Please welcome Declan Sands to the Cafe!
We’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from Christmas and everything the season entails. Are you ready? Do you have presents purchased? The house decorated…cleaned…prepped for company? Parties planned? Outings scheduled?
Or are you one of those enviable people who manages to chill throughout this fun but stress-filled season, making no big plans and just coasting happily through the magical time of year? First of all, let me just say that I hate you. LOL
I, alas, am not one of those people. Every year I tell myself I will be. I tell myself I’m going to take the season down a notch…keep gifts to a minimum…not stress so much about making the house perfect.
Uh huh. You can probably guess how that works out.
I’m already starting to hyperventilate. Are there enough decorations out? Too many? Is my chosen menu okay? What if somebody doesn’t like what I’ve selected? What will the kids do to entertain themselves while the adults visit? Will the dogs bite somebody on the butt again during a postprandial game of tackle basketball? What? It’s happened, I promise! Oh, the tackle part? Yeah, my family’s pretty competitive. Though, this year the women will try not to hurt the men. hehehe
In my family, we actually restructured Christmas a few years ago, in an effort to bring it closer to its true meaning. We took a step to de-commercialize it. Make it more a labor of love. To accomplish this, we decided to try to make each other gifts instead of buying them. Overall this has been a resounding success. Several of us have come up with really cool ideas for homemade stuff. It’s true, a couple members of the family haven’t exactly thrown themselves into the spirit of homemade gifts, but it hasn’t really put a damper on it for the rest of us. There’s just something about receiving a gift that someone worked hard to create which makes it all that much more special.
I’ve decided the key to embracing the spirit of the holiday is not trying to make everything perfect. Perfection, obviously, isn’t possible so trying to achieve it is an exercise in frustration. Wait, I take that back. It is possible. But it isn’t achievable. What I mean is that, during the whole 24 to 36 hours my family is together, cozily stuffed into my little house in the woods, there will be moments…slivers of time here and there…where we experience a perfect peace, a perfect moment of camaraderie, or a perfect satisfaction with our time together. These snippets of perfection will color the entire time, overshadowing the small annoyances that are inevitable whenever you smash a bunch of free-thinking people together in a given space. They are the memories we cling to a year, five years, a decade from now. And they’re worth every moment of stress involved in planning and holding the event.
That’s why I host Christmas at my house every year. It’s why I happily anticipate the event, despite the work and worry involved. It’s what makes the season magical for me.
How about you? How do you find your magical place during this special time of year?
Sometimes going home is clarifying. Sometimes it’s just plain deadly!
Adam travels to Candlelight, Indiana to visit his parents for Christmas. When he arrives he discovers somebody has killed a man and dumped him in the manger of the living crèche at the local church. Unfortunately, all signs lead back to Adam’s father as the murderer. A Sheriff with a grudge and a small town more interested in gossip than reality, convince Adam that it will be up to him and the gang to clear his father’s name.
Other books in the series:
Declan Sands writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Declan has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.
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