by Victoria Hamilton
Victoria is the author of Breaking the Mould from Mistletoe and Murder, a Christmas anthology. Details on how to enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of this post, and a link to purchase Mistletoe and Murder on Amazon.
Our society puts so much pressure on the ‘perfect’ Christmas: tree, food, family, everyone being together, gathered around the tree, happy, cheerful. Not every year nor every family has that. But it’s not new pressure. I think women, in particular, have always felt the stress to make Christmas special for their family. I look back and wonder how my mom did it all. She worked full time as a nurse – and that meant shift work, and holidays, too – but still the whole family got together, if not on Christmas day, then on Boxing Day.
But as I get older, the memories I have are not necessarily of Christmas day at all. I remember making felt tree ornaments with my mom and sister. I remember the music that was always playing when I worked as a cashier at Kresge’s. I recall dashing from store to store downtown, through the muck and slush, to see the Christmas windows that one of the big stores always dressed with moving figures in Christmas scenes. The season holds memories beyond just the day and the gifts.
I asked Daryl Wood Gerber, who contributed Wreath Between the Lines to the Mistletoe and Murder anthology of three full length cozy mystery novels, what Christmas traditions she holds dear. Daryl said, “I love putting up the tree and decorating and serving pizza (gluten free for me!) and singing carols. We have holiday music blasting. The other thing I love is Christmas morning brunch, with all the little ones tearing into packages, and then gathering at the table afterward for one of our favorite meals: waffles, scrambled eggs, ham, and more!”
Gail Oust, who contributed The Twelve Dice of Christmas to the Mistletoe and Murder anthology, says about her family traditions, “Our Christmas is all about family—daughter, granddaughters, and now four great-grands. I’m guilty of always waiting to be the last one to open a gift. My idea has caught on. When I look around everyone—even the little ones—are hiding a gift behind their backs (and giggling) trying to imitate this strange habit of mine.”
I have to say… I think it’s very cool that whatever you celebrate, and whoever you celebrate with, everyone has their own family and friend traditions. This Christmas I’ll be celebrating with good friends, and raising a glass to wish you all… Happy Holidays!
Celebrate our fun holiday collection Mistletoe and Murder with this Amazon gift card giveaway… $20 USD! Buy the holiday collection and STILL have enough for more books!!
To enter to win the $20 Amazon gift card, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “mistletoe,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 14, 2019. U.S. and Canadian residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week featuring a Christmas Mystery short story by Donna Andrews.
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