Winter Blogfest: Jana Richards

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New Christmas Traditions by Jana Richards

All my childhood Christmas memories center around food and family. My parents both came from large families, most of whom lived on farms or small towns close to us. Between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, we feasted at a different relative’s house every day. On Christmas Eve, after the children’s Christmas concert at the church, we ate at my maternal grandparents’ house. My grandmother wasn’t happy until you’d stuffed yourself so full you could barely walk. On Christmas day, we had another huge meal with my paternal grandmother and my dad’s family. On the days leading up to New Year’s, we hosted a dinner of our own and ate at a different aunt and uncle’s house every night. Once dinner was over, the dishes were cleared away and card games were played. How we didn’t immediately fall asleep after all the turkey we’d consumed, I have no idea.

When I got older and had kids of my own, we lived some distance away from our parents, so every Christmas we bundled up the kids, packed presents and baked goods into the car, and drove to visit my husband’s parents on Christmas day, and then my parents on boxing day (December 26). I remember some very cold, and sometimes some very dicey winter driving conditions, but we always made the trip. Once we got there, we had lots of fun and plenty to eat. My kids and our nieces and nephews were young so there was always a lot of excitement about Santa’s visit and the gifts he’d bring. I was mostly excited about the food, like my mother-in-law’s perogies and my mother’s cabbage rolls. I used to grumble about those long, cold drives, but now that our parents are gone, I dearly miss those holidays.

My husband and I are now the oldest members of the family. This year, with a new grandchild about to arrive before Christmas, we have new traditions to look forward to. We’ll have a baby spoil and buy presents for and make Christmas goodies for. As much as I cherish my old Christmas memories, I can’t wait for the new traditions to begin!


Charlotte Saunders has a full life—a rewarding career as a nurse, meaningful volunteer work at a dog shelter, and family, friends and pets she adores. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t forget the horrible event that’s haunted her for ten years.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Damon Greyson now helps others who have suffered trauma. His experience and intuition alert him to trouble in Charlotte’s past, and he wants to help her, if only she’d let him.

Jana Richards has tried her hand at many writing projects over the years, from magazine articles and short stories to full-length contemporary romance, paranormal suspense and romantic comedy. She loves to create characters with a sense of humor, but also a serious side. She believes there’s nothing more interesting then peeling back the layers of a character to see what makes them tick.

When not writing up a storm or dealing with dust bunnies, Jana can be found pursuing hobbies such as golf (which she plays very badly) or reading (which she does much better).

Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren and two senior cats named Layla and Leelou. You can reach her through her website at

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.


  1. I have many wonderful memories of spending time at my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve. Our extended family gathered for an evening dinner and then we opened presents. As a young child, it felt magical and I now look back on that time with fond memories.

    • I absolutely know what you mean, Karen. Those Christmases spent with my grandparents and extended family are some of my happiest childhood memories. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. There’s definitely something to be said for starting new Christmas traditions. 🙂

    • Absolutely Astilbe. I’m looking forward to new Christmas traditions. Since I wrote this post, my daughter gave birth to our beautiful granddaughter Aubrey Catherine. She’s a welcome addition to the family!

  3. fun traditions

  4. This is the first Christmas all my grandchildren will be in town. I am so excited to spend much needed time cuddling with them.

  5. Elizabeth H. says

    Congrats on your grandchildren! It’s so wonderful that you’re able to make new memories/traditions with them! Thank you for sharing your memories and your book!

  6. Like you, we are the gathering place for our immediate family now, and we’re lucky if we can celebrate on the actual holiday due to work conflicts and travel schedules. Now it’s most often pizza and frosty strawberry cake or pecan praline pie instead of the big meal production my mother-in-law used to create for dinner. And I still make 6-7 different kinds of cookies instead of the 2 dozen she used to prepare. Enjoy the new grandbaby!

    • Yes, my traditions, especially when it comes to food preparation for Christmas, are very different from my mother’s and my grandmother’s. I don’t make nearly as much food. Even so, we’re still eating leftovers!

  7. This year was special as i got to celebrate my Granddaughter Everly’s first Christmas. She will be 10 months old and spoiled lol.

    • How wonderful, Jodi! My granddaughter Aubrey was only seven weeks old at Christmas so she’s not really into it yet. By next Christmas she’ll be tearing through the wrapping paper, I’m sure, just as your Everly will!

  8. Enjoy time with family… new traditions can be fun!

  9. Kristin Morton says

    I grew up in a tiny town on top of a mountain in middle of nowhere West Virginia and every Sunday and every Holiday everyone in my family would all congregate at my Grandma’s house that was in the middle of town. I miss that tradition but I love making my own with my own little family!

  10. I also grew up with a large extended family so reading your post brings up a lot of good memories. Thank you for that! Have a Happy New Year!

  11. Kristin Morton says

    I love old Traditions and I also love making new ones with my daughter!

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