Christmas is almost here and I feel the panic creeping up on me every day just a little bit more. That’s not RIGHT! Christmas shouldn’t be a time of worry or frenzy or “fever” pitch—but many of us feel that way because of the expectations of others and the standards we hold ourselves to at this time of the year.

It’s hard to make time for everything—and sometimes we tend to put ourselves at the very bottom of the list. I read a lot of books throughout the year in genres I might not normally pick to read because of my position at Prairie Rose Publications as Editor-in-Chief. But when the holidays roll around, I know I have to find some relaxation time for myself—and the best way to do that is to read some things I’ve been looking forward to but maybe haven’t had a chance to get to yet.

Now that my kids are grown and out of the house, I find that’s a lot easier to do than it used to be. I love to write Christmas stories, too, and I’m going to post some of mine and some others here, too, in case you need a little Christmas list of your own! Taking time to relax and unwind with a book can make the holidays go a lot smoother and help you keep your sanity.

A HERO FOR CHRISTMAS is an “oldie but goodie” with four Christmas novellas included. One of these, A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES, was the first Christmas novella I ever wrote (first published with The Wild Rose Press) and it’s still one of my favorites. Other stories included are MEANT TO BE, THE GUNFIGHTER’S GIRL, and HOMECOMING.

Here’s a little about each story:

A Night for Miracles
Widow Angela Bentley takes in three children and a wounded gunman one snowy Christmas Eve. Angela determines to keep her distance—until the children drag in a scraggly Christmas tree. Will she find love on this, A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES?

A holiday skirmish sends Union officer, Jack Durham, on an unlikely mission for a dying Confederate enemy. Will a miracle be able to heal his heart and reunite him with his beloved?

Meant to Be
Robin Mallory is shocked when she is tackled by a man in a Confederate uniform. A flat tire and a coming snowstorm have stranded her in the middle of a re-enactment – or is it?

The Gunfighter’s Girl
Persuaded by a vendor, Miguel Rivera ~ El Diablo ~ makes a foolish purchase—scarlet ribbons. Will they, and a mysterious meeting, set him on a new path? Can he find his way back to the love he left years before?

Most of my stories are set in Indian Territory since I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and our family roots on both my mother’s and father’s side go back too many years to count here. I try to incorporate family history and stories in my writing when I can, but no matter what, I always try to set my stories in then-Indian Territory, making a detour sometimes to Texas, if the story calls for it.

A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE was included in a mail-order bride anthology from Prairie Rose a few years ago, (A Mail-Order Christmas Bride) and now is also sold as a stand-alone story! A MAIL-ORDER CHRISTMAS BRIDE also contains stories by former fillies Kathleen Rice Adams and Tanya Hanson, as well as many other very talented authors (Jacquie Rogers, Livia J. Washburn, Patti Sherry-Crews, Jesse J. Elliott, and Meg Mims)

Beautiful heiress Melanie duBois is running for her life—halfway across the continent. Marriage to a man she’s never met is preferable to what her stepfather has planned for her. Thank goodness for the mail-order bride offer she received from a handsome officer of the law—even if he is in wild Indian Territory.

Lawman Rocky Taylor is expecting a “surprise” to arrive on the stagecoach, never dreaming it will be a young woman. She’s here as his mail-order bride, she says— Trouble is, he never sent for her, and he’s sworn off women after a disastrous first marriage.

With her stepfather’s man hot on her trail, Melanie vows she’ll not return to West Virginia to a monstrous fate. Can A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE keep her safe, and open the door to love?

The same is true of OUTLAW’S KISS—this one is so special to me because it was the first story I wrote for Prairie Rose Publications and was included in our first Christmas anthology, WISHING FOR A COWBOY. You can find it there (along with Christmas stories by fellow fillies and past fillies Phyliss Miranda, Tanya Hanson, Kathleen Rice Adams, and Tracy Garrett) or in single-sell format. By the way, all the stories in this collection are sold as single sell stories, but for the best bargain, get the entire collection—these are some wonderful Christmas tales you won’t want to miss.


Talia Delano has been humiliated before the entire town of Rock Creek by Jake Morgan. A known gunman, Jake has bid an outrageous sum for Talia’s “boxed supper”, a kiss, and the gift of her time for the rest of the Independence Day celebration. But, as always, Jake changes the rules and takes more than he should—especially with the whole town watching. Talia’s chance of happiness is dashed, along with her reputation, when Jake leaves Rock Creek suddenly.

When he shows up five months later at her farmhouse, wounded, and in the midst of a blinding snowstorm, she can’t turn him away—even though she knows being alone with him will cause tongues to wag once more. But with Christmas only two days away, how can she harden her heart against the handsome outlaw who has no place else to go—even if he is being trailed by someone just as dangerous? Magic and danger are woven together in the OUTLAW’S KISS.


LUCK OF THE DRAW is part of a trilogy of stories I wrote about three brothers, Nick, Brett and Jake Diamond. Originally, these stories were part of different Prairie Rose Publications anthologies, but I eventually got them all under one cover in a single-author anthology called WINTER MAGIC. Here’s a bit about the stories:

The Diamond brothers are cast out into the world by a crooked business deal at a young age. They’ve lost everything—including their father. Although they are forced to make their own way, brotherly bonds remain unbreakable: It’s all for one and one for all.

HEARTS AND DIAMONDS—Revenge sets hired gun Nick Diamond after a bride, and nothing will stand in his way. But when that bride happens to be outspoken firebrand Liberty Blankenship, all bets are off. Anything can happen when HEARTS AND DIAMONDS collide!

SPELLBOUND—Safecracker Brett Diamond and witch Angie Colton take on a border gang leader who is pure evil. Can Angie’s supernatural powers save them? No matter what, Brett and Angie are hopelessly SPELLBOUND.

LUCK OF THE DRAW—Handsome gambler Jake Diamond and beautiful fledgling sorceress Lainie Barrett make a last-ditch effort to reunite Lainie and her mother for Christmas. Along the way, Jake and Lainie realize there’s no escape from the powerful attraction they feel toward one another. But do they know each other well enough to become a family when they rescue an abandoned infant? With their own particular talents, they discover life is one big poker table—and love can be had if they are willing to risk it all!

LUCK OF THE DRAW is also available in a Christmas collection, WILD TEXAS CHRISTMAS, containing stories by Kaye Spencer, Jacquie Rogers, and Kathleen Rice Adams.



KIDNAPPING KALLI is my newest novella, and one of my favorites. What can go wrong with a simple kidnapping plan? Miles from nowhere with a snow storm moving in, the handsome kidnapper, Shiloh Barrett, gets bitten by a rattlesnake. Will Kalli O’Connor, his kidnapp-ee, stay with him to help? Or will she see the perfect opportunity to make her escape? It’s Christmas, and Kalli is curious to see where he’s taking her–all bets are off!

Here’s the blurb:

Texas Ranger Shiloh Barrett loses his hotheaded older brother to a gunfight over a hand of cards. Now the “winner”—a wealthy landowner who’s coveted the Barrett homestead—finally has what he wants. But could there be something Seamus O’Connor desires more than the Barretts’ land?

O’Connor has not seen his beautiful daughter, Kalli, for thirteen years. He knows that she’s living with her mother’s Cherokee people in northeastern Indian Territory. Determined to have her kidnapped and brought to him, Seamus uses the deed he holds to the Barrett homestead to get what he wants. Even though it goes against everything Shiloh Barrett believes is right, O’Connor’s blackmail cannot be ignored.

But beautiful Kalliroe White Dove O’Connor has some tricks up her sleeve as the handsome ex-ranger spirits her away into the nearby San Bois Mountains. The tables turn when Shiloh is bitten by a rattlesnake their first day on the trail. Though Kalli tells herself she has no other choice but to stay with Shiloh—and she does want to reunite with her father—deep down, she knows there is another reason she can’t leave the handsome lawman. Could it be she’s falling in love with him?

In a final showdown with a cutthroat outlaw gang, Shiloh heads straight into the pit of vipers to buy some time for the man he despises—Kalli’s father. No matter how this all plays out, KIDNAPPING KALLI has been the best thing Shiloh Barrett’s ever done—if he only lives to see it through…





For a full-length Christmas story, try THE DEVIL AND MISS JULIA JACKSON.

A woman with no home…
Beautiful Southern belle Julia Jackson has just been informed she and her niece must find a new home immediately—or else. With no family to turn to in Georgia, Julia takes a mighty gamble and answers an advertisement for a nursemaid in wild Indian Territory—for the child of a man she knows nothing about. Together, she and five-year-old Lauralee waste no time as they flee to the safety of the new position Julia has accepted. She can only hope this move will be the start of a bright future for them away from Lauralee’s dangerous much older half-brother.

A rancher with no heart…
The death of Devlin Campbell’s young daughter has ripped the light from his life. Though the birth of his son, little Jamie, should have been a source of happiness, the subsequent loss of his wife forces Dev to ignore his emotions and trudge through life’s joyless responsibilities. But all that changes with the arrival of Miss Julia Jackson from Atlanta! Not at all what Dev is expecting in response to his ad, his resentment boils over at her failure to mention her tag-along niece—a painful reminder of the loss of his own little girl just two years earlier. Yet, how can he deny the sunshine Julie brings into his drab existence with her very presence?

Can love find a way?
In the depths of Dev’s boundless sorrow and his accompanying anger, is there room in his life for anyone else as Christmas approaches? Can Julie convince him that love is the cure for a broken heart, and hope is the only recipe for a new beginning between THE DEVIL AND MISS JULIA JACKSON…

Still Christmas! But not a “romance” as we think of them…or perhaps the greatest romance of all. My story THE KEEPERS OF CAMELOT was nominated for the Western Fictioneers’ Peacemaker Award a few years ago, and it remains one of the best stories I’ve ever written, in my opinion. Here’s a little bit about it—see what you think.

Legend says that King Arthur will rise once more when the world needs him the most. But in my story, something goes awry, and Arthur has returned in many times, many places, throughout the centuries since his final battle.

The story opens with Arthur on a stagecoach in the American west—Indian Territory—of the 1880’s. But in this life, he comes across two people he’d never thought to see again—Lancelot and Guinevere. Why are they here—and how will it all end…this time?

The stage is attacked by Apaches minutes before the driver gets the passengers to the safety of the next stage station. Though they’re safe for the time being, a nerve-wracking Christmas Eve is in store as the Apaches wait for them outside.

Arthur has a plan. He’s seen the fearless leader of the Apache—the man they call “Sky Eyes”—a man he knew as Lancelot du Lac a hundred lifetimes ago.

Will Lance’s prowess as a warrior combine with his legendary arrogance to seal the fate of the people inside the station—including Guinevere, the woman he gave up everything for in the past?

One young boy in the group unknowingly holds the key to Lance’s decision. But will the glorious legend of Camelot be remembered?

If you are in the mood for a contemporary story, try THE WISHING TREE. The end of this story gets me every time—even now all these years later!

Pete Cochran, a war veteran with both visible and invisible scars, is mostly a loner. Then a special woman with a young son walks into his life as he works at his father’s Christmas tree lot–a woman with problems he can’t ignore.

Maria Sanchez and her son Miguel eke out an existence on her part-time earnings, but share an abundance of love, except when terrorized by her drug addict relative. When she meets Pete, she sees him not as a frightening man, but a wounded hero returned from war. Her son seems immediately drawn to the unusual Christmas tree vendor.

Will a special tree–a wishing tree–contain enough magic to fulfill all their Christmas desires?

Since Christmas is upon us, I want to do a giveaway today! Be sure to leave a comment mentioning a favorite Christmas tradition in your family to be entered. I’ll draw two names to win a free digital copy of KIDNAPPING KALLI and two names to win a free PRINT copy of A HERO FOR CHRISTMAS OR THE DEVIL AND MISS JULIA JACKSON!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by today! I’m going to leave the link to my author page below where each and every one of these Christmas stories or collections can be found. Happy reading over the Christmas holidays! Be sure to check back on Sunday to see if your name was drawn!

CHERYL’S AUTHOR PAGE:                                                                           



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A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work:
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here:
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  1. We have gone to see what Santa has left our grandchildren on Christmas morning since the first one was tiny. He is fourteen now and has a brother and a sister. The joy of a child is priceless. After all the excitement settles down, we enjoy a delicious breakfast.

    • Oh, Melanie, that sounds like fun. My sisters were much older than I was, so when I was 11, my first nephew came along–more like a younger sibling. Between my two sisters, they had a baby every other year, so there were 4 stairstep cousins. We would enjoy them coming for Christmas so much–the house was full and by the time the last one came along, I was 15–not a “kid” anymore. So I remember how joyous things were with so many kids and the chaos that was Christmas morning. It must have been a lot of work for my mom, but she loved having everyone there. Family was everything to her! Have a wonderful Christmas!

    • Melanie, if you will e-mail me and give me your mailing address and your choice of prizes, I will get it in the mail to you ASAP! You are one of my winners!

  2. Wow! So many great stories and so little time. I will be reading all I can.
    At our home, Christmas tradition required the lighting of my Santa night light with him holding a Christmas tree. The tree got lost along the way, but I still have my Santa light. He is 60+ years old now.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • Thanks, Jerri and I hope you enjoy each and every one of them!

      We used to have an angel that went on the top of the tree that was the “herald of Christmas”–she was the last thing to go on the tree and when she was plugged in we knew Christmas was officially on the way. I don’t know whatever happened to her. She had to be one of the very first “electric” tree toppers–I know my parents bought her when my oldest sister was little and she is soon to be 74! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and get lots of good reading in!

  3. Great blog and a grreat set of books to choose from. I’m excited for my 4 days away from work and hopefully get to read the new anthology which has you in it. Old West Tales, plus I just want to be close to my husband and his family as we approach this Christmas without 2 special loved ones who passed away this year. My mother in law and my brother in law, plus my Granny who passed away too. It’s going to be a sad one, but we will make it through it.
    Merry Christmas to you.

    • Oh, that is so sad. I remember a couple of very sad Christmases, too. My dad passed away on December 23, 2007, and Mom followed just three weeks later on January 12, only 2 days after her birthday. Later in 2008, near the next Christmas, my oldest sister had a stroke that put her in the nursing home, and only 2 months later her oldest daughter died of breast cancer. Christmas (and winter, in general) is all very bittersweet to me now, with all of those happenings. But you do make it through, and you remember the good times. I just try to remember those old days that were so filled with the memories of today. I hope you can do that, too–I’m so sorry, because I know how hard that first Christmas is without them. Much love to you!

      The Tales of the Old West anthology has a story of mine that also appeared in my single author anthology Dark Trails. It’s called HIDDEN TRAILS and was nominated for the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker award a few years back.

  4. Christmas is my favorite time of year and all the colorful lights fills me with a quiet happiness. You have an amazing array of books and I have to make time after Christmas to delve into some boxed sets . I loved The Devil and Miss Julia Jackson, the first book of yours I’ve read and I can’t say enough about Fire Eyes. When I was working, I always saved some holidays so I’d have two weeks off at Christmas and New Year. The boys always come home for Christmas, but after the house is “empty” once more, I settle down on the sofa with a good romance, the tree lit and Christmas music playing softly on the stereo. That is pampering bliss. Have a wonderful Christmas, Cheryl….I always enjoy your posts.

    • Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for your very kind words about The Devil and Miss Julia Jackson and Fire Eyes. I’m so glad to know how much you enjoyed them! How wonderful to have everyone home for Christmas–the house full and your boys all together like ‘in the old days’ when they were kids. For a long time, my kids would come over here and spend the night on Christmas Eve, even after they had their own place. We still usually do our family Christmas on Christmas Eve. I’m glad of that, because on Christmas Day I’m usually so wiped out. LOL Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, Elizabeth! I know 2019 is going to be a wonderful year…someone has a new release coming out…

  5. So many wonderful excerpts & book covers. I’m certainly going to get to these. One tradition I started with my children and now do with my grandkids is make a birthday cake and the grandkids say Happy Birthday Jesus and blow out the one candle together. Just so they are always reminded what the real reason for Christmas is.
    Happy Holidays Cheryl to you and your family.

    • Thanks, Carol! I hope you will be able to read some of them, at least! I know Christmas is busy–I always have good intentions, but never get around to all the things I want to do.

      What a very very COOL tradition! I love that! I wish I’d thought of that when my kids were little.

      I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas this year, Carol. I’m doing the “double whammy” dinner this year–my kids wanted tamales and I ordered up a huge batch of 4 different kinds. Hubby is not a tamale eater like we are, so I will have to cook turkey for him. LOL So I’m going to be eager to see our plates–ours with tamales and mashed potatoes and gravy, and his with …traditional stuff only. LOL

    • I hear you, Kim! Wouldn’t it be great to just be able to sit down and read for like an ENTIRE DAY? LOL

      I don’t think we really had any traditions when I was growing up, either. We did all decorate the tree together as a family, and we sometimes drove around to look at lights, but I think that was it. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

    • Hi Denise,

      We did that when I was growing up to some extent–that was back in the early 60’s, so nothing like the outside lights and displays people put up now. We always did that with our own kids, though. One thing we did was let them open 2 or 3 presents on Christmas Eve and one of those was always a new pair of pajamas. So we’d have dinner and then we’d go drive and look at lights, and then we’d come home and open those 2 or 3 presents and they’d get ready for bed, then drink some hot chocolate. They mention that from time to time, even now. Guess I better lay in some hot chocolate makings for old times’ sake!

      Have a wonderful Christmas!

    • Janine, we have a couple of neighborhoods nearby where some of the neighbors have synchronized their lights and music on a radio station and they ask for donations to a food bank when you drive through their neighborhood, which I think is so cool. This is the last year they’re doing it though, because one of the neighbors is moving. I think there were like 11 neighbors that did it–I can’t even imagine the coordination and work that must have taken. We don’t put out outside lights anymore. I’ve thought of getting one of those “starshower” projectors though.

      Have a Merry Christmas!

  6. My kids are out of the house now and my daughter is hosting her first Christmas. We may be making new traditions but keep some of our old. We give Santa gifts that are opened after dinner.

    • Oh, Debra! Lucky you–you get to go to your daughter’s for Christmas! Passing the torch is great! Sigh…I keep thinking one of these days I’ll be doing that too, but first my daughter would have to move into a ground floor apartment–I can’t do those stairs! LOL Making new traditions is good–something to pass down and remember of your own. One thing I always did was put those silver icicles on the tree–we had those when I was growing up and I ‘ve always loved them. But this year, with our new doggie, I didn’t put them on. The tree looks so barren to me! But I don’t want to take a chance on him eating them. Maybe next year…Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. So many good stories there! We always like to do stockings while in our pajamas and drinking hot chocolate. The kids love it!

    • Hi Susan, and thank you! At our house, stockings are always the last thing we do on Christmas morning. We do presents first, and sometimes I will make hot chocolate while that’s going on, but usually we wait until it’s over and then we paw through our stockings like crazy things, and then we go for the food/hot chocolate. LOL (Some things never change no matter how old kids get.) LOL One tradition I started was, when they got old enough to drive, I added each of them on to our AAA membership. It renews in December and they get a new membership card in their stocking every year. LOL (Kind of like getting the dreaded clothing items, or socks & underwear, but it’s a necessity in our house, and they’ve sure used it a few times!)

      Merry Christmas!

    • Estella, I think traditions sometimes just “happen” without planning. I remember growing up, it just wasn’t Christmas without my mom making divinity–I was not a big divinity eater, but probably would have not felt right if we’d had even one Christmas go by without her in the kitchen making it! She loved it and so did my dad. But…I have to say, that’s one tradition I didn’t keep because I wasn’t that crazy about it. Now, fudge is a different matter entirely! LOL

      Happy reading! And a very Merry Christmas to you!

  8. My favorite is going to my sister’s on Christmas Eve to spend time with my family and my sister lives in my mom’s old house so its like going home for Christmas. We always have a big dinner and I take my mom’s pecan pies. Pass out gift and things like that. There is nothing like spending time with family. We spend time with husbands family on Christmas Day.

    • Oh wow! How cool is that to keep the “old home place” in the family! I love that y’all did that–I wish we still had the house I grew up in. It would be impractical of course, and the house is really old now, but I always loved that house and the yard, street, and neighborhood. Just small town living at its best. You’re right–there’s nothing like spending time with family. This year my middle sister is going to her daughter’s house and I’m having my kids over on Christmas Eve and again on Christmas Day. Our oldest sister will be alone as her remaining daughter lives in Florida now. I hate that–I remember all those years of so many wonderful Christmases together in the past. SIGH.

      Have a wonderful Christmas, Quilt Lady!

    • That’s a good one, Colleen! I love those things! I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday and make an extra batch of those M&M cookies…I might show up at your doorstep! LOL Merry Christmas!

  9. Our favorite traditions growing up were picking out the Christmas tree and decorating it, as well as making and decorating cookies together. Since we have no family left now, my son and I no longer feel the stress of running around and holiday expectations. And this year we already got a Christmas present—a joint one together—a pair of blue parakeets whom we haven’t named yet but are having fun tossing names around. Any suggestions are welcome! So far Ellie feels kind of right for the smaller girl bird, and we’re leaning toward Andy for the bigger boy. (Andy was my grandfather born in Indian Territory–the bird has a warm, outgoing, friendly manner—kinda like my granddad. I guess that is a tradition here too since I’ve named myself after my great-great grandmother–Andy’s grandmother who was Cherokee! :D)

    Merry Christmas, Cheryl, and everyone here!

    • Oh, how fun! New pets are always so fun and just put a spark back in life sometimes when you need it most. I personally think those names you picked sound just perfect, especially with the “backstory” about Andy and his personality.

      Have a very Merry Christmas!

  10. We just started a new tradition this year. I actually read about it in a story where the parent would hide the elf on a shelf for the child to find. I don’t like the elf but on a trip with my husband we found a cute stuffed bear in an elf costume and I was sold. Now comes the fun part I have 2 children left at home ages 20 and 26 and I wasn’t sure how they would respond. But they love it and the person to find the elf hides him for the next day. We have had so much fun and have laughed a lot over that silly but wonderful elf. This is one tradition that we are definitely keeping. Merry Christmas and go find an elf!

    • Vicki, I don’t like that elf either–that is creepy to me. Someone mentioned about doing that and their child noticed the elf had not “moved” overnight, and so then knew that it wasn’t a real thing and Santa wasn’t real either. See? Too many moving parts. LOL I love the teddy bear idea, though! When my daughter was little I let her pick out a toy and she wanted this rubber snake. Her reasoning? If she didn’t buy him, he’d get left. No one would want him. We bought him. She was so happy. She named him Simon the Rubber Snake. He looked so real and she would leave him under my pillow or by my shoes, etc. So it got to be a game with us, hiding the snake for each other, and sometimes it would be a while before he would “turn up”– I wrote a story about that for Chicken Soup. If she still lived here at home, I would definitely find a bear like you did and do that — HOW FUN!

      Y’all have a wonderful holiday and a very MERRY CHRISTMAS. I love that idea!

    • Oh, Caryl, I have not done that in sooo long! I probably would just be a bawling mess–that’s such an emotional thing. But they are so beautiful and touch the heart. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! So glad you came by and mentioned that tradition–I do miss those.

  11. All the stories sound well worth reading. Hard to decide which to read first. I haven’t had time to read many Christmas books this year. That plus I am finding it hard to read for very long at a time. Frustrating.
    Some of my favorite traditions we don’t do anymore. It is a matter of time and place. I mentioned one on an earlier post this week about Santa and Christmas Eve visit to Read ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
    The on I really miss is one we had when I was a child. My mother’s family went to midnight mass together, then went to my grandparents’ for brunch afterwards. I still can’t figure out how we all fit into their house. She was one of 9 children and I had over 60 cousins. It was total chaos with that many children, but in a good way. We would get home after 2 am and somehow Santa had come. We would open our presents and then go to bed. I realize now how smart that was. We could all sleep in after such a late night. If one of us woke up early, the gifts were open and we could play with them without waiting for anyone else. Christmas day we would go to my Dad’s parents and have Christmas dinner. He was one of 7 siblings, but there were only 10 grandchildren on that side of the family, 6 from my family. Much time has gone by. The grandparents are gone, my dad and all his siblings are gone, my mother, many of her siblings are gone, and even some of the cousins are gone. We have moved all over the country and have children and grandchildren of our own. I would have liked to do it with our family, but all the children usually do not get to our house until after Christmas. We do have our Christmas dinner together , just not on Christmas day. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

    • Patricia, that is pure genius to let everyone open gifts before they go to bed! LOL I remember so well waking up in the night over and over again–so excited. But Mama had said that we would not get up in the middle of the night, so it needed to be a little bit light before we got up to open presents. I remember going into Mama and Daddy’s bedroom and asking, “Did Santa come yet?” She’d raise up and look at the clock and say, “I don’t know. We better wait a little while longer, just in case.” LOL We always went down to “Bryan County” as everyone in my family called it–because that’s where both sides of my family came from. So we could go visit everyone while we were down there and see all the cousins from both sides, though many of them lived there. There were some who had to drive like we did to get there. Such wonderful memories. I wish my kids had had cousins their age, but being the very youngest in our family, my kids are also the youngest, too. I believe this year we’ve agreed to have our family dinner on Christmas Eve. That sounds good to me. I’m going to do a big turkey in my roaster–it always turns out so good. But I ordered 4 dozen tamales, too, so there’ll be plenty of food. And leftovers. LOL

      Have a very Merry Christmas, Patricia!

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