Twelve Days of Christmas: Olivia Kelly

Happy Holidays!

by Olivia Kelly


My 12 Days of Christmas post is a little different from the others because, even though my dad is Roman Catholic and we did celebrate Christmas, I’m actually Jewish.


See, Judaism is determined by the maternal line.  My mother is Jewish; therefore I am Jewish.  And since my dad is completely lapsed (don’t tell his mom!), it was never an issue.  In fact, I was obnoxiously smug around the holidays while growing up, because I got presents for both Chanukah and Christmas.   Now that I’m raising two boys who are technically Jewish, (we don’t practice anymore) but live in a predominately Christian area, with a Catholic grandpa, I kind of get why my parents wore a look of exhaustion all through December.

So many things to do, see, eat and buy. Whew!

My favorite holiday memory is of the yearly Chanukah party we used to throw at our house for our family friends from our synagogue.  It was the same five families every year, all the parents were great friends.  The kids were a mixed bunch, in age and interests, but when we got together for the holidays, it was like having family around.  You don’t always agree or get along, but you love each other anyway.

We would cook latkes (potato pancakes) by the dozen, to eat with sour cream or apple sauce.  There was chocolate gelt (coins), presents for all the kids and games to play, like Dreidel (spinning top).  We would play for M&Ms, which was the only reason I played. Lol!

I try to carry on that tradition for our kids, even though we don’t have any Jewish friends in the area at the moment.  In fact, Saturday night we’ll be heading to my parents’ His Gracehouse for latkes, Dreidel and presents.  And most importantly to make some family memories of our own.
It Could Only Be You features American Harry Connelly who’s crossed the ocean to face the man who disowned his mother many, many years ago. But when he finally arrives at Danby Castle, nothing is what he thought it was, and Harry finds himself caught between his past and his future.

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The_lady_and_the_duke_original_copyDon’t forget to check out my The Lady and the Duke novella.  Miss Audrey Ellis has failed to catch a wealthy, titled husband in her two London Seasons, and merely wishes to return to her quiet country life, leaving high society behind her for good.  But when an unexpected encounter brings the Duke of Halford into her life, she will have to decide if she has the courage to change her prudent, unadventurous plans and reach for something more.
William Langston, the Duke of Halford, wasn’t looking for love.   He came to Town to hunt down his sister’s blackmailer, hoping to head off a scandal in the making.  But the Viscount Claremont is more elusive than the duke was prepared for, and leads him on a chase through society’s drawing rooms and balls. Will soon finds himself distracted from his mission by Audrey’s fresh beauty and lack of pretension, something scarce in his rarefied world.
The pair are drawn together despite their differences, but as scandal looms and rumors spread, danger is closer than ever before.

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8 thoughts on “Twelve Days of Christmas: Olivia Kelly

  1. countessofmar says:

    Hey Olivia,
    I have been working my way through the Summons again. I’ve been reading about one story a day. Which has been helping me get my holiday reading done. It’s been fun re-reading y’all stories. Hope you have a great holiday.

  2. Melody May says:

    Ack! I need to work on that word press stuff.

  3. Jane Charles says:

    I had no idea that Judaism was determined by the materinal line. I learned something new and I am not even through my first cup of coffee. It is going to be a good day ;. Tackling one holiday is busy enough with children but your parents must have been frazzeld with both.

  4. Lily George says:

    That’s really cool about Judaism being determined by your maternal lineage. I love that *something* in this world is determined by that line! LOL It’s reaaly cool that you get to celebrate both.

  5. NancyS.Goodman says:

    Not only latkes, but do’t forget the jelly doughnuts!!

  6. Leigh Statham says:

    We are no where near Jewish, but other religions fascinate me and I left many good Jewish friends behind in NYC. So when my kids started to ask about Hanukkah, how to spell it, what it was, I decided we should just jump in and celebrate! So far, so good. We’re having a lovely time playing dreidel for pennies and eating lots of various fried food. I’m breaking out the gelt tomorrow night and the kids surprised ME with Hanukkah gifts yesterday! So sweet 🙂 I think it’s a beautiful story and a wonderful thing to celebrate. Mazetov!! (sp???)

  7. Olivia, thanks so much for joining me today and being my Token Jew!!! I love that you celebrate both holidays – I know it’s a lot of work, but it must be so much fun. And I think it’s great to expose your children to other cultures and traditions 🙂

    Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

  8. Olivia Kelly says:

    Melody- you are sweet! I hope you enjoy your reread.
    Jane and Lily, if you’ve met a Jewish mom, you know why our religion passes through the maternal line…BOSSY. ;D The men were probably afraid to argue, lol!
    Nancy, I DID forget the jelly donuts and it’s a tragedy of epic proportions! Lol…
    Leigh, I think that’s awesome that you are teaching your kids to celebrate different religions and diversity. And, it’s fun! 😉
    Jerrica- thanks for having me here! I’ll be your Token Jew any day… Lol!

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