Heartwarming Reads for the Holidays

Andrea/Cara here, Ho-Ho-Ho! Now that we spooked you with scary reads on Monday, we’re following up with a sleighful of good cheer. November signals the start (earlier and earlier it seems!) of the end-of-year holiday. And while all the celebrating with family and friends is wonderful, there are times when one simply wants to escape from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a few hours of quiet reading. With that in mind, we decided to showcase the Wenchly Christmas-themed books to spark smiles and good cheer. So get ready to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and plate of cookies . . .

PatriciaRice_IncomparableLordMeath_800 2Pat:
Incomparable Lord Meath (A Novella)

Christmas in Ireland
Penniless spinster Honora Hoyt has carved a safe niche in London society as her noble uncle’s hostess —until an old flame re-enters her life, threatening her hard-earned security.

Evan, Lord Meath, abandoned his pampered life—and Honora—after a reckless gamble left him lame and disillusioned. Now he’s hoping to perform a good deed for once—but here’s Honora again, desirable, maddening, and in the way. It looks like he’s about to wreck his good intentions, and Honora’s too. Again.

In the season of peace, can they resolve their conflicts and find the joy and love that each secretly craves?
Original Novella Rebellious Sons prequel $2.99
 
Christmas Enchantment anthology

Three heartwarming Regency holiday romances in one joyful book.
Christmas Angel: 
Marian had no intention of starting something new. Taking care of family and helping a once prosperous town survive was all she had in mind after the tragic death of her fiancé. Then a stranger with a heavy heart from America unexpectedly arrived. Maybe this will be the Christmas they both need – with a gift that lasts forever.

Christmas Goose
: The spoiled child of a rich baron, Rebecca left that world for love. But, her husband died in the war. Now she finds herself taking care of his young sisters, removed from the grace of her prosperous father. Simon feels his life is a failure. The war took his soul and he longs for a new beginning. Even the battles of war haven't prepared him for the battle for the hand of the feisty woman he's come to love.

Tin Angel
: Jeffrey fought the good fight in the halls of government but comes home exasperated at life, law, family and love. Much to his dismay, the visit from a guardian angel (in whom he does not believe) leads him to question his sanity. Mary’s bright humor and sarcastic jabs give him something he’s never experienced – a way to look beyond himself and into the world again. Could she be the key that opens that last door at Christmas?
(Anthology of stories originally contained in Signet Regency Christmas collections $4.99)

 


Anthology Cover FinalAndrea/Cara:
Christmas By Candlelight
Two Regency Holiday novellas celebrating the true meaning of the season
When winter nights are at their darkest, candlelight and the spirit of Christmas can spark light and love in even the most guarded hearts . . .

Lost And Found: A snowstorm strands two travelers at a remote inn. Even though they clash at their first encounter, carriage trouble forces them to join forces in order to make it to London by Christmas. Neither Nicholas nor Anna is happy about the arrangement, but as the journey takes an unexpected turn, they soon discover they have more in common than they think . . .

A Gathering of Gifts: An impetuous riding accident forces a country baron to play holiday host not only to his grieving widowed sister and young nephew but also to the headstrong heiress who lands her on his doorstep. He thinks she’s arrogant and spoiled while she finds him gruff and unfeeling. But as Noel and his family prepare the modest house for a simple Christmas, secrets slowly come unwrapped, revealing that happiness can come in the most unexpected packages.

So come light the candles and celebrate a Regency Christmas—where Love is the greatest gift of all. (The two stories originally appeared in Signet Regency Christmas collections, but have been newly edited and updated, and have never appeared in e-book format before) $2.99


Mary JoMary Jo

Christmas Candles:
The Best Husband Money Can Buy: A lonely governess inherits an unexpected fortune that can give her a family, but can it also bring her love?

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know
 
is my one Western and begins when an English born gambler is about to be wrongfully hanged–and yes, it has a happy holiday ending!

Christmas Revels: Five holiday stories including an accidental cuckoo-in-the- nest guest who can't bear to leave, a Victorian beauty and the beast story, and three other Christmas tales where they all live happily ever after.

Xmas RosesMary Jo, Susan and Pat
Christmas Roses

Acclaimed writers Patricia Rice, Mary Jo Putney, and Susan King bring together three classic historical romance novellas in this exclusive anthology of unexpected love discovered at a special time of year.

In Susan King's The Snow Rose, love grows despite a clash of Scottish clans.

Mary Jo Putney's The Black Beast of Belleterre tells of a Victorian marriage of convenience where a beauty and her beast both yearn for more.

Patricia Rice's Regency, The Kissing Bough, spins a poignant tale of a returning soldier and a love once lost and now found…"

Together these tales weave a heartwarming journey through history. Also included are introductions about how the stories came to be written and tasty recipes to add to the joys of the season. $3.99

Named of the DragonSusanna
Named of the Dragon

Somewhere in the heart of Legend lies the key to her terrifying dreams
The charm of spending the Christmas holidays in South Wales, with its crumbling castles and ancient myths, seems the perfect distraction from the nightmares that have plagued literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw since the loss of her baby five years ago.
Instead, she meets an emotionally fragile young widow who's convinced that Lyn's recurring dreams have drawn her to Castle Farm for an important purpose–and she's running out of time.
With the help of a reclusive, brooding playwright, Lyn begins to untangle the mystery and is pulled into a world of Celtic legends, dangerous prophecies, and a child destined for greatness. $.9.99

Christmas AngelNo Wench compendium would be complete without a book from Jo Beverley. We miss our dear friend more than words can say, but we’re all so lucky that her spirit lives on in her incomparable writing.

Christmas Angel
Leander, Lord Charrington has a problem. Raised to be a charming diplomat, women fall in love with him. He, however, seems unable to fall in love with them. For wife, therefore, he wants a woman he can live with on honest terms, and an impoverished widow seems ideal. Judith Rossiter thanks heaven for this escape from disaster. But can she keep to the terms of their agreement and not fall in love with her charming husband? $4.80

Last Chance Xmas BallAnd then, of course, there are the Wench Anthologies:

The Last Chance Christmas Ball


Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Hall is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year…
 
A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering decorations, and swell of the orchestra, every duchess and debutante, lord and lackey has a hopeful heart. There’s the headstrong heiress who must win back her beloved by midnight—or be wed to another….the spinster whose fateful choice to relinquish love may hold one more surprise for her…a widow yearning to glimpse her long-lost love for even one sweet, fleeting interlude …a charming rake who finds far more than he bargained for. And many other dazzling, romantic tales in this star-studded collection that will fill your heart and spice up your holidays… $5.99

M and MMischief and Mistletoe
Christmastime in England—a time for passionate secrets, delicious whispers and wicked-sweet gifts by the fire. From a spirited lady who sets out to save her rakish best friend from an unsuitable engagement to a bold spy who gets the unexpected chance to win the woman he’s always loved, to a feisty young hellion and starchy diplomat who must join forces in order to make it to London by Christmas Eve, these holiday tales
will make you curl up in front of the fire for a memorable season of mischief and mistletoe…
 $5.99

Now, to get into the spirit of the season, do you have any favorite traditions for the Holidays? A favorite treat you always make? A special ritual? A a story or song that makes your heart sing? One lucky winner will be chosen at random from all those leaving a comment here to receive a trade paperback edition of The Last Chance Christmas Ball!

250 thoughts on “Heartwarming Reads for the Holidays”

  1. At our house we have pumpkin bread and cheese grits for Christmas morning breakfast before the presents are opened. We’ve tried to do something different, but the children have demanded we keep doing it.

    Reply
  2. At our house we have pumpkin bread and cheese grits for Christmas morning breakfast before the presents are opened. We’ve tried to do something different, but the children have demanded we keep doing it.

    Reply
  3. At our house we have pumpkin bread and cheese grits for Christmas morning breakfast before the presents are opened. We’ve tried to do something different, but the children have demanded we keep doing it.

    Reply
  4. At our house we have pumpkin bread and cheese grits for Christmas morning breakfast before the presents are opened. We’ve tried to do something different, but the children have demanded we keep doing it.

    Reply
  5. At our house we have pumpkin bread and cheese grits for Christmas morning breakfast before the presents are opened. We’ve tried to do something different, but the children have demanded we keep doing it.

    Reply
  6. My Mum used to make a Trifle at the holidays–a dessert dish I loved, and there was always left-overs! So imagine a young girl with her head in the fridge on Boxing Day and a spoon in the Trifle bowl, thinking she was being sneaky and no one would notice the “missing” Trifle.
    After I married and started hosting xmas dinner I carried on the “tradition” of making a big punchbowl of Trifle. Fast forward years later my older brother (most cruelly, I say) informed me that I was the only one in the family who liked it. Needless to say, I haven’t made Trifle in about twelve years. But this year I think I will revive the tradition, though this time I’ll spike it with brandy! And leave the family wondering why I am so giddy at three in the afternoon, lol.

    Reply
  7. My Mum used to make a Trifle at the holidays–a dessert dish I loved, and there was always left-overs! So imagine a young girl with her head in the fridge on Boxing Day and a spoon in the Trifle bowl, thinking she was being sneaky and no one would notice the “missing” Trifle.
    After I married and started hosting xmas dinner I carried on the “tradition” of making a big punchbowl of Trifle. Fast forward years later my older brother (most cruelly, I say) informed me that I was the only one in the family who liked it. Needless to say, I haven’t made Trifle in about twelve years. But this year I think I will revive the tradition, though this time I’ll spike it with brandy! And leave the family wondering why I am so giddy at three in the afternoon, lol.

    Reply
  8. My Mum used to make a Trifle at the holidays–a dessert dish I loved, and there was always left-overs! So imagine a young girl with her head in the fridge on Boxing Day and a spoon in the Trifle bowl, thinking she was being sneaky and no one would notice the “missing” Trifle.
    After I married and started hosting xmas dinner I carried on the “tradition” of making a big punchbowl of Trifle. Fast forward years later my older brother (most cruelly, I say) informed me that I was the only one in the family who liked it. Needless to say, I haven’t made Trifle in about twelve years. But this year I think I will revive the tradition, though this time I’ll spike it with brandy! And leave the family wondering why I am so giddy at three in the afternoon, lol.

    Reply
  9. My Mum used to make a Trifle at the holidays–a dessert dish I loved, and there was always left-overs! So imagine a young girl with her head in the fridge on Boxing Day and a spoon in the Trifle bowl, thinking she was being sneaky and no one would notice the “missing” Trifle.
    After I married and started hosting xmas dinner I carried on the “tradition” of making a big punchbowl of Trifle. Fast forward years later my older brother (most cruelly, I say) informed me that I was the only one in the family who liked it. Needless to say, I haven’t made Trifle in about twelve years. But this year I think I will revive the tradition, though this time I’ll spike it with brandy! And leave the family wondering why I am so giddy at three in the afternoon, lol.

    Reply
  10. My Mum used to make a Trifle at the holidays–a dessert dish I loved, and there was always left-overs! So imagine a young girl with her head in the fridge on Boxing Day and a spoon in the Trifle bowl, thinking she was being sneaky and no one would notice the “missing” Trifle.
    After I married and started hosting xmas dinner I carried on the “tradition” of making a big punchbowl of Trifle. Fast forward years later my older brother (most cruelly, I say) informed me that I was the only one in the family who liked it. Needless to say, I haven’t made Trifle in about twelve years. But this year I think I will revive the tradition, though this time I’ll spike it with brandy! And leave the family wondering why I am so giddy at three in the afternoon, lol.

    Reply
  11. Oh, Suzanne, I love the image of the girl with the spoon, digging surreptitiously into the trifle, hollowing out parts so no one can tell there’s been nibbling!
    I say that was VERY cruel of your brother to spoil your dessert fun. I definitely vote for the tradition coming back—especially with brandy!

    Reply
  12. Oh, Suzanne, I love the image of the girl with the spoon, digging surreptitiously into the trifle, hollowing out parts so no one can tell there’s been nibbling!
    I say that was VERY cruel of your brother to spoil your dessert fun. I definitely vote for the tradition coming back—especially with brandy!

    Reply
  13. Oh, Suzanne, I love the image of the girl with the spoon, digging surreptitiously into the trifle, hollowing out parts so no one can tell there’s been nibbling!
    I say that was VERY cruel of your brother to spoil your dessert fun. I definitely vote for the tradition coming back—especially with brandy!

    Reply
  14. Oh, Suzanne, I love the image of the girl with the spoon, digging surreptitiously into the trifle, hollowing out parts so no one can tell there’s been nibbling!
    I say that was VERY cruel of your brother to spoil your dessert fun. I definitely vote for the tradition coming back—especially with brandy!

    Reply
  15. Oh, Suzanne, I love the image of the girl with the spoon, digging surreptitiously into the trifle, hollowing out parts so no one can tell there’s been nibbling!
    I say that was VERY cruel of your brother to spoil your dessert fun. I definitely vote for the tradition coming back—especially with brandy!

    Reply
  16. Almost 40 years ago I started hosting the family Christmas Eve party. For the last seven or eight years a niece has taken over the job of hosting. I would have been willing to give it up years ago, but the “kids” who are now almost 50, wouldn’t hear of it. And to tell the truth, it makes me feel good, that they have so many happy memories of those parties. And I love that they want that for their children too.

    Reply
  17. Almost 40 years ago I started hosting the family Christmas Eve party. For the last seven or eight years a niece has taken over the job of hosting. I would have been willing to give it up years ago, but the “kids” who are now almost 50, wouldn’t hear of it. And to tell the truth, it makes me feel good, that they have so many happy memories of those parties. And I love that they want that for their children too.

    Reply
  18. Almost 40 years ago I started hosting the family Christmas Eve party. For the last seven or eight years a niece has taken over the job of hosting. I would have been willing to give it up years ago, but the “kids” who are now almost 50, wouldn’t hear of it. And to tell the truth, it makes me feel good, that they have so many happy memories of those parties. And I love that they want that for their children too.

    Reply
  19. Almost 40 years ago I started hosting the family Christmas Eve party. For the last seven or eight years a niece has taken over the job of hosting. I would have been willing to give it up years ago, but the “kids” who are now almost 50, wouldn’t hear of it. And to tell the truth, it makes me feel good, that they have so many happy memories of those parties. And I love that they want that for their children too.

    Reply
  20. Almost 40 years ago I started hosting the family Christmas Eve party. For the last seven or eight years a niece has taken over the job of hosting. I would have been willing to give it up years ago, but the “kids” who are now almost 50, wouldn’t hear of it. And to tell the truth, it makes me feel good, that they have so many happy memories of those parties. And I love that they want that for their children too.

    Reply
  21. More books to buy (sigh).
    We gather here for Christmas, or we go to my daughter’s house, or the mid-Missouri contingent meets the Omaha daughter at a restaurant in St. Joseph, Missouri — about half-way between. I have cut back or the food preparation, but the family tries to get together on some day between December 24 and January 1. We share food, and fond memories.

    Reply
  22. More books to buy (sigh).
    We gather here for Christmas, or we go to my daughter’s house, or the mid-Missouri contingent meets the Omaha daughter at a restaurant in St. Joseph, Missouri — about half-way between. I have cut back or the food preparation, but the family tries to get together on some day between December 24 and January 1. We share food, and fond memories.

    Reply
  23. More books to buy (sigh).
    We gather here for Christmas, or we go to my daughter’s house, or the mid-Missouri contingent meets the Omaha daughter at a restaurant in St. Joseph, Missouri — about half-way between. I have cut back or the food preparation, but the family tries to get together on some day between December 24 and January 1. We share food, and fond memories.

    Reply
  24. More books to buy (sigh).
    We gather here for Christmas, or we go to my daughter’s house, or the mid-Missouri contingent meets the Omaha daughter at a restaurant in St. Joseph, Missouri — about half-way between. I have cut back or the food preparation, but the family tries to get together on some day between December 24 and January 1. We share food, and fond memories.

    Reply
  25. More books to buy (sigh).
    We gather here for Christmas, or we go to my daughter’s house, or the mid-Missouri contingent meets the Omaha daughter at a restaurant in St. Joseph, Missouri — about half-way between. I have cut back or the food preparation, but the family tries to get together on some day between December 24 and January 1. We share food, and fond memories.

    Reply
  26. So many “must” traditions – jello cranberry salad, peanut brittle for all the relatives, Mexican Pecan candy for a select few (with my own stash), drawing for Christmas ornament exchange, all the special foods from my husband’s side – leche flan, lumpia and pancit. No wonder I gain 5 lbs every holiday!!!

    Reply
  27. So many “must” traditions – jello cranberry salad, peanut brittle for all the relatives, Mexican Pecan candy for a select few (with my own stash), drawing for Christmas ornament exchange, all the special foods from my husband’s side – leche flan, lumpia and pancit. No wonder I gain 5 lbs every holiday!!!

    Reply
  28. So many “must” traditions – jello cranberry salad, peanut brittle for all the relatives, Mexican Pecan candy for a select few (with my own stash), drawing for Christmas ornament exchange, all the special foods from my husband’s side – leche flan, lumpia and pancit. No wonder I gain 5 lbs every holiday!!!

    Reply
  29. So many “must” traditions – jello cranberry salad, peanut brittle for all the relatives, Mexican Pecan candy for a select few (with my own stash), drawing for Christmas ornament exchange, all the special foods from my husband’s side – leche flan, lumpia and pancit. No wonder I gain 5 lbs every holiday!!!

    Reply
  30. So many “must” traditions – jello cranberry salad, peanut brittle for all the relatives, Mexican Pecan candy for a select few (with my own stash), drawing for Christmas ornament exchange, all the special foods from my husband’s side – leche flan, lumpia and pancit. No wonder I gain 5 lbs every holiday!!!

    Reply
  31. Cara, EXACTLY! that’s what I did–hollow out parts, taking extra care, too, in the hopes no one would notice. When I questioned my mother, after the “Cruel” revelation, as to why she made a dish NO ONE liked (bar me) she said “It was tradition.” So, I must have some long dead relative (male, I suspect) who insisted on having Trifle with his Christmas supper. lol!

    Reply
  32. Cara, EXACTLY! that’s what I did–hollow out parts, taking extra care, too, in the hopes no one would notice. When I questioned my mother, after the “Cruel” revelation, as to why she made a dish NO ONE liked (bar me) she said “It was tradition.” So, I must have some long dead relative (male, I suspect) who insisted on having Trifle with his Christmas supper. lol!

    Reply
  33. Cara, EXACTLY! that’s what I did–hollow out parts, taking extra care, too, in the hopes no one would notice. When I questioned my mother, after the “Cruel” revelation, as to why she made a dish NO ONE liked (bar me) she said “It was tradition.” So, I must have some long dead relative (male, I suspect) who insisted on having Trifle with his Christmas supper. lol!

    Reply
  34. Cara, EXACTLY! that’s what I did–hollow out parts, taking extra care, too, in the hopes no one would notice. When I questioned my mother, after the “Cruel” revelation, as to why she made a dish NO ONE liked (bar me) she said “It was tradition.” So, I must have some long dead relative (male, I suspect) who insisted on having Trifle with his Christmas supper. lol!

    Reply
  35. Cara, EXACTLY! that’s what I did–hollow out parts, taking extra care, too, in the hopes no one would notice. When I questioned my mother, after the “Cruel” revelation, as to why she made a dish NO ONE liked (bar me) she said “It was tradition.” So, I must have some long dead relative (male, I suspect) who insisted on having Trifle with his Christmas supper. lol!

    Reply
  36. No traditions left, except that privately I put out the Christmas decorations my mother had in our home when I was a child, and my mungy tree which I kept because I felt sorry for it.
    Back in the day, there was turkey, ham or beef roast, stuffing, pumpkin and apple pies, cookies, and seasonal jello with stuff in it. (They were 1950s cooks.)
    My family is small and scattered and does not gather anymore. I wonder sometimes whether the grand and great-grands will do so, since they haven’t seen it modeled. Perhaps gathering is a custom that will fall out of use and humanity will all wind up staring at their iPads instead.

    Reply
  37. No traditions left, except that privately I put out the Christmas decorations my mother had in our home when I was a child, and my mungy tree which I kept because I felt sorry for it.
    Back in the day, there was turkey, ham or beef roast, stuffing, pumpkin and apple pies, cookies, and seasonal jello with stuff in it. (They were 1950s cooks.)
    My family is small and scattered and does not gather anymore. I wonder sometimes whether the grand and great-grands will do so, since they haven’t seen it modeled. Perhaps gathering is a custom that will fall out of use and humanity will all wind up staring at their iPads instead.

    Reply
  38. No traditions left, except that privately I put out the Christmas decorations my mother had in our home when I was a child, and my mungy tree which I kept because I felt sorry for it.
    Back in the day, there was turkey, ham or beef roast, stuffing, pumpkin and apple pies, cookies, and seasonal jello with stuff in it. (They were 1950s cooks.)
    My family is small and scattered and does not gather anymore. I wonder sometimes whether the grand and great-grands will do so, since they haven’t seen it modeled. Perhaps gathering is a custom that will fall out of use and humanity will all wind up staring at their iPads instead.

    Reply
  39. No traditions left, except that privately I put out the Christmas decorations my mother had in our home when I was a child, and my mungy tree which I kept because I felt sorry for it.
    Back in the day, there was turkey, ham or beef roast, stuffing, pumpkin and apple pies, cookies, and seasonal jello with stuff in it. (They were 1950s cooks.)
    My family is small and scattered and does not gather anymore. I wonder sometimes whether the grand and great-grands will do so, since they haven’t seen it modeled. Perhaps gathering is a custom that will fall out of use and humanity will all wind up staring at their iPads instead.

    Reply
  40. No traditions left, except that privately I put out the Christmas decorations my mother had in our home when I was a child, and my mungy tree which I kept because I felt sorry for it.
    Back in the day, there was turkey, ham or beef roast, stuffing, pumpkin and apple pies, cookies, and seasonal jello with stuff in it. (They were 1950s cooks.)
    My family is small and scattered and does not gather anymore. I wonder sometimes whether the grand and great-grands will do so, since they haven’t seen it modeled. Perhaps gathering is a custom that will fall out of use and humanity will all wind up staring at their iPads instead.

    Reply
  41. The one steady tradition we have is opening one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was young it was always new pyjamas. Now I’m the Christmas maker in the house and we still let our little open a gift, and it’s still pyjamas but I’ve added a Christmas story book to the mix. My husband surprised me by continuing the tradition for the grown-ups a couple years ago. I was so pleased because it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without new pjs!

    Reply
  42. The one steady tradition we have is opening one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was young it was always new pyjamas. Now I’m the Christmas maker in the house and we still let our little open a gift, and it’s still pyjamas but I’ve added a Christmas story book to the mix. My husband surprised me by continuing the tradition for the grown-ups a couple years ago. I was so pleased because it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without new pjs!

    Reply
  43. The one steady tradition we have is opening one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was young it was always new pyjamas. Now I’m the Christmas maker in the house and we still let our little open a gift, and it’s still pyjamas but I’ve added a Christmas story book to the mix. My husband surprised me by continuing the tradition for the grown-ups a couple years ago. I was so pleased because it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without new pjs!

    Reply
  44. The one steady tradition we have is opening one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was young it was always new pyjamas. Now I’m the Christmas maker in the house and we still let our little open a gift, and it’s still pyjamas but I’ve added a Christmas story book to the mix. My husband surprised me by continuing the tradition for the grown-ups a couple years ago. I was so pleased because it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without new pjs!

    Reply
  45. The one steady tradition we have is opening one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was young it was always new pyjamas. Now I’m the Christmas maker in the house and we still let our little open a gift, and it’s still pyjamas but I’ve added a Christmas story book to the mix. My husband surprised me by continuing the tradition for the grown-ups a couple years ago. I was so pleased because it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without new pjs!

    Reply
  46. I collect Regency / historical Christmas anthologies and novels to read during the holiday season. Until this year I did so to keep me from going nuts working at Walmart. This year I am going to enjoy them at home during breaks from writing. There is something about a holiday historical romance that always makes me smile!
    The Last Chance Christmas Ball is sitting on my desk as we speak. I’ve already read it once, but I know I will do so again before the New Year. I absolutely loved it!
    Our family Christmas traditions involve my grandmother’s recipes for chocolate pie, peanut butter balls, and divinity. Mom also includes some of the foods we loved in England – Yorkshire pudding, Bisto gravy, trifle and Christmas pudding.
    Yes, I will be in a food coma for New Year’s.

    Reply
  47. I collect Regency / historical Christmas anthologies and novels to read during the holiday season. Until this year I did so to keep me from going nuts working at Walmart. This year I am going to enjoy them at home during breaks from writing. There is something about a holiday historical romance that always makes me smile!
    The Last Chance Christmas Ball is sitting on my desk as we speak. I’ve already read it once, but I know I will do so again before the New Year. I absolutely loved it!
    Our family Christmas traditions involve my grandmother’s recipes for chocolate pie, peanut butter balls, and divinity. Mom also includes some of the foods we loved in England – Yorkshire pudding, Bisto gravy, trifle and Christmas pudding.
    Yes, I will be in a food coma for New Year’s.

    Reply
  48. I collect Regency / historical Christmas anthologies and novels to read during the holiday season. Until this year I did so to keep me from going nuts working at Walmart. This year I am going to enjoy them at home during breaks from writing. There is something about a holiday historical romance that always makes me smile!
    The Last Chance Christmas Ball is sitting on my desk as we speak. I’ve already read it once, but I know I will do so again before the New Year. I absolutely loved it!
    Our family Christmas traditions involve my grandmother’s recipes for chocolate pie, peanut butter balls, and divinity. Mom also includes some of the foods we loved in England – Yorkshire pudding, Bisto gravy, trifle and Christmas pudding.
    Yes, I will be in a food coma for New Year’s.

    Reply
  49. I collect Regency / historical Christmas anthologies and novels to read during the holiday season. Until this year I did so to keep me from going nuts working at Walmart. This year I am going to enjoy them at home during breaks from writing. There is something about a holiday historical romance that always makes me smile!
    The Last Chance Christmas Ball is sitting on my desk as we speak. I’ve already read it once, but I know I will do so again before the New Year. I absolutely loved it!
    Our family Christmas traditions involve my grandmother’s recipes for chocolate pie, peanut butter balls, and divinity. Mom also includes some of the foods we loved in England – Yorkshire pudding, Bisto gravy, trifle and Christmas pudding.
    Yes, I will be in a food coma for New Year’s.

    Reply
  50. I collect Regency / historical Christmas anthologies and novels to read during the holiday season. Until this year I did so to keep me from going nuts working at Walmart. This year I am going to enjoy them at home during breaks from writing. There is something about a holiday historical romance that always makes me smile!
    The Last Chance Christmas Ball is sitting on my desk as we speak. I’ve already read it once, but I know I will do so again before the New Year. I absolutely loved it!
    Our family Christmas traditions involve my grandmother’s recipes for chocolate pie, peanut butter balls, and divinity. Mom also includes some of the foods we loved in England – Yorkshire pudding, Bisto gravy, trifle and Christmas pudding.
    Yes, I will be in a food coma for New Year’s.

    Reply
  51. Janice, that so lovely that you have the bond with your mother’s ornaments.
    I, too, wonder about how the young will fare in the future. Gatherings have their stresses. But connecting only via a computer or phone screen seems very soulless. Sigh.

    Reply
  52. Janice, that so lovely that you have the bond with your mother’s ornaments.
    I, too, wonder about how the young will fare in the future. Gatherings have their stresses. But connecting only via a computer or phone screen seems very soulless. Sigh.

    Reply
  53. Janice, that so lovely that you have the bond with your mother’s ornaments.
    I, too, wonder about how the young will fare in the future. Gatherings have their stresses. But connecting only via a computer or phone screen seems very soulless. Sigh.

    Reply
  54. Janice, that so lovely that you have the bond with your mother’s ornaments.
    I, too, wonder about how the young will fare in the future. Gatherings have their stresses. But connecting only via a computer or phone screen seems very soulless. Sigh.

    Reply
  55. Janice, that so lovely that you have the bond with your mother’s ornaments.
    I, too, wonder about how the young will fare in the future. Gatherings have their stresses. But connecting only via a computer or phone screen seems very soulless. Sigh.

    Reply
  56. One of my favorite Christmas rituals is rereading favorite Christmas books, including a stack of children’s books, quite a few Wench titles, all the old Signet Regency anthologies, and a very tattered paperback copy of Muriel Jensen’s A Carol Christmas. You left Jo’s Winter Fire off the list. It is always one of my rereads.
    Angels are another of my Christmas rituals. Wooden, porcelain, cloth, straw . . . from England, Greece Germany, and the Czech Republic as well as several U. S. states, they sit or stand or fly for the month of December in every room in the house. My favorite is a three-foot tall, golden-haired angel that stands beside our Christmas tree. In 1997, a dear family friend bought her for my mother,who also collected angels, but my mother died six days before Christmas. The friend sent us the angel with a card wishing us sweet Christmas memories. The angel is still beautiful, and the memories are still sweet.

    Reply
  57. One of my favorite Christmas rituals is rereading favorite Christmas books, including a stack of children’s books, quite a few Wench titles, all the old Signet Regency anthologies, and a very tattered paperback copy of Muriel Jensen’s A Carol Christmas. You left Jo’s Winter Fire off the list. It is always one of my rereads.
    Angels are another of my Christmas rituals. Wooden, porcelain, cloth, straw . . . from England, Greece Germany, and the Czech Republic as well as several U. S. states, they sit or stand or fly for the month of December in every room in the house. My favorite is a three-foot tall, golden-haired angel that stands beside our Christmas tree. In 1997, a dear family friend bought her for my mother,who also collected angels, but my mother died six days before Christmas. The friend sent us the angel with a card wishing us sweet Christmas memories. The angel is still beautiful, and the memories are still sweet.

    Reply
  58. One of my favorite Christmas rituals is rereading favorite Christmas books, including a stack of children’s books, quite a few Wench titles, all the old Signet Regency anthologies, and a very tattered paperback copy of Muriel Jensen’s A Carol Christmas. You left Jo’s Winter Fire off the list. It is always one of my rereads.
    Angels are another of my Christmas rituals. Wooden, porcelain, cloth, straw . . . from England, Greece Germany, and the Czech Republic as well as several U. S. states, they sit or stand or fly for the month of December in every room in the house. My favorite is a three-foot tall, golden-haired angel that stands beside our Christmas tree. In 1997, a dear family friend bought her for my mother,who also collected angels, but my mother died six days before Christmas. The friend sent us the angel with a card wishing us sweet Christmas memories. The angel is still beautiful, and the memories are still sweet.

    Reply
  59. One of my favorite Christmas rituals is rereading favorite Christmas books, including a stack of children’s books, quite a few Wench titles, all the old Signet Regency anthologies, and a very tattered paperback copy of Muriel Jensen’s A Carol Christmas. You left Jo’s Winter Fire off the list. It is always one of my rereads.
    Angels are another of my Christmas rituals. Wooden, porcelain, cloth, straw . . . from England, Greece Germany, and the Czech Republic as well as several U. S. states, they sit or stand or fly for the month of December in every room in the house. My favorite is a three-foot tall, golden-haired angel that stands beside our Christmas tree. In 1997, a dear family friend bought her for my mother,who also collected angels, but my mother died six days before Christmas. The friend sent us the angel with a card wishing us sweet Christmas memories. The angel is still beautiful, and the memories are still sweet.

    Reply
  60. One of my favorite Christmas rituals is rereading favorite Christmas books, including a stack of children’s books, quite a few Wench titles, all the old Signet Regency anthologies, and a very tattered paperback copy of Muriel Jensen’s A Carol Christmas. You left Jo’s Winter Fire off the list. It is always one of my rereads.
    Angels are another of my Christmas rituals. Wooden, porcelain, cloth, straw . . . from England, Greece Germany, and the Czech Republic as well as several U. S. states, they sit or stand or fly for the month of December in every room in the house. My favorite is a three-foot tall, golden-haired angel that stands beside our Christmas tree. In 1997, a dear family friend bought her for my mother,who also collected angels, but my mother died six days before Christmas. The friend sent us the angel with a card wishing us sweet Christmas memories. The angel is still beautiful, and the memories are still sweet.

    Reply
  61. Our adult daughter is currently living and working in South Korea. For the past few years, we’ve taken to Skyping at Christmas so that we can share some convivial times and open gifts together — so technology can bring us closer together. I do hear you though, Janice.
    Some of our traditions include sending out a holiday letter to far flung friends and family, decorating the tree while listening to our first holiday CD of the season, eating pizza on Christmas Eve, and eating a yummy meal on Christmas Day. (Hmm, a lot of our traditions appear to involve food!) We have a collection of holiday themed books and music that comes out with the decorations. We’d exchange gifts on Christmas Eve but Santa would always leave a stocking and a special gift for our daughter to find on Christmas morning. It was a wonderfully moving occasion (my daughter was about sixteen) when we found gifts Christmas morning that ‘Santa’ had left for my husband and me.

    Reply
  62. Our adult daughter is currently living and working in South Korea. For the past few years, we’ve taken to Skyping at Christmas so that we can share some convivial times and open gifts together — so technology can bring us closer together. I do hear you though, Janice.
    Some of our traditions include sending out a holiday letter to far flung friends and family, decorating the tree while listening to our first holiday CD of the season, eating pizza on Christmas Eve, and eating a yummy meal on Christmas Day. (Hmm, a lot of our traditions appear to involve food!) We have a collection of holiday themed books and music that comes out with the decorations. We’d exchange gifts on Christmas Eve but Santa would always leave a stocking and a special gift for our daughter to find on Christmas morning. It was a wonderfully moving occasion (my daughter was about sixteen) when we found gifts Christmas morning that ‘Santa’ had left for my husband and me.

    Reply
  63. Our adult daughter is currently living and working in South Korea. For the past few years, we’ve taken to Skyping at Christmas so that we can share some convivial times and open gifts together — so technology can bring us closer together. I do hear you though, Janice.
    Some of our traditions include sending out a holiday letter to far flung friends and family, decorating the tree while listening to our first holiday CD of the season, eating pizza on Christmas Eve, and eating a yummy meal on Christmas Day. (Hmm, a lot of our traditions appear to involve food!) We have a collection of holiday themed books and music that comes out with the decorations. We’d exchange gifts on Christmas Eve but Santa would always leave a stocking and a special gift for our daughter to find on Christmas morning. It was a wonderfully moving occasion (my daughter was about sixteen) when we found gifts Christmas morning that ‘Santa’ had left for my husband and me.

    Reply
  64. Our adult daughter is currently living and working in South Korea. For the past few years, we’ve taken to Skyping at Christmas so that we can share some convivial times and open gifts together — so technology can bring us closer together. I do hear you though, Janice.
    Some of our traditions include sending out a holiday letter to far flung friends and family, decorating the tree while listening to our first holiday CD of the season, eating pizza on Christmas Eve, and eating a yummy meal on Christmas Day. (Hmm, a lot of our traditions appear to involve food!) We have a collection of holiday themed books and music that comes out with the decorations. We’d exchange gifts on Christmas Eve but Santa would always leave a stocking and a special gift for our daughter to find on Christmas morning. It was a wonderfully moving occasion (my daughter was about sixteen) when we found gifts Christmas morning that ‘Santa’ had left for my husband and me.

    Reply
  65. Our adult daughter is currently living and working in South Korea. For the past few years, we’ve taken to Skyping at Christmas so that we can share some convivial times and open gifts together — so technology can bring us closer together. I do hear you though, Janice.
    Some of our traditions include sending out a holiday letter to far flung friends and family, decorating the tree while listening to our first holiday CD of the season, eating pizza on Christmas Eve, and eating a yummy meal on Christmas Day. (Hmm, a lot of our traditions appear to involve food!) We have a collection of holiday themed books and music that comes out with the decorations. We’d exchange gifts on Christmas Eve but Santa would always leave a stocking and a special gift for our daughter to find on Christmas morning. It was a wonderfully moving occasion (my daughter was about sixteen) when we found gifts Christmas morning that ‘Santa’ had left for my husband and me.

    Reply
  66. Well, picked up a couple of virtual stocking stuffers just now. Christmas fruit cakes not being a family favorite, I long ago found a recipe for Christmas Nut Cake – Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, red and green maraschino cherries and dates all held together by the lightest egg batter. Wonderful for nut lovers. Another family favorite is Cranberry Salad – really a jello salad full of pineapple, grapes, and chopped apples. Suzanne’s story made me laugh. This was a favorite on my side of the family, not my husband’s but I always made it to take there anyway because I could be assured of being able to bring a fair amount home again – my favorite holiday salad. Unfortunately as the nieces and nephews have matured, so have their taste buds and now it’s usually an empty bowl coming home with me.
    My husband and I never had children so as we age any number of holiday traditions have bitten the dust. One we do observe was always my favorite part of Christmas – stockings. Usually a large orange in the toe and when we were younger, our first nail polish and then lipstick. Lots of little treasures, and none of them expensive – just fun.
    Happened to read part of a Time magazine at the ophthalmologist’s today. A couple of interesting articles. One on depression in teenagers being dramatically on the rise. Attributed to their never being truly away from their stressors – the omnipresent iPad or iPhone. Parents might do well to have a period of time each day, or several days during the holidays, that are free of these devices.
    The second article I didn’t get to finish but referenced the correlation between being a reader and being able to empathize with others. It described a sort of counseling service where an individual explains their current stress factors – divorce, parenting, job change possibility, dissatisfaction with status quo, etc. and the providers recommend books in “literary fiction” as opposed to “popular fiction” for the purpose of addressing the specific stress factor(s) although these books are not always limited to the one topic. Reading them is supposed to “reset” the mind. I thought it was a bit snarky to leave out genre fiction as I think they can, maybe not usually, but can, meet the requirements of literary fiction “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition.” I would think Pride and Prejudice fits this criteria. Most romantic fiction readers, I would say, would already have known of this benefit to reading.

    Reply
  67. Well, picked up a couple of virtual stocking stuffers just now. Christmas fruit cakes not being a family favorite, I long ago found a recipe for Christmas Nut Cake – Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, red and green maraschino cherries and dates all held together by the lightest egg batter. Wonderful for nut lovers. Another family favorite is Cranberry Salad – really a jello salad full of pineapple, grapes, and chopped apples. Suzanne’s story made me laugh. This was a favorite on my side of the family, not my husband’s but I always made it to take there anyway because I could be assured of being able to bring a fair amount home again – my favorite holiday salad. Unfortunately as the nieces and nephews have matured, so have their taste buds and now it’s usually an empty bowl coming home with me.
    My husband and I never had children so as we age any number of holiday traditions have bitten the dust. One we do observe was always my favorite part of Christmas – stockings. Usually a large orange in the toe and when we were younger, our first nail polish and then lipstick. Lots of little treasures, and none of them expensive – just fun.
    Happened to read part of a Time magazine at the ophthalmologist’s today. A couple of interesting articles. One on depression in teenagers being dramatically on the rise. Attributed to their never being truly away from their stressors – the omnipresent iPad or iPhone. Parents might do well to have a period of time each day, or several days during the holidays, that are free of these devices.
    The second article I didn’t get to finish but referenced the correlation between being a reader and being able to empathize with others. It described a sort of counseling service where an individual explains their current stress factors – divorce, parenting, job change possibility, dissatisfaction with status quo, etc. and the providers recommend books in “literary fiction” as opposed to “popular fiction” for the purpose of addressing the specific stress factor(s) although these books are not always limited to the one topic. Reading them is supposed to “reset” the mind. I thought it was a bit snarky to leave out genre fiction as I think they can, maybe not usually, but can, meet the requirements of literary fiction “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition.” I would think Pride and Prejudice fits this criteria. Most romantic fiction readers, I would say, would already have known of this benefit to reading.

    Reply
  68. Well, picked up a couple of virtual stocking stuffers just now. Christmas fruit cakes not being a family favorite, I long ago found a recipe for Christmas Nut Cake – Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, red and green maraschino cherries and dates all held together by the lightest egg batter. Wonderful for nut lovers. Another family favorite is Cranberry Salad – really a jello salad full of pineapple, grapes, and chopped apples. Suzanne’s story made me laugh. This was a favorite on my side of the family, not my husband’s but I always made it to take there anyway because I could be assured of being able to bring a fair amount home again – my favorite holiday salad. Unfortunately as the nieces and nephews have matured, so have their taste buds and now it’s usually an empty bowl coming home with me.
    My husband and I never had children so as we age any number of holiday traditions have bitten the dust. One we do observe was always my favorite part of Christmas – stockings. Usually a large orange in the toe and when we were younger, our first nail polish and then lipstick. Lots of little treasures, and none of them expensive – just fun.
    Happened to read part of a Time magazine at the ophthalmologist’s today. A couple of interesting articles. One on depression in teenagers being dramatically on the rise. Attributed to their never being truly away from their stressors – the omnipresent iPad or iPhone. Parents might do well to have a period of time each day, or several days during the holidays, that are free of these devices.
    The second article I didn’t get to finish but referenced the correlation between being a reader and being able to empathize with others. It described a sort of counseling service where an individual explains their current stress factors – divorce, parenting, job change possibility, dissatisfaction with status quo, etc. and the providers recommend books in “literary fiction” as opposed to “popular fiction” for the purpose of addressing the specific stress factor(s) although these books are not always limited to the one topic. Reading them is supposed to “reset” the mind. I thought it was a bit snarky to leave out genre fiction as I think they can, maybe not usually, but can, meet the requirements of literary fiction “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition.” I would think Pride and Prejudice fits this criteria. Most romantic fiction readers, I would say, would already have known of this benefit to reading.

    Reply
  69. Well, picked up a couple of virtual stocking stuffers just now. Christmas fruit cakes not being a family favorite, I long ago found a recipe for Christmas Nut Cake – Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, red and green maraschino cherries and dates all held together by the lightest egg batter. Wonderful for nut lovers. Another family favorite is Cranberry Salad – really a jello salad full of pineapple, grapes, and chopped apples. Suzanne’s story made me laugh. This was a favorite on my side of the family, not my husband’s but I always made it to take there anyway because I could be assured of being able to bring a fair amount home again – my favorite holiday salad. Unfortunately as the nieces and nephews have matured, so have their taste buds and now it’s usually an empty bowl coming home with me.
    My husband and I never had children so as we age any number of holiday traditions have bitten the dust. One we do observe was always my favorite part of Christmas – stockings. Usually a large orange in the toe and when we were younger, our first nail polish and then lipstick. Lots of little treasures, and none of them expensive – just fun.
    Happened to read part of a Time magazine at the ophthalmologist’s today. A couple of interesting articles. One on depression in teenagers being dramatically on the rise. Attributed to their never being truly away from their stressors – the omnipresent iPad or iPhone. Parents might do well to have a period of time each day, or several days during the holidays, that are free of these devices.
    The second article I didn’t get to finish but referenced the correlation between being a reader and being able to empathize with others. It described a sort of counseling service where an individual explains their current stress factors – divorce, parenting, job change possibility, dissatisfaction with status quo, etc. and the providers recommend books in “literary fiction” as opposed to “popular fiction” for the purpose of addressing the specific stress factor(s) although these books are not always limited to the one topic. Reading them is supposed to “reset” the mind. I thought it was a bit snarky to leave out genre fiction as I think they can, maybe not usually, but can, meet the requirements of literary fiction “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition.” I would think Pride and Prejudice fits this criteria. Most romantic fiction readers, I would say, would already have known of this benefit to reading.

    Reply
  70. Well, picked up a couple of virtual stocking stuffers just now. Christmas fruit cakes not being a family favorite, I long ago found a recipe for Christmas Nut Cake – Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, red and green maraschino cherries and dates all held together by the lightest egg batter. Wonderful for nut lovers. Another family favorite is Cranberry Salad – really a jello salad full of pineapple, grapes, and chopped apples. Suzanne’s story made me laugh. This was a favorite on my side of the family, not my husband’s but I always made it to take there anyway because I could be assured of being able to bring a fair amount home again – my favorite holiday salad. Unfortunately as the nieces and nephews have matured, so have their taste buds and now it’s usually an empty bowl coming home with me.
    My husband and I never had children so as we age any number of holiday traditions have bitten the dust. One we do observe was always my favorite part of Christmas – stockings. Usually a large orange in the toe and when we were younger, our first nail polish and then lipstick. Lots of little treasures, and none of them expensive – just fun.
    Happened to read part of a Time magazine at the ophthalmologist’s today. A couple of interesting articles. One on depression in teenagers being dramatically on the rise. Attributed to their never being truly away from their stressors – the omnipresent iPad or iPhone. Parents might do well to have a period of time each day, or several days during the holidays, that are free of these devices.
    The second article I didn’t get to finish but referenced the correlation between being a reader and being able to empathize with others. It described a sort of counseling service where an individual explains their current stress factors – divorce, parenting, job change possibility, dissatisfaction with status quo, etc. and the providers recommend books in “literary fiction” as opposed to “popular fiction” for the purpose of addressing the specific stress factor(s) although these books are not always limited to the one topic. Reading them is supposed to “reset” the mind. I thought it was a bit snarky to leave out genre fiction as I think they can, maybe not usually, but can, meet the requirements of literary fiction “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition.” I would think Pride and Prejudice fits this criteria. Most romantic fiction readers, I would say, would already have known of this benefit to reading.

    Reply
  71. Janga—Oh, Winter Fire is one of my favorite Jo books too! We were trying to stick with anthologies, so the list didn’t get too ridiculously long. But thank you for mentioning it here!
    Love your angel collection. My Mother was very fond of angels too, and collected a nice assortment—not as impressive as yours! Now my brothers and I each have a few, and they are a very nice reminder of the spirit of love and family.

    Reply
  72. Janga—Oh, Winter Fire is one of my favorite Jo books too! We were trying to stick with anthologies, so the list didn’t get too ridiculously long. But thank you for mentioning it here!
    Love your angel collection. My Mother was very fond of angels too, and collected a nice assortment—not as impressive as yours! Now my brothers and I each have a few, and they are a very nice reminder of the spirit of love and family.

    Reply
  73. Janga—Oh, Winter Fire is one of my favorite Jo books too! We were trying to stick with anthologies, so the list didn’t get too ridiculously long. But thank you for mentioning it here!
    Love your angel collection. My Mother was very fond of angels too, and collected a nice assortment—not as impressive as yours! Now my brothers and I each have a few, and they are a very nice reminder of the spirit of love and family.

    Reply
  74. Janga—Oh, Winter Fire is one of my favorite Jo books too! We were trying to stick with anthologies, so the list didn’t get too ridiculously long. But thank you for mentioning it here!
    Love your angel collection. My Mother was very fond of angels too, and collected a nice assortment—not as impressive as yours! Now my brothers and I each have a few, and they are a very nice reminder of the spirit of love and family.

    Reply
  75. Janga—Oh, Winter Fire is one of my favorite Jo books too! We were trying to stick with anthologies, so the list didn’t get too ridiculously long. But thank you for mentioning it here!
    Love your angel collection. My Mother was very fond of angels too, and collected a nice assortment—not as impressive as yours! Now my brothers and I each have a few, and they are a very nice reminder of the spirit of love and family.

    Reply
  76. What a wonderfuly thoughtful post, Jeannette! You’ve brought back wonderful “stocking” memories! Oh, the orange in the toe! And yes, the fun little things that made you smile. Also , we were allowed to get up VERY early and grab the stocking, which helped curb the impatience for the morning presents.
    I so agree with you that kids ought to put aside the screens and do more old-fashioned interacting. Emotional isolation is very hard, and cyber friends aren’t the same as real one, with whom you share laughs and hugs.
    And books—oh, yes, one learns so many good thing about Life through reading. May books be among everyone’s holiday gifts!

    Reply
  77. What a wonderfuly thoughtful post, Jeannette! You’ve brought back wonderful “stocking” memories! Oh, the orange in the toe! And yes, the fun little things that made you smile. Also , we were allowed to get up VERY early and grab the stocking, which helped curb the impatience for the morning presents.
    I so agree with you that kids ought to put aside the screens and do more old-fashioned interacting. Emotional isolation is very hard, and cyber friends aren’t the same as real one, with whom you share laughs and hugs.
    And books—oh, yes, one learns so many good thing about Life through reading. May books be among everyone’s holiday gifts!

    Reply
  78. What a wonderfuly thoughtful post, Jeannette! You’ve brought back wonderful “stocking” memories! Oh, the orange in the toe! And yes, the fun little things that made you smile. Also , we were allowed to get up VERY early and grab the stocking, which helped curb the impatience for the morning presents.
    I so agree with you that kids ought to put aside the screens and do more old-fashioned interacting. Emotional isolation is very hard, and cyber friends aren’t the same as real one, with whom you share laughs and hugs.
    And books—oh, yes, one learns so many good thing about Life through reading. May books be among everyone’s holiday gifts!

    Reply
  79. What a wonderfuly thoughtful post, Jeannette! You’ve brought back wonderful “stocking” memories! Oh, the orange in the toe! And yes, the fun little things that made you smile. Also , we were allowed to get up VERY early and grab the stocking, which helped curb the impatience for the morning presents.
    I so agree with you that kids ought to put aside the screens and do more old-fashioned interacting. Emotional isolation is very hard, and cyber friends aren’t the same as real one, with whom you share laughs and hugs.
    And books—oh, yes, one learns so many good thing about Life through reading. May books be among everyone’s holiday gifts!

    Reply
  80. What a wonderfuly thoughtful post, Jeannette! You’ve brought back wonderful “stocking” memories! Oh, the orange in the toe! And yes, the fun little things that made you smile. Also , we were allowed to get up VERY early and grab the stocking, which helped curb the impatience for the morning presents.
    I so agree with you that kids ought to put aside the screens and do more old-fashioned interacting. Emotional isolation is very hard, and cyber friends aren’t the same as real one, with whom you share laughs and hugs.
    And books—oh, yes, one learns so many good thing about Life through reading. May books be among everyone’s holiday gifts!

    Reply
  81. Oh dear, I totally relate. My sin was raisins. Anything made with raisins would disappear before the holiday dinner. So when I had my own kitchen and family, I made everything I knew to include raisins–Waldorf salads, rice pudding, oatmeal-raisin cookies, fruitcake with raisins…. Not until the kids were adults did they tell me they hated raisins. Ungrateful little brats. Enjoy your trifle and brandy!

    Reply
  82. Oh dear, I totally relate. My sin was raisins. Anything made with raisins would disappear before the holiday dinner. So when I had my own kitchen and family, I made everything I knew to include raisins–Waldorf salads, rice pudding, oatmeal-raisin cookies, fruitcake with raisins…. Not until the kids were adults did they tell me they hated raisins. Ungrateful little brats. Enjoy your trifle and brandy!

    Reply
  83. Oh dear, I totally relate. My sin was raisins. Anything made with raisins would disappear before the holiday dinner. So when I had my own kitchen and family, I made everything I knew to include raisins–Waldorf salads, rice pudding, oatmeal-raisin cookies, fruitcake with raisins…. Not until the kids were adults did they tell me they hated raisins. Ungrateful little brats. Enjoy your trifle and brandy!

    Reply
  84. Oh dear, I totally relate. My sin was raisins. Anything made with raisins would disappear before the holiday dinner. So when I had my own kitchen and family, I made everything I knew to include raisins–Waldorf salads, rice pudding, oatmeal-raisin cookies, fruitcake with raisins…. Not until the kids were adults did they tell me they hated raisins. Ungrateful little brats. Enjoy your trifle and brandy!

    Reply
  85. Oh dear, I totally relate. My sin was raisins. Anything made with raisins would disappear before the holiday dinner. So when I had my own kitchen and family, I made everything I knew to include raisins–Waldorf salads, rice pudding, oatmeal-raisin cookies, fruitcake with raisins…. Not until the kids were adults did they tell me they hated raisins. Ungrateful little brats. Enjoy your trifle and brandy!

    Reply
  86. Yes, I know the travel for holiday part, but it’s so good to see family on holidays! It makes us who we are. I tried to get my family to exchange books when we got together, but the brothers prefer TV.

    Reply
  87. Yes, I know the travel for holiday part, but it’s so good to see family on holidays! It makes us who we are. I tried to get my family to exchange books when we got together, but the brothers prefer TV.

    Reply
  88. Yes, I know the travel for holiday part, but it’s so good to see family on holidays! It makes us who we are. I tried to get my family to exchange books when we got together, but the brothers prefer TV.

    Reply
  89. Yes, I know the travel for holiday part, but it’s so good to see family on holidays! It makes us who we are. I tried to get my family to exchange books when we got together, but the brothers prefer TV.

    Reply
  90. Yes, I know the travel for holiday part, but it’s so good to see family on holidays! It makes us who we are. I tried to get my family to exchange books when we got together, but the brothers prefer TV.

    Reply
  91. Oh, Janice, I hope not, although perhaps they’ll gather for holiday traditions with close friends. But I love your story of the mungy Christmas tree and now I have ideas dancing in my head! I’d say watch out for a mungy tree in the next novella, but ideas have a way of turning up in strange places.

    Reply
  92. Oh, Janice, I hope not, although perhaps they’ll gather for holiday traditions with close friends. But I love your story of the mungy Christmas tree and now I have ideas dancing in my head! I’d say watch out for a mungy tree in the next novella, but ideas have a way of turning up in strange places.

    Reply
  93. Oh, Janice, I hope not, although perhaps they’ll gather for holiday traditions with close friends. But I love your story of the mungy Christmas tree and now I have ideas dancing in my head! I’d say watch out for a mungy tree in the next novella, but ideas have a way of turning up in strange places.

    Reply
  94. Oh, Janice, I hope not, although perhaps they’ll gather for holiday traditions with close friends. But I love your story of the mungy Christmas tree and now I have ideas dancing in my head! I’d say watch out for a mungy tree in the next novella, but ideas have a way of turning up in strange places.

    Reply
  95. Oh, Janice, I hope not, although perhaps they’ll gather for holiday traditions with close friends. But I love your story of the mungy Christmas tree and now I have ideas dancing in my head! I’d say watch out for a mungy tree in the next novella, but ideas have a way of turning up in strange places.

    Reply
  96. Oh, I envy you your angels! We had to leave all our heirlooms and collections behind when we moved. Palm trees and Christmas ornaments simply don’t go together so well anyway, but I miss those memories! Hugs on yours.

    Reply
  97. Oh, I envy you your angels! We had to leave all our heirlooms and collections behind when we moved. Palm trees and Christmas ornaments simply don’t go together so well anyway, but I miss those memories! Hugs on yours.

    Reply
  98. Oh, I envy you your angels! We had to leave all our heirlooms and collections behind when we moved. Palm trees and Christmas ornaments simply don’t go together so well anyway, but I miss those memories! Hugs on yours.

    Reply
  99. Oh, I envy you your angels! We had to leave all our heirlooms and collections behind when we moved. Palm trees and Christmas ornaments simply don’t go together so well anyway, but I miss those memories! Hugs on yours.

    Reply
  100. Oh, I envy you your angels! We had to leave all our heirlooms and collections behind when we moved. Palm trees and Christmas ornaments simply don’t go together so well anyway, but I miss those memories! Hugs on yours.

    Reply
  101. I feel a blog coming on about what books we might recommend to help people “adjust” to stressors. There have to be thousands, and I’m thinking depressing literary tomes aren’t what we’ll come up with!

    Reply
  102. I feel a blog coming on about what books we might recommend to help people “adjust” to stressors. There have to be thousands, and I’m thinking depressing literary tomes aren’t what we’ll come up with!

    Reply
  103. I feel a blog coming on about what books we might recommend to help people “adjust” to stressors. There have to be thousands, and I’m thinking depressing literary tomes aren’t what we’ll come up with!

    Reply
  104. I feel a blog coming on about what books we might recommend to help people “adjust” to stressors. There have to be thousands, and I’m thinking depressing literary tomes aren’t what we’ll come up with!

    Reply
  105. I feel a blog coming on about what books we might recommend to help people “adjust” to stressors. There have to be thousands, and I’m thinking depressing literary tomes aren’t what we’ll come up with!

    Reply
  106. I’m overseas this Christmas (I got to go home at Thanksgiving), so I’m making it up as I go. I’ve been told it’s the thing to go out the day after Christmas for a play, so that’s what I’m doing.

    Reply
  107. I’m overseas this Christmas (I got to go home at Thanksgiving), so I’m making it up as I go. I’ve been told it’s the thing to go out the day after Christmas for a play, so that’s what I’m doing.

    Reply
  108. I’m overseas this Christmas (I got to go home at Thanksgiving), so I’m making it up as I go. I’ve been told it’s the thing to go out the day after Christmas for a play, so that’s what I’m doing.

    Reply
  109. I’m overseas this Christmas (I got to go home at Thanksgiving), so I’m making it up as I go. I’ve been told it’s the thing to go out the day after Christmas for a play, so that’s what I’m doing.

    Reply
  110. I’m overseas this Christmas (I got to go home at Thanksgiving), so I’m making it up as I go. I’ve been told it’s the thing to go out the day after Christmas for a play, so that’s what I’m doing.

    Reply
  111. I do miss the Signet Christmas anthologies. They were a personal holiday tradition. I enjoy rereading the ones I have but am sad that there are no new ones to add to my collection and read as the days grow shorter. I’ll mention only one of my favorite stories since it was written by a Word Wench: Edith Layton’s The Gingerbread Men from the Signet A Regency Feast. It’s so evocative as the hero searches for the source of his dreams of gingerbread. Everyone he talks to has a story, some funny, some poignant, and Layton manages to bring these characters alive in only a paragraph or two. Plus I think the romance is quite lovely.

    Reply
  112. I do miss the Signet Christmas anthologies. They were a personal holiday tradition. I enjoy rereading the ones I have but am sad that there are no new ones to add to my collection and read as the days grow shorter. I’ll mention only one of my favorite stories since it was written by a Word Wench: Edith Layton’s The Gingerbread Men from the Signet A Regency Feast. It’s so evocative as the hero searches for the source of his dreams of gingerbread. Everyone he talks to has a story, some funny, some poignant, and Layton manages to bring these characters alive in only a paragraph or two. Plus I think the romance is quite lovely.

    Reply
  113. I do miss the Signet Christmas anthologies. They were a personal holiday tradition. I enjoy rereading the ones I have but am sad that there are no new ones to add to my collection and read as the days grow shorter. I’ll mention only one of my favorite stories since it was written by a Word Wench: Edith Layton’s The Gingerbread Men from the Signet A Regency Feast. It’s so evocative as the hero searches for the source of his dreams of gingerbread. Everyone he talks to has a story, some funny, some poignant, and Layton manages to bring these characters alive in only a paragraph or two. Plus I think the romance is quite lovely.

    Reply
  114. I do miss the Signet Christmas anthologies. They were a personal holiday tradition. I enjoy rereading the ones I have but am sad that there are no new ones to add to my collection and read as the days grow shorter. I’ll mention only one of my favorite stories since it was written by a Word Wench: Edith Layton’s The Gingerbread Men from the Signet A Regency Feast. It’s so evocative as the hero searches for the source of his dreams of gingerbread. Everyone he talks to has a story, some funny, some poignant, and Layton manages to bring these characters alive in only a paragraph or two. Plus I think the romance is quite lovely.

    Reply
  115. I do miss the Signet Christmas anthologies. They were a personal holiday tradition. I enjoy rereading the ones I have but am sad that there are no new ones to add to my collection and read as the days grow shorter. I’ll mention only one of my favorite stories since it was written by a Word Wench: Edith Layton’s The Gingerbread Men from the Signet A Regency Feast. It’s so evocative as the hero searches for the source of his dreams of gingerbread. Everyone he talks to has a story, some funny, some poignant, and Layton manages to bring these characters alive in only a paragraph or two. Plus I think the romance is quite lovely.

    Reply
  116. Here in our house in Ireland my daughter is the queen of Christmas. She just loves it and having been ill for the last few years she gets her way in most of what happens. She loves our own traditions and they have to be followed to the letter. We too open a present on Christmas Eve. Then we all go to my Mother’s for a family get together. One of my brothers, his wife and two children come to us for the hols. I love having them as his kids are still being visited by Santa!!
    For food we have a sausage meat stuffing and bread sauce with the turkey which I always had growing up. It’s a must have at dinner. But my husband grew up with different foods so we have those as well. I’ll be cooking for ten on Christmas Day and I can’t wait. Then I’ll dive into my Christmas themed books which I’ll have ready and waiting like I do every year. I too love the old Signet ones and reread what I have often.

    Reply
  117. Here in our house in Ireland my daughter is the queen of Christmas. She just loves it and having been ill for the last few years she gets her way in most of what happens. She loves our own traditions and they have to be followed to the letter. We too open a present on Christmas Eve. Then we all go to my Mother’s for a family get together. One of my brothers, his wife and two children come to us for the hols. I love having them as his kids are still being visited by Santa!!
    For food we have a sausage meat stuffing and bread sauce with the turkey which I always had growing up. It’s a must have at dinner. But my husband grew up with different foods so we have those as well. I’ll be cooking for ten on Christmas Day and I can’t wait. Then I’ll dive into my Christmas themed books which I’ll have ready and waiting like I do every year. I too love the old Signet ones and reread what I have often.

    Reply
  118. Here in our house in Ireland my daughter is the queen of Christmas. She just loves it and having been ill for the last few years she gets her way in most of what happens. She loves our own traditions and they have to be followed to the letter. We too open a present on Christmas Eve. Then we all go to my Mother’s for a family get together. One of my brothers, his wife and two children come to us for the hols. I love having them as his kids are still being visited by Santa!!
    For food we have a sausage meat stuffing and bread sauce with the turkey which I always had growing up. It’s a must have at dinner. But my husband grew up with different foods so we have those as well. I’ll be cooking for ten on Christmas Day and I can’t wait. Then I’ll dive into my Christmas themed books which I’ll have ready and waiting like I do every year. I too love the old Signet ones and reread what I have often.

    Reply
  119. Here in our house in Ireland my daughter is the queen of Christmas. She just loves it and having been ill for the last few years she gets her way in most of what happens. She loves our own traditions and they have to be followed to the letter. We too open a present on Christmas Eve. Then we all go to my Mother’s for a family get together. One of my brothers, his wife and two children come to us for the hols. I love having them as his kids are still being visited by Santa!!
    For food we have a sausage meat stuffing and bread sauce with the turkey which I always had growing up. It’s a must have at dinner. But my husband grew up with different foods so we have those as well. I’ll be cooking for ten on Christmas Day and I can’t wait. Then I’ll dive into my Christmas themed books which I’ll have ready and waiting like I do every year. I too love the old Signet ones and reread what I have often.

    Reply
  120. Here in our house in Ireland my daughter is the queen of Christmas. She just loves it and having been ill for the last few years she gets her way in most of what happens. She loves our own traditions and they have to be followed to the letter. We too open a present on Christmas Eve. Then we all go to my Mother’s for a family get together. One of my brothers, his wife and two children come to us for the hols. I love having them as his kids are still being visited by Santa!!
    For food we have a sausage meat stuffing and bread sauce with the turkey which I always had growing up. It’s a must have at dinner. But my husband grew up with different foods so we have those as well. I’ll be cooking for ten on Christmas Day and I can’t wait. Then I’ll dive into my Christmas themed books which I’ll have ready and waiting like I do every year. I too love the old Signet ones and reread what I have often.

    Reply
  121. It came from Harry & David via work. I would place the order for Christmas gifts, and since I didn’t want a box of sugar-laden delights for myself, I’d spend the same amount for something else. One year it was a small plastic tree with lights and ornaments. It looked great in the catalog — that was because all the ornaments that came with the tree were placed on the side that would show in the photo. When it arrived it was pretty bent up, the star wouldn’t stay straight on the top, and the ornaments were sparser than expected. The poor thing. I kept it. I couldn’t bear for people to say mean things about it. Therefore it goes in my bedroom. I add little things from time to time. It’s still crooked.

    Reply
  122. It came from Harry & David via work. I would place the order for Christmas gifts, and since I didn’t want a box of sugar-laden delights for myself, I’d spend the same amount for something else. One year it was a small plastic tree with lights and ornaments. It looked great in the catalog — that was because all the ornaments that came with the tree were placed on the side that would show in the photo. When it arrived it was pretty bent up, the star wouldn’t stay straight on the top, and the ornaments were sparser than expected. The poor thing. I kept it. I couldn’t bear for people to say mean things about it. Therefore it goes in my bedroom. I add little things from time to time. It’s still crooked.

    Reply
  123. It came from Harry & David via work. I would place the order for Christmas gifts, and since I didn’t want a box of sugar-laden delights for myself, I’d spend the same amount for something else. One year it was a small plastic tree with lights and ornaments. It looked great in the catalog — that was because all the ornaments that came with the tree were placed on the side that would show in the photo. When it arrived it was pretty bent up, the star wouldn’t stay straight on the top, and the ornaments were sparser than expected. The poor thing. I kept it. I couldn’t bear for people to say mean things about it. Therefore it goes in my bedroom. I add little things from time to time. It’s still crooked.

    Reply
  124. It came from Harry & David via work. I would place the order for Christmas gifts, and since I didn’t want a box of sugar-laden delights for myself, I’d spend the same amount for something else. One year it was a small plastic tree with lights and ornaments. It looked great in the catalog — that was because all the ornaments that came with the tree were placed on the side that would show in the photo. When it arrived it was pretty bent up, the star wouldn’t stay straight on the top, and the ornaments were sparser than expected. The poor thing. I kept it. I couldn’t bear for people to say mean things about it. Therefore it goes in my bedroom. I add little things from time to time. It’s still crooked.

    Reply
  125. It came from Harry & David via work. I would place the order for Christmas gifts, and since I didn’t want a box of sugar-laden delights for myself, I’d spend the same amount for something else. One year it was a small plastic tree with lights and ornaments. It looked great in the catalog — that was because all the ornaments that came with the tree were placed on the side that would show in the photo. When it arrived it was pretty bent up, the star wouldn’t stay straight on the top, and the ornaments were sparser than expected. The poor thing. I kept it. I couldn’t bear for people to say mean things about it. Therefore it goes in my bedroom. I add little things from time to time. It’s still crooked.

    Reply
  126. I find it curious that the definition of “literary merit” above — “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition” — omits all mention of prose quality or complexity. I don’t quite know what to make of that. Does choosing the best words not matter anymore? Does everyone read solely for plot or fact? Does music in the words not matter anymore? How odd. How sad 🙁

    Reply
  127. I find it curious that the definition of “literary merit” above — “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition” — omits all mention of prose quality or complexity. I don’t quite know what to make of that. Does choosing the best words not matter anymore? Does everyone read solely for plot or fact? Does music in the words not matter anymore? How odd. How sad 🙁

    Reply
  128. I find it curious that the definition of “literary merit” above — “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition” — omits all mention of prose quality or complexity. I don’t quite know what to make of that. Does choosing the best words not matter anymore? Does everyone read solely for plot or fact? Does music in the words not matter anymore? How odd. How sad 🙁

    Reply
  129. I find it curious that the definition of “literary merit” above — “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition” — omits all mention of prose quality or complexity. I don’t quite know what to make of that. Does choosing the best words not matter anymore? Does everyone read solely for plot or fact? Does music in the words not matter anymore? How odd. How sad 🙁

    Reply
  130. I find it curious that the definition of “literary merit” above — “comprises fictional works that hold literary merit; that is, they involve social commentary, or political criticism, or focus on the human condition” — omits all mention of prose quality or complexity. I don’t quite know what to make of that. Does choosing the best words not matter anymore? Does everyone read solely for plot or fact? Does music in the words not matter anymore? How odd. How sad 🙁

    Reply
  131. Janice, I think it’s true that fewer people appreciate the texture of writing—language, pacing, structure. And yes, it’s sad. That said, there are still many who love good writing, and hopefully that will be passed down to the next generation. At least, I devoutly hope so.

    Reply
  132. Janice, I think it’s true that fewer people appreciate the texture of writing—language, pacing, structure. And yes, it’s sad. That said, there are still many who love good writing, and hopefully that will be passed down to the next generation. At least, I devoutly hope so.

    Reply
  133. Janice, I think it’s true that fewer people appreciate the texture of writing—language, pacing, structure. And yes, it’s sad. That said, there are still many who love good writing, and hopefully that will be passed down to the next generation. At least, I devoutly hope so.

    Reply
  134. Janice, I think it’s true that fewer people appreciate the texture of writing—language, pacing, structure. And yes, it’s sad. That said, there are still many who love good writing, and hopefully that will be passed down to the next generation. At least, I devoutly hope so.

    Reply
  135. Janice, I think it’s true that fewer people appreciate the texture of writing—language, pacing, structure. And yes, it’s sad. That said, there are still many who love good writing, and hopefully that will be passed down to the next generation. At least, I devoutly hope so.

    Reply
  136. I came in late on the discussion of “Ghostly Tales” last week but had asked a question regarding the Wenches take on symbolism in historical romance writing. Might fit also with the stressors idea.

    Reply
  137. I came in late on the discussion of “Ghostly Tales” last week but had asked a question regarding the Wenches take on symbolism in historical romance writing. Might fit also with the stressors idea.

    Reply
  138. I came in late on the discussion of “Ghostly Tales” last week but had asked a question regarding the Wenches take on symbolism in historical romance writing. Might fit also with the stressors idea.

    Reply
  139. I came in late on the discussion of “Ghostly Tales” last week but had asked a question regarding the Wenches take on symbolism in historical romance writing. Might fit also with the stressors idea.

    Reply
  140. I came in late on the discussion of “Ghostly Tales” last week but had asked a question regarding the Wenches take on symbolism in historical romance writing. Might fit also with the stressors idea.

    Reply
  141. I usually do Christmas Eve dinner at my house – then we go to the town carol sing around the green, followed by a candlelight church service. Then back home for dessert. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that look tasty, but also aren’t overly complicated – don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen when everyone is visiting.

    Reply
  142. I usually do Christmas Eve dinner at my house – then we go to the town carol sing around the green, followed by a candlelight church service. Then back home for dessert. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that look tasty, but also aren’t overly complicated – don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen when everyone is visiting.

    Reply
  143. I usually do Christmas Eve dinner at my house – then we go to the town carol sing around the green, followed by a candlelight church service. Then back home for dessert. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that look tasty, but also aren’t overly complicated – don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen when everyone is visiting.

    Reply
  144. I usually do Christmas Eve dinner at my house – then we go to the town carol sing around the green, followed by a candlelight church service. Then back home for dessert. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that look tasty, but also aren’t overly complicated – don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen when everyone is visiting.

    Reply
  145. I usually do Christmas Eve dinner at my house – then we go to the town carol sing around the green, followed by a candlelight church service. Then back home for dessert. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that look tasty, but also aren’t overly complicated – don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen when everyone is visiting.

    Reply
  146. When I was young, my mother made a traditional dark and light fruit cake each year, until she learned that no one in the family like either of them. She then started to make various types of cookies and chocolate rum balls or truffles – much more popular! My brothers and I always volunteered to help shape the Truffles and roll them in chocolate sprinkles, which gave an opportunity to sneak some

    Reply
  147. When I was young, my mother made a traditional dark and light fruit cake each year, until she learned that no one in the family like either of them. She then started to make various types of cookies and chocolate rum balls or truffles – much more popular! My brothers and I always volunteered to help shape the Truffles and roll them in chocolate sprinkles, which gave an opportunity to sneak some

    Reply
  148. When I was young, my mother made a traditional dark and light fruit cake each year, until she learned that no one in the family like either of them. She then started to make various types of cookies and chocolate rum balls or truffles – much more popular! My brothers and I always volunteered to help shape the Truffles and roll them in chocolate sprinkles, which gave an opportunity to sneak some

    Reply
  149. When I was young, my mother made a traditional dark and light fruit cake each year, until she learned that no one in the family like either of them. She then started to make various types of cookies and chocolate rum balls or truffles – much more popular! My brothers and I always volunteered to help shape the Truffles and roll them in chocolate sprinkles, which gave an opportunity to sneak some

    Reply
  150. When I was young, my mother made a traditional dark and light fruit cake each year, until she learned that no one in the family like either of them. She then started to make various types of cookies and chocolate rum balls or truffles – much more popular! My brothers and I always volunteered to help shape the Truffles and roll them in chocolate sprinkles, which gave an opportunity to sneak some

    Reply

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