Holiday Traditions, huh?
by Ava Stone
I never really thought I had any, just the usual stuff everyone else does. Decorating a tree, wrapping presents, you know “the usual”. But this year, as I’m merging my holiday traditions with The Scientist’s holiday traditions… Well, there are definitely some differences.
ONE – The Stone household has always had a “fake” tree. (This is my Scottish roots coming out…Why buy a tree each year? Buy a good one once, and you’re set.) The Scientist’s household always does a “real” tree. I was told that Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the smell of a real tree. When I said candles had the same scent, I was met with a death stare.
FINE – “REAL” TREE it is.
TWO – The Stone household always goes out for Chinese food for Christmas Eve dinner. (Actually, I’d go out every night of the week if I could avoid cooking. And who wants to cook at Christmas? There are too many other things to do.) The Scientist’s household has always had a traditional Christmas Eve dinner – roasted goose and the whole nine yards. Of course, my teen is quite upset at the prospect of not having Chinese for Christmas Eve this year, even though he doesn’t like Chinese food. “But, Mom, it’s my tradition.”
FINE – ROASTED GOOSE for 3 and TAKE-OUT CHINESE for 1 (who doesn’t like Chinese.)
THREE – The Stone household loves happy, cherry Christmas songs. (I’m very partial to Bing Crosby’s crooner voice. He should have sung every Christmas song.) The Scientist’s household has always listened to religious carols (Apparently, it’s a German thing.)
FINALLY I WON ONE – CROSBY’s WHITE CHRISTMAS it is! And Peggy Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and Gene Autry’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Growing up, we always opened one gift on Christmas Eve (which was usually some sort of Christmas pajamas, until I caught on and pitched a fit and refused to play along) and the rest of the presents on Christmas Day. But in the world of split families, children must be shared. So, this year we will open all of our presents Christmas Eve, and the next day my son and his daughter will go see their other parent to open those sets of gifts.
And what will we do on Christmas Day without children? I guess we’ll have to come up with some new holiday traditions! Left over goose? A little more Crosby, anyone? Have you ever merged your holiday traditions with someone else’s? How did you do it? Do you miss the old traditions or have you embraced the new ones?
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A COUNTERFEIT CHRISTMAS SUMMONS ~ A Summons From Yorkshire
Lady Emma Whitton has decided its time to take her future in her own hands. She has been in love with Viscount Heathfield since she was in leading strings. Unfortunately, it’s been almost that long since she’s laid eyes on her brother’s old friend and vice versa. Tired of waiting for him to remember her, Emma pens a holiday invitation (in her brother’s hand) to Heathfield and waits as patiently as she is able for her one true love to arrive.
Heath isn’t quite certain what to make of the very strange summons he received, but his curiosity is most definitely piqued. He heads north to Danby Castle, only to find that his very orderly life is about to be turned upside down.
TO CATCH A CAPTAIN
After receiving what seems like an offer of employment from an English countess, orphan Bridget Kelly leaves her uncle’s house in Dublin to make her own way in the world. But making her way in England is easier said than done, especially for an innocent Irish lass with no family or connections. In fact, she’ll be lucky if she can make it to Derbyshire alive.
Still smarting from his brother and former fiancée’s betrayal, rakish Captain Russell Avery arrives at his sister’s Derbyshire estate, looking for something or someone to help soothe his bruised ego. When a pretty little Irish maid stumbles into his chamber one morning, Russell is certain he’s found just the distraction he’s looking for. Well, at least until he learns who the lass truly is and the place she’s to hold in his sister’s household.
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