Monday, December 13, 2010

Ready or not, Christmas is coming!


As the song goes—It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, both inside and outside the windows of the Dean household. Snow is covering the ground. Our halls are decked. Cookies are in the freezer—thanks to a church Cookie Walk. Most gifts are bought and wrapped. Not that everything is done--the cards aren't out yet--but we’re on track. What a relief. Derailing gets ugly.
.
And I’m getting some writing done. How great is that? Well, I'll admit I'm behind with my word count but I'll catch up. This week looks less busy than last. Ah, how long have I been saying that? LOL
.
So how are you doing with Christmas preparations? Rank your readiness from pulling out your hair to feeling downright smug or somewhere in between.

Whether we're prepared or not, like that precious baby 2,000 plus years ago, Christmas will arrive on schedule. Do you ever feel sympathy for Mary and Joseph? They must’ve questioned the timing of Jesus’ birth. A room in the inn surely would’ve been nicer than a smelly stable. But then, would the shepherds, men at the fringe of society, been welcome inside to worship? Would the birth of our Savior have held the charm and mystery it does for us today if He hadn’t been tucked in a manger and surrounded by God’s creatures on that starlit night?
.
Maybe that simple stable setting should be a reminder not to kill ourselves trying to make everything perfect. No need to pipe your dinner guests' initials on their twice-baked potatoes like one Seeker has been known to do. LOL Perfection is rarely attainable. No matter how organized we are, something is bound to go wrong. One year we were visiting grandparents and Santa brought gifts to only one of our daughters. Not good to discover Christmas morning. While I herded the girls back to the bedroom, Santa found a second bag in the basement and corrected the error. But, for a few minutes there, I had visions of that bag at home--3 1/2 hours away. Any fiasco or near fiasco in your Christmas memories?

Even if we want to simplify, I’m guessing we wouldn’t forego some of our traditions. The things we do, the people we see, the decorations we display, the music we listen to, the movies we watch, the goodies we eat that all make the celebration special.
.
When our girls were small, one of our traditions was to sang carols each night before their bedtime. A nice way to wind them down when they were bouncing off the walls with excitement. On the day we decorated the tree, we bought eggnog that the girls sipped from their Santa mugs. Most years our children, now our grandchildren, entertained us with songs or a show they've put on. American Idol is not beating down our door. I'd like to continue the tradition of singing carols but I'm outvoted every year. When had our household become a democracy? The last thing we do before we open gifts is to read the Christmas story from Luke and remember the greatest gift of all. Though I'll admit the kids are eyeing the tree.
.
What are the Christmas movies that your family insists on seeing every year? "It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Christmas Story" head our list.

I'm sentimental about family heirlooms and ornaments like the Santa kicking up his heels that belonged to my mother and my husband's grandmother's quilt covering our kitchen table at Christmas. The ornaments our girls made out of paper, plaster and tuna cans are still hung on the downstairs tree. A paper angel proves that raisin eyes don't last forever. Painted gourds, feltkin ornaments, a needlepoint manger scene that I've made bring back memories of past Christmases.
.
Our Christmas Eve dinner is spaghetti with meat sauce. The tradition started when my mother worked until late afternoon on Christmas Eve then hosted extended family that evening. The sauce could be prepared ahead and made clean-up easy, at least compared to turkey with all the trimmings. But more importantly, we all love it and no, we're not Italian. Anyone serve spaghetti at Christmas?


One tradition in Seekerville any time of the year is sharing our good news. Today I’m sharing the cover of my March 2011 release, Wanted: A Family. I don’t have the official back cover blurb from Steeple Hill, but here’s my mini version: Pregnant widow Callie Mitchell and ex-con Jake Smith, an angry orphan searching for his birth mother, stand against the disapproving town when Callie turns her Victorian into an unwed mothers' home.

Leave a comment and I’ll enter you in the drawing for a copy of Wanted: A Family as soon as my author copies arrive.
Thanks for taking the time to visit Seekerville during this hectic time of the year! Merry Christmas!
Janet

152 comments :

  1. Congratulations on the great cover, Janet. The story sounds enthralling. I've got it on my shopping list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Since it looks like I'm the first commenter, I'm serving up coffee and ginormous cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven, topped with frosting. Is your mouth watering?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've got leftover manicotti - and lots of it...

    We had spaghetti today! Christmas with one side of the family - spaghetti and manicotti [it was okay - my first time making it, homemade noodles were good but the filling was eh].

    Other traditions include BIL annoying one of my kids in particular [had her crying so hard she threw up today :(], reading The Night Before Christmas, the Marine's [or Soldiers?] Night Before Christmas and A Tale of Three Trees [think that's the right name] on Christmas Eve, trying to figure out what to buy my FIL who buys anything he wants... And so on ;).

    Oh - and Christmas Vacation - but not while the kids are awake ;).

    Love the cover and the book sounds SO interesting! Can't wait!

    Keli - thank you for the cinammon rolls! I may have to make some tomorrow! Of course anything warm sounds good right now ;).

    caorl at carolmoncado dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the cover and the book sounds really good.
    Not sure we have alot of traditions. for many years mum hasn't been interested in Christmas even before she moved to the nursing home she found it just to much face and was like a Scrooge. She would be ok on the day but didn't want any of the fuss etc.
    I have put up the tree on my own for many years now and I love to put it up early dec. We have always had Bacon for Christmas.
    One tradition is making cookies for christmas to give away and always play christmas music while cooking.
    I would love to go read your book Janet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been absent all weekend--16th b-day party (overnight) for my son on Friday, friends over for dinner on Sat. and two parties today. Whew!

    Janet, I'm about on target for the shopping. have most of the decorating done. All except for the mantel and stockings. Most of the baking is done, so that's a relief. I hope to get a lot done this week so once my oldest gets home from college, we can just enjoy time together.

    Thanks for sharing the photos! I love the quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  6. CarolM, I'm impressed! Homemade noodles! Very Food Network. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Here is a lovely, heart warming tradition from the Connealy household.

    I have this angel that stands on the floor, about two feet tall. A doll that can be plugged in and holds a light in one hand and a bell in the other. Those hands move. The light raises and then the bell, over and over.

    It's a very expensive decoration and I'd wanted it forever, these beautiful blonde angel. It made me think of my daughters.

    So I bought i after Christmas one year, snatched it up for half price and I loved it!!!!

    Then the girls saw it the NEXT Christmas and they said it looked like a used CHUCKY doll that didn't sell.

    Any one remember Chucky? The hideous, murderous doll from the movie Child's Play
    Child's Play

    If you clicked on the handy live link you'll see Chucky and his KNIFE.

    So now, I stubbornly get my pretty little doll out every year and the children all make Chucky jokes.

    I will add here that I've never seen Chucky, so I'm just imagining that nasty Chucky.

    It's that kind of sweet, sentimental holiday fun that makes my whole family closer.

    grrrrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the book cover . . . our family's Christmas dinners vary, but it's always with our immediate family in the area.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

    ReplyDelete
  9. They said the Chucky doll didn't sell, so the manufacturer took the knife out of chucky's hand and stuck the candle in and waited for a SUCKER.

    :(

    That would be ME.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gorgeous cover, Janet.
    I love hearing about what other folk get up to leading up to Christmas.
    Mine is very low key, not by design, just the way things are after an odd year. The main thing is the kids will all be here, which is the best thing and for the first time ever, I'll be going to the Christmas Eve service at my church - I'm really looking forward to that.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Keli, thanks for the coffee and cinnamon rolls!

    I finished wrapping presents last night, but I haven't started any cards. They're always the last thing I do, and sometimes I don't have time.The decorations are half finished, so the living room is a mess. That's todays job.

    When the kids were small I'd do too much to get ready and I'd be so tired. It's easier being a grandma.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Janet, I love that cover! I would snatch that book from a shelf for the cover alone even if I wasn't familiar with the beautiful writing within.

    That quilt... Oh, mylanta, girlfriend, I'm in love. So pretty, so festive. Tell me stains wash out. Please.

    Loved this. My Internet went down while I was trying to post in Seekerville yesterday, so I missed saying how I loved the WE, but Janet, thank you for a perfect reminder (spaghetti... when ISN'T spaghetti a good thing? I love pasta....) and a glimpse of Dean Holiday Magic.

    KELI!!! Thank you for the coffee and food, and Tina forwarded me your e-mail but I didn't get back to you last night before my service conked.

    Will do!

    And Carol we Mandy and I were laughing out loud on my research trip on Saturday about family drama...

    Oh my stars, we're starting to resemble a Chevy Chase fictional family (National Lampoon) WAY more than the Cleavers.

    Dagnabbit!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jo Graves, I'll be thinking of you and your odd year when I'm at Christmas Even Midnight Mass services this year.

    Odd years....

    Well.

    That's all I'm sayin', honey.

    Well.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mary, the girls know nothing.

    Chucky indeed.

    I bet I'd love the angel.

    Stupid kids. Don't they know how sensitive we are?????

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cannot wait for this book! The story sounds marvelous and the cover, as usual, divine.

    The kids came for my birthday yesterday and decorated the tree. We started this tradition a few years ago and it works out great. I don't have to decorate. We have a special Christmas themed event that isn't rushed in trying to share with everyone, now grown with additional families to consider, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And there is nothing more adorable than a two year old telling you there are just some ornaments that should NOT go on the tree.

    Leftover birthday cake for those who can eat it. I got homemade eggnog gelato, cheesecake and homemade sea salt caramels made with ingredients I can eat. Please help me keep the sugar buzz at bay!

    Peace, Julie

    ReplyDelete
  16. Janet--love your cover. The books sounds awesome.
    Every year on Christmas day we always eat pancakes and sausage. It's the one time a year I eat pancakes. (Not my fav). But I can't ever remember not doing it.
    I love the spaghetti idea. My mom and I were deciding what to do Christmas Eve. I'll tell her. Thanks for the suggestion.
    belindapeterson@tds.net

    ReplyDelete
  17. Janet,

    Thanks for sharing your memories and traditions. The cover for Wanted: A Family is gorgeous!

    I am so ready for Christmas! Saturday I head back home to Wyoming for a nice long break with family and friends. Our family always reads the Christmas Story from Luke before opening presents, as well. Then we sing a few carols. We used to have a houseful, but now we just have a few so we have to sing louder. We say there's more of us in Heaven now celebrating then here and they get the better party.

    One tradition is I always make sugar cookies after I get home, and it's an all day project because I love to decorate them, but each one has to be original.

    --Kirsten
    kanavyhist[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good morning, Keli! I'm grateful for the yummy frosted cinnamon rolls and thrilled you put Wanted: A Family on your shopping list! Thanks!

    I brought egg bake this morning. Piping hot from the oven and a bowl of fresh fruit. Dig in!

    Merry Christmas!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  19. Janet,

    Lovely cover!

    I'm on track for Christmas. I have a few small gifts left to buy and some wrapping to do and another batch of cookies to bake.

    I'm not sure what I'm serving this year for Christmas dinner but spaghetti sounds good to me! I was considering lasagna.

    Hey, it truly is the time of miracles because I think Ruthy was being nice to Mary about that angel! : )

    ReplyDelete
  20. Carol, Your manicotti is way better than you think. Thanks for sharing! I'm always critical of my own cooking so relate. But can't relate to making noodles. Well, I actually made them once and they were great but took too much time. Do you have a noodlemaker?

    Your poor daughter! Have you tried an intervention?

    Christmas Vacation is tamer in the TV version. Cousin Eddie and the crew are hilarious but watching that lovely home be destroyed makes me edgy. LOL

    Thanks for your interest in Wanted: A Family!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  21. Morning Janet, What a fun trip through Deanville at Christmas time. I love all the traditions. And spaghetti sounds divine. Can I come over?

    Christmas traditions have changed dramatically in our family since Mom passed. She was the one who insisted on all the pomp and ceremony (homestyle of course)

    When growing up, she spent all of December working with us three kids to write, produce and make the scenery for a Christmas play. When family came over Christmas Eve we would put on the (this was always corny) play and then we'd read the Christmas story from Luke. Before bedtime we would get to open one present and we'd usually pick one mailed in from one of our distant cousins.

    I know my Mom is the one who developed that storytelling in my head from birth. She loved to tell stories and make up plays. I think it was her ploy to keep us occupied and out of mischief. smile

    Thanks Keli for the yummy cinnamon rolls. I'm having one now. mmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Jenny! I'm with you. Get the house decorated early and enjoy it all month long. I'm sure your friends appreciate the cookies you make and share. Homemade gifts are the best, especially from the kitchen!

    Is bacon what I'd call ham?

    You're in the drawing. Thanks!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, Missy, you sound on top of things! And you're having fun, too. I remember how excited I was to have the girls home from college.

    My dh's grandmother made quilts for her all her grandchildren. As each got married, s/he would pick a favorite. My husband liked this quilt best but since he was the youngest never expected to get it.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  24. LOL, Mary! I don't know Chucky but I'm sure I would love your angel. Don't despair. Your girls will probably fight over that angel one day. One day a very long time from now!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Dragonlady! The cover looks cozy, doesn't it? Callie is knitting booties to convey she's expecting a baby since she doesn't look all that pregnant.

    Have fun with your family at Christmas!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  26. Christmas at the Dean house sounds marvelous, Janet! I loved the Christmas quilt on the table and the thought of singing Christmas carols before going to bed.

    My family has nixed my singing around the house.They'll ask me who sang the song originally, I'll tell them, they'll tell me that maybe I should not mess with a good thing.

    Brats.

    Your Christmas Eve tradition of spaghetti and meat sauce sounds wonderful. We usually go over to my aunt's house and enjoy a VERY lavish celebration with her and my cousin's family. We catch Candlelight Service on the way home. Christmas Day we host our nieces and their families. That's when the goose gets cooked, LOL!

    Great cover, Janet! LIH is getting so creative with their artwork. I love it.

    Thanks for sharing, Janet!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oops, should've said Lady Dragonkeeper. Sorry!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  28. Chucky? Really? Oh man, if my family had said that to me, I'd be in tears...AND bringing Chucky out every occasion and opportunity possible whether Christmas or not!

    Nope. I don't have a vindictive bone in my body...

    ReplyDelete
  29. AusJenny, Bacon for Christmas? I love it!

    Bacon anytime is fine by me...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Julie, love that the kids come over and decorate your tree. What a birthday present! I don't mind the decorating, it's the undecorating part that sometimes gets pushed back close to February, LOL!

    And eggnog gelati...hmmm, now that sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Once again sucked in by smart marketing strategy, Mare.

    Hey, I yearn for an animated gecko. How weird is that?

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Jo. Glad you like the cover! Graves was my maiden name. Maybe we're related. :-)

    Gathering with family is the best! Enjoy your Christmas Eve service.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  33. Good morning, Cara! The cards are the last thing for me too. Have fun finishing the decorating!

    Being a grandmother is easier for me too, especially when it comes to gifts. Our daughters give us the ideas or even buy the gifts. All we have to do is pay and wrap.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love the new book. The cover--oh so nice!

    Janet, I'd love to put "kicking up heels" Santa up in my house as well. He's full of Christmas cheer!

    I'll be in Santa's workshop tonight sewing. Probably each night this week but I don't feel hurried. Yet.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ruthy, thanks for your sweet words about the cover of Wanted: A Family!

    I use clear plastic placemats to protect the quilt. So far so good, but I take it off if we're eating something really messy.

    LOL Ruthy family drama makes perfect sense to me.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  36. Julie, you're terrific! Thanks!

    Happy belated birthday!!! Were your presents wrapped in Christmas paper like my brothers? LOL Any tradition that involves help with the decorating is a keeper. Thanks for sharing the goodies!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Lindi! Your breakfast tradition sounds great to me. I love pancakes, especially with blueberries inside.

    Hope your mom likes the spaghetti idea. The only difficulty is getting a pot big enough to cook pasta for the entire family. I inherited my mom's that has a pull out sieve to drain the water off the pasta. Nifty.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  38. Audra - I have no idea what you're talking about - not undecorating until February?! Who would do such a thing?!?!?! ;)

    My BIL has always been kind of... rambunctious with the kids [his included but we're not like that to the degree he is], but it's only been the last couple get togethers that he seems to delight in going to extremes with my 5yo.

    The homemade noodles were pretty easy - I made a couple and my sister made the rest. Here is the recipe we used. The noodles are more like fried like really skinny pancakes for this. I think I just didn't like so much ricotta [compared to other stuff] in the filling. I know there's other filling recipes out there - will have to try another one sometime - and it made A LOT. 2 9x13s plus an... 8x11? or something and we threw out about 4 noodles that didn't work and enough filling for about that many too.

    We also make sugar cookies a couple of times over the holidays [and about 6-8 times a year] with Grandma. They love that =D.

    And Mary - I bet the angels are lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Good snowy morning Seekerville,
    We have about 4" (and counting) here, drifting up to about a foot in some places.
    Whether we'll have a White Christmas? Anyone's guess. But it sure is lovely now...

    Much like that cover Janet - just wonderful! That is so exciting to know ahead of time and enjoy. Great idea on the bootie knitting! :)

    Do you have a lot of input on the covers or is that strictly the art dept?

    We have some special ornaments we put out... Our Christmas tree is really a memory tree since we attempt to get one every holiday. They are nothing particularly fancy, but are good memory vectors!

    And as far as tradition - we have to have wild rice hot dish from my husband's side and on mine, we have to have wassail.

    I don't have a LOVELY angel (Mary - you'll have to snap a photo - I can't imagine - SHAME on those kids!!!) but I am forbidden to EVER purchase wrapping paper again, even if it's way way way on sale.

    Anyone need some???

    ReplyDelete
  40. Kirsten, I'm picturing you in the kitchen making each cut out cookie unique. Amazing! What a gift for your family!

    I hadn't thought about how glorious our loved ones Christmas celebration must be in Heaven. Imagine caroling on streets of gold!

    Have a safe trip home. And a wonderful visit with your family.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hey, Janet! Merry Christmas!

    Can you believe it's snowing here in Alabama? Actually, I was told by a New Yorker that this is called "spitting snow." But we Southerners call it an "Alabama blizzard." Same thing, apparently.

    Christmas is lean on joy this year, I'm sorry to say, due to unemployment and a sad hubby, but I'm believing for a great job. It could happen any day, including today! I have faith.

    Speaking of faith ... my daughter (whose name is Faith) is home sick today. Pray her fever doesn't come back! We don't have ins. right now. She already seems 100% better, thank God, after having a fever of 102.5 yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks, Glynna. The tag on the front is too small to read but I love it. She'll stitch together a home filled with love.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  43. Glad it's all coming together, Rose! I love lasagne too. But serve that on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving so I can shop until I drop and only have to pop it in the oven when I get home.

    LOL Ruthy being nice to Mary is a gift of Christmas that's for sure.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  44. Sandra, hop into your RV and head east! Bring your husband. We'll have plenty for everyone.

    What precious memories you have of your creative mom and those Christmas plays. Our grandkids shows are rowdy and hilarious as they ham it up for the audience. One year they picked us to play the parts in the nativity. No one was left to watch. LOL

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  45. Audra, your celebrations sound terrific! I'd love to attend our Christmas Eve service but I'd have a mutiny on my hands if I delayed our gift opening. In all fairness to the kids, the time is short and it's hard to get it all done before they're too tired.

    So does your d/h kill the goose? Any chance he'd care to come here? We have a bunch on the golf course that I'd like to introduce him to.

    Thanks for the kudos on my cover. I heard that LIH is going to matte finish. But can't tell from the JPEG.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  46. Debra, what are you sewing in Santa's workshop? Please share!

    Christmas decorations like that dear Santa make me smile. I have this goofy expression on my face all month long. LOL

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  47. Carol and Audra, an acquaintance of mine has a Twelth Night party and asks all the guests to take ornaments off the tree. She has little baskets to put them in. Now there's an idea.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  48. Carol, I love ricotta! Just can't imagine having too much.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Janet,
    The cover of your new book is beautiful.
    Plenty of breakfasts have already been offered, so I'll keep my Belgian Waffles and hot chocolate in my kitchen :-) We're celebrating schools being cancelled around here because of ice.

    We started a new tradition this year. I've been teaching my 12 year old son how to make chocolate chip cookies, so...
    while me and the youngest four kids decorated the Christmas tree - he baked the cookies.
    It was GREAT! He didn't care for decorating the tree (you know, too cool for that) - but baking, well the rewards are pretty worth it.

    3/4 of the way finished with shopping. I'm making my mom's gift - sentimental, since it's our first Christmas without granny, but I know she'll love it.

    Are you guys online shoppers? When I was pregnant with my fifth child (4 years ago), I did a lot of online Christmas shopping since her due date was the first week of December.
    The ease of it stuck. I've shopped almost exclusively online this year and love it - but somehow it still feels like I'm cheating :-)

    Oh - and we always read Twas the Night Jesus Came on Christmas Eve, and had a Christmas Eve ornament scavenger hunt.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Good morning, KC! The only input on covers Steeple Hill authors has is the form we fill out online with scene ideas for the cover.

    I love that certain dishes must be on the menu. One son-in-law's mother makes a rice dish that's a tradition for their family.

    I buy an ornament everywhere we visit. Makes our tree a memory tree too. Plus all the ornaments my mother made in the 70s, using velvet covered sterofoam and beads. Anyone remember that craze?

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh, Melanie, praying for Faith. Relieved to hear she's already doing better than yesterday.

    Unemployment is sad and scary anytime but especially at Christmas. What do you say, Seekerville? Shall we storm heaven for a job for Melanie's d/h? Praying!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  52. Pepper, just one Belgium waffle. Pretty please!

    Raise a boy to help in the kitchen and your future daughter-in-law will praise your name.

    I rarely shop online. But it has to be easier. Hopefully the shipping is free this time of the year.

    I would love to know what you're making for your mom. Don't worry that she'll find out. All of Seekerville can keep a secret.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  53. Quote: "So how are you doing with Christmas preparations? Rank your readiness from pulling out your hair to feeling downright smug or somewhere in between."

    Answer: BALD!!!!!!!!

    One of my quirky Christmas traditions is decorating a tree for the animals (outside of course). We fill it with peanut butter sandwiches cut out in cookie cutter star shapes and containers of birdseed and peanuts of course. Got the idea from a picture book by Eve Bunting.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Rose, dagnabbit.

    I forgot I was in public.

    Gee whiz, me nice to Mary????

    A season on miracles indeed, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Mel, ongoing prayers for you and so many for jobs. Security.

    Been there, done that.

    Hated it.

    God bless you and Faith.

    (My favorite Julie Lessman heroine)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Janet,
    My parents don't even own a computer - so mom 'finding out' won't be a problem. LOL.
    I do her online shopping for her :-)

    I've found some old pics of my mom and grandmother, as well as some new pics I've collected over the years, and I'm created a collage within this 11 X 15 frame. In the center I'm placing my Granny's life-verse - Romans 8:28. Her life was a testimony to her faith in the God who inspired that verse :-)

    I have two more online transactions to make - and the shipping for both of those are free. But I've found that in many of my purchases, the shipping + purchasing cost was either cheaper, or equaled, what the item would cost in stores.
    I've been really tickled with my purchases - and I KNOW my kids will be.
    It's been tough to buy for the older boys, and online purchasing has been a saving grace in that arena. Both my boys like MegaBloks dragon sets (kind of like legos), but they don't make the ones they enjoy anymore. Except I can still find them on ebay. WOOHOO!!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. That book sounds wonderful, and what an amazing cover.

    We read the Christmas story before we open presents too, and sometimes it isn't always just the kids who are squirming in anticipation and eyeing the tree. :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Mel
    Praying for you and your family!
    And your sweet daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  59. GGGOORRGGEEOUUSS cover - and I WANT the book (aka enter me please!).

    And I've barely bought ANYTHING for Christmas gifts - but I AM keeping up with my writing/editing stuff. Woo! ;)

    joanne(at)joannesher(dot)come

    ReplyDelete
  60. Janet said: Plus all the ornaments my mother made in the 70s, using velvet covered sterofoam and beads.

    Oh my is that where those ornaments came from?! I have some that someone [my grandma before I was born?] made that are um... well, gaudy, if we're being honest.

    The last couple of years I have done just lights on the tree. It started the year my DS [now 3] had surgery the day before Thanksgiving and DH had a kidney stone that knocked him on his rear for two weeks the week after that. I managed to get the tree up/lights on but that was it. I love it. My kids? Not so much. But they each have little trees [clearance baby!] in their rooms that they'll get to put a couple of little things on.

    Right now, I'm waiting for the fireplace tools to warm up [they were outside] so I can clean it out and start a fire!

    brrrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  61. Janet,

    My cookie making actually drives my family crazy, and they usually leave while I decorate. Although, they do appreciate the end results.

    Kirsten

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thanks for the prayers, everybody. I'll take all of them I can get! :-) Since Faith's fever seems to be coming back. :-(

    Mary, that is so funny, but I'm sure your girls are wrong. I'm sure I would LOVE that angel. I'm sure it is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Oh, Janet, what a beautiful post ... ahem, even if you DID make fun of me ... :)

    LOVE your Christmas traditions, girl, especially your husband's grandmother's quilt on the table -- that is a unique and beautiful tradition that I've never heard before.

    YES, I'm ready for Christmas ... almost ... which is as close to miraculous as angels singing on high!! And even more amazing is that I started back writing again (after LONG hiatus) and LOVING it!! Ah ... so THIS is why I write!!! :)

    Favorite movies are White Christmas for Keith, and then Christmas Vacation for Keith and the kids. Me? I just realized last night when I heard the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" that Meet Me in St. Louis is my very favorite Christmas movie of all time -- I feel like a kid when I watch it, which I guess is not all that unusual because I feel (and act) like a kid most of the time. )

    Happy and holy holidays to all, and I cannot WAIT to read the new book, sweetie-pie!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  64. I just received the back cover copy of Wanted: A Family. Here it is:

    Shelter of Hope

    The ramshackle Victorian house is all that widowed mother-to-be Callie Mitchell has left. But she’s going to make that house into a true home—a home where
    she and her baby will be safe and happy…and where women in need can find refuge. And if that means
    trusting stranger Jacob Smith to help with the repairs, then so be it.

    Jacob came to town with a handful of old postcards and one goal in mind—to find the mother who’d abandoned him years before. He never planned to stay…and he
    certainly never planned to care for Callie. Yet as they rebuild the house together, Jacob and Callie also build the family they’ve always wanted.

    Love it!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  65. I need to decorate for Christmas. It takes ten minutes.

    Tree in big plastic bag, already decorated.

    Angel/Chucky

    Four gorgeous Christmas stockings I embroidered .... one for each girls .... truly beautiful. It's not really embroidery. It's CREWEL work.

    And it should be CRUEL work because it was blood sweat adn tears getting those things done.

    My daughter with my one precious grandchild was going to set out to make her own priceless crewel work stockings and I made kits. She couldnt' find them ANYWHERE.

    She looked for a YEAR. So she ended up buying stocking at Pottery Barn. Which are beautiful. And EASY.

    Oh, and if I get ambious I might put up the star I have for outside. I live waaaaaay out in the country. The only person who sees my house is my husband and me. and guess what? The lights aren't home when I get there because I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO TURNS THEM ON!!!!!!

    And my husband isn't that impressed with my nifty star.

    So the star may go up, it I can find it.

    If I use the star, then decorating takes FIFTEEN minutes.

    I'm sorry. I've got a bad attitude don't I?

    Oops.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I may not get any decorating done (much) but I did get
    ROCKY MOUNTAIN HERO (by Audra Harders)

    AND

    THE RANCHER'S REUNION (by Tina Radcliffe)

    Read last week.

    YAY!
    You guys know I love you and would love your books no matter what.

    But they are both wonderful.

    I'm already eager for the sequels because I don't want to leave these characters behind!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi Janet:

    Wow! 68 comments before 11:00 am. Someone is up to something.

    I love your new book cover but I have to wonder: where have all the heroes gone?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDi-zjbWigg (Bill Anderson sings).

    To see what I mean: just watch the covers flash by on the right hand side of the Seeker home page.

    It is getting rare to find a hero on a romance cover anymore! Mary has a couple but they don’t have heads; but then, most of her heroines don’t have heads, either! (Actually this is ingenious. It’s an ‘imagine yourself here’ technique and I think it works. In fact, I wish I had thought of it!)

    Even when there is a hero, we usually see the back of his head and he’s drawn real small or just a part of the landscape. We have a case of the vanishing hero on our hands! Cheryl has great heroes but even they don’t often get top billing on the book covers.

    The Exception that Proves the Rule:

    “Rocky Mountain Hero”!

    Audra Harders saves the day! And Gade is as good as a hero gets!

    I know, Julie started out with some very handsome heroes, but they are gone now from the new book.

    So now it seems women want to buy books with pretty women on the covers while men want to buy books with pretty women on the covers. That could be progress.

    BTW: I’d loved to see a photo of Mary’s angel. I can’t imagine it as anything but adorable.

    Vince

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

    I’d like to win an autographed copy of your book but I’m going to read the Kindle version in any event so it might be best to send me an autographed bookmark -- if I win.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Ah, Kav, don't worry. Your hair will grow back by summer.

    I'm awed you're decorating for the animals. No wonder you're frazzled. I'm sure those little balls of feathers and fur appreciate your efforts, but would they notice if the sandwiches weren't cut into cookie shapes? That sounds like an evil plan by a wig company. Well, at least you can feed the scraps left from the cookie cutters to the kids. LOL
    But seriously the tree idea is wonderful. Squirrels in our neighborhood are frantically digging in the snow looking for food. I pity those with poor memories.

    Now you're making me feel I need to do more. Argggggggg!!!!!!!!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  69. Vince, I will drag it out of the basement, hose it off and take a picture.

    maybe in time for the weekend edition.

    She's just a beautiful little doll baby angel. Only someone WICKED would see Chucky.

    And I raised them...scary.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Pepper, your gift for your mom is priceless! She'll treasure the collage. Romans 8:28 is a wonderful promise to cling to anytime but especially when life gets hard.

    Nice that ebay solved your toy needs. I remember our daughter paying a big price on ebay for an in-demand toy she couldn't find one Christmas.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  71. Pepper, I've been thinking about your parents not having a computer. Though I can't imagine life without it, I'm sure they have way less stress.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  72. Erica, the adults in our house would probably be sneaking a peek at the tree except few of us have surprises under the tree. Kind of sad to admit, but it sure has eased the return lines at the mall.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  73. Congratulations on keeping up with the writing, Joanne! Proud of you!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  74. Carol, we decorate our church with lit trees without decorations and it's beautiful.

    Those ornaments are gawdy? Surely not. LOL

    Stay warm!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  75. Fevers tend to rise in the afternoon and evening. Keep us posted, Mel.

    I'm just as sure as you are that Mary's angel is beautiful and charming, a joy to behold. Her kids must just get great pleasure out of poking fun. Wonder where they got that? LOL

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  76. Julie, I had to poke a little fun. It's rare that I find anyone more over the top than I am. :-) Though I'm finding that over the top is morphing into over the hill. LOL

    Glad you're ready for Christmas. No wonder you're loving writing again!

    I've never seen "Meet Me in St Louis." Sounds like my kind of movie!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  77. Kirsten, your family needs to appreciate your cookie baking more! Though a day making and decorating cutouts does destroy a kitchen. You need some clean-up elves.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  78. Well, I can't really blame them. Like last year I spent the afternoon frosting bear sugar cookies to look like the Indianapolis Colts offensive line.

    And they gladly help clean up. They just don't want to be there while I'm using a toothpick to put the numbers and names on uniforms.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Janet,
    My parents have to use computers in their jobs - (nurse/cop), but we were just proud of them when they finally got cell phones last year.
    The first text my mom sent to me was so shocking, I texted my brother and said "Bro, the rapture is close. Mom is texting"

    They don't really have needs for computers at home - and they're very young grandparents. Ask Jules and Ruthy who've seen pics of my Mom. She's...er...not even 55 years old yet :-)

    ReplyDelete
  80. Hi Mary:

    I just read your reviews of “The Rancher’s Reunion” and “Rocky Mountain Hero” on the ACFW website.

    http://www.acfw.com/bookreviews.shtml

    You really are amazing! Do you not sleep?

    Looking forward to seeing your angle.

    BTW: the day will come, probably a long time from now, but the day will come when the kids will look at that angel with the most heartwarming nostalgia. They might even fight over it. I’ve seen this happen.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  81. Mary, your cruel crewel stockings sound beautiful! I made cross-stitch stockings for our girls, then our first son-in-law. But writing got in the way and I never made the second son-in-law's stocking. The guys share the same first name so no big deal. :-) Actually we no longer hang them.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hi Vince! You make an interesting point. I actually thought that my hero Jake might be on this cover. Wrong. Trust me we all noticed the hunk on Audra's cover.

    I don't think women want pretty women on the covers as much as the publisher wants the cover to convey the protagonist(often the heroine)and her goal in an appealing way that will hook the reader.

    Win or lose, I'd be happy to send you an autographed bookmark or bookplate. Consider it done.

    I'm all for a picture of Chucky angel too!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  83. Mary, can your d/h rig a timer to your star?

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  84. Oh Kirsten!!! Let me introduce you to Miss Julie!!! LOL I love the Colts defensive line cookies! They need all the glory they can get.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  85. Pepper, Your folks' occupations make them great research sources for contemps!

    I hope I didn't imply your folks were old. I'd be the last person to point that finger. LOL

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  86. Lovely, lovely post, Janet, and love the pix, too!

    Mary, your comment brought back memories. I lovingly and painstakingly made a very detailed cross-stitch stocking for my first grandchild. I did an even more ambitious crewel embroidery stocking for my second. For the next 3 grandkids I ordered their stocking ready-made online!

    Reading Rocky Mountain Hero right now, with The Rancher's Reunion up next. YAY, YAY, YAY!!!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Oh no, Janet
    I didn't take it that way.
    I just think it's funny that they're so young and so...er...technilogically behind.
    It's really funny.

    And YES - they are great sources of research. My dad also does carpentry and rock masonry, something he did before he became a cop - so that also makes for more good info :-)

    ReplyDelete
  88. Great post, Janet! I'm posting later in the day (afternoon) but still wanted to bring my Christmas "Thumbprint cookies" that my kiddos like for me to bake every year--Enjoy! (they have bright red/green icing in their middles). ~ Your new book sounds wonderful, and the cover is lovely. I hope you and your family have a very blessed Christmas. ~ Patti Jo p.s. And a very special tradition that I've done (and continue to do!) every year since my oldest was a newborn (she's now 26) is read the Christmas story from Luke 2 on Christmas Eve--I read it as my kiddos sit around me in our living room. :)

    ReplyDelete
  89. Janet,
    A lovely post! I would love to read your book!!

    edwina(dot)cowgill(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  90. a beautiful cover...looking forward to reading your latest novel ;)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Thanks, Myra!

    Don't feel bad. I've experienced the same thing. We don't love the later grandchildren any less but with the demands of writing, we've had to forego some things we'd love to do if we had the time.

    Like you, I'm reading and loving Rocky Mountain Hero. Pulling for Melanie and Gabe!!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  92. Pepper, your dad has lived a rich life. I wish I knew someone with experience building furniture in 1900. LOL One of the difficulties of writing historicals.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  93. Patty Jo, thanks for the thumbprint cookies! Yummy. And for sharing your tradition that I'm sure many of us share.

    Where are you posting today?

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  94. Thanks for your interest in my book, Edwina.

    Love your photo!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  95. Thanks KarenK. Giving away my book is fun!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  96. I used to own one of those timers. But an unfortunate incident with a falling tree ripped the outside electricity off that whole side of the house...outside. We've never gotten it fixed.

    But I can make it work if I turn it on and off by hand.

    I wonder where that thing is?

    I hope Chucky survived another long summer in the moldy basement.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Janet that cover is terrific! COngrats on that, I think it's my favorite of your covers so far and the back cover blurb you posted above makes me want the book even more! Did I say I can't wait??? Squee!

    I must admit I am NOT prepared for the gift giving side of Christmas LOL. I'm selfish and so far have only got my own Christmas present (a Nook) and some books for my cousins. I *really* need to get on the ball!

    Merry Christmas!!

    Renee C.
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  98. And yet another hair tearing part of the Christmas season has come screaming at me.

    Finals.

    'But Carol,' you say. 'You're the TEACHER! You don't have near as much stress as the students!'

    Well, more like a different kind of stress for this particular subject/set of bosses. I did something a bit different this year that, as I read the instructions [and had another employee at school read and she agreed with my interpretation], is allowed but it scares me because keeping my job is at stake because if I screw it up somehow, it's always possible I won't - I have no job security...

    Won't go into details but a little prayer would be appreciated. This may be my last semester [at least for a while] teaching this particular course/have this set of bosses.

    My stomach is churning and constricted in knots all at the same time...

    Maybe I need to break out the ice cream in the freezer. Make that the new holiday tradition...

    Or maybe not. Maybe I just need to go get Audra-Fic and read it, ignoring everything else around me - at least until the kids get home ;).

    Or work on edits. Hmm... ice cream and Gabe sounds better, but maybe I can settle for ice cream and Nate...

    ReplyDelete
  99. Im not sure bacon is what you have at breakfast thin strips fried and many have with eggs as well.
    I dont really like ham.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Mary, do you need electricity for the light sensitive timers? probably.

    Can't wait to get a peek at Chucky on the weekend edition!

    ReplyDelete
  101. Oh what a lovely cover you have there Janet! I simply adore it. :D I will have to remember it for my wishlist if I don't happen to win it here. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  102. ok who puts the initials in the twice baked potatoes?! I never get that far - by the time those suckers are baked I'm ready to eat!

    Mary, I think I may have had that same angel..my lab ended up finishing her off :-( but I liked her too. A friend of mine thought all my dolls looked like chucky...she asked how I could sleep with the all staring at me...a few months later I took them out of the bedroom temporarily.
    btw, I just finished calico canyon (loved it!) but wasn't there a baby born the end of the petticoat book? what happened to him - did you kill him off between books?!(hey you did in that poor horse so just wonderin'...)! now to read Gingham Mountain(ok I'm behind here but I'm doing pretty good to read historical LOL!)

    Susanna

    ReplyDelete
  103. Renee, you're reaction to Wanted: A Family is the first gift of Christmas! Thanks bunches!!

    Wahoo, have a blast with your Nook. I love to hold a book but everyone I've talked to with an ereader loves them.

    You're not selfish, Renee. Your love language with others isn't gift giving. Giving ourselves gifts is so much easier.

    Once upon a time a gift under the Christmas tree in my dad's family was addressed:
    To me
    From me.

    For a while no one would admit being me, but finally his little sister spoke up. I'm guessing she got what she wanted. LOL

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  104. Praying that your job isn't at risk, Carol. When will you know?

    Hope the ice cream and whatever hero you hung out with has helped. Try deep breathing exercises and a walk.

    Actually if you live anywhere cold, scratch the walk. I just came back from an aborted attempt. The wind made it even colder than the 21 degrees and it's so trecherous underfoot that I tiptoed along, which just made me colder. So I came in halfway through. Not my dh. Sigh. That man has will power.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  105. Hi Jenny, I like ham okay, but love bacon if it's crisp.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  106. Thanks Casey! The cover creates a mood that feels appropriate to the story.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  107. Susanna, the potato piping Seeker is Julie. I'm sure she puts hearts on her dh.

    Personally baking my potatoes once is enough.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  108. That is a gorgeous cover, and I love that the heroine is knitting. Even if I knew nothing about the story, that would make me want to pick it up. At least one of my knitting friends reads Love Inspired Historicals, so I'll be sure to pass the word.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Hi Janet,

    I'm late getting here today and only have a few minutes before dinner burns! But I had to say how much I LOVE the new cover! Can't wait to read it - the story sounds right up my alley!

    I'm about half way between pulling out my hair and not! LOL. Thanks for sharing your traditions with us.

    Cheers,

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  110. Well, I'm contracted by the semester so they could just deny me a contract for next semester, but I'm switching campuses and teaching a different subject so that should help a lot. Different set of bosses too, but if I ever want to move back it could be problematic [though I don't see that happening...]

    And... brrrrr! Last time I looked the wind chill was 10*. The DP I brought in from the garage was about a half step above slushie. I'm not going anywhere ;). Except WM. Because two of my kids have managed to lose ONE glove each... :P

    I decided to hang out with a 3yo Santa Claus being pulled around in a yellow Tonka truck by a 5yo [girl] Rudolph =D. Gotta love it!

    ReplyDelete
  111. This sounds like a great book! I'd love to read it. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  112. have to say I like it english style more than american. English is not crispy as apposed to American which is.

    We normally have it for breakfast before heading of to the Christmas day service. More would go Chritsmas Day in Australia then Christmas Eve. then it use to be home for lunch. I guess it still will be but this year I am very much home alone for Christmas but it will still be a good day. When we remember the reason for Christmas its not so much about who is there but how we remember the reason.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Pepper's mom is so stinkin' pretty and savvy that she's probably guarding the little free time she has when Hollywood IS NOT calling by not having a home computer.

    Cop.

    Nurse.

    The perfect romance. ;)

    No wonder our Pepster is so stinkin' adorable.

    My word veri is: corpeti

    I sense a murder in the works.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Temperature check-in: 12 degrees

    Snowing.

    Lake Effect, so straight off Lake Ontario.

    Teeeeeena has a Lake Affect book....

    I think it's a secret.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Ruthy- *Sigh* seems we're all suffering in the cold (it's 13 here) except Ausjenny, it's summer in Australia right? SOOOOO jealous LOL!

    Janet if I had to choose between my real books and an ereader my Nook would be out the window...at least until they could replicate that new book smell! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

    ReplyDelete
  116. Janet, I'm making costume 'dress-up' pieces for my granddaughter. Working on fairy wings today. Tomorrow? maybe a cowgirl vest.

    Goodness there's a lot of foodies hanging around here in Seekerville.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Janet,
    Love the cover of your next release!!! Oh, it looks wonderful! Can't wait until it's on the bookshelves ready for me to buy!!!

    Also loved learning of your lovely Christmas traditions! Beautiful quilt and antique decorations!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Yay! Heard back from my boss - much better than I could have anticipated =D.

    Ate my ice cream. Hung out for a chapter or two with Gabe. Another chapter or four with Nate [my MS].

    Now off to grade papers and do some CPing if grading goes as fast as I hope it will...

    ReplyDelete
  119. Ooops! Sorry, Janet....meant to leave my e-mail!
    pattijomoore(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  120. Thanks, Melanie, for passing along the word about Wanted: A Family. And for your interest in the story. Elise, one of the secondary characters, knits for their babies.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  121. Sue, you're a sweetheart to put your dinner at risk to visit Seekerville. Thanks for your lovely words about the cover of Wanted: A Family! The story has a special place in my heart.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  122. CarolM, glad you should be okay job wise.

    Thanks for sharing the adorable Santa, sleigh and Rudolph! :-) Kids are wonderful.

    Watched "Holiday Inn" tonight for the first time.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  123. Thanks for your interest in my book, MaDonna!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  124. Quote: When we remember the reason for Christmas its not so much about who is there but how we remember the reason.

    Well said, Jenny.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Brr, you're making me cold, Ruthy. 17 here but going to 9. More snow predicted.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  126. Shh, Renee. Don't give Nook and Kindle the idea to develop a new book smell. LOL

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  127. Debra, your grandddaughter is blessed to have a giving, talented grandmother! What fun for you to create the dress up clothes and for her to put on a new persona. Take pictures!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  128. Hi Debby. March seems far off but time has a way of passing quickly.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  129. Glad all is right with your world, CarolM. Things have a way of working out.

    Blessings all. Thanks for a fun day in Seekerville!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  130. It took me awhile to get to make a comment today.

    However, we had a similar incident with our kids on a missing present when we were visiting grandparents.

    We normlly put presents from Santa next to the boys' beds. On this occassion, we set the presents up on stacks of pillows. My younger son's present fell off the stack and the pillows fell over it, covering it.

    My son came out the bedroom frantic, thinking Santa had skipped him. (He'd been a naughty boy on Christmas Eve, so the fear was there.)

    ReplyDelete
  131. What a great post to read Janet. I love all the traditions your family has. Hope this year is just as special for you all.

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  132. renee you are so right 30+ today dry heat and wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Love the cover and the title, Janet! I would love to be entered in the giveaway. Can I also throw my name into the hat here for the five page critique?
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    jweatherholt@carolina.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  134. Walt, that missing present may have provided a lesson, no matter how unintentional. :-)

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  135. Thanks Eva Maria. Hoping the same for you and your family.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  136. Hi Jill, thanks for your interest in Wanted: A Family.

    To enter the five-page critique you'll need to comment in the Weekend Edition. Sorry!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  137. Christmas eve at our house has always been spaghetti served with special sauce that has to simmer all day. Wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing. And congrats on your book!

    ReplyDelete
  138. I love the name of your new book "Wanted: A Family"; and the really attractive cover. The story within, I know, has to be just as good. Congratulations on the book. Yes, that's the kind of book I would definitely grab off the shelf and find a cozy corner at home to read, not once, but many more times, I'm sure.
    Spaghetti and meat sauce on Christmas Eve, good idea. Our tradition is seafood gumbo and lots of potato salad, but what else would anyone eat way down in the deep south of Louisiana in Cajun Country. Good luck and Merry Christmas. JESUS is the reason for the Season. Now that should be the title of a book! I wonder if anyone else has ever thought of it? Merry Christmas to you and all the ladies at Seekerville.

    ReplyDelete
  139. When the children were small I had Coffee cake(Jesus birthday cake) with a candle in it and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus-My mother started this and I continued and now the children do it in their homes.We have had a live tree for 57 years and each year I think I am not going that route, but then we do. The ornaments mostly hand made from the school days of the children.I like the cover of your new book, how exciting, sign me up for a copy.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Janet, your book sounds wonderful. I'll have to seek it out in March. Have a lovely Christmas spaghetti dinner.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Wanted: A Family sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

    ReplyDelete
  142. I hope it's not too late to enter the book giveaway, it sounds SO good! And one of our fondest Christmas memories is the year we got a anonymous donor box from an aid organization because my husband was unemployed and I'd had just had a baby. Someone must have put our names on a list somwhere. I was sort of touched until I opened it.
    Well, the box had a frozen turkey, five cans of chili, two very used teething rings, and the UGLIEST baby coat I have seen in my life.
    I know you all are making a face- because gratitude is the right repsonse, correct? But I'm telling you, the coat was orange matted fake fur, like Oscar the Grouch hair, from maybe 1973.
    (Our oven was also broken so I tried to boil the turkey. Ahem. Not a good idea. )
    Anyway, I still have the coat. It prompted us to start a Christmas tradition of our own: for the past ten year we've participated in the 'giving tree' at our church. New items, beautiful baby gifts, really great toys. Because we know what it's like to open that box. :)
    Here's to ovens that work husbands with jobs, new babies (I have one of those, too), Seekerville posts, and UN-hairy baby coats!

    ReplyDelete
  143. P.S. My hubby read that over my shoulder and says I should add that I created a story about the prvious owners of the hideous ORANGE FUR coat. :) Because everything has a story, right?
    Seekerville condensed version: a young woman is having her first baby far from home, her husband is stationed overseas. She has no friends, no family near. An eccentric old aunt sends her the coat. The young woman actually puts it on her sweet baby becuase it reminds her of home, and when it attracts LOTS of attention, she makes new friends. Flash foward 60 years, the young woman hears that a family has a new baby and the father has no job, so although she hates to part with the coat, she lovingly passes it to the donation folks, wishing lots of love and new friends on the unknown family. The End! (I think I woke the baby with my typing...)

    ReplyDelete
  144. Janet, lovely post! I cannot wait to read the new book! WAHOO!

    Hugs
    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  145. Ah, Anonymous, we share the spaghetti tradition! Nothing smells better than simmering sauce.

    Thanks for stopping!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  146. Rose, seafood gumbo sounds delicious and most appropriate. Thanks for your lovely comments on Wanted: A Family.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  147. Hi B Schwind! We have a birthday cake for Jesus too, only ours is angel food. Everyone eats so much and with all the cookies and candy around little of the cake is eaten, but it's a tradition.

    We gave up our live tree 13 years ago. Your tree and decorations sound wonderful!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  148. Hi Rita! thanks for your interest in my book.

    Merry Christmas.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  149. Emma, your in the drawing. I'm just getting ready to pull a name. The winner will be up in the Weekend Edition.

    Thanks for your interest!

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  150. Oh, Virginia, I can't imagine giving something so tacky, but you took those lemons and made lemonade. Bless you for being so generous with others and seeing the humor in that coat. :-)

    Janet

    ReplyDelete