Winter Blogfest: B. L. Blair

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Family Christmas Traditions

I grew up in a large family. I am the youngest of six kids. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they tried to make Christmas special for all of us. When I was a child, we had three Christmas traditions that are lasting memories for me.

The first was simple. My grandmother had made Christmas stockings for all of her grandchildren. She died before I was born, so my aunt made one for me. These stockings were velveteen and had our names coming from the smoke of a house chimney for the girls and a train for the boys. They were simple and sweet. We didn’t use them for stuffing, but every year my mother would hang them over the couch of our living room. We all still have ours and pull them out each year.

The second tradition involved gifts. My mother worked hard all year to purchase us little gifts. We always had ten to fifteen wrapped gifts each and one unwrapped “Santa” gift. On Christmas Eve, we would all pick a spot in the living room. We would then spend about an hour pulling our gifts out from under the tree, shaking the boxes, and sorting them in our spot – which one would we open first the next morning. Of course, we counted them as well. By the time we were done, there was nowhere to sit, so we had to go to bed. A win-win for my parents.

And that brings me to the third tradition. My parents had a hard and fast rule. We could not get out of bed on Christmas morning before seven a.m. This gave my mother time to get up and start the turkey without anyone under foot. I remember laying in bed and waiting for the clock to turn to the acceptable time. The anticipation, the excitement, and sheer happiness was almost overwhelming. When it was time, we would all rush into the living room to our spot to see what Santa had left us and begin ripping into the presents. It was a simple joy and is one of my fondest memories.

I hope you have family traditions that bring you happiness and joy. I would love to hear them. Please share in the comments. Happy Holidays!
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When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she can’t believe the police consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t like Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.

There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe. Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.

The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death.

Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police arrest her for murder?

B. L. Blair writes mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Leah Norwood Mysteries and the Lost and Found Pets Mystery Novellas. She loves reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.

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Comments

  1. Debra Guyette says

    For my kids, they could get up and bring their stocking to bed to unwrap until we get up. We also have a tradition of getting Santa gifts after dinner.

  2. I like decorating together

  3. What lovely Christmas traditions you have!

    My parents had the same 7 am rule. You’d better believe I was all dressed and ready for the day the second we reached that time.

  4. I enjoyed reading about your lovely Christmas traditions. My dad would always take me to see all the light and decoration displays, and we always made Christmas cookies, and left them out with milk for Santa.

    • B. L. Blair says

      What a great memory. As a child, we never went to look at lights and decorations, but I did so later. I always wished we had done so as a family.

  5. Laura M. Baird says

    Lovely memories! Happy Holidays!

  6. Like many others said- your post was wonderful to read. Thanks for sharing your traditions! Ours are few. One comes from my great-grandmother- having to stay up until midnight on Christmas eve with a red candle burning. It’s like I’m keeping vigil, to to light the way for Jesus. No idea why or how it came about, but I’ve carried on the tradition. I always stay up until midnight and blow out the candle afterwards.

  7. Such lovely traditions! Growing up I was always allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas!

    • B. L. Blair says

      My sister-in-law has that same tradition. My niece and nephew always opened one gift on Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays.

  8. When I was young, our family would go to my grandmother’s house for Christmas Eve dinner. My aunts, uncles and cousins were also included. Afterwards, we would open presents. I was always excited to see everyone and couldn’t wait to open my presents. I have fond memories of those days.

  9. We moved around a lot, but one Christmas tradition we kept up was the Advent calendar. That was before today’s chocolate ones. These were covered in glitter and featured only windows to open on scenes of significance for each day. I still have some of those now-antique Advent calendars.

  10. Mary Tatarian says

    Family traditions are what makes the holidays special. On Christmas Eve we would visit my aunt, my father’s sister, to celebrate The Feast of The Seven Fishes, a southern Italian tradition still celebrated today. I try to keep that memory alive every year to remember my Aunt and my Dad but cook only three fish dishes, baked stuffed shrimp, grouper, and scallops-not in the original menu but they are my way of keeping that holiday tradition alive.

  11. B. L. Blair says

    How cool. I love that you still have them.

  12. I enjoy tamales on Christmas Eve!

  13. Marie Marlene says

    My kids weren’t allowed to get up before 7am, and they had to have breakfast before we start opening the presents. It always amazed me how fast they could eat on Christmas morning compared to a normal morning when I was trying to get them ready for school LOL.

  14. B. L. Blair says

    Hi everyone. Thank you for sharing your family traditions. I used a Random Number Generator to pick a number. It was 8 so the 8th person to comment is the winner. Congratulations to Karen. You will be receiving your Amazon egift card in a few days.

    Happy New Year!

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