First let me tell you, I LOVE this time of year starting with Thanksgiving. You see, our kids are all grown and on their own. Our daughters live about thirty minutes away, but our son is about four hours away. For Thanksgiving they all move back home to spent the weekend together. We’re ten and two dogs when we’re all together.
The house is overly full with lots going on and I couldn’t be happier. Okay, I’ll admit. By the Sunday after Thanksgiving I’m almost ready for them to leave. I know the house will be REALLY empty when they go, but I only have to wait a few weeks before they’re all back for Chanukah.
Daughter #1 and her family
Daughter #2 and her family
Our son and his family …
Kya, a King Shepherd and their new addition, Gungi a Lab/Golden Retriever mix
Every year I say I’ll start my holiday shopping early, but before I know I turn around it’s Thanksgiving and I have… nothing. Over the years I’ve found that trying to figure out what each one want is hit or miss. Before they leave I make my ‘Thanksgiving appeal’—I ask them to post their wish list on Amazon. I use that as the basis for my holiday shopping. It really saves a lot of grief although I always pick up a few surprises.
Now two weeks later most of my holiday shopping is done. Thanks to Amazon! This is what the living room looked like until last night!
I know. That’s going to be a lot of wrapping. I spent yesterday wrapping and organizing.
The stack will grow when everyone gets here and they add their gifts. We’ll have to wait until after dinner to open the gifts. It’s one way to get the grandkids to finish their dinner quickly!
For years before dinner everyone searched for their gifts and stacked them in a pile. It was difficult to get them away from the presents. I was tired of pestering them to come to the table. I came up with a solution.
Years ago I cross stitched a Chanukah theme on a small sachet bag for each of them. They came home and found numbers instead of names on the packages. After dinner I gave them their bag with their numbers. They loved searching for their presents.
There are two small bags in this picture. One side has the Star of David with a Hebrew letter (this one is a shin or S). The other side of the bag has the phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham” – A great miracle happened here. I’ve had to stitch more bags as our family grew. That was a labor of love.
My holiday shopping is done. The presents are wrapped. All that’s left is the cooking. I’m looking forward to the weekend.
Paul and I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday and new year!
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.
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