7 Must-Read Holiday Blogs - Day 7

This holiday season, I've teamed up with six other authors to share our holiday memories--and this is the final segment! We hope you enjoy the stories as much as we do. Feel free to share your own memories in the comments below!

Happy Holidays!


The Real Magic

by Bob Atkinson

When invited to contribute to the 7 Blogs series, I considered memories, humorous anecdotes, and any number of other ideas. What came to me instead was a passage from the novel I’m currently writing. As Christmas Eve is nearly upon us, it seems especially apropos. I hope it touches you.

"He reached down to the bottom of the bed and felt around in the darkness until he encountered the filled stocking he knew his father had left there. Then he reached over to his brother's side of the bed and located his stocking, reassuring himself that one was no bigger than the other.

He knew what was in there. The sole bulged with the inevitable apple and orange. In the heel he could make out the unmistakable shape of a pink sugar mouse, that little jaw breaker which only seemed to appear in the shops at this time of year. There would be a handkerchief, or something equally useless, then something that felt like a pencil case, or perhaps one of the packets of Edinburgh rock his mother had brought with her on her last trip home from the hospital. At the top of the stocking would be the usual chocolate hollow Santa Claus.

 Individually there wasn't a lot there on which to base the special magic of Christmas Eve… 


Bestselling Author Bob Atkinson writes time-travel/alternate reality novels set in the magical Scottish Highlands he calls home. His first two books, The Last Sunset and its sequel Red Sky in the Morning, predict a very different America, had the Scots beaten off the English in a great deciding battle. 

Contact Bob:

Facebook Author Page  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Website

Want to read the other six days of Must-Read Holiday Blogs? Click on BLOG at the top or bottom of this
page for a listing of all 7 days -- including mine: The Year Our Christmas Tree was a Chair!

7 Must-Read Holiday Blogs - Day 6

This holiday season, I've teamed up with six other authors to share our holiday memories. We hope you enjoy the stories as much as we do. Feel free to share your own memories in the comments below!

Today you get to read one of my holiday memories!


The Year Our Christmas Tree was a Chair

As Christmas memories go, mine probably hint at the same nostalgia and youthful excitement as most of yours, with maybe two important exceptions. One, my parents are immigrants from India, and we aren't Christian—although that didn't stop us from celebrating. And two, holiday dinners didn't resemble anything close to what I'd seen on A Christmas Carol or the Brady Bunch. No goose, turkey, or ham. Not even fish. Our everyday menu usually consisted of Indian vegetarian food, and as I got older, special occasions called for the only meat dish my vegetarian mom ever made: Onion Chicken Curry. My sisters and I never failed to drop everything and ruuuun to the kitchen for dinner!

(I suppose this is where I need an I digress—not really my style, but you get the picture.)

Because of TV, school, friends, and co-workers, Christmas became a hodgepodge of this is what you should do and this will be fun for the girls and don't let them feel left out. Ever the eager parents, they purchased a tree, strung lights, and bought into the idea of Santa like it would help us get into Harvard one day.

I'm almost bummed I didn't try.

Growing up in the Midwest, our Christmas' were white, Swiss Miss hot chocolate warmed us after building snow-families in our tiny backyard, and our fake tree, strung with twinkling lights, mesmerized us until our yawns got to be too big.

Oh yeah, and there were presents.

My earliest Christmas memory comes to me from the year we hadn't put up a tree. I was six. My parents had taken us to India that fall, and a trip that far wasn't made for just a few days. After five weeks, my dad returned to the States to go back to work, and we followed almost a month later. I can't remember if we came back before the holidays or shortly after, but I do remember that even without the tree up, my dad bought us Christmas gifts. He hadn't forgotten.

Without a tree, he'd placed the (unwrapped!) gifts under a boxy 1970's-style chair that I probably only remember because of old family pictures. Kneeling down, I dipped my head to gape at the most magnificent set of markers, all lined up in a clear plastic case. My box of 64 Crayola crayons with the sharpener in the back paled—paled—in comparison. Oh the worlds I would draw, and the portraits I'd create. There wasn't a bird or rainbow or castle I wouldn't be able to color into existence.

Oh the possibilities.

I hope your holiday season is as magical as mine was that year—even without the fake tree strung with twinkling lights, mesmerizing us until our yawns became too much.

7 Must-Read Holiday Blogs - Day 5

This holiday season, I've teamed up with six other authors to share our holiday memories. We hope you enjoy the stories as much as we do. Feel free to share your own memories in the comments below!

Happy Holidays!



The Turkey that Almost Wasn't

by AJ Lape

My fondest memories of the holiday season revolve around the tradition of simply being together—like drawing names with relatives and friends, hiding behind the couch to watch my mom wrap presents, getting a bag of candy from church, white elephant gifts, and trying to dodge a turkey tryptophan coma. It’s hard for me to nail down one memory, but when I was asked to participate in the Holiday Blog Hop, one particular holiday stuck out. It was Christmastime a few years back. My husband and I had both our families over for the holidays along with some of our dearest friends. We divvied up the menu between us, and my responsibilities included the biggie—the cooking of the Christmas ham and a holiday bird. Sounded easy enough…right? I mean, you put a ham in the oven and with a turkey you just follow the directions. Anyway, my husband bought a twenty-one pound turkey at Costco (love that place) and a Reynolds Wrap roasting bag. Only a moron could screw that up…

Read More…

Connect with AJ Lape: