Christmas at Sable’s House – and a Contest

Christmas in the Country – with Sable and a Contest

Before I start rambling, the winner from last post is  Ginger Robertson for a book of your choice from me. Email me at sablehuntertx@gmail.com to collect  your prize. To qualify for a chance at a copy of Justice when it comes out, tell me something special about your Christmas traditions.

I spent a lot of my youth and young adulthood in the country. Dirt-road country. Places where the roads were so narrow that the trees met in a canopy overhead. There were no residential neighborhoods where the houses are only six to ten feet apart. The more likely distance between neighbors was measured in acres or miles. Still and all, as my grandmother used to say, we enjoyed getting together, especially during the holidays. But things don’t always work in the country like they do in the city.

Take shopping for instance – we had to drive two hours to a mall, an hour to a Wal-mart – so Christmas shopping was usually relegated to a one-day extravaganza excursion or we did it by mail-order. I can remember getting up before dawn and driving to Beaumont with full intention of getting all of my Christmas shopping done in one day. Of course the day would be punctuated by frequent stops for hot chocolate, croissants, burgers or pie – – but, still, it was a long, tiring and usually frustrating day. We approached Christmas present giving a little different than ‘normal’ folks. We went all out, but we used the gift-giving to purchase for one another things we really needed – like clothes or tools or appliances – things other folks would buy during the year, we bought during the holidays. Some gifts were frivolous, but mostly they were things we needed but wouldn’t buy for ourselves. Oh, but there was one important thing – – we had to make tripledamndog sure that everyone got the same number of gifts. If someone got more than the other it was a disaster. Because when we opened them, we did it one at a time and taking turns and if one person was left with three extra after everyone else was through – well, it wasn’t pretty. And we all had our gifts wrapped in one color – I was red, Jess was green and so forth.

Our Christmas tree was always real and came out of our own wooded pasture. Sometimes it was a pine, sometimes a cedar – but always imperfect. We would go out to find it about the second week in December because we didn’t want it to dry out and be a fire by Christmas day. The ornaments were collected over time, some ragged, some cheesy – all meaningful. I’m a proponent of multi-colored lights on a tree. None of that all white or all blue for me. The tree, the lights on the porch, the ones on the hearth – they are all multi-colored. And I collect Santa Claus – big ones, little ones, figures, some almost as big as me. And geese seem to play a big role in my decorating, I have several wooden ones that wear these huge bows during the holidays.

And Christmas dinner wasn’t just at Christmas. Let me explain. Nana was the primary chef at Christmas and she baked like her mother used to – and by that I mean, you didn’t make one pie, you made four. She would start about mid-December and make fudge and pralines and Martha Washington candy. Then came the fruitcake, then the chocolate fudge layer cake and then the layered white nut cake. There was pecan pie, chocolate, mincemeat and coconut and later, when my aunt married, cherry was added to the mix. We had ham, a turkey, a roast, a pork loin – cornbread dressing, 4 salads, chicken and dumplings, gumbo – it was an endless banquet for about three weeks. There was one part of our house that was always cold, the dining room and some of the desserts, etc, would be out in there all the time and you went in and got something when you wanted it. To a child, this was magical, like a gingerbread house where treats were always available.

I believed in Santa Claus, still do. I can remember hearing the reindeer hooves on the roof and finding presents left outside with snow on them, which was a feat since we rarely had snow. Santa would come early on Christmas Eve night, if I would hide and be good – I never saw him but my folks would yell and laugh after they opened the door to the living room where the tree was and find that he’d been by. Now, we save some gifts to open Christmas morning, but when I was young we did it all on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day was always a let-down and more for visiting and religious stuff than fun. So, speaks the spoiled child that was Sable.

One precious memory I have is caroling. I love to sing and I love the outdoors. We couldn’t carol like folks in the city could by walking from house to house. So, we combined three good things. We got to sing for neighbors and have a hayride at the same time. One of our neighbors who had a big wagon would fill it with hay, hook up the horses and pull us up one road and down the other so we could fill the countryside with a joyful noise. Sometimes they would bring us out treats, but mostly we left that for when we got through and all ganged up for hot chocolate, roasted hot dogs or some other type of goodie.

As I got older, those caroling trips took on a whole new light when I started cuddling with boys under blankets in the hay. Gave a whole new meaning to ‘keeping warm’ in the chilly weather.

Nowadays, things are a little different. It happens to all of us. We grow up. We lose family. We move. Our interests change or mature, I guess you could say. But in my life some things don’t change. I still go all out. My tree is full of presents for family. Stockings are hung by the chimney with care and two of them are for the dogs and they know which stocking is theirs and they sit under it and try to stare it off the hook. I won’t cook as much this year, I live in a place where there is decadent food on every hand so I don’t mind telling you that I haunt this French bakery for the perfect pastry.

fireplace1

Instead of caroling on country roads, I will walk on the huge, magnificent Trail of Lights down by the Colorado River in downtown Austin and I’ll post pictures of that on my post on the 27th. And it probably won’t snow – it might before winter is over – but snow is rare here. Today, it is a sunny 66 degrees and the next cold front won’t come in until Friday where we’re expecting a low of 37 on Saturday. I started to say I’d build a fire in the fireplace, but I have one on now. My feet stay cold.

It’s sad to say, but true. I won’t be going to church. I will take care of my spirituality at home, just me and the creator. Some things are better taken care of in private – that way I won’t offend anyone.

Writing wise, I’m striving to finish a book before Christmas and I have four more that have to come out in the next couple of months. So, I have a lot to do. But I will take time to make merry – for just a little while.

I hope you do, too.

Merry Christmas.

Sable

About sablehunter

Sable Hunter writes erotic romance. She writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her stories are emotional reads where the heroine is faced with challenges, like one of her favorite songs – she’s holding out for a hero – and boy, can she deliver a hero. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and sweat. If she can wring those emotions out of a reader, then she has done her job. She grew up in south Louisiana along the mysterious bayous where the Spanish moss hangs thickly over the dark waters. The culture of Louisiana has shaped her outlook on life and made its way into her novels where the supernatural is entirely normal. Presently, Sable lives in Texas and spends most of her time in wild and wonderful Austin. She is passionate about animals and has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of racoons. For fun, Sable has been known to haunt cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave.She writes for Secret Cravings Publishing as well as publishes much of her own work. Join her in her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy, to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where dreams can come true and orgasms only come in multiples.
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20 Responses to Christmas at Sable’s House – and a Contest

  1. doveknoll says:

    My kids and I get together and make Christmas candy every year. When I was growing up my family always opened gifts on Christmas Eve. We still do this now and then on Christmas Day we have dinner at my oldest brother’s house. I remember my father making fudge every year when I was young. I guess that’s why I make it with my children. The holidays are the only times my dad was a regular dad and seemed to soften in his attitudes toward us. Maybe that’s why I love Christmas so much. Merry Christmas and happy holiday.

  2. Linda Chilson says:

    About ten years ago my son started the tradition of taking his sons to a movie on Christmas evening. Three years ago after he passed away their mother offered to let me to continue the tradition with my three grandsons so now every Christmas evening I take them to a movie. I am sure as they pass into adulthood they may not want to continue it but then again they may, for now I am going to enjoy this special time with them.

  3. Kathy Lewis says:

    Well I live on a culdasac of 8 homes. Every year I would make cookies and my son would pass them out. Now the neighbors do it too. It’s so nice when friends come together and share the joy of the season. This year, I’m doing mini cakes.

  4. Clare O'Beara says:

    Our traditions with the family were the usual, Santa presents, Christmas Mass, carols, turkey, baked ham, playing and television.
    Now my husband and I make our own traditions. For instance a carol concert each year before Christmas, presents on Christmas morning, a favourite has been a walk on the beach nearby, and a special meal for two, like a pheasant or guinea fowl or Beef Wellington.
    One year we invited a student friend from East Europe to stay for a few days, and as she is vegetarian I baked a variety of vegetarian foods and put out colourful salads and breads. This was much easier than cooking meat and we all enjoyed it! Our friend said nobody had ever done that for her before, normally they ate the usual turkey meal and gave her the vegetables. So that has become part of our history of Christmas too.

  5. Lori Meehan says:

    What a lovely family story of Christmas.

  6. DebraG says:

    My grandmother used to give out funny presents after dinner from Santa. We have continued this tradition and we enjoy almost more than regular presents.

  7. Danielle Elliott says:

    Growing up my parents gave each of us an ornament for Christmas. (They still do actually, who says you have to grow up) 🙂 It is something I really appreciate now that I am married and living away from family because it is a little piece of my parents I can have with me! Merry Christmas 🙂

  8. Jenn Elliott says:

    As my maiden name is Yule, we always had a Yule log for desert. One year I will never forget, my mum made it from scratch, she was all excited to show it to my dad and when she brought it in to show him, she tripped and it ended up all over him, no dessert that year but what a laugh!

  9. Shyla says:

    Are Christmas tradition is every year we give to a family in need. My kids enjoy doing it as much as I do.

  10. ajgreer1979 says:

    We would go to my Paw Paw’s dads farm and cut a cedar tree down. Then take it back to their house, and put it in the doorway to the bathroom. Then my dad and I would stay as far away from it as possible, since we were allergic.

  11. Shirley Long says:

    My biggest Christmas tradition is my Banana Nut Bread. I bake it in small loaf pans and give it to friends, family, etc. Everyone seems to enjoy it and it makes me happy to do it.
    I too collect Santa Clause figurines. Big, little, doesn’t matter. My husband says I have a fetish for Santa. Who knows? He could be right. Right now my family room has the tree and many, many Santas sitting on every available surface.
    Christmas dinner at our house is much like yours from childhood. Ham, turkey, cornbread dressing, broccoli and rice, baked sweet potatoes. And of course, cherry & pumpkin pie (with Cool Whip) and my fresh apple cake.
    Merry Christmas to you and Jess. And I hope 2015 is the most wonderful, successful year you’ve ever had as a writer. Promise I’ll do my part to make sure that happens. 🙂

  12. mjmgma says:

    The only Christmas tradition we had growing up was that we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve and that on Christmas morning no kids were allowed in the living room until the adults were sitting with cameras ready. My grandchildren still follow the last one. They wait at the top of the stairs until all cameras are on and ready to go.

  13. Eileen says:

    My mother always baked tons of cookies – different types of cookies. With 6 kids, we were always hungry anyways! She than made up cookie trays with a little bit of love on each of them. We then distributed them around the neighborhood paying special attention to the single neighbors and the elderly who didn’t have either the time or money to do much for Christmas. They so looked forward to us coming with cookies every year! I have continued my mother’s tradition. And, I find that my daughter is following her grandmother’s footsteps also!

  14. Ginger Robertson says:

    Hi Sable,

    Thank you so much for my book, I have sent you an email.

    Now, Christmas at our place. I’m one of 7 kids, yes 7. When I was a child, I can remember us riding around the rich section of town looking at the Christmas lights and displays. We didn’t have a lot and like you, we got some of the necessities and maybe 1 item that we really wanted.

    Now, it’s my brothers and sisters, a few spouses, 10 nieces and nephews with a few of their significant others, a few great grandkids thrown in, a few good family freinds, and it is ON at my mom’s house. Everyone brings a dish or two so that all the cooking is not on my mom. My youngest brother decorates my mom’s house. For the first half of Christmas day it is crazy but afterwards we are all ready for some down time. Today is my last work day and I will not return back to work until January 5, 2015…woo hoo!

    Merry Christmas to your family and you,
    G

  15. Jodi Knecht says:

    decorating the tree with the kids, every year they get an ornament that goes along with what happened to them that year. It’s fun to see them reminisce what each one stands for while putting them up year after year.

  16. Cindi says:

    My Grandfathers hobby was to restore antique player pianos to working condition, remove old paint off the wood, varnish it so the wood would shine though. We would spend Christmas Eve around the piano, singing Carols and songs from lots of Christmas rolls.

  17. I was a late in life baby. I three nephews older than me. on Christmas even all the grandkids and me got in front of the Christmas tree and had a picture taken. I really enjoy looking back at the pictures from years past. I have had the same Christmas stocking since birth and it now hangs on my mantel and it will soon be 60 years old!

  18. Not a lot of traditions for us. We usually pile up in the car listening to Christmas carols and looking at Christmas lights. I do have all the ornaments that my grandmother always put on her tree. When I take them out I remember her. This year will be a sad one, my dad died a year ago. Dec. 17th. I know he is with my grandparents and friends he will have a great Christmas.

  19. Jalina says:

    My favorite Christmas memory is decorating the tree with my family. Now that I’m a mother, we also decorate the tree but instead of fixing it after my toddlers have done it I let the decorations stay. We also make horrible tasting cookies and they’re badly decorated but we eat them and we love it! It’s a flawed and imperfect holiday but we love every minute of it.

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