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Christmas traditions…What does that mean for you?

IN THE December 7 ISSUE

FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze

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.

christmas mysteryI 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.

You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Opens to author website

Locus Magazine once called John Weagly “a new writer worth reading and following.” His short stories have been nominated for the Derringer Award, winning one in 2008, and various other accolades. As a playwright, his scripts have been produced on four continents.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Glen Davis December 7, 2019 at 10:31am

This is a great tradition right here!


2 Jeanne Kennedy
Twitter: @jeanneakr
December 7, 2019 at 1:05pm

Absolutely love your tradition of being the last to open your gift. I might have to copy that. A tradition of mine is everyone gets to open one present on Christmas Eve.


3 Dianne B December 7, 2019 at 4:51pm

I enjoy anthologies and the authors in this one are authors I know have written great stories.


4 Alicia December 8, 2019 at 6:49am

We always made Christmas goodies together. And of course read books!


5 DOWARD WILSON December 8, 2019 at 7:55am

What a wonderful post. Thanks for the giveaway.


6 Nora-Adrienne Deret
Twitter: @NoraAdrienne
December 8, 2019 at 11:09am

Yes please, if I win it will give me the money to BUY MORE BOOKS for my home library… pushing 3000 and growing.
A recent post from Nora-Adrienne Deret: We Have’t Even Had The Turkey Yet and I’m Posting December’s New Titles!My Profile


7 Carol Knudtson December 8, 2019 at 11:22am

What nice traditions you have!


8 Dianne Casey December 8, 2019 at 3:47pm

Love reading Christmas anthologies. Thanks for the chance.


9 Laura Reading
Twitter: @DogsMomLaura
December 9, 2019 at 8:21am

I remember Kresge*s! It was always a treat and an adventure.

What a wonderful collection of authors to celebrate this season with.

LaurasReadingBlog (at) gmail (dot) com


10 Holly Calhoun December 9, 2019 at 10:00am

Thanks for the info on this set of cozies!!!


11 Marilyn
Twitter: @MarilynWatson18
December 10, 2019 at 3:33am

What a wonderful Christmas Present and of course it will go for books…our tradition includes a Christmas Birthday which is my Sister so she gets to open her presents first and we always have birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday as well as wish each other Merry Christmas…this is my favorite Holiday.
Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


12 Brooke Showalter
Twitter: @xbrookeb28x
December 10, 2019 at 6:43am

I loved waking up early before my dad and my brother & sister and having hot chocolate in front of the Christmas tree with my mom. Now that she has passed, I cherish that memory even more.
A recent post from Brooke Showalter: Brewed Awakening by Cleo Coyle – White Chocolate Mocha Latte + GiveawayMy Profile


13 Stephanie Hall December 10, 2019 at 10:15am

My family and I love to play card or board games on Christmas. Just sit around, having fun and talking and laughing.


14 Kay Bennett December 10, 2019 at 3:06pm

We used to open one present on Christmas Eve when we were kids. I loved that. We also celebrated Saint Nikolas day.


15 Jill McHale
Twitter: @JillM18
December 10, 2019 at 5:01pm

It is a lot of work at Christmas time…so exhausting for the moms….but so worth it!


16 Kara Marks December 10, 2019 at 7:40pm

I’d love to read this! Ty for the giveaway.



17 marylouh December 11, 2019 at 4:52pm

I look forward to all of the Christmas-themed books
that come out this time of year. They are
feel-good stories and lots of fun to read.
Thanks for the chance to get this one.


18 Jess D December 11, 2019 at 6:46pm

We attend a Christmas candlelight tour in Marietta. I love the old fashion Victorian homes and decorations. Thanks for the chance. Jess


19 jane werthmann
Twitter: @jwerth22
December 11, 2019 at 6:48pm

Memories are when my six daughters were little and woke up early to see what Santa brought!


20 Dana sebek December 11, 2019 at 7:45pm

I love the idea of 3 books in one, and especially with different authors! I can’t wait to get Mistletoe 3 and stay in the holiday spirit!!


21 angela smith December 11, 2019 at 8:33pm

it was nice reading about the authors traditions..great giveaway.thanks for the chance… mekachew@keromail.com


22 Katherine S.
Twitter: @Katherinestamps
December 11, 2019 at 9:49pm

Thanks for the chance to win. I love cozy mysteries! A perfect holiday read for Christmas vacation.


23 Anna Budziak December 12, 2019 at 8:53am

Best tradition is spending time with others–though gifts are good too!


24 Lily-Ann Gill December 12, 2019 at 12:57pm

Thank you for the chance. I love being the last to open gifts, I’ve been doing that for years now. Wonderful traditions to begin.


25 Betsy Pauzauskie
Twitter: @betsypauzauskie
December 12, 2019 at 6:07pm

I enjoyed reading the traditions & memories you shared! When our oldest daughter had her first child I learned one of my in-laws traditions: They hid the children’s gifts and each child located presents through a series of clues (verbal for the non-readers & written for readers.) This Scavenger Hunt for Christmas presents has been quite fun & funny! Thanks for this giveaway, as I love buying books!


26 Sheryl Sens
Twitter: @naninani
December 13, 2019 at 6:42pm

When my kids were little, I made matching pj’s every year, usually always red and we’d wear then for Christmas Eve. Thanks


27 Taylor R. Williams December 15, 2019 at 6:21am

I love the Mistletoe tradition – thanks for the contest.


28 Melissa Basnight
Twitter: @Sylvester45
December 15, 2019 at 5:20pm

Love good holiday stories. Saamm7(at)msn(dot).com


29 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
December 16, 2019 at 10:05am

We have a winner!


30 Donamae December 16, 2019 at 10:16am

Open one gift Christmas Eve after Mass. Thanks for the chance


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