6. The Year Our Christmas Tree Was a Chair
As Christmas memories go, mine probably hint at the same nostalgia and youthful excitement as most of yours, with maybe two important exceptions. One, my parents are immigrants from India, and we aren't Christian—although that didn't stop us from celebrating. And two, holiday dinners didn't resemble anything close to what I'd seen on A Christmas Carol or the Brady Bunch. No goose, turkey, or ham. Not even fish. Our everyday menu usually consisted of Indian vegetarian food, and as I got older, special occasions called for the only meat dish my vegetarian mom ever made: Onion Chicken Curry. My sisters and I never failed to drop everything and ruuuun to the kitchen for dinner!
(I suppose this is where I need an I digress—not really my style, but you get the picture.)
Because of TV, school, friends, and co-workers, Christmas became a hodgepodge of this is what you should do and this will be fun for the girls and don't let them feel left out. Ever the eager parents, they purchased a tree, strung lights, and bought into the idea of Santa like it would help us get into Harvard one day...
Shaila Patel writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she's a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. Her debut novel, SOULMATED, releases on January 24, 2017 (Month 9 Books) and won the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews' Paranormal Awards for Young Adults.
You can reach out to her online at:
Facebook page: http://bit.ly/2btIJLK
Goodreads SOULMATED page: http://bit.ly/2aX5aJU
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/ZonSpSM
2. The Christmas With No Ice Cream
My earliest memories are bound up in the celebrations of my extended family. It was not uncommon to have three or four generations in the house during each holiday, birthday, or anniversary. Every single one of the women was a great cook, and smells would waft out of open windows in the summer or hit you as soon as you walked through the door in the winter. Of them all, Christmas was the best and my mother’s favorite.
This particular Christmas, I was five years old. I’d been having a series of sore throats throughout that year and spent a lot of time home from school. Mom and I made delicate string decorations with crochet thread, starch and lots of glitter. We made taffy and fudge and sprinkle cookies with melted white chocolate icing. Pipe cleaners got bent into figure skaters, and we created frilly little skirts for them out of crepe paper streamers. Yards and yards of construction paper chains hung from the wood moldings and swooped over the tree.
The days dragged until Christmas and my anticipation spiraled. My little sister wasn’t sure what all the excitement was about, but she loved sticking her fingers into the dough Mom rolled out on the table as much as she enjoyed munching on the stray cookie that found its way into her hands. At not quite three, she was way too young to remember the treat I knew was coming on Christmas Eve, the milk, eggs and vanilla my dad would crank together in a frosty steel bucket to make the frozen delight we had only once a year. But I knew, and I marked off each day on the calendar with a green crayon.
That might seem like a lot to remember from such a young age, but I’ll never forget that Christmas, because it was the Christmas without ice cream…
Mica Rossi has been writing since she was in the second grade and barely able to form her letters properly. Her short works have been featured in several anthologies, and she is furiously scribbling through various drafts of her second novel, a contemporary romance set during the Christmas season.
Her first book, Once in a Blue Moon, was selected as a spearhead novel for the ‘White Satin Romance’ line at Melange Books and will shortly be brought in-house to Camelot Publishing and re-released in February of 2016 in a revised edition. Just think about a gorgeous member of the Aos Sidhe running into the one woman in Boston who has a vendetta against all things magical, and you'll understand why sparks fly against the backdrop of hot summer days and starry nights in the city.
Mica’s latest release, Heart Songs, is a collection of poetry and short stories published in April of 2016. It’s a compilation of the emotional journeys we all take through our lives. From friendship and love to the depths of despair and back again, the author digs into the human experience with humor and grace.
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Next Up EM Kaplan
Today I present the first in a wonderful series of blogs. My dear friend and blog guest, Bestselling Author Virginia Gray, will share her most unusual Christmas expereince.
1. The Craziest Christmas of My Life!
When I was quite young, my father went back to college to finish his degree. With only my mother’s meager hospital salary to support us all, we found ourselves living in a little trailer outside a small mountain town in North Carolina. Though the situation may have seemed dire to my parents, I had a wonderful time exploring fields, taking forest hikes, and playing in and around the rank-smelling creek behind the trailer park. It’s amazing how oblivious children are to such trivial things as economics.
There lay a small airplane strip on the other side of the highway, and as it was Christmastime, my father decided it would be a great (and cost-effective) idea to trespass on that private piece of property and cut down our own tree. So off on our quest we marched, bow-saw in hand, rope dragging behind us.
Even in my tiny youth, I wanted a tree grand enough to grace Rockefeller Center. Nearing the top of a daunting hill, I found just such a tree; one whose trunk I couldn’t hope to fully wrap my arms around. My father, being a more practical sort, pointed to a somewhat humbler cedar that would actually fit inside our single-wide. After fierce debate, he began merrily sawing away.
And that’s when all the trouble began…
Virginia Gray writes contemporary women's fiction. A member of Romance Writers of America, she is known for her bestselling series The Susan Wade Saga. Please visit her on social media and sign up for her fan-appreciation newsletter.
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Join me For Blog 2 by Author Mica Rossi
Bestselling Author Bob Atkinson lives in the wilds of Scotland where he weaves tales as tall as the standing stones.