Pretty Christmas Floral …

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So every year my company has a big Christmas party, and there’s always a huge raffle of TVs, ipads, Apple TVs, etc. I mean, like, five or six gifts per year. That’s a lot for a small company like ours. And I’ve been there for YEARS and have NEVER won! I’m just not lucky with those things. (Either that or they’re not putting my name in the Santa hat. I might not be on the “nice” list. …)

Anyway, I HAVE managed to walk out with a centerpiece “win” a couple of years, though, and this was one of those years. I thought this one was so pretty. I put it on my buffet, and then realized it needed some “height,” so I put it on top of my mother’s cake stand she gave me from her 1965 wedding gifts. (I love that cake stand!)

I really like how this livens up my dining room this week! Isn’t it purty? What are those crazy red flowers, anyway? Does anyone know? They look sort of tropical. …

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The Stockings Are Hung by the Chimney with … Caution Tape???

Yep, the stockings are hung by the chimney with … er … uh … caution tape. Or right next to the caution tape, anyway. And the pretty exposed cement.

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I realized I wasn’t going to get around my house of destruction this year, so I just decorated around it!

What do you think? Does it work anyway?

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Now the tree is another matter. We haven’t put that up yet. We’re still trying to figure out what to do there. Too much furniture is now stuffed into the living room, and the den is still complete chaos. So my gifts, as I wrap them, are still sitting in my upstairs hallway waiting for a location:

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I just keep piling them in the hallway for now!

This may be a “crowded” Christmas this year — and may involve lots of exposed drywall and beams and sawdusty-smell and exposed cement — but I’m decorating, dang it! It’s my favorite time of year!

How is your decorating going? Am I the last person to get a tree up? Does anyone still put their tree up on Christmas Eve????

A Little Christmas Story for You…

So the RWA Golden Heart Finalists Class of 2012 (“The Firebirds”) have a blog that I’m part of called The Firebirds Blog. It’s cute, and although we all struggle to keep it up regularly (because everyone is writing books!), we tap in when we can.

A few years ago, we used to do “Fiction Fridays,” where we’d participate in “Round Robin” storytelling: one of us would write a short segment of a story; we’d ask readers to vote on what happened next; and then the next Firebird would pick up the story and write the next segment. These were SO MUCH fun to do, and we all had a great time writing together.

One of my favorite stories was a Christmas one that I wrote with friends KD Fleming, Tamra Baumann, and A.J. Larrieu. I love all these ladies, and we’ve all published books and worked closely together since.

And – since Christmas is right around the corner – I thought I’d share the story here!

I hope you enjoy this little lunch short story called “Christmas Magic”:

 

Christmas Magic

Part 1

By Lauren Christopher

Heath Davidson shrugged off his officer’s jacket as he pulled another “holiday meal” from the freezer. He had about five of them – meals with red-and-green holly cartoons decorating the boxes that were supposed to make him feel more festive – but they weren’t doing the trick.

As he stared at the microwave heating instructions for his first one, wondering if this holiday was going to be like every other, he heard it.

Or her, rather.

He heard her.

Her giggle drifted up the stucco stairwell they shared to their second-floor apartments – a  lyrical, girlish note he’d become accustomed to over the last few months. A sound that wasn’t supposed to make him turn toward the front door with a frozen dinner in his hand, wondering if he should go see how her day was; a sound that shouldn’t have made him glance at the clock and wonder if she realized how late it was; a sound that shouldn’t have made the blood in his chest suddenly warm. But it was one that, embarrassingly, did all three right now. …

To read the rest of my part, click here.

For Part 2, by KD Fleming, click here.

For Part 3, by Tamra Baumann, click here.

And for Part 4, by A.J. Larrieu, click here.