Winter Blogfest: Shirley Goldberg

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win an Amazon $10 Gift Certificate to commenters on my post. I’m also offering a copy of my short story, A Bar, Two Dates, and Reindeer Cookies to ALL Long and Short Reviews readers. The link to download it is in my post. Thank you all.

Memories of Holidays Past by Shirley Goldberg

I grew up in Connecticut, so holiday memories bring back images of wind and snow, ice storms, and vacations from school––important to all former teachers.

My family’s Jewish traditional holiday was Hanukah, celebrated for eight days. My aunt is Italian, though, and so we were comfortable with Christmas trees, sometimes call Hanukah bushes.

Hanukah brings to mind presents. When we were kids, this was a big deal. Eight days meant eight presents, one on each day. I can’t imagine how my parents got it together to shop for three girls and wrap twenty-four presents, plus work and run a household.

Time passed and holidays took on a different meaning. I traveled and lived in England, France, Morocco, and Greece, where holiday traditions differed. What never changed, however, was the importance of friends. Holidays were all about the people in my life.

In my early twenties, my best friend and I quit university and went to Ireland and England. We worked as waitresses (off the books) in England, and celebrated Christmas together at a simple hamburger chain. In Delphi, Greece, a bunch of us stayed at a youth hostel. I can’t recall where we enjoyed our Christmas dinner. It may have been bread and cheese and a bottle of retsina. Later, in France, my travels ended, I worked as a jeunefille au pair and lived and babysat two young children. On Christmas day, the whole family ate an elaborate Christmas feast.

As the years went along, the holidays blended into one another. Hanukah is a fun time for kids, but my family had dispersed. We’d get together for Thanksgiving, which remains my favorite holiday of the year, although I do love Halloween.

Nowadays, it isn’t easy to get back to celebrate my favorite holiday with my family. Instead, I spend that day with the friends I’ve met in Florida, where I now live. It’s still a little weird, even after six years here, the idea of no snow and short sleeves on Thanksgiving. But I’m grateful to have the memories and perhaps one day soon, I’ll make it back to spend the holidays in New England.

Speaking of Christmas, grab my holiday short story, A Bar, Two Dates, and Reindeer Cookies. Free. It’s a fun story about being lonely on Christmas. Oh, you’ll meet the hot bartender!

“Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional special guy, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into “”ignore”” status afterward?

Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife’s death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.

Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life putting Lucy on “”ignore.”” Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.”

Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look into dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book at Amazon.


  1. Thanks for the story

  2. Wow, what a travel history you have, Shirley! I admire your gumption to go places and find experiences with the carefree imagination of youth. Happy Hanukah in Florida! I spent 3 years in Texas, so I get how you feel about the lack of snow for the holiday.

  3. cute covers

  4. I love Halloween, too!

  5. Jeanna Massman says

    As we count down to the New Year, it’s time to sift through the memories of the past year and see what events will shake out and which ones are left. We add to the accumulation and remember the most impactful isolated moments. Your story reminded me of this.

  6. I too have wonderful memories of family gatherings during the holidays. Unfortunately, my family is scattered all around the county now and we don’t get together as often.

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