One of my favorite Christmas memories came on a Christmas that I knew was going to be very hard for me and my three kids. It was the year my husband was deployed to Afghanistan--Christmas 2008. I packed up the car, complete with Santa gifts that I hid from the children, and we drove up to North Carolina to stay with my husband's family. I could have stayed here in my hometown with my parents, but the kids and I wanted to be with their daddy's people.
So off we went, singing carols in the car.
But it was sad without my husband being there in his mother and father's house. We did our best to be cheerful. And he has such a wonderful, warm family, it was easy to smile. But when I woke up Christmas morning, all I could think about was my husband and his tiny shoebox-sized artificial tree that I'd sent to him in Kabul. I wondered how he was feeling. I missed him terribly, but I had to put on a cheerful attitude for the children. So we opened presents, and it was very nice and noisy.
Finally, the presents were done, and we all stood up to stretch and then grab something to eat. But my sister-in-law said, "Wait. It's not time for breakfast yet. We have one more thing to do."
My kids and I didn't know what was going on, so we just sat there and waited to see what was happening. But then my sister-in-law brought in a big sack full of presents--just for us! From my husband!
The boys opened cool wooden toys from a Kabul marketplace, including a small guitar. We got a chess set with stunning carved marble pieces. I unfolded a beautiful shawl. My daughter got special earrings and a jewelry box, and I did, too. It was a treasure trove of love from my husband. We had no idea he'd be able to send us anything. He'd done it a good month before to make sure it got to us in time, and he swore his side of the family to secrecy.
We cared less about the actual items than we did the fact that he'd gone to so much trouble. We got to Skype him later that day, and boy, did it make him happy to know how special our morning had been. And the thing was, he was the guy who deserved special treatment, not us. But that's how my husband works. He always thinks of everyone else first.
He was our Kabul Santa, and we will never forget how love brought our little family together that Christmas morning, even though an ocean and a continent separated us.
It's my favorite Christmas memory.
Did you ever have to spend Christmas away from someone you love dearly? How did you handle it? I'm talking about someone who's geographically separated from you. But perhaps it was someone who passed away...that's very hard to do, too. If you'd like to tell us any of your experiences, we'd love to hear them. I have a feeling that in every story we share, we're going to see that love's power bonds us across space and time.
Happy holidays to all, and thank you, Kati and Jamie, for the opportunity to hang out with you two special ladies and your awesome readers!!!
Page Count: 416 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 30, 2014)
CAN THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME…
Lacey Clark’s dreams of Hollywood stardom didn’t turn out quite the way she planned. Instead, her life is more of the daytime-drama variety: One of her actor ex-boyfriends fathered a child with another woman, and now, long story short, Lacey is the adopted single mother of his son. She takes little Henry with her to South Carolina to escape the film business but winds up working at a small movie studio, determined to do a good job both on set and at “home.” Only problem is she ends up sharing a house with movie star Beau Wilder, who is no role model for Henry—and only spells trouble for Lacey…
LEAD TO A HAPPY ENDING?
Beau is arguably the most gorgeous man on the planet—and a known ladies’ man. His wealthy Lowcountry pedigree is rivaled only by his bad-boy charm, a combination that proves irresistible for Lacey. And he adores Henry! If they weren’t both on a movie set, their lives would seem too good to be true…unless the chemistry—not to mention the burning attraction—between them is real, and Hollywood’s golden boy is actually falling for this sassy single mom? When it comes to love, sometimes you just have to throw out the script…
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Kieran Kramer currently writes fun contemporary romance for St. Martin’s Press. A former journalist and English teacher, Kieran’s also a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer. She lives where she grew up-in the Lowcountry of South Carolina-with her family. Find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and at www.kierankramerbooks.com.
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***GIVEAWAY***Kieran is giving away an ebook or paperback copy of YOU'RE SO FINE to one(1) randomly chosen reader. Open to US/CA.
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- Did you ever have to spend Christmas away from someone you love dearly? How did you handle it?
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