Jamie and Kati, thanks for inviting me to join you for the Joyathon! Readers, I hope you’re having a wonderful December, no matter which of the winter holidays (or whether) you celebrate.
When Jamie and Kati asked me to think about a favorite holiday memory, at first I thought of some of the heartwarming ones. Like the Christmas eleven years ago, just a few days before Mr. R and I got married. It was a whirlwind of stress but also full of joy. Or our first Christmas with Little Miss R, when she was a pudgy little baby who tried to stuff ornaments into her mouth.
Those were both favorites of mine. But for sheer make-a-fool-of-yourself-and-be-loved-anyway goodness, I’d have to go for Christmas 1990.
At that point in my life, I was an introverted kid with big glasses and a big mouth. (Yes, you can be both shy and loud.) And I had a big family, too. My dad’s side of the family gathered in full in Louisiana: aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins by the dozen. The kids had pulled names for a gift exchange at Thanksgiving, and each brought a gift for Christmas. After the sweet potatoes and roasted pork and turkey and dirty rice—Louisianans know how to eat—but before the presents, some people gave little performances. My storyteller aunt always had something really cool planned, and she and my other aunts often sang. Little kids sang. My big kid cousins sang together.
This was the one and only year I decided to sing too. And what did I choose? “Skateboarding Santa,” the finest holiday choir piece of 1990, complete with hand motions and a dance breakdown. Here’s what that song looks and sounds like when performed by a very cute elementary choral group. I don’t know these kids; I just found them on YouTube. But we’ll use them as an example because no video of me exists.
I wasn’t that young or cute. I didn’t sound that good. I didn’t have a piano or choir backing me. My song couldn’t have been Grammy-worthy, lets just say that.
Even so, everyone clapped for me. My grandparents, both very fine musicians, told me I’d done a nice job. My cousins smiled. We all ate desserts and opened gifts. And…it was fine.
I settled on this memory because, in hindsight, it’s so not me. I don’t like to perform. I don’t like to have groups looking at me. And I DEFINITELY don’t like to sing in public. This was all true of me as a kid, and it’s still true now. But for those few minutes at the Christmas gathering in 1990, I impulsively set all that aside.
And it was fine. Whether or not I was good, my family clapped, because whether it was good didn’t matter. Getting up in front of the group mattered, and sharing pie together afterward mattered, and exchanging gifts mattered. Being together was what mattered.
That’s something I need to remind myself of when I get caught up too much in wanting everything to be perfect, or wanting to create that ideal holiday memory. They kind of create themselves, don’t they? As long as we’re with the people we love—our family by birth, by marriage, or by choice—we’ll wind up with a holiday to remember.
Readers, now it’s your turn: tell me about a song-related memory of yours. I can’t be the only one who ever randomly performed for family, right?? Or if a memory doesn’t jump out at you, just share your favorite song for the holidays! To one entrant, I’m offering a print copy of my recent Christmas historical romance, SEASON FOR DESIRE, open internationally.
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Zebra (October 7, 2014)
Like her four sisters, Lady Audrina Bradleigh is expected to marry a duke, lead fashion, and behave with propriety. Consequently, Audrina pursues mischief with gusto, attending scandalous parties and indulging in illicit affairs. But when an erstwhile lover threatens to ruin her reputation, Audrina has no choice but to find a respectable husband at once.
Who would guess that her search would lead her to Giles Rutherford, a blunt-spoken American on a treasure hunt of his own? When a Christmas snowstorm strands the pair at a country inn, more secrets are traded than gifts—along with kisses that require no mistletoe—and Audrina discovers even proper gentlemen have their wicked side…
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***GIVEAWAY***Theresa is giving away a print copy of SEASON FOR DESIRE to one(1) randomly chosen commenter.
HOW TO ENTER:
- Readers, now it’s your turn: tell me about a song-related memory of yours. I can’t be the only one who ever randomly performed for family, right?? Or if a memory doesn’t jump out at you, just share your favorite song for the holidays!
- Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment. All other entries are optional.
- Please make sure you understand our giveaway policy before entering.
- Giveaway ends December 24th.
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