Happy Holidays and a progress report for 2014. And giveaways. Lots of giveaways.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.06.56 AMI wanted to take a moment today and wish everyone happy holiday celebrations. It’s the season of hope, renewal, and new beginnings, so here are my hopes for you, my lovely readers:

  • I hope you’re spending some relaxing time with family or friends or both.
  • I hope cookies are finished, houses are prepared, and you’re in the fun part of the holiday season and not the “wow, this is so much work” part of it.
  • I hope if you work retail you’re still sane and haven’t been arrested for assault yet. (Hold strong. I know the temptation is almost overwhelming at times.)
  • I hope you’re looking forward to the new year.
  • I hope you have some really great books to read when you get a spare moment.

And I hope you’ve enjoyed being part of this blog community. I always enjoy posting here because I get great comments from readers, enthusiastic feedback, and so much encouragement. Thank you for being part of my writing journey in 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.08.00 AMI like to keep myself accountable for working hard, so consider this my progress report for 2014. This year I released:

  • A boxed set of the four Elemental Mysteries novels
  • A short story in the Cambio Springs series
  • Three novellas in the Elemental series
  • Two full novels (one in the Irin Chronicles, one in Cambio Springs)

Estimating things, that’s around 255,000 words of new fiction written this year. Or almost 700 new words a day if I wrote every day. Not bad, but not my most prolific year. At the same time, I also did these things:

  • Took a month-long research trip to China for Shadows and Gold and the new Elemental Legacy series.
  • Took a week long research/writing trip to the desert for Cambio Springs.
  • Took a five day research trip to Vienna for The Secret (which I’m working on right now)
  • Went to the RT Conference in New Orleans
  • Attended one signing
  • Went on two field trips with my son’s class
  • Attended a couple of family vacations
  • Celebrated lots of birthdays
  • Watched lots of AYSO soccer for my son and various nieces and nephews
  • Got a new dog
  • Finished taking down the really ugly wallpaper in my bedroom (The plaster is still a work in progress.)
  • Finished decorating the new house (mostly)
  • Started a barre physique class and got back into yoga
  • Took a few more walks than I did in 2013

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.08.55 AM2014 was all about balance for me. The more I publish, the harder it is to find time to write. That makes me frustrated at times, but I think it’s also inevitable. The business of writing takes time, whether you’re traditionally or independently published. Life also takes time. I’m coming up on my third year of single-parenthood, which is not something I talk much about, but it’s challenging. I balance a lot at home and to do that, sometimes writing time suffers.

It’s all about balance.

So my hope for the new year is that I balance a little better than I did last year. A little less time worrying, a little more time writing. A little less time in front of the computer and a little more time out in fresh air. More time with my son and as little time as possible doing paperwork.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.09.12 AMAnd as much as I’d like to put out four books every year for you guys, I have to realize that, where I am now in life, that’s not realistic. So I’ll focus less on quantity and more on quality. I want to write the best books I can. I want to keep growing creatively. Part of growing creatively is living life. And I can’t do that if I’m shut up in my writing cave all the time. So I have to allow myself that and accept the words I put on paper will be better for the time that I’ve spent living. I also have to hope that you guys will accept that. I’m pretty sure you will, because I have great readers.

As my thank you for being such amazing readers, I’ll be doing a 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway starting tomorrow for my VIP Readers. (If you’re not signed up for the VIP Reader List, you can sign up here.) I’ll be picking a winner every day for the next 12  days to win paperbacks of different books. I have thirteen different paperbacks now and I’ll be giving away one of each (with the two Elemental novellas combined into one day). You don’t have to do anything to enter, just be signed up for the list! I’ll be announcing winners every day, so just check your inbox and email me if you see your name.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.08.26 AMI’m also doing a giveaway here on the blog for a COMPLETE signed four-book set of the Elemental Mysteries. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite holiday tradition and be entered to win. This contest will run for the next week, and it is open to international readers. I’ll announce a winner on New Year’s Eve.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Thanks for being part of this amazing journey.

So much love to you all,

Elizabeth

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115 Comments

    • My favorite part of the holidays is family. No matter if it’s just me and the kids it’s still family and time away from the real world which includes work.

  1. I think my favorite thing about Christmas is all of us getting together at my mom & dad’s house for lunch and gift exchange! It’s the one constant for us.

  2. My favorite Christmas tradition is simply spending Christmas with my hubby. I make a big breakfast, and we exchange gifts — unwrapped, “close your eyes – now you can look,” because he can’t wrap a gift to save his life — and then we relax, and watch the movies he just gave me, or play video games together, and enjoy every minute of just being together with no calls or emails or “can you do this.” <3

  3. My favorite thing is seeing all the Christmas stockings hanging on the mantel and being thankful for our girls, their spouses, our grandchildren, and pets. Love seeing New stockings added as our family grows.

  4. my favourite tradition up to date is wrapping a few extra gifts Christmas Eve, while watching A Christmas Carol – the one with Alistair Sims – wile sipping wine. That all changed this year with the birth of our first grandchild – looking forward to creating new traditions as our family grows.

  5. My favorite part is baking cookies with the kids and then on Christmas Eve putting the cookies out with a glass of milk. They also put “reindeer food” out and are very excited to see the crumbs left in the morning!

  6. My favorite holiday tradition is getting the kids bathed and ready to open a special gift from under the tree on Christmas eve.
    The gift is always new pajamas and there’s some chocolate or candy and some fancy hot chocolate. We then all sit down and watch a Christmas movie.

  7. Elizabeth – you have so much to be proud of and grateful for! Life is certainly about balance, and that is a struggle for nearly all of us, writers and readers alike. My favorite holiday tradition is lighting candles on the first night of Hannukah with my family and saying the blessing, “. . . who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shehecheyanu

  8. My favorite holiday tradition is Christmas Day breakfast. Our family is so busy moving from in-laws to in-laws that we agreed many years ago to ALWAYS meet for Christmas Day breakfast. PaPaw cooks the full spread from eggs to pancakes and all the extras (for or vegan family members) like hot cinnamon applesauce over biscuits. No toys allowed at the table and we give thanks for our wonderful life together. Most of us are still in our pajamas (even those that travel by car) because that is the tradition – No frills Christmas morning- toothbrush optional. Best Wishes for the New Year.

  9. This year is about making new traditions for us. Baking is a constant, and my cookies are done and distributed!!

    Yesterday was beautiful, and all the kids in the neighborhood were out playing. We had a craft table set up and kids darting in and out. It was amazing! I’m hoping this is a tradition that will stick!!

  10. Baking cookies with my mom! I don’t get to do it every year and it will be something I do with my own children in a couple of years. However, whenever I make some dough using her recipe and roll it out to cut and cake I always think of her.

  11. My favorite tradition is a relatively new one adopted from my sister-in-law’s family. Christmas morning mimosas are tasty and wonderful.

  12. We are on our second year of making new traditions and our family of 4 is loving it. The kids favorite thing is the “pajama elves” come christmas eve and they love baking cookies and of course decorating the house to the nines in christmas crafts! Its all about making those beautiful memories.

  13. Thank you for all the time you give your readers it is greatly appreciated. I agree completely with everything above in your post. And completely agree in quality over quantity. Thanks for both contests. My favorite holiday tradition is just spending a bit more time with family. Taking a moment to slow down and appreciate what we have. Have a great holiday with smallboy and your family!

  14. Our long standing Christmas tradition is opening one gift on Christmas Eve and surprise, surprise, it’s always pajamas! We started when our kids were little and now share the tradition with our three grandchildren <3! Life is so good!

  15. My favorite holiday tradition is going to my sister’s house on Christmas to hangout, eat and watch the kids open their presents. Happy Holidays!

  16. Happy all the Holidays to you! Thank you for sharing with us. I went to the mall yesterday (hadn’t been for years) UGH. Then today while getting gas I locked myself out (hadn’t done that in 20+ years) Other than that, it’s a low-key week. We did our big traveling and relatives at Thanksgiving. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  17. My favorite holiday tradition is finding the holiday pickle ornament on my grandma’s Christmas tree. When I was little, we would get an extra gift if we found it. 🙂

  18. One of my favorite holiday traditions is making the big holiday dinner with my kids whom are 12, 9 and 8. I had started this when they were pretty young and they have all enjoyed doing something of their own for our special Christmas dinner. My oldest has always done the turkey- he’s always loved buttering the turkey and stuffing it :). My daughter always does the fruit salad and my youngest has always done his jello. They all take pride in what they do for our holiday meal and then we sit as a family and play games for the night, spending quality time as a close family and sharing what we are all thankful for. I love my kids and my awesome husband and I feel so blessed to have them all here with me to make all these special memories that I can treasure for always. Merry Christmas to you and your family Elizabeth and may you have the best new year!

  19. Making a recipe from my mother’s cookbook. This year was “Christmas Yeast Bread”. Nicknamed “Monkey Bread” because we all act like monkeys pulling it apart as soon as it is out of the oven. Last year it was Grasshopper Pie (cream de mint mix with Oreo crust). We miss her and are so glad to have a collection of her recipes. Merry Christmas Elizabeth and many blessings for the many hours of wonderful reading pleasure you have given to us all.

  20. Being with friends and family, with games and booze!
    Happy Holidays!

    & thank you for writing and sharing your awesome stories!

  21. My favorite tradition started with my first daughter 5 years ago. We get in out pj’s, make hot cocoa, watch a Christmas movie and then before bed we leave a note, cookies, milk and carrots out. We then read the night before Christmas. We’ve done this every year and now have two daughters.

  22. A tradition my husband I began – we use ribbon from our wedding as the topper for our Christmas tree to remind us of our happy beginning and all the ties that bind.

  23. Great post Elizabeth. I applaud your 2015 resolution for balance. I’ll continue to enjoy whatever you publish, at whatever rate things come out,and if I’m jonesing for a story, I’ll just go back and do a reread.

    Our favorite tradition is relaxing on Christmas Day. We don’t have a lot of family where we live, so it’s quite mellow. Enjoying the family that is here, good food, and plenty of laughter.

  24. We adopted a baby in May so we are celebrating our first Christmas together & establishing our own family traditions. Looking forward to opening our stockings & presents Christmas morning 🙂

  25. Watching ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ every year, without fail, and spending Christmas Day, me and my boys, in pyjamas all day. Well done for an amazing year of writing – a fantastic achievement. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas x

  26. Ever since I was 5, my family and cousins’ families get together for the Christmas dinner (which is more like late lunch now). Now we are 30+ and all over the US, but we still manage to get together for this meal. I treasure the commitment and effort.

  27. My favorite holiday tradition is on Christmas eve, we do the dogs presents where they get to open up what Santa gave them

  28. Green bean casserole. Hands down my fave part of Christmas. Oh, and of course family and relatives and stuff… but green bean casserole

  29. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is opening gifts Christmas morning with my Kids and then having homemade cinnamon rolls befor starting to prepare a huge family meal. Merry Christmas and wishing you a wonderful New Year to come>

  30. I think my favorite thing about the holiday season is doing our Yule ritual. We made Yule logs this year. I’m comfortable being a non-Christian amidst the Christmas fervor. We celebrate the birth of the sun as the days get longer once again. Spring is on the way! Sending peace, health, and blessings to you and yours, Ms. Hunter.

  31. Family, I am divorced…and I say I got my in-laws in the divorce but truly I am blessed. We spend Christmas Eve together (prior to the divorce and after) My daughter and i are there every year; now her boy-friend also comes. My in-laws are Italian (from the other side)..so we have the big traditional Christmas Eve dinner with lots of fish, small calzones that have different fillings inside, tuna, onion, cheese (s), tomatoes, we have so much food the meal goes from about 5:30 pm to midnight!! There are nuts fresh fruit, wine, courses upon courses… tons of desserts and laughter. I think that life is about collecting people to be in your “family”; which I think makes your life richer and fuller. We (my in-laws and I) have collected each other. It is not Christmas unless we are get together on Christmas Eve. I am very lucky my in-laws and I love each other…even though their son and I did not work out, we have a child together (who is grown up and 26, as i write this) but by spending this holiday time together, she has a strong connection with both sides of her family…and that is what I wanted to give my child..family.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours..

  32. We do a big Thanksgiving meal for all the family. Christmas day my husband and I make a nice dinner for just the 2 of us. The day after Christmas we travel the 2 hours to my daughter’s house and just hang around together for family time.

    I have greatly enjoyed your books this season as you were my new “found” author. Having been through the writing and publishing process myself, I am glad you are finding ways to have time for yourself.

    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  33. My favorite part of the holiday is watching the joy on my children’s faces Christmas morning, and it’s not because they get a ton of stuff, they don’t. It’s just the joy of the day.

  34. My favorite tradition is eating breakfast on Christmas morning with our traditional foods: Scrambled eggs, Kielbasa and Hungarian Rolls. No one is allowed to go into the room with the Christmas tree and even look at presents until everyone is done eating.

  35. My favorite Christmas tradition is reading about baby Jesus’ birth and then opening our presents and having Christmas shaped pancakes.

  36. My favourite tradition is that myself and my family go to see the pantomime on Christmas Eve, I don’t think you guys have them in the US but it’s just so cheesy and christmassy 😀

  37. I love end of the year wrap ups and this didn’t disappoint! Of course, I’m pretty sure you could write a shopping list that I would find intriguing!
    My favorite Christmas tradition is going to have dinner at my great aunt’s house and listening to the stories of everyone’s adventures. My aunt has place mats made of old Christmas cards laminated and I love seeing them each year.
    Enjoy the rest of your year, you deserve it! Thank you for blessing my year with your incredible talent.

  38. I don’t have one single favourite thing about Christmas but as I sit here on the eve we’ve just put reindeer food out in the garden so they know where to land and then Santa has his own plate for a minced pie and his own mug for milk. The kids adore that, therefore I do too!

    Have a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for such a wonderful year, I’ve loved being able to experience your journey from a reader’s perspective, it has been a true joy.

  39. My youngest daughter was born on Christmas eve at 2:52 a.m. So every Christmas eve we always had, she has grown up and moved to Canada, a Black Forest cake with chocolate, cherries and Bavarian cream to celebrate both her birthday and Christmas. Now, that she no longer lives at home, I still make some kind of special cake on Christmas eve to help celebrate the holiday.

  40. My favorite holiday tradition is when my moms, sisters, and I get together to make Christmas dinner. We spend the entire time just talking to one another, telling tales that burn even my ears. Those times are the best memories for me!

  41. My favorite Christmas tradition is having the whole family come over for Christmas dinner. It is loud crowded and chaos and I love it 🙂

  42. My favorite Christmas tradition is spending Christmas eve with family eating junk food and watching Christmas movies until everyone is falling asleep.

  43. My favorite tradition is the white elephant gift exchange when my mother’s side of the family gets together. So much fun will be missed this year, since the family gathering is cancelled due to a mini-flu epidemic.

  44. Baking cookies and sharing them with family and friends. I like putting them together in gift bags with other little things; candles, teas, homemade vinegar this year. Also having all my kids home with spouses, watching movies (Muppets Xmas carol at the moment) and playing games.

  45. we haven’t started any but now that we have a kid we will be starting a bunch. The two I am looking forward to the most are picking and cutting our own tree and cooking baking!!!

  46. My favorite Christmas Eve tradition is a little silly, but I love it all the same. Since I was about 13 (I’m 34 now) I’ve watched The Muppet Christmas Carol, unabashedly singing along with Kermit, while I wrap presents and sneak baking out of my Mom’s kitchen. It’s little things like that, along with being with family, that make the best memories. Merry Christmas!! xoxo

  47. My favorite Christmas tradition is going to our Church’s Candle light Service on Christmas Eve, which has a Live Nativity set up at the back of the church. The last song we sing is Silent Night w/the lights off, while lighting our candles as we sing the song. When the song is over, & all of the candles are lit, we silently proceed out of the Sanctuary w/our lit candle & pass the Nativity. The baby used for Baby Jesus is the newest baby born in our church congregation, w/his, (or hers) parents acting as Mary & Joseph…….It is SO VERY BEAUTIFUL, & so VERY MOVING…….

  48. My favorite family holiday tradition is calling all of the relatives around the globe. It doesn’t always happen on Christmas Eve or Day, but occurs over the break. We catch up with those we are separated from and give and receive lots of love. Having been alone on Christmas many times, separated from friends and family, it makes those calls even more meaningful. Hold your loved ones dear, and have a very Merry Christmas!
    Thank you for all you do for and with your readers, Elizabeth!

  49. My favorite holiday traditions are the ones my daughter and I are deciding on this year. It being the first Christmas since her parents have separated. Baking together, meal preparation, sharing intimate conversation, dinner with some family, and doing simple things that make us happy. Wishing you the very best! Thank you for the many hours of escapism through some tough times!

  50. thank you for writing amazing books and novellas, you are right, your fans don’t care about the quantity – just the quality 🙂
    favourite traditions??? don’t really have any, but eating a lot at eid is always fun 🙂

  51. On Christmas Eve we drink coco as we drive around looking at lights and singing together all our favorite songs. Then we get home and open one big box filled with a set of PJ’s for everyone. A movie or two and then it’s good night until Santa comes.

  52. Just spending time with family. Probably my favourite tradition, even as a young child has been decorating the Christmas tree ☺️

  53. My favorite tradition is decorating the tree with the kids every year. Although next year, I’m going to need a new tree because my daughter’s Christmas present from last year (a kitten) destroyed the bottom row of branches! Oh well, I wanted a new tree anyway ?

  54. My favorite tradition is decorating the tree with the kids. Although this year, my daughter’s Christmas present from last year (a kitten) broke the branches on the bottom of the tree so they no longer stick out but instead droop down. Oh well, I wanted to get a new tree anyway so now I have a good excuse.

  55. My favorite family tradition is baking springerlie cookies. My grandfather taught me to make them using his grandmother’s recipe.

  56. We started a new tradition a few years ago where we donate the money we would normally spend on gifts for the adults in our family. We each choose our own charity or organization, and then Christmas is really just for the kids.

  57. Merry Christmas to you and your family too. We are in the too full/naps part of Christmas here in Australia now and it is great. My favourite part of Christmas is tasting all of the treats as I bake them. Perks of the job 🙂

  58. My favourite tradition is baking holiday cookies, but many other traditions are on hold, you see, my daughter is one year old and she isn’t big enough to understand. But starting next year we’re going all out!

  59. Happy holidays to you and your family. My favorite tradition is waking up in the morning and taking pictures of my daughters opening their presents. They have to sort out the presents first then the youngest opens first.

  60. My favorite new Christmas tradition since marrying my husband and becoming a stepmom has been that the Elves bring us Christmas Eve pajamas. This year the elves even brought us new mugs for hot cocoa this winter 😉

  61. Merry Christmas. My favorite tradition is decorating our tree together with my son. No matter where he is, he makes time to share this with me. Each year I give him a new ornament & we recall the years as we place them on the branches. 23 ornaments, 23 years of motherhood…the best part of my life.

  62. Every year my kiddos and I make cookies with friends and their kids. We spend all day playing, cooking, and eating. Then we pass them out to friends and family. We love doing it every year.

  63. my favorite part of Christmas is family. Enjoy seeing everybody and being able to spend quality time with them again. Life happens so sometimes I can’t see them as often. So Christmas is great because of that!

  64. I love watching the extended versions of all Lord of The Rings movies plus all the extras between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s even better when my mom watches them with me, but she doesn’t always have the time… This year she does though, so we’re starting tomorrow 🙂

  65. I think my favorite holiday traditions isn’t just one, but several combined: we always light a taper bayberry candle on christmas eve and new years eve. It must burn through the homy hour and into the new year. It represents prosperity, health and eliminating negative energy in the house. Another tradition is always making christmas cookies on christmas eve w the family; the food; the festivities; the pleasure of sharing and giving. Lastly, We always would place illuminaries outside leading to our front door; guiding the holy spirit and welcoming him into your home. Christmas isn’t just one day…Christmas my friends, is every day of the year!!!
    Hv a blessed and prosperous holiday season!!

  66. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Elizabeth.

    My favorite family tradition is decorating the tree with my son. There’s something magical about adorning the tree, hanging each ornament and the memories that hanging them invokes. Each year we get a new ornament in our stocking, so our tree is exploding with a variety of ornaments after 12 years and four people.

  67. I like Three Kings Day, the children put bagies of grass under their beds to feed the camels. Only stockings are given out on Christmas the rest of the gifts are for the 6th of January. We do a birthday cake on Christmas instead.

  68. My favourite tradition is a long time family tradition. Where after Christmas dinner we have Christmas Pudding and in each segment my Gran, when she was with us used to put a coin in each segment. We used to get a twenty pence coin and if you were the lucky one you find a 50 pence coin. It used to be a shilling way back when my great grandmother did it.
    The other tradition we used to do was tree presents on Boxing Day. We would spend no more than a couple of pounds on a tree present for each family member and then put in the tree. You would never know who it was from. That was a great treat and lots of fun for us kids. I remember those Christmases well.

  69. My favorite tradition is Christmas Eve celebrations… reindeer food, milk/cookies, games, new pjs, Christmas story at bedtime, that day of preparation and fun before the grand finale!!! I love the anticipation and pure bliss. That breath of fresh air.

  70. Season’s Greetings to you and your family Elizabeth, and to your readers. We don’t really have many Christmas traditions, apart from brunch or lunch with family, dinner with friends and chocolate-mint cheesecake. There’d be a riot if I didn’t make it! We are expecting our first two grandchildren early next year so there are sure to be many new Christmas traditions we will be able to share with the new arrivals, and since I discovered your books this year there is another tradition begun this Christmas which I’d like to continue – my husband purchased “Shadows and Gold” and sent it to my Kindle- it is my hope that there will be a new book for him to buy for Christmas for many years to come.

  71. Merry Christmas! In my family, the adults exchange stockings. Lots of opportunities for clever thinking, silly gags, and thoughtful items. We love it. 🙂

  72. my fav part of xmas is the evening where we all lie about watching some film and have turkey and stuffing sambos and taytos (Irish potato chips) .. This year it was Harry Potter ?

  73. What a productive year! I am in awe of your ability to balance ANY of that long list of things, let alone all of the things. Thanks for writing hundreds of thousands of words that make my spare time more fun! Now, for my favorite holiday tradition… My family gets together for my grandmother’s chili on Christmas Eve and my parents’ stew on Christmas. For the last few years, I’ve helped my grandmother make the chili, both so that she has some assistance and so that I can carry on the tradition when she is no longer able to do so. It’s a fun time for both of us!

  74. Congrats on the year and learning balance…it is a lifelong endeavor I think. My favorite holiday tradition is on Christmas eve we have a formal dinner at my parents house. We all dress up, eat off of china and receive one present for the night.

  75. My favorite family tradition was getting together with my mom and sister and making all kinds of candy, cookies and other treats on Christmas Eve then getting together with more family that evening to celebrate family.

  76. Elisabeth, thank you for a 2014 filled with fabulous reads to fill NY soiul with words of joy. With new characters. And for suggesting Ilona Andrews to your readers. She fills the reading gap between your releases. Happy Christmas and cheers to 2015.

  77. My Husband tried to find your books in stores for my Christmas present only to be told they’re only printed on demand. It’s the only thing I asked for this year. Sweet man didn’t want to order them off Amazon and risk me finding out early. Thanks for being such a wonderful author. I tell everyone about you. Maintain the balance you’re seeking. You know as well as I do that our ninjas are the most important thing.

  78. My favorite holiday tradition is to spend time with my family. We go to my inlaws to play cards with the nieces and nephews and brother in laws. We also help my mother assemble and decorate (thematically of course) a 16 foot tall tree. You never know how long you have to spend with those you love, so I try to make sure I spend as much time as possible with them. I also want you to know that A Hidden Fire is one of my favorite books I have ever read. It was the first paranormal book I read that wasn’t in the horror genre (and the first ebook I ever read) and I fell in love with the world you created. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  79. Happy Holidays to you & your family! And thanks for sharing your stories, have enjoyed many hours getting lost in those worlds. One favorite tradition is watching Christmas shows from childhood, Rudolph & A Charlie Brown Christmas

  80. Sounds like a very busy year.

    My favorite holiday tradition, is just going home to be with my family. Its hectic and insane at times but I love the time I get to spend back with them, its so rare now.

  81. Wow, you have been busy! My unfavorite tradition every Christmas holiday is my husband’s long hours at work. He is in retail and we can count on not seeing him from the day after thanksgiving until Christmas Day. I call him Santa Claus since my kiddos don’t get to see him until Christmas Day unless I keep them up way past their bedtime.

  82. New ornaments every year! My mother started the tradition of giving us each an ornament when we were young. She continues this tradition every year, and so our ornament collection grows a little more each year.
    Baking Christmas cookies!

    Happy Holidays and Happy New year!!!!!

  83. The day after Christmas my husband, daughter, and I spend the day relaxing and just hanging out. After all the business of the holidays, we look forward to just spending the day together.

  84. My favorite traditions is opening our stockings on christmas eve and then watching The Santa Clause (one and two, the third one doesn’t exist to us). Spending time with my family is the best 🙂
    Happy New Year to you and Small Boy!

    <3

  85. We don’t have a set tradition but always hope to spend Xmas eve with friends and/or family. We especially love the joy we see in the boys. Makes all of the stress of the season worth it. It’s a reminder to enjoy the little things.

  86. I think my favorite tradition is that we open one present at a time, giving everyone a turn. Each person gets a chance to feel special and thought of. It takes almost all day, especially with my 4 year old, but then he gets a chance to enjoy each gift as he opens them.

  87. Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning of special for me now that my son is old enough to know and get excited! My partners family never spent christmas together growing up and never had any traditions or did anything special so until he met Christmas crazy me never thought much about it. Now I get to share with my two boys together for the first time all the love and excitement and make Christmas something special for them both. Daddy getting the honour of putting the Star onto the tree and waking up to mummies massive breakfast and santa’s sneaky footprints all through the house. We live in the tropics so its slip and slide all day long whilst listening to carols about white christmas lol..!! Seeing the excitement on both their faces is a gift enough for me 😀

  88. My favorite tradition is cooking dinner with my mom and every Christmas taking on another dish so she has to cook less and less. And hopefully in the near future the tradition will be me cooking for her. Also, smuggling my daughter’s presents in and undertaking a massive Christmas Eve build session to assemble whatever the year’s big ticket item is. This year was a Barbie Dream House. Fun times!

  89. Our New Year’s Eve tradition is a big pile of crab legs to feast on with my husband, his brothers and sisters and their spouses. Then we play games and wait for the magical moment of midnight!

  90. We have a ton of Christmas traditions, but one of my favorites is that my husband and I take turns reading A Christmas Carol out loud to each other every night by the lighted Christmas tree.

  91. We always have hot choolate and cheese crackers. (Velveeta melted on Saltines) It has become my 35 year old daughter’s demand for Christmas-time! Since she is the one who got me started on your books, I felt it only right to tell you her favorite tradition.

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