Christmas Traditions (Part 4)

One of my very favorite Christmas Traditions is the Church Christmas Party for the Adults. It’s a fun evening of dressing up, finger foods, laughter, and good fellowship. Sometimes there is even Christmas Carol singing.
By this time of the year, it’s usually quite chilly… to us Texans anyway… so we can all wear sweaters and boots. We drive in the dark evening out to the Hodson’s beautiful home, checking out the Christmas Lights on the way. Then it’s in through the front door with crackers and cheese, greetings far and wide to the people I love most in the world, a quick word with my Mom and hug for my Dad, fill a plate–where are the rum balls?– and find a table. Then talk, talk, talk: Movies, books, TV shows, life, theology, personality types, life, more theology (we’re reformed Baptists after all), and more laughter. With a busy weekend, we decide to stay only a short time, but another theological question takes my husband off to a corner, so I rejoin the party. We go home late, but we go home happy.

I look around at these people, these normal, average, ordinary people and realize these will be the people I’m with forever. Not just now. Not just for a handful of years, but forever. I can’t tell you how much that thrills my heart.

I look forward to this event every year. Some of us have been coming for more years than we can count, some of our young people are coming for the first time. Some can’t make it and are missed. Some of us mingle well, and some of us are horrible at mingling, but you should know that just seeing fellow saints, being in the same home with them, is a joy and delight.

Merry Christmas!!!


Christmas Traditions (Part 3)

For years now, my Decembers have involved  Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter movies. This year was no different. My three writing students/dear friends treated me to Fantastic Beasts. We had a wonderful time. We met first for coffee where we loudly discussed Harry Potter and writing. Then we made snide remarks during the pre-show, and ooohed and awwwed at previews. then Silencio for the movie other than popcorn crunching. Good times! The movie was beautiful and fantastic. I had some issues with it, but still loved it. 


Christmas Traditions (Part 2)

“The holly green, the ivy green
The prettiest picture you’ve ever seenย 
Is Christmas in Killarney
With all of the folks at home
It’s nice you know, to kiss your beauย 
while cuddling under the mistletoeย 
And Santa Claus, you know of course
Is one of the boys from home

The door is always open

The neighbors pay a call.”

– Christmas in Killarney by Bobby Vinton

Part of the joy of Christmas is all the wonderful food that you wouldn’t eat on a regular basis. One of those special foods in our family is Sausage Balls. Super easy to make, this wonderful tasting delights are a Christmas must have. We usually make a few batches for ourselves, and then one for each side of the family on the actual ย holiday.

Three ingredients.

Ready to go in the oven.

Yum yum!!!

This is the recipe. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Christmas Traditions (Part 1)

Frosted window panes
Candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree
Santa’s on his way
He’s filled his sleigh with things
Things for you and for me

It’s that time of year
When the world falls in love
Every song you hear seems to say
Merry Christmas
May your New Year dreams come true
And this song of mine
In three-quarter time
Wishes you and yours
The same thing too.

– The Christmas Waltz By Jules Stine and Sammy Cahn


If you don’t know it yet, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. So I decided to do a short post every day sharing my Christmas traditions, stories, and favorites.

Today, I want to share a new tradition I started last year. For the whole month of December I listen to different versions of The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens on Audible. Not only is Dickens easier in audio versions, but it puts you in a wonderful mood for Christmas. Most versions are 3-5 hours long, with the Patrick Stewart or Tim Curry versions being my favorite.

This is perfect for commutes, especially if you work retail and your having a hard time staying in the mood of the season, or just as you fold laundry and dust and cook. It’s also perfect to share with the family around a fire and a bowl of popcorn.

Dickens masterful work of the ‘meaning of Christmas’ is rich, wholesome, and yet very down to earth, filled with human nature. His descriptions of the market place on Christmas, Mr. Fezziwig, and the Bob Cratchit’s family are a wonderful delight. I hope in a few more years to be able to directly quote this book after listening to it so many times, though I’ll probably do it in Patrick Stewart’s voice.

Merry Christmas and “God bless us, every one!”



Thanksgiving (Day 23)

Typically, when I do my month long thanksgiving I mention lots of people by name who I love. I didn’t do that this year because November turned into a crazy busy month and I just couldn’t do any long posts. I was afraid I’d miss someone if I tried to do short posts. So, to my husband, my church, my family, my friends, my fans, my fellow writers, my faithful readers, my crew, I love you all so much!

And an extra special thankfulness for Liz Groves, Emily Day, my Mom, Wanda Jones, Deanna Brown, Rachel Cole, Elayne Garrick, Denise Wilkinson, Emily Shiflet, Michelle Smith, Deanell Smith, Stephanie Florentino, Ruth Vincent, Joy Vincent, Anita Guffey, the Atterholts girls, and Heather FitzGerald. I love you ladies so much and canโ€™t imagine life without you. You make life brighter and more wonderful.  (And now I’m terrified I’ve left someone important to me out. ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Thanksgiving (Day 22)

You may or may not have noticed that most of my thanksgivings this year have been for quiet, ordinary, hobbit like things. This may seem insignificant to most of you, but for me it’s very important. For most of my life I wanted to be different, unique, weird even. my husband used to tease me by calling me “vanilla”. Just plain Jane vanilla. It irritated me so much cause I wanted to be different. I wanted to be an elf and not a hobbit. Hobbits were so ordinary.

Over the years my attitude changed. I began to see the magic, joy, and beauty of everyday ordinary delights. I, by Godโ€™s grace, found contentment in the common. And much to my surprise, I didn’t find boredom but abundance. I didn’t find dull existence, but the quiet magic all the Hobbits have that I just couldn’t see before.

Now, I smile at the light over the stove that we leave on to welcome us back home in the evening. I love a clean house and a made bed. I love a messy house that says family and friends were here. I love living in the same place with the same people. I love the change of season. I love good bread and good beer. I love snuggles under blankets with a man I’ve  known most of my life. I love everything the familiar adventure of traditions.

I love the ordinary. God is so kind to us to give us such beautiful gifts.

Happy Thanksgiving !