Christmas Time Is Here

Our lovely patriotic tree. Done up in burgundy balls, turquoise baubles, and glittery icy white snowballs, icicles and dancing reindeer.

Our lovely patriotic tree. Done up in burgundy balls, turquoise baubles, and glittery icy white snowballs, icicles and dancing reindeer.

I’m sitting here looking at our lovely tree, dripping with icicles and red balls; gorgeous turquoise ornaments, and reindeer that leap and prance across the branches, twinkling with the most luscious glitter.  The tree sparkles and twinkles, dripping with jewels.  It is an elegant tree.

And it’s December 30th, 2012.  Yup, I am writing this post from last year.  Or it will be last year when this is eventually published.  I’m being proactive.  I never get around to posting an honest to goodness Christmas post here because I’m besieged with other holiday plans.  Like sitting back on the couch and reading because there is actually time.

I love Christmas.  My parents, growing up, had years of not the best Christmases and they more than made up for it for me and my sister.  I have adored Christmas since I can remember.  From the tree to the decorations, to the Mom and Pop bringing back special Christmas treats when they  came back from their mini vacation away from us two for a few days.  The Christmas season never lasted long enough, and still never does.  The one constant?  My family.

My family is always together for this holiday, partly because they can’t get rid of me.  I have had the luxury, though at times I don’t find it to be that way, of being able to spend all my Christmases with my family, excluding the one where I spent it in Pittsburgh with my then, boyfriend.

I love our traditions of watching The Holiday and The Santa Clause.  I love how we have our one Christmas cd we play over and over and over until it’s ingrained in our heads.  I love making homemade eggnog that every one raves about.  And I love just the whole spirit that is part of our family.

Christmas is definitely more about the family and spirit than the presents.  As the Grinch figured out And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

So, from the cold and snowy, White Christmas land of 2012, Merry Christmas dear readers.  Have a lovely Holiday.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Signing off

~Kate

Being Proactive

I am being incredibly proactive.  I just finished writing my post for Christmas.

Next year.

Yes, I decided that I never get around to a proper holiday post, so why not do it now, while I’m in the spirit and have major inspiration.  I need to add a picture, but I have it all ready for the 24th of next year.  It’s kind of fun.  Like a little present to myself and all my readers.  Now, sure, it takes away the surprise if I tell you now that I already typed it up, but will you actually remember that I told you that?  Probably not.

I’m never one to be very good at blogging on time.  In fact, I’ve become quite horrible about it.  I was much better with the WordPress challenge of Postaweek  last year.  It was much easier when I had a deadline.

But I’m trying.

I’m trying to get back on track to blogging more regularly, along with writing query letters and writing in general.  I’ve gotten bogged down in holiday cheer and the whole relaxing after a crazy summer and fall.  I have millions of ideas in my heads, and actually some time to write, yet I spend it futzing and reading.  Oh well.  Reading is important.

So, here’s to one of my New Year’s resolution of being proactive.

Signing off

~Kate

Strung Lights

Via rainydaysandblankets

“Settle down it will all be clear…..” sang the words of the man playing a cover song of a popular new artist.  He was set up on the corner of 1st and Green, his worn guitar lovingly strummed as he sang.

A crowd was gathered around him, smiling and tapping toes to the catchy tune.  Above, the twinkle lights were strung across the brick facade of the old building.  Old world lights glowed brightly in the winter night.  The town was hosting a troubadour gathering, and there were musicians on different corners and set up at the entrances to the various shops.  The coffee shop was the most popular, open for later hours and serving spicy mugs of hot cider and specialty lattes.

Kids ran up and down the street, more interested in the candy canes they were sucking and crunching on.  Soon the gathering of singers would change to the annual Christmas tree lighting at the village square.  Santa would have the honor of plugging in the lights, then he would sit in his Christmas throne to listen to all the requests for presents from the children.

The holiday fete was popular, and this year, doubly so with the various musicians.

“…The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home.”  As the last lines were sung, the crowd clapped.  This town was definitely home.

I found this wonderful picture on {dream a little dream of me} a tumblr blog that I have fallen in love with.  The image made me immediately think of Phillip Phillips song “Home” and that little blip in the music video that shows lights strung across the street. I absolutely love that image and I wish our town would do that. It would be so beautiful on our Main street.

Well, I hope you all enjoy this bit of flash fiction.  Like I said, I’m in the mood.

Signing off

~Kate

A Christmas Dance

"Dance with me," he requested, holding out his hand.

“Dance with me,”  Scott requested, holding out his hand.  He pulled Claudine into his arms and guided her in time to the soft Christmas music issuing from the speakers. 

They were the only ones at the informal party dancing.  Everyone else had been chatting around the coffee table as fragrant cups of steaming coffee were handed out in delicate china cups.  Trays of sweets were passed around on large trays.  Luscious tarts, elegantly decorated sugar cookies, and rich morsels of English toffee, covered the trays.

She had been sitting in a pine green velvet chair next to the large white pine Christmas tree  bedazzled in stunning turquoise and cranberry balls.  Lavish, glittering snowflakes hid among the branches while crystal icicles dripped from the branches.  While the tree could have been considered very patriotic, it’s very essence was luxurious and elegant.  The little twinkle lights sparkled and caused the faceted ornaments to send shimmering light across Claudine’s gown.  The flame colored gown of silk Georgette  sparkled  as she sat apart from the gathering of people.  The lights even made her sable hair light up with little twinkles.  She looked hauntingly beautiful.  She also looked hauntingly sad.

 Lost in her thoughts, Scott had hesitated, not wanting to intrude, but a crystal tear, caught in the corner of her eye, like a delicately placed diamond, demanded he remedy the situation.

Claudine danced silently, her thoughts troubled by his closeness.  She had been lost in thought when his deep voice and outstretched hand had brought her crashing back to reality.  She wasn’t sure why she had accepted his request.  He disturbed her in ways she couldn’t explain.  She wasn’t sure how she felt about him other than she was always on guard.  A feeling of helplessness always centered in her chest when he was near.  As if she didn’t know what to say next.  Or what he would say.

“Are you better now?”  he asked gently.

“Of-,” her voice broke and she cleared her throat.  “Of course I am.  Why do you ask?”

Her tone was defensive and he smiled at her prickly question.  His hand held her’s loosely, while the palm of his other rested on her hip, just a touch possesively.  He wanted to pull her closer, but thought she might object.

“You seemed to somber a bit ago.”

“Was I?  I can’t remember why,” she mused.

“Well, the tears are gone.”

“Tears?”

“You had one caught,” and he touched the corner of her eye with his fingertip, her lashes brushing feather-soft.  “Right there.”

“Oh.”  Her voice was soft.  “Certain Christmas music always seems to make me a bit misty eyed.”

“Hmm,” was all he said.  He didn’t believe her.  He gave into temptation and pulled her just a little bit closer.  He grinned as he heard her breath hitch.

“Do I bother you?”  he questioned.  He felt he knew the answer, and his suspicions were confirmed as her emotions warred and flashed across her face.  He felt her fingers clench in the wool of his forest green pullover.  Her pansy brown eyes grew big and round and a faint flush of rose spread over her cheeks.

“I do, don’t I?”  he said in amazement.

She stared resolutely at the collar of his white shirt.  She wasn’t sure what she’d blurt out if she looked up into his coffee-colored eyes.

“Yes,” she finally muttered.

“Pardon, can you repeat that?  I didn’t hear you,” he asked as he inclined his head closer to her mouth.

“Yes!” she hissed.  “You do bother me.”

“Why?”  He looked down into her eyes, now glittering with more unshed tears, as if the admission had cost her.  He thought she might not answer, as she kept silent for a long while, her lush mouth compressed in a tight line.

“I don’t know,” she whispered, eventually.

“I don’t bite, you know.”

“I’m not so sure of that,” she muttered in reply.

His laugh was low, but rich and full of body.  It swirled around her, and she felt the vibrations travel through her body.  The motion made her breathless as tingles of awareness moved through her body.  She glanced up at him through her lashes, eyeing him carefully.  She must have given something away; she wasn’t sure what, but before she could protest, his mouth settled on hers, ever so softly.

He kissed her gently, lingeringly, and when he pulled back, it was his turn to have troubled eyes.

“Whoa,” he murmured.  His eyes searched her’s, feeling a blaze of something hit his gut as she inclined her head closer to his.

He kissed her again, then spun her around as the music continued to play softly.

 

 

Like I mentioned over on Escaping the Inkwell, I’ve been inspired by Emilie Loring right now.  This bit of flash fiction came after listening to some really nice instrumental jazz Christmas music.  I just pictured this grand old home, with a large living room, decked out in gorgeous Christmas decorations, a la Martha Stewart.  From there, I wondered why someone would be dancing.  Well, of course, me being the romantic I am, I needed a guy and a girl.  I’ve been playing around with names, and Claudine seemed nice.  Scott is a name from a Loring, so I borrowed it.  I borrow names all the time.  I’m terrible at name hunting.

So, if you can picture it, there they were, dancing.  Picture Kevin Kline’s line to Meg Ryan in French Kiss.  “And we’re dancing.”

Signing off

~Kate

Christmastime Is Here

“The Day” is practically here, but I thought I would post about some of my favorite holiday traditions today.
Christmas Portrait

Image via Wikipedia

It’s just not Christmas to me unless I listen to the Carpenter’s A Christmas Portrait album.  When I was little I loved playing that record over and over during the season.  Karen Carpenter’s version of the Christmas Song is still my favorite.  As well as the Christmas Waltz.  The first words,” Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside, painted candy canes on the tree,” are what I remember most about her voice.  I was a teenager when we finally got the cd version.  The version that Richard Carpenter messed up.  I mean, what happened to “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel”?  Though I listen to the cd most of the time, I miss the original recording. Yes, I could play the record, and I really should.

A Charlie Brown Christmas never fails to delight me.  I watched it last week with my sister, and will probably do it again once more just for good measure.  I love Snoopy and the gang.  I love Linus’ version of the Christmas story.  This cartoon never fails to delight me.

Along with Charlie Brown is another classic.  How the Grinch Stole

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Christmas.  I love, love, love this one more than Charlie Brown, I think.  I love Max, the dog, and the whole story.  I’ve almost gotten the story down where I can repeat it, but not yet.  A few more years.  I have managed to watch this twice already this year.
Another little thing I love reading a book from my childhood.  It’s A Child’s Christmas Cookbook.  Put out by the Denver Art Museum back in 1964, this book is illustrated with Victorian pen and ink drawings by Thomas Nast.  The book is cutzy little recipes and ideas for children during the holiday season. I’ve never made anything in it, but it’s adorable to read. You can read it like a book as it’s a thin paperback.  I can’t explain why I love it so, but it just brings to mind the smell of Christmas trees and sitting in the living room looking at all our Christmas books. Out of all the books for this time of year, this one is one in particular I ALWAYS read.

Another book or story, is The Night Before Christmas.  A total classic, I know, but a must.  Need I say more?

Cropped screenshot of Bing Crosby and Danny Ka...

Image via Wikipedia

Ah, films.  It’s just not Christmas without White Christmas.  That old classic Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye film.  I never grow tired of it, though this year, I wonder if I will get to it in time for the holiday.  If not, I don’t mind too much.

Cover of "The Santa Clause (Widescreen Sp...

Cover via Amazon

Lastly are the three Santa Clause films with Tim Allen as Santa.  I love them, and they have become a staple.  There are other things that scream Christmas to me, and many other things that are minor traditions, these just happen to be musts in my mind.

So, to all my readers, Merry Christmas.  Have a safe and joyful holiday with friends and family.

Signing off
~Kate

Santa Baby Disney Style

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, A ring....

Okay, this is out there, but bear with me.

I just finished listening to Eartha Kitt’s rendition of Santa Baby.  People, this is probably one of the best versions I’ve ever heard.  It’s sexy and cute and so right on for a gal like me.

But then my mother got this brilliant idea.  I don’t know how many people know this, but Eartha Kitt voiced the character of Yzma from Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove.  The dastardly evil witch of a lady.  I loved her.

Santa darling, you might want to run from her....

Now picture that character singing Santa Baby.  Oh the image is too delightfully funny.  I can picture her, Yzma, singing to Kronk, her henchman.  Yes, I like that.

So just some silly goofy holiday fun.

Santa Baby, slip a sable under the tree, For me.
been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa baby, a 54 convertible too,
Light blue.
I’ll wait up for you dear,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I’ve missed,
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed,
Next year I could be just as good,
If you’ll check off my Christmas list,

Santa baby, I wanna yacht,
And really that’s not a lot,
Been an angel all year,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa honey, there’s one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a platinum mine,
Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex,
And checks.
Sign your ‘X’ on the line,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree,
With some decorations bought at Tiffany’s,
I really do believe in you,
Let’s see if you believe in me,

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing,
A ring.
I don’t mean on the phone,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry, tonight.

Signing off

~Kate

A Call For Christmas

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Image via Wikipedia

Right now there is this wonderful thing going on with the United States Postal Service.  Operation Santa Claus is a charity that answers letters to ‘Santa’ from children who are in need.  The post office sorts the wants from the needs, blocks out personal information then volunteers can purchase what is needed by the child.  The items are brought back to the post office where mail carriers works to make sure the packages get to the proper homes.

This is wonderful.  This country is filled with people who are struggling.  Parents that are out of work, children that need clothes, shoes, a place to sleep at night.  Many things.  This country is so full of people in need. 

I wish I was able to help with as many of these cases as possible, but it’s not possible.  However, the thing that I was thinking this morning, as I was  watching the report on Fox News is that, where is Franklin Graham and his organization, Samaritans Purse?  Or Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?  Where is Joel Osteen and his ministry? 

These are ministries that in one fell swoop could be helping out in situations like this?  Where are all the other churches and associations, charities and such in situations like this?

Franklin Graham was all about helping North Korea and wanting people to donate to his cause with them.  What about our people here in the US?  We have one of the greatest nations, heck, I think we are, but why are we working so hard for all those other countries while we let our people starve?  Why are these ministries focused on other countries?

Personally, I am disgusted by what I know of certain ministries.  Why are missionaries required to go to the missionary barrel to get old cast of clothing?  Why are members of churches not out purchasing something new?  These missionaries are doing God’s work.  Why should they have to have cast offs?  It’s wrong.

Why are we not helping more of the homeless in this country?  It disgusts me.

I think Operation Santa Claus is wonderful.  Click the name to find out more information.  I encourage people to do what they can.  My family, and our family business donated so much of our naturally grown produce this year to one of the churches that provides community lunches to those in need.  Do what you can. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Signing off

~Kate

Christmas Tree Magic

She sat in the glitterning darkness of a sparkling Christmas tree.  The white lights were like little fairies come to rest, the blue balls shown like the night sky. Icicles dripped from the branches adding a graceful elegance to the already delicate boughs.  Snowflakes winked in and out among  cranberry balls.  Here and there were sparkling red snowflakes. Drenched in red glitter they were etherial.  The whole tree was a confection to the eyes. One filled with delight and magic.  One could just picture Santa coming to  tuck presents beneath the boughs.

There was a enchanting sensation  to the room. Decorated to the nines, one could not help feeling that they had entered either a winter wonderland, or Saint Nick’s own abode.  The mantle held garlands of fragrant pine.  Red bayberry candles, with their yellow flames, flickered in and out of the greenery.  Plush red stockings hung by cheerful snowmen, santas, and reindeer.   Tables were layden with  overflowing bowls of candy.  Red and green M & M’s filled a chubby Santa’s sack; candy canes hooked over square glass cubes, filled to the brim with holiday kisses.  Caramels, fudge, and toffee.  It was a child’s paradise. 

It was perfect for her.  She sat with her mug of hot chocolate.  Curled up on a sofa, snuggled in a warm wool sweater and socks, it was the epitome of Christmas. One couldn’t ask for anything better.

 

 

Signing off

~Kate

P.S. This was just me in an inspirational mood. I have a glorious tree this year and it’s quite magical.

Christmas Here

A sprig of holly,Christmas Mistletoe
A snowflake one,
Lots of cheer for everyone.

Popcorn balls, Cranberry strings,
Silver bells that ring, ring, ring.

Snow falling,
Softly now,
Colored lights upon the bow.

Frosted windows,
Pumpkin spice,
Glistening, sparkling, crystal ice.

Carols sung,
Soft and sweet,
Families to hug and greet.

Songs of joy,
Peace for all,
Christmas here, let’s deck the hall.

Kiss me now,
Under mistletoe,
Spread the joy to all we know.