I have many holiday traditions that make the season special for me, including attendance at First Presbyterian Church’s art show and Noel concert in Shreveport, as well as the Christmas Eve service in my hometown Methodist Church in Virginia since I am usually in Virginia at Christmas.
I love the tradition of sending and receiving Christmas cards, often the only time I communicate with some friends and family members. Ricky usually takes a special holiday photo to include in each card.
|Display of our Christmas cards as seen through a fisheye lens.|
Of course there are many holiday gatherings. Some I attend and some I skip, preferring to enjoy my own house and the company of my husband and pets. I love to socialize and have fun, but I love to be by myself, too. My group of long-time early childhood education friends kicked off the season with high tea at our friend Beth’s house. Then there was the annual party at a friend’s small Highland bungalow that is always filled to capacity.
|Standing room only crowd.|
|Patty and Dave stop by for lunch.|
Since I often have a bout of bronchitis around this time, I have the opportunity to read books, too, especially mysteries with a Christmas setting--another secret pleasure. This year I’ve read the following:
Key Zest magazine food critic Hayley Snow and her family experience a holiday to remember in this lighthearted cozy holiday mystery. This new offering by Burdette, part of her Key West Food Critic series, is fun for the characters and setting, though the plot and actions of the characters strain my credulity. But if you want to spend some time during the holidays in Key West, eating good food and gawking at the crowds via the pages of a book, then this book is the ticket.
Jemima Pitt, daughter of Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, is grown and off on her own adventure in turn-of-the-century New York. She is the chaperone for a young woman who is betrothed to a prominent New York businessman. There is a skeleton in the closet of the bride's family, however, and Jemima is asked to assist the prospective groom's family to avoid scandal. It is a set-up, and Jemima finds herself accused of murder. Each year prolific mystery author Anne Perry selects a minor character from one of her series and writes a novella about them, with the setting during the Christmas holidays. The setting of New York in 1904 makes this novella interesting, but the structure of a novella doesn't allow for in-depth character or plot development. Still, for me, it was an enjoyable read.
The third Christmas book I read is not a mystery, but Mary Kay Andrews' Christmas Bliss, a chick lit novel that follows up on the lives of Savannah antique dealer Weezie Foley and her best friend, Bebe Loudermilk who runs an old inn on Tybee Island. I liked Blue Christmas, which told of Weezie and Bebe's lives the previous Christmas when their lives were in turmoil. In this Christmas book, they are both settling down, and I'm afraid that made for boring reading.
We're off to the mountains of Virginia, so wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season!