Tag Archives: holidays

What’s Your White Elephant Idea?

Moonday Mania

it’s monday, people!

The holidays are coming, and they are arriving at light speed. I’m still finishing up the last of the turkey soup and yet I need to think about buying presents. Yes, that’s right. I haven’t even started. As usual, I have not put up the lights, or the tree, nor purchased a single Christmas present. And it’s December 9th!

yule wreathI have thought about it, though. One of my major shopping needs are white elephants and boy do I need help! My family rocks the white elephant. We’ve perfected it over the last fifteen years. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the party for cheap people. Our white elephant requires two presents per person, each under fifteen dollars, and we go two rounds of choosing anonymous presents, praying we get the wine and not the Obama Chia Pet.

Anyone over fifteen can play, and almost nothing is out of bounds. Keep it clean, people! The worst gift I received was the reindeer pooper that pooped out chocolate candy.

Recently, my daughter lamented that we never got to keep our white elephants that we brought, that no matter how hard she tries, someone else gets to take them home. We bring some nice gifts along with the weird ones. We’ve brought Godiva chocolates, super nice. portable. coffee cups filled with chocolate, cans of chocolate covered peanuts (fifteen dollars worth!). You get her sadness? All that chocolate and it ends up going to different people. Sigh.

So this year I’m bringing tea (and maybe a little chocolate). We live near the Celestial Seasonings Factory and I’m going to purchase a nice tea pot and make a tea basket. I’m thinking of using all those delicious holiday flavors like Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, and Candy Cane Lane Green Tea. Yum!

Okay, that’s one white elephant down and I’m stumped. Any ideas? Come on, I need help! Under fifteen dollars and it can be silly or serious. What would you bring to the party?

Don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for an early Thursdays Bite and the second round of the I Read Fantasy 99 cent sale! Lot’s of prizes available and some great reads for only 99cents! 

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Happy Thanksgiving! Or maybe not…

BBQ'd Turkey, phot by Lynn Kelley Author

Some rights reserved by Lynn Kelley Author

Thursdays Bite

a holiday blog

It’s time to list what you are thankful for, so here goes. I’m thankful that I am NOT having anybody over for turkey-day. Nor am I going anywhere, or required to cook a big dinner for forty-or-so of my closest friends and relatives. I’m thankful that whatever I want to cook this year, I am not driving, so I can open up that bottle of wine and start early, and watch football, and the Macy’s Day Parade. Because no other parade will do.

I’m thankful for my husband, my kids, and my family. Even if I am not planning on seeing any of my extended family and even though sometimes my immediate family drives me crazy. I still love all of them, yes, even you. Despite everything. You know who you are.

I’m thankful that this year it’s all my decisions. Yes, I know that sounds selfish, but for once I get to decide what kind of foods to cook, or not cook. If I want to go out to dinner. And if I want to sleep in and not cook the turkey until late. Yes, I’m still cooking a turkey. It was a last minute decision. I almost decided this was the Thanksgiving without a turkey. I mean, we have one every year, usually two, since we have one on Christmas at my folks’ house. And really, do we need to do that? Well, I guess I do, since I bought one and it’s sitting in the cold drawer of my refrigerator waiting to be cooked.

I’m thankful that if I want potatoes, they’ll be there and that I can choose whatever kind of pie I like and not worry that anyone else will criticize my choices. I like pumpkin for Thanksgiving. Not chocolate cream, or apple, and definitely not mince. Shudder. And I like whipped cream with a little sugar. In fact, I think I’ll have that in my coffee too. Nothing like a little schlag on your coffee!

Does all this sound selfish? Not in the spirit of Thanksgiving? I’m kind of suspicious it does. But this year just kind of happened. No one invited us to Thanksgiving, no one called and asked what we were doing. I was working and editing and dealing with life, so it kind of crept up on me. Last week I was in the store looking at the turkeys and realizing that we had no plans, and instead of feeling left out or lonely… I felt relieved.

I should feel guilty. I should be heaping lots of “shoulds” on my shoulders. But instead I’m choosing to celebrate by not celebrating. Wow, what a concept. And what a relief. No guilt, no repercussions, no over-thinking. Just a cozy Thanksgiving with the people I’m closest too. And isn’t that what a holiday should be?

I know my Canadian friends celebrate in October, so they’ll be working like normal on Thursday, but what about you? What are you doing this holiday season? Are you taking time out for yourself? Do you feel guilty when you do? Are you going to relax this Thursday or are you going to be knocking down the doors of those retailers who can’t wait to open until Friday?

Save the date! We’re having a Facebook Party on December 14th, 3-6pm Colorado Time! Join Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Paranormal authors for games and giveaways. Click HERE to sign up and participate, it’s going to be a fun way to spend a cold winter’s afternoon in December!

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Groundhog day

Thursdays Bite

a blog for the paranormal-not the normal

I’ve always felt that spring starts in February. I know officially we have weeks of winter, but the wind feels a little warmer, there is more sun, and I feel springy. Shouldn’t that be enough?

Well guess what,  I’m right! Just as I’ve instinctively felt fall starts much earlier than our boring calendar, it turns out that the Celtic Pagan Calendar starts spring on February First. Imbolc. This is the pagan day when the goddess Brighid is celebrated. Bridhid has now morphed in our modern world into St. Bridgit and Imbolc has morphed into Candlemas. Or Groundhog day.

Why the date change? Well, the pagan calendar is not set by the date, it’s set by the seasons, so Imbolc usually falls on February 1st, but it might be January 31st some years and February 2nd others. We modern people, however, like rigidity, so our holidays all fall on the same dates and February 2nd is it.

 So how did we get from Imbolic to Candlemas to Punxsutawaney Phil?

There is a pagan tradition that if a hibernating animal casts it’s shadow on Imbolc, winter will last another six weeks. In Pennsylvania, where the people who we call the Pennsylvania Dutch settled (otherwise known as Germans), they brought with them that myth in the form of a hedgehog. I’m sure you can see how they would transfer the hedgehog into the groundhog.

All of this makes sense. What is a little unusual is the now magical tradition of Punxsutawney Phil. Did you know that supposedly this is the same groundhog they’ve been using for one hundred and twenty three years? Every summer members of the inner circle feed Phil a special potion that extends his life another seven years. They even have special top hats and coats, dressing up for their mystical rites. If that’s not spell casting I don’t know what is.

“If Candlemas be fair and bright,

Winter has another flight.

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

Winter will not come again.”

Did you know that Groundhog day had it’s roots in Imbolc? Did you suspect that Punxsuawney Phil was well over one hundred or that he’s a magical being? Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray? It’s one of my favorites!

Don’t forget to find me on Romance and Beyond on Friday where I’m blogging about the other reason (besides spring) that I love February.

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Filed under paranormal inspiration, roots of paranormal romance, Thursdays Bite, witches

Every Christmas Celebration is Unique

Merry Christmas and Happy Monday Mania!

snowmen nativity

Not everyone’s family is the same. No two Christmas celebrations are identical. No matter what the media would have you believe.

At our house we have two Christmas’s, Christmas Day with Jeff’s family and Christmas Eve with mine. Christmas with my family is  twenty plus people at the table and  two rounds of the rambunctious white elephant gift exchange topped off by the yule log (yum!).

Christmas at Jeff’s house is calmer. Only seven of us, sometimes a friend who has no family in town and individual presents. It’s calm and peaceful and we top it off with a traditional dinner at the table, candles and all. And desert varies. (I believe this year we are having pumpkin pie, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone sneaks in a chocolate cream pie too!)

Two different Christmas styles, but we love them both. Not every party can be a nutcracking free for all. We’d be exhausted! And what’s important for us is we get to spend it with family.

No matter what your family looks like, if it’s made up of the family you chose or the family who have to take you in, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday with the ones you love.

There have been some terrific Christmas blogs this year so take some time and make sure you’ve hit the best!

Start off with Jenny Hansen’s More Cowbell and check out all the Holiday Yum she’s had cooking all month. From candy’s to cookies, Jenny and her pals have it covered. Oh, and if you are into more than just recipes, scroll back through some of Jenny’s posts. She is a very funny gal and makes me LOL all the time!

Kristen Lamb is another funny gal who always has something informative to say, check out her Holiday Style Post HERE.

Lizzie T. Leaf has been celebrating December with the Wenches of Words. If you’d like some new reading this holiday, HERE is the link. My choice for Christmas reading is Holley Trent and her new novella Mrs. Roth’s Merry Christmas. Gotta love a paranormal Christmas!

And if you’ve stopped here, let me know what makes your Christmas unique? And yes, that really is my nativity set. How could I resist a snowmen nativity with jewels in their bellies? Could you?

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