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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Holidays are Coming!

It's been awhile since I've posted, but real life has been interrupting my days. I'm thinking about the coming of the holidays and hoping that this year will end with some fun. I haven't been too happy about the actions of the people around me. It seems almost every day I hear about someone who has shot another person and lately it's been mostly around traffic violations. As someone who lives in Connecticut where the drivers seem to have no idea of yielding the right of way, it frightens me to see how many people are having difficulty on the road.

There was that shooting at Virginia Tech over a traffic violation and again in LA the person who got out at the intersection of Sunset and Vine and shot someone. Each of these incidents shows that there is only one problem we have in America. There are too many guns!! For years I have advocated that guns be taken away from people and that we need to regulate the sale of them much more. Yet, here we have three separate incidents in two days that show that this is not the case.Until we take guns out of the hands of private citizens there will continue to be this continuance of violence.

As I mentioned earlier the holidays are coming and the stores are buzzing with shoppers. I like to see people out shopping, since it means more money into the economy. I am drawn to stores at holiday time with their decorations and music and I find it difficult to not buy inconsequential items because they are on sale. As I walked into Target there were three rows of items priced at $1.00. When my kids were younger I would have grabbed a lot of these to fill their stockings. I saw lots of people grabbing these items. There were miniature notebooks with familiar characters like Cars and Disney princesses and puzzles and miniature calendars also with the same characters on the front. It brought me back to those days when I ran out to grab anything to throw into my kids' stockings and to find Hanukah presents.

As my daughters got older they started having envy issues, so I devised a grab bag and put all their toys into it with their names on the wrapped packages. We had a ceremony on Hanukah when we would light the candles in the menorah and afterward each girl got to put her hand into the grab bag for their present. This way if the presents were unequal they couldn't do anything about it. Then on Christmas they would way to find a big present and stockings filled to the brim! I always liked to put a stuffed animal peeking out for them.

We never failed to follow this ceremony even when we were away from home one Christmas with my younger daughter and I sick with the flu we had our Christmas morning. My daughter had a high temperature so we had to give her a tepid bath and it wasn't your usual Christmas morning in a hotel. I collapsed afterward and all of us stayed inside the room for the rest of the day. But still we did celebrate the holiday.

As a Jewish girl growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I can only remember one Christmas when my parents let me celebrate. I woke up and there were toys under my bed. I was so excited I couldn't believe it. I think I believed Santa Claus put them there. But the next year there were none and though I looked every year afterward there were never any more toys under my bed. We did celebrate Hanukah and I got little presents like a dreidel and socks. There was never the wild profusion of gaily wrapped presents or a Christmas tree. For that I had to go to my friend's house where her family gave up their living room to this giant tree covered in tinsel and fake snow and garlands and with those bubbling lights I haven't seen in awhile. It was a fairyland for me. There was the Hanukah party from my father's lodge that we went to every year that was basically eating a few cold latkes and then waiting to see if I won the drawing. When you arrived they gave you a ticket and then called out numbers to give kids presents. There were great presents that I always wished to have and never got and there were the cheap ones that I always got. I didn't realize, but corruption was going on there. The kids of the top officers got all the good presents. Their parent just picked their tickets. So they got the beautiful big dolls and I got the coloring book. My father, an honest man, was a big whig too, but he never cheated.

Enough reminiscing. I have a contest running where I am giving away a free ebook to the winner of the comment drawing. All you need to do is write a comment and you will be in the drawing. My book, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is about envy and what happens when you get what you wanted. What price do you have to pay? If you are looking for a gift for a girl 10 -14 this is an ideal book. However, older kids like it and several boys and men as well as older women have read and enjoyed it. If you don't win you can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and The Muse Bookstore.

The Muse Bookstore is offering a number of holiday specials with several bundles of great books. Check it out. You might find something you want.

So please leave a comment and tell me about your holiday traditions.

Until the next time, thank you for the people who continue to come over here and read my meanderings. In the coming weeks I will be having more guest authors so keep checking.

For December, RRWL Tales from the Pages will be having my holiday show. Guests from the previous year or years will be on the show reading their holiday stories. I always enjoy this show the best!! More later. It will be on Thursday, December 23rd at 3PM Central time.


  1. Hi Barbara:

    It's been quite some time since we chatted. Hope you are doing well. Just wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy Holiday Season and blessed New Year!

    Warm regards,
    Award-winning Children’s Author
    The Golden Pathway Story book Blog

  2. Hi Donna,
    Thank you so much for visiting! Happy Holidays to you and your family too!

  3. Hey darin'! Glad you reposted, must have missed it yesterday! Yes, the world's goin' to Hades in a handbasket. Though actually the people who want guns will always get them. The problem's not guns so much -- it's the people who have them. And who will get them no matter the regulations.

  4. One of my holiday traditions is putting the crocheted slippers that my grandmother made under the tree to remember her. We always stuff them with soup cans. On Christmas eve we have soup for supper to remember how she made soup during the depression. We hope our hard times of the last year will be gone with the new year. Fingers crossed on your give away. I would like to share the story with my middle school students.

  5. Gail, so glad you came to visit! Yes, it's just sad what life has become for some people. Though there are some good people like you left!!!

  6. phawkenson, thank you sharing your very unusual custom with me. I think it is so sweet you still remember your grandma and do something like having soup to keep her memory alive. I am imagining those crocheted slippers filled with soup cans under your tree!

    I hope you win too! I would love my book to be shared by your students! If you do get it or even if you decide to buy it, remember to go to the Teacher's/Reader's guide page I have here.

  7. Hi Barbara-
    I read your guest post and interview on Steeped in Books. Your book sounds fascinating! I remember high school well and your main character sounds like someone many girls can relate to with ease. I live in CT too- so I am right there with you about the drivers. Why is everyone in such a rush? I wish everyone would take a minute and slow down.

    I signed up to follow you and look forward to stopping back.

    Wishing you a Happy New Year!

  8. Hi Jess. Thank you so much for following me. I'm glad you liked my interview. Many people who have read the book agree with you that it reminds them of high school times.

    Yes, living in CT I wonder why these people are so in a hurry. Where do you live in CT?


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