Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fall Into The Holiday Season by Margo Hoornstra



      I’m taking liberties with the theme choices for this month. Correction, this goes beyond liberties. I made up my own.
      It happens fast, doesn’t it? Summer ends, school starts, Halloween hits and – boom – before we know it we fall into the holiday season.
      Parties, shopping, decorating, shopping, tree lighting ceremonies, shopping, family dinners, followed by shopping.
      In our family, the transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas isn’t quite as smooth as it could be. In our family, which includes me, my husband, our four children, three in-law children and four grandchildren, we have six birthdays to celebrate before we can fully break out the holiday cheer.
     

That’s right, three of my four children and three of my four grandchildren made their entrances into this world in the short span of days between these two major holidays. Not all in one year, of course. But, they’re all here now. So, in addition to the hustle and bustle that comes with The Season, we squeeze in an assortment of birthday parties with presents and cake and all the age appropriate trimmings.

      I will admit I was the one who started this abundance of birthday-parties-in-the middle-of-the-Christmas-season flurry by giving birth to my second child, a girl, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. A few years later, in mid-December, we welcomed a boy and a girl.
      In my defense, the twins weren’t due until sometime in late January, but came early. Still . . .
      It seems each of my two daughters inherited their mother’s poor planning of childbirth dates gene. In subsequent years, they followed my lead, having children, all boys, in December. One even made his appearance in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
      My only granddaughter was born a couple of weeks before my birthday in the spring. The way birthdays are supposed to happen in order to better space out the giving and/or receiving of gifts.
      But I digress.
      For someone like me who is not fond of shopping anyway, having so many gifts to buy at one time can present (pun intended because I’m too tired to find another word) a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving my kids and grandkids gifts, I’m just not that much into fighting the holiday crowds to obtain said gifts to give. Others around the malls and such are in the Ho-Ho-Ho Santa mode when I’m looking for some non-holiday themed items. I’ll admit it, sometimes I simply resort to taking the easy way out.
      The older grandkids have my Amazon sign in name and password. They shop, put the items they want/like in my virtual cart. I go in click, click and voila – Instant Presents. They may not get surprises, and they are okay with that because they do get what they want.
      Gift cards are another solution to my aversion to shopping, as is the simple inclusion of cash in a card. Anyone who has kids—daughters in particular—knows that unless you’re terribly gifted (oops, there’s another pun) at picking out things they like, will wear or even use, gift cards are a great addition to our shopping portfolios. (While I know a couple of mothers who have the talent to choose acceptable gifts, I’m not one of them.)
      One stipulation we sometimes make in the grandkids getting gift cards situation is that Gram and Pa (that’s us) will be the ones to take them shopping. AFTER the holiday frenzy. Like in the middle of January. When the stores are replete with displays for Valentine’s Day, which is just around the corner. Yikes! Here we go again. Before you know it, we’ll be back into Summer.
      Until then, speaking of shopping and gifts and holidays and such – starting tomorrow and running into Thursday, do I have a sale for you. Actually, fellow Rose of Prose Jannine Gallant and I have a couple of sales for you. A couple of pre-Black Friday sales.
      Two, three book anthologies, for the reduced price of 99 cents each.
      Road To Serendipity by her and Saturday In Serendipity by me, again, just 99 cents each from November 24 - 27.
      A high school reunion leads six former classmates to unexpected futures. Join Kate and Tyler; Chantal and Flynn; Chloe and Adam; Amanda and Barry; Blane and Matt; and Bethany and Jake as they become re-acquainted with old friends and rekindle elusive loves.

 

       Beat the rush, get your deal ahead of time. Put the turkey in to roast and put your feet up to read. Before you put your head down to forge into the Black Friday brouhaha.
      Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! However you spend it, enjoy this holiday and the others to come.
      Join me next month on the 10th, 11th and 12th for a special short story, my gift to you, Santa's Second Chance.

       For more about me and my stories, please visit my website



24 comments:

Rohn Federbush said...

Happy Holidays, all. My bi-religion and non-religious family all love presents. Not me, of course. But the greatest gift of all is the lesson of forgiveness our good Lord bestowed on all of us--His for us, therefore ours for all.

Rohn Federbush said...

need more words for all...everyone, us, we, noi, voi, the world,

Rohn Federbush said...

need more words for all...everyone, us, we, noi, voi, the world,

Alicia Dean said...

I feel your pain, Margo. My daughter's birthday is November 23...today! And my son's is December 11. I have two nieces and two sisters with December birthdays. Soooo....yeah, I'm not into shopping either, so it's lots of fun (not) to do all that extra shopping. Very clever idea, giving them your Amazon log in. Enjoyed the post, and I already have your stories, I really need to take time to read them!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Rohn. It is all about sharing.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Ally. I figure the grandkids know more about the techy stuff than I do so why not? My heart goes out to my oldest grandson. A Christmas Eve birthday. We usually end up meeting somewhere for breakfast! Hope you enjoy the stories! ***Shameless plug alert***any and all reviews would be welcome.

Maris said...

Margo, I tweeted about your book offer. As for birthdays and Christmas, we have 2 before Christmas and 2 in January. My birthday is 6 months after Christmas. I loved that. Gifts every 6 months.

Leah St. James said...

Wow...now that's a challenge! I'm with you on shopping--not my favorite thing to do, and December is the worst time. I suppose the silver lining might be all the sales?? Sounds like you hit the jackpot of ideas though with the Amazon log-in for your older grandchildren. That's perfect. :-) Here's wishing you many happy birthday parties/cakes/unwrappings over the weeks ahead.

Susan Coryell said...

I can identify! Two January b'days back-to-back and all 4 kids in my own family are Aquarians. I also HATE to shop! Books do solve a lot of problems, though! Thanks for posting.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Leah. Wave and shout out to a fellow non-shopper. My grandkids are great (aren't everyone's?) They understand my limitations ;-) and act accordingly.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Maris. Thanks for the Twitter Luv! My birthday is five months after Christmas. Close enough!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Susan! Another with an aversion to shopping. We should start a club. You're right about the books solving gift problems. Gift cards to the book stores are the best.

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

When my family was young, I would spend hours Christmas shopping but I've only gone on Black Friday once, to the fabric store. Not sure it was worth it. I won't be doing much shopping this year, except for a few gifts, and can't say I will miss it. Shopping online is such a great alternative, and I always love to give books!

Jannine Gallant said...

My teenage daughters actually almost always love the clothes I pick out for them. I guess I have the knack! My brother is a Dec. 30th b-day. He always wished my parents had planned better, too! I can't imagine all those family b-days at the holidays.

Thanks for the plug. Much appreciated!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Lucy. I too ventured out on Black Friday once. When I was pregnant with the twins! Never again! Give me online shopping any day!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Jannine. You're welcome for the plug. May we have much success. Um yeah. You were one of the 'gifted' mothers I talked about. Show off! ;-)

Loralee said...

Margo, since our family of four kids has slowly grown to kids-in-law, grandkids, grandkids-in-law, great-grands and still growing(23 and counting), gifts for the very young take priority. Home made gifts for others are always special to give and to receive and we love getting updated family photos. This Thanksgiving our entire family clan will celebrate together - a total of nearly 150 relatives from our generation on down to the present one. It's a true family holiday in every sense of the word and only happens every two years. We feel very blessed. I wish you joy throughout the holidays, too!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Loralee. That is nothing short of awesome! You really are blessed. Have a wonderful time. You're right, the gifts from the heart are the best. We may do gift cards with the older grandkids, but taking them shopping after is the best.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! I'm sorry that your holidays are so stressed but I get the shopping advice. It's what my kids want!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks, Melissa. Not so much stressed as busy, very busy. In a good way. Like I said before, I'm lucky the kids and grandkids understand my shopping limitations and adjust accordingly!

Jolana Malkston said...

Margo, like yours my family has several holiday birthdays. Also like you, I do my shopping online. While others are rushing around trying to find parking spaces, I'm sitting at my computer in my pajamas drinking cocoa while I shop. As the grandchildren got older, the gifts became gift cards. They love shopping online and choosing their own gifts. Some live in another state, so I ask them to send photos of themselves and what they bought with their gift cards. Sometimes we do FaceTime calls where they show me what they bought. It's the next best thing to being there.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Jolana. Gift cards for the older kids, the only way to go. We are fortunate to have ours close by. We do still do FaceTime. Especially early in the morning or on snow days.

Diane Burton said...

Of course, I'm late to your post. Blame it on a road trip. This time. I feel your pain with the gifts. Daughter's birthday is 2 weeks before Christmas and son's is 2 weeks after. Thank goodness, they married those with better timing. Same with the grandkiddies.

PS I hate shopping, too.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Diane. Hope you enjoyed the road trip. I'd say pretty good timing on your part on the kids. Maybe a different month though, huh? ;-) I just got back from picking out six birthday cards. Whew! That's enough shopping for today.