18. One favorite moment is when my kids look to see where Magic our Elf is!

    My favorite is when my father-side of the family gets together right before or right after Christmas “Our Family gathering”

  19. The Christmas of 2005 was the best ever for me. That year I had all of my children but one home for Christmas. I was also lucky enough to have my only grandchild at the time. It took over 5 hours to open all the presents and our dog Zippy christened all the presents at the front with his pee! He’s considered a toy breed, he’s tiny, yet somehow all that pee came out of him and onto our gifts! Which we didn’t notice until gifts started being unwrapped. It made it a memorable year. It was also the year my little 1 yr old grandson toddled over to the dog bowl and scooped out some water with his little cup he got for xmas and drank it! Ahhhh the memories of that year will last me for the rest of my life. [I have 7 kids so it was a houseful!]

  20. My favorite Christmas was the year we came home from Germany. We were going to surprise everyone at Christmas dinner. My Sister was going to pick us up at the airport and take us home. When we got off the plane and through customs the whole family was there all 98 of them waiting to surprise us.

  21. When I was 7, we had just moved to Jacksonville from Memphis and didn’t have time to get a tree and all that stuff, so my parents made a Christmas tree out of lights on the wall. We went to walmart and picked out what we wanted and put the bags under the tree when we got home. When I moved in with my then-fiancee now-husband, we made a Christmas tree out of lights on the all and put our presents under it :)

  22. My daughter’s first Christmas. She was only nine days old and the furnace had died in the night. We cuddled by the fire, wrapped in blankets. The Christmas miracle – we were able to reach the furnace company and a repair man was there within 30 minutes. He was so kind and told us that working Christmas was his favorite day of the year. His family celebrated on Christmas Eve, which let him be an angel to people in need. I hugged him when he left and gave him a big plate of cookies to share with his family.

  23. My family always does pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas. For some reason my brother and I were left alone (always a bad idea) one Christmas morning. Apparently the parents thought our toys were enough to keep us amused. And apparently they didn’t feed us. By the time they came back my brother had ate all of the pumpkin filling out of the pie while I had ate the whole tub of Cool Whip. :shock:

  24. During one Christmas dinner when I was in college, my normally well behaved dog suddenly put her front paws on the table and took a piece of turkey off the platter. My parents thought it was hilarious (luckily) because it was so completely out of character for her. The only thing we could figure out was that the platter was on the edge of the table where she could somewhat see it and that, combined with all the wonderful smells, just pushed her past all control.

  25. My husband & I taking off an entire day of work to make LEGO castles and ships for our son many years ago. Our backs were sore for days but it saved time on Christmas Day for our son to play w/all the accessories!

  26. I have a feeling that this year will be the best Christmas yet because I have a new neice to celebrate it with! However, I think one of my favorite Christmases was a few years ago when my uncle, sentimental fool that he is, gave a toast with his coffee, after all the presents were opened, about how much he loved all of us and started to cry. And what could we do, as his loving family, but laugh at him!

  27. My mother was always forgetting where she hid gifts she bought ahead! Probably because she didn’t tell anyone her hiding spot because my dad couldn’t keep secrets. When babysitting my son one time when he was about 5, my son asked my dad to take him to our closet and look for Christmas gifts. Not only did he do that, he put him on his shoulders for a really good view!

  28. The year my Mom was hospitalized and dying of cancer. I am the only one in the family who makes my Grandma’s special Christmas cookies(Vanija Kranzls), which absolutely were not getting made. My oldest daughter resourcefully took refrigerator sugar cookies and made her own version of them for the family(promptly dubbed Ghetto Kranzls)! They have become a family legend, but to me, they are one of the greatest expressions of love and support ever.

  29. I was a new bride cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner and, yes, I left the gizzard, neck, etc. inside of the turkey (I made the stuffing as a side dish). I’d never given a thought that it would even be in there. I called my mother about cooking the stupid ‘Big Bird’and she told me. Everything turned out fine and I secretly pulled everything out and threw it away. The bird turned out fine (fist pump) and I didn’t poison anyone…HOORAH!!!

  30. It’s not my favorite holiday memory, since having my 3 kids I have a lot of those, but it was definitely memorable when I was 6 or 7 and my 2 brothers and I ran to the living room on Christmas morning to find… nothing! We started yelling for our parents, who had oh crap looks on their faces. They told us to go back to our rooms and wait while they looked for our presents. After a few minutes they brought them all in, saying we were so bad that year that Santa didn’t want to come in our house so he just threw them in the yard. Of course when we were older they told us that they had just fallen asleep and forgotten to get the presents from the trunk of my dad’s car.

  31. My children confessed that one year my daughter found the presents stashed in the back of the basement when my son and daughter were little. She convinced her brother to go look at the presents even though they weren’t supposed to be in the basement. As my son is walking to peek his sock catches on a fishing hook that somehow ended up on the floor but was still attached to the reel so it is tugging on his sock. He screams to his sister, “It’s a trap!” and they untangle him and run away.

  32. I didn’t find this out until we were a little older but…every Christmas my older brother and sister would wake up before everyone else and open ALL the presents, including mine and my younger sister’s. Then they’d rewrap everything and wake everyone else up.

  33. Stockings are a very big deal at Christmas for us. There are so many people, when the whole extended family gets together, none of us could afford presents for all… But we can do stocking stuffers. Many of us shop all year for them. The guys are a special challenge, but we’re up to it! Usually, there are a few gag gifts in there, but I love the fact that we all can’t wait for the end of the afternoon when everyone ends up at one of the sisters’ houses and we pull out the stockings. There’s no mantle in the world big enough for all of them!

  34. My favorite holiday memory is from Christmas 2010. My nephew Davey was born Christmas night. My parents, my sister and I spent the day in the hospital waiting room. Dinner was Subway and a bag of Doritos with some Pez to snack on between baby updates. :grin:

  35. top 3 would be

    1. Setting out decorations around the house to make it look festive and fun and the house smells great!

    2. When we have the apple cider on the stove homemade and hot with a bit of rum for that extra kick and the fun begins

    3. On Christmas day when everyone is altogether in every part of the house in their own conversations and yelling their opinions into the others from wherever they’re sitting

  36. Each year, I make my hubby sleep on the living room couch in front of the tree on Christmas Eve. Last year, my kids finally asked me why. I told them how Mom and Uncle Harry used to get up early early each Christmas morning, sneak out to the tree and go through all the stockings and presents, then sneak back to bed and pretend to be surprised when the real unwrapping began later that morning. My parents had no clue until I was married with my own kids. So, I make double sure no sneaking is going on! Presents stay hidden until all the munchkins are in bed Christmas Eve, then guardian Dad goes on Duty! =)

  37. My sister doesn’t handle suspense well, and New Years Eve is particularly difficult, what with the countdown. One year, pacing and fretting at the 2-minute mark, she suddenly broke, whirling around dramatically and throwing her hands in the air, to say, “Gah! I’m going to bed.” Of course, she didn’t take into account the full glass of champagne in her hands. She doused five of us in the liquid, the walls were painted in sticky shine, and we missed the official entry of the new year. Now, she’s not allowed any drink until 12:01am. ;)

  38. You always make me laugh! :-)
    My children are small, they still believe in Santa which I love.
    My favorite moment was in the first year when my son could already talk and when he walked into the room and caught sight of the tree with the presents he just said: Oooooooooooooh!!!
    As a child I was fond of Christmas, but nothing compared to now when I can see the happiness on our children’s faces.

  39. I was 3 weeks away from my third child’s due date so my husband braved bitter cold temps to go and cut down our Christmas tree at the Christmas tree farm. Unfortunately after he paid for the tree he realized he’d misplaced his car keys somewhere in the place. He ventured back out in the cold and growing dark with the farm owner. Amazingly someone was watching out for him as he found the keys in the snow near the place where he had cut down the tree.

  40. My favorite Christmas memories always revolve around “disasters”…glad to hear yours do too!

    Thanks for making a great season even more fun! – JENNY

  41. the christmas eve in which my brother step father and brother in law put together my nieces toy crib, while drinking beer and that it didn’t fall apart.

  42. One of my favorites was when I was a kid, probably 13, I slept in the basement and around 2:30am, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to see what Santa brought (okay, so I knew it was my mom and dad but I had brothers who were toddlers, so we all believed!) and I crept upstairs only to find my 12 year old brother waiting for me. We were going to check out the goods! Only after we went through our stockings and check out the Santa goodies could we both sleep peacefully.

    We still laugh about it!

  43. Had to be this year – we went to ICE at the Gaylord Texan hotel, and my children talked by 65 year old mother into climbing up the stairs and going down the ICE slides. Then they talked her into Snow Tubing! It is truly a memory we will cherish forever!

  44. For most of my marriage I was a military wife, which means we moved – a lot. Even after the military there were a lot of moves. But every Christmas when we drag out the boxes of decorations we journey back to places we’ve lived. With each ornament that is unearthed comes a story. I’m always surprised how much my daughters remember about the many places we’ve lived and the stories they can tell just based on the ornaments they find. So for me, each year when we decorate the tree is my favorite. We get to go on a trip down memory lane, talking and sharing stories about Christmas past and all the wonderful people who became our family when those we were related to by blood were so far away.

  45. Last Christmas (or the one before?), my older sister & myself had gotten my younger sister an 8-bit NES gaming console and one of our favourite games from our youth [The Battle of Olympus]. There we were, in Peloponnesus battling a rock-heaving cyclops in the incredible definition of 8-bit games on a giant HDTV, when a squirrel fell through the chimney and scared the shite out of all of us. Of course, the squirrel was probably even more terrified, but the siblings & I bolted up the stairs whilst the parents tried to coax the frantically-jumping-around squirrel out the window & back outside. Mind you, the living room is on the 2nd floor & there aren’t any trees close enough, so the squirrel made a leap of faith and took off down the yard. I think it should just be grateful the fireplace wasn’t on, haha.

  46. Traveled by air from “snow country” to visit family in “NOT snow country”. Rented an economy “NOT snow country” car. “NOT snow country” had the worst blizzard in fifty years. Got the “NOT snow country” rental car seriously stuck in my parents’ “NOT snow country” gravel road. That transmission DID NOT sound the same when it was pulled out of the Grand Canyon that was dug into that road trying to get the car out. Happy Trails!

  47. First of all, love your books :)
    More of a funny memory . We had just finished our Xmas meal and for a moment my Mom went with the group to the outdoor patio (home was in Puerto Rico, thus very tropical weather). So the kitchen was unattended with the food still on the kitchen counter. When she returned , our German Sheperd had dragged the turkey and stuffing all through the kitchen , the house and was munching it in the carport. We laughed hysterically, not so my Mom :)
    Happy holidays

  48. So happy Under the Mistletoe released today…
    My favorite holiday memory is that my aunt who moved to South Carolina while we were still living on Long Island came home as a surprise for me… I was touched.

  49. When when he was 2 I bought him a big wheel for Christmas and being a single mom I was like I can do this and decided to put it together. At 3 am I was cussing and tossed it out the front door. I then got it together and finally finished it but I remember that being the worst thing I ever had to put together.

    When my son was 3 I had hidden his stuff on the washer and dryer in the laundry room. I got out of the shower one morning and found him in the kitchen with his “new toys” having a grand time.

    When he was 6 we had a new kitten. Day 1 – woke up to ornaments all over the house. Came home from work, tree was in the floor. Day 2 – Woke up to more ornaments on the floor. Came home tree was in the floor. Day 3 – Woke up tree on floor more ornaments and this time I took every ornament off the tree and tied the tree to the wall. Then the cat slept in it the rest of the time and it was toast by the time Christmas was over.

    Good times :)

  50. Congrats whoo
    our first Xmas tree so great and we put presents that was. Lotof fun live spendinge time with he family

  51. Dec 4,2009 it snowed on houston. One week earlier – My husband made a gingerbread house for the front yard and I stapled fake snow. My kids wished it would snow for real. It was about 10pm and we were playing in the snow.

  52. The best was the year my grown children showed up on the doorstep (all 4 of them with the grandkids) unnanounced. Then the mad scramble to feed them all! It was the best Christmas ever.

  53. My happiest memory from Christmas is from last year. My husband and I moved out of state for his work and we had been missing the family holidays and get togethers for four years. We finally had the chance to move back to our home state last year and we spent Christmas at my sister’s house. We had an ugly sweater christmas party where my family came and my husband’s family. We drank, had fun, did a white elephant gift exchange. We had a lot of fun and it was something I had despereately missed for the last 4 years. My kids were able to spend Christmas and Christmas morning with their cousins and everything just felt right. We are unable to travel to my sister’s this year, but last year meant so much to be back around family

  54. The year I stayed up late to wrap all the presents early and then the tree fell over that night. The only year we had a real tree and I had to unwrap and wrap all the presents because they got wet.

  55. Every Christmas we watch While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman with the whole family. However that particular year we missed the beginning of the movie (which aired on a TV channel at the time) since everyone was looking around for Hamster Hannah, my little sister’s hamster who had escaped and ran rampant in the house. So imagine the utter chaos of 3 kids looking under presents, the dog running around excited by all the events, and the parents trying not to step on the hamster should it appear. We found the little escapee and whenever we rewatched the movie from the VHS cassette and its beginning was missing we knew this was the copy we taped after the “hamster hunt” :-D

  56. I remember my first christmas with my husband. We laid on the floor under the tree with the wrapped gifts and I kept shaking his gifts from me and asking him if he wanted to open it because I couldn’t wait to give them to him. He kept looking at me like I was nuts. He has more self control than I do. :oops:

  57. When I was a kid and watching my grandfather put ketchup on his spaghetti and green beans. I was the lucky one who got to sit right next to him at the dinner table. And people say I eat weird!

  58. My favorite holiday memory was on Christmas Eve when I was about 8. We get to each open one present. Well that year we didn’t get to pick which one my dad had to go get it. So when my dad came back he had a pet carrier and inside was a little black and white shih tzu puppy, she was the sweetest thing and her name was Sarah. She was the greatest little dog and was my best friend for a long time. :grin:

  59. OMG I love all these stories! Marty, I had tears in my eyes!
    I have always LOVED Christmas. I remember being so frustrated that Santa could sneak in and out without anyone hearing him. One year I was determined to catch him, so I convinced mom and dad to let me sleep in the living room in the recliner 3 feet from the tree. My brother is 6 yrs older, so he was already aware of the truth, but he played along and slept on the couch. When I woke Christmas morning, there sat my full stocking and all my beautiful presents. My brother looked over from the couch and was just smiling. I hissed “Did you see him?!” I was so afraid that he had danced a jig with Santa while leaving me asleep. but he assured me that he didn’t hear a thing. Best big brother ever.

  60. Looking forward to this Christmas. One in Highschool and one in Collage and they still believe in Santa. I told them what my Mom told me,” once you stop believing in Santa he will stop comming.” Go figure I still belive at 50 and there is always something under the tree for me.

  61. My oldest child is three and is just getting into the Santa thing so it is really getting fun in our house this year. The other night we went to a tree lighting the other night and the Santa there asked my son if he liked the tree. My son replied that there was no star on top of the tree so it was just ok. I thought Santa was going to fall off his chair laughing.

    I liked your #1. My husband wouldn’t look the greatest as the tooth fairy either. Lol. I purchased you “Wilder” series this morning. It was on sale for $4.99 each. Merry Christmas to me!

  62. Your comment #4 remind’s me of the time my shopping was done early. We lived in PA and it had snowed then it started to rain which melted the snow right into our basement. Needless to say present’s were ruined and shopping to do over.

  63. My happiest Christmas moment came 3 years ago, my daughter and only child had moved from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles and wasn’t able to come home for Christmas. I was sitting on the couch watching my husband stare at the stupid TV as he repeatedly channel surfed from station to station trying not to cry. I was completely miserable. Christmas without you kids is lonely. Suddenly my front door opened and in walked my baby. Her father had bought her a plane ticket at the last minute. She had to fly home Christmas night but it was the happiest gift I ever received (until I found out she is pregnant, in April I get a better present, a granddaughter!).

  64. Don’t have one particular moment. Just watching the kids open presents, but trying to instill the reason for the celebration.

  65. I have a similar story. A couple of years ago had the tree all setup and the presents underneath. The cat got under the tree and pooped on the presents. He did it on two of them. The kids thought it was funny. I was mad because I had already wrapped enough presents and did not feel like wrapping anymore.
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas. Sorry you are blocked from Facebook.

  66. Growing up and having my entire family there. All together it totals about 20. It’s loud and crazy and I always smile at the memories.

  67. Oh, how lovely…each in their own way of course. ^_^ Moment 1: So sweet…and funny! Moment 2: SO BEEN THERE BEFORE! One of my little fuzzies that has since passed away did that two years in a row…the little stinker. Good thing he was (is) loved! Moment 3: OMG! Can’t say that’s happened (LOL) but just think…a great story for your own grandchildren one day. ^_^ Moment 4: HA! Done that too…actually all of my family has. ^_^ Moment 5: Such is the family life. We only do that with the ones we love most though so it evens out.

    One of my top holiday moments…would have to be the year I spirited away my parents to Walt Disney World for Christmas. Mom was BEYOND thrilled/surprised (Dad too!) and we lived it up holiday style…complete with a cardboard tree I made for the room and the Christmas lights I decked the windows out with. Hey, it’s not Christmas unless you’re with those you love….and call me Kevin (Home Alone reference ^_^) but I need my Christmas tree! :razz:

  68. Giving birth to my son. While I do remind him that it was 42 1/2 hours of labor and I missed our turkey dinner, I would not change it for all the tea in China.

    By the way I DID see the Tooth Fairy when I was about 6 or 7, she was beautiful and looked like a princess.

  69. Every year my mother makes sticky cinnamon rolls for christmas morning from scratch. She stays up all night making them. I love it. They’re the most delicious thing ever and we only get them on Christmas.

    Also my mother is lactose intollerant so Santa at my house always always always got a glass of coke with his cookies. & Then as a kid I watched The Santa Clause and he makes a comment about how Santa is Lactose Intollerant. Until I was a grown adult I thought this was a widely accepted fact about Santa … as a kid I could not understand why people wanted to leave poor Santa, the guy bringing them gifts, a glass of milk.

  70. I have loved each and every one of your books. I’ve kept them all. I like to touch them. I don’t have an electronic notebook (can’t afford one) and was so disappointed when “Under the Mistletoe” was not coming out in paperback. I would love to read about Mia. Can’t wait for the next Lucky Harbor to come out in paperback.

    Nyoka Grantham

  71. i was six years old and my mother told me we would decorate the christmas tree when I got home from school. I was so excited and anticipated it all during school. Big deal for a six year old.
    When I got home, my older brother who was home from the navy on leave went ahead and decorated the tree without me!!! While he thought he was doing me a favor I came home and was devastated. I took one look at the tree and busted out in tears saying you decorated the christmas tree without me!!!

    FYI: Also downloaded Mia’s story. First up this weekend!! Keep those Lucky Harbor series coming!!!
    Merry Christmas!

  72. My most memorable Christmas was the one after my dad died. He had always put up the tree and it was the first year my sister and i had to do it all by ourselves. OMG! If I would have realized how hard getting a real tree was, cutting the bottom off, getting it in the stand, and standing it up was I would have given the man an award. The stupid tree fell down at least 3 times before we could get it right. What a horror. We can laugh about it now, but at the time it wasn’t funny at all.

  73. My favorite holiday memory is from a few years back. I was frantically putting the finishing touches on the house/decorating/food in preparation for hosting a Christmas party of 10 people. Exactly 5 minutes before everyone was due to arrive, my 9-month old son tried using our Christmas tree branches to pull himself up to a standing position. Unfortunately, said Christmas tree was a Wal-Mart after Christmas special and couldn’t bear that type of pull, and broke completely and toppled over. My son was nowhere to be seen, hidden under the tree and piled with tinsel & ornaments. We worked quickly at rescuing him, then propped up the tree and stuffed all the ornaments somewhere. The bright side is that my son was fine and I got a new, much nicer tree after that!

  74. My best Christmas memory was 5 years ago — I gave birth to my daughter. We were in Portland at the time, no family around, and a dear friend watched my little son and even gave him a Christmas present that morning. It even snowed on Christmas! My husband brought all the presents, a mini tree, and our son up to our hospital room and we opened and played with our gifts, our sweet baby, and had McDonald’s for our Christmas dinner. It was the best Christmas ever!

  75. I loved your memories–they are so endearing..and funny!

    I loved how this year my 6 year old kept remembering things as I put them out…his Christmas books, his ‘socks’ that hang on the fireplace, his Fisher Price Santa toys, the Nativity–with Baby Jesus, the toys that make noise….and then the ornaments on the tree that had his name on them…priceless!

  76. If you want greatest Christmas memory, It would be the birth of my son. He was due on January 23, 1981. I had been in bed since October because he just couldn’t seem to wait. I got to get up for Christmas dinner at my Grandmama’s and went into labor. They put me in the hospital and tried to stop labor but couldn’t.(I had already lost one son when he was born 6 weeks early) At 12:44 am on Dec. 26 he was born by c-section because he was dying. I got to touch him for about 3 minutes before they flew him to a Neonatal Unit in another state. Five days later I got to bring hime home. He is now 31 years old and a Tech Sgt. in the U.S. Airforce. He is not afraid to tell anyone that he is a Mama’s boy and he never fails to show me openly that he loves his Mama. He is and always will be my greatest Christmas Gift.

  77. Can’t wait to read Under The Mistletoe!
    My best memory is of my great-niece. The stores had recently come out with gingerbread pop-tarts and I had told my niece about them. She could not get them in her area so I bought some and figured I would give them to her when I saw her Christmas Eve. At the last minute I wrapped them up with my great-niece’s presents. While she loved her other gifts, (books, of course), American Girl clothes, and probably coloring items of some sort, she was crazy about the pop-tarts. She was running around the room, waving them, yelling, “Mommy I got Christmas pop-tarts!” What can I say, my family loves food :)

  78. When my first niece had her first Christmas is was so much fun. She was just a few weeks old from turning 1, and my mom and I took her to see Santa. I bought her a new dress and we had her picture taken. Her mom had just had her appendix out and i thought it would be a great gift to give her. She loved it. When the other nieces and nephews started coming all, I did the same thing… Especially when it was the twins. I bought the cutes outfits for them. A beautiful red dress for Cassandra and a cute red plaid vest and pants with a bow tie for Cory.. I have copys of those pictures that I will always cherish..

  79. What lovely memories. My most vivid one is when my grandfather filled my stocking with rocks. I had tried to “sneak” a second stocking by the fireplace and he caught me. I remember walking outside (we were in Tennessee) and across the sidewalk and lawn to the driveway where I promptly dumped them in the driveway. Gramps laughed about it the entire time and every Christmas until he passed. It is still remember through the family at what a prankster he was.

  80. One of most vivid memories I have is Christmas at our house when I was about 15. My mother and uncle got into a fight, some shoving, lots of yelling. Over a toy gun the kids had. Remember seeing the pan of dressing go flying over my sister’s bed and plunk down. The toy gun was released, presents and my uncle’s two girls snatched up (still in wrapping), him leaving out the back kitchen door. Never failed one of those two was at odds with another sibling at family gatherings at either our house or my grandparents. (My mother only has 3 brothers and 3 sisters, and 3 of them at the time had young kids.)

    Then there’s the time my grandmother (dad’s mom) got silky drawers (BIG ladies panties) for Christmas. The rule was if you got clothes you had to wear ’em. So she put ’em on her head.

    Course my great uncle (same side of the family) following the same rule when I was a kids got men’s support hose. Have vivid recollection of him putting panty hose while sitting at the table.

    Course we had fun gifting my aunt (she and my uncle were still dating at the time–the uncle who threw dressing) one year. She was still in her teens. Gift was wrapped in plastic maxipad bag. Had exactly the thing she’d been wanting, but took her a long time to get to it. She was so red! And it was stuffed with tissue with the gift in the middle. She was embarrassed to look.

    Did I mention we have a fun clan

  81. No funny stories but if you EVER figure out why facebook booted you please share.
    Under the Mistletoe was waiting for me when I went to bed last nite. It will be my reward for doing all the pesky things I HAVE to do today. :smile:

  82. Last year I bought tickets to a Blue Man Group show at the nearest theatre for my best friend. I was so excited! We saw them together at the Universal theatre the year before, so I thought it would be fun.

    He spends Christmas with my family every year, so he got to unwrap the tickets on Christmas morning. As soon as he opened them he said, “I already have tickets to this show for my mom and I.” It was the same night and everything.

  83. My favorite moment was when my son woke up and ran not to the gifts, but to the fireplace to see if Santa ate the cookies and drank the milk he left out. When he saw that he did, he said, “okay, gifts please”! It was his little validation in his heart that Santa does exist which means he brought gifts! It was really cute.

  84. Best memory – I had been given a LavaLamp by my parents. Not as a kid, I had always wanted one, and finally got it when I was 40 :) My dad was in failing health, but that night we sat in the darkened dining room and plugged it in. We sat and watched it and talked about the family…about his younger years, how much he has enjoyed watching us grow. Of all the years, and all the memories, that was the best. He passed the following April at home with us at his side. I have the lamp here on my sidetable by my computer and it never fails to make me smile. I am just discovering your books, so if I win one it will be new and exciting to me! Pam

  85. Last year I spent the holidays in Texas with my sister and her family and we drove to Orlando to take my 5 year old niece to Disney World for her Christmas surprise. She was so excited once she realized where we were. :)

  86. I’ll never forget when I was 8 years old Santa brought me a beginner bra and a baby doll. I guess I was growing up(too fast) but still a little girl. :)

  87. I just love your blog, always makes me laugh.

  88. Ha, ha, at least you got some firemen to your house!!! Last year we (I!) got our daughter an ipod touch, I have never seen her so happy about a gift, she went on and on…she thought she might get an ipod, but not an ipod touch!! Of course Daddy got all the credit, lol!!!! I have your book downloaded and ready to read, can’t wait!!!

  89. The best memory of Christmas was when I was a teenager, I got caught unwrapping and rewrapping all of my Christmas gifts. My parents threatened to take all my gifts back.

  90. Hope the firemen were hot! Bright side to everything if they were…

    One Christmas we came home from midnight mass to find the cat had climbed the tree while we were gone. Needless to say, our tree was a bit wonky that year.

  91. My favorite part of Christmas day is when all 3 of our boys (4,7,9) crawl in bed with us in the morning with their Christmas stockings. They are so sweet and so excited about their goodies. :smile:

  92. I love all your holiday memories!
    My most memorable holiday was when I was about 8 or 9. My parents found the cradle my grandfather had made me when I was a baby (I don’t know where it had been in the years leading up to that) and surprised me with it as one of my gifts. The thing was massive and made of this beautiful, shiny wood. I was obsessed with dolls, so it was the best gift ever. That was also the year my brother got a hamster and let me play with it, so all around, pretty good Christmas!

  93. Both our sons found out fairly young there was no Santa, my husband was never quite about putting there stuff out. That was okay, however, it was the other parents at their school that didn’t like it when their kids didn’t know and we would get calls to ask our kids to please not tell their child that Santa was fake. Yeah, that was always fun!! So glad they are teenagers and can careless.

  94. Happy Release day!! UNDER THE MISTLETOE was awesome, loved Mia and Nick’s story!!!

  95. every year we eat way to much food starting on christmas eve with hubby’s family get together food and snacks then of course there are the stories of when we were young and did crazy things then off to mass at eleven then home to bed to wait for the children to go to bed to put the presents under the tree then i feels like five minutes of sleep and they are up again ready to go so open present and start cooking breakfast for grandma and grandpa who are on their way over then we eat way to much food then clean up so we can go to great grandmas and grandpas house to eat some more then home to make christmas dinner eat more food then get to watch children chill with all there new stuff crazy crazy couple of days that i would not change for anything

  96. Probably the time one of my cats (or two or three) knocked down the Christmas tree, not once but twice. I had just finished wrapping all the gifts some time after 3 AM and had put them under the tree. While in another room cleaning up from wrapping I heard a loud bang. I’m sure they had gotten on top of the presents and were chasing each other on their new playground. It took more than an hour to put back the ornaments and tree and no sooner than I had done that than it happened again. I probably didn’t get it back right. So I had to get the vacuum out to pick up all the broken ornaments (sigh – lost some precious ones) but I could not believe neither of my girls who sleep on the same floor heard all the noise lol.

  97. My best Holidays – My son was born 18 years ago yesterday, having him in my arms that first Christmas together is and was the best.. 4 years later I had a girl for Thanksgiving – so my top holiday memories are of them

  98. Even though both my parents are deceased I still love the holidays and all of the memories it brings back with my parents and my entire family. There are 11 of us kids and when we were younger my mom and dad did 12 days of Christmas – it was unreal! One of the days, which happened to be a Sunday, “Santa” forgot to come and we were all so upset. We went to Mass as planned and when we came back, “Santa” had been to our house. He left two tandem bicycles, one purple and one blue. I remember distinctly that my father left church during Mass, just for a bit, and I imagine that was when Santa showed up at our house. I still love blue lights on Christmas trees because that is what we always had growing up. Merry Christmas!

  99. Standing in the (very long) queue to see Santa when my grandson shouted at the top of his voice, “But I don’t want to see Santa! Santa is a fraud. I know it’s dad I saw him dressed up last year!” Then…having to beat a hasty retreat as kids started asking VERY probing questions, and crying in equal measure! Caroline x ;-)

  100. One of my favorite memories came the year our son came home from kindergarten and announced, “Greg says Santa is a fake. That our parents do all that stuff.” I dreaded this conversation, and to give myself time to gather my thoughts, I asked, “Well, what do you think?” His answer, “I think Greg is stupid” left me breathing a sigh of relief that I hadn’t stuck my foot in my mouth!

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