If It’s Not the End of the World…Bring On the Holiday Cookies, Please!

Just in case there’s anything to the Mayan calendar’s claim/threat that “it’s the end of the world as we know it” (also a reference to a popular R.E.M. song that I can’t seem to get out of my head this week), I decided to write this blog post a few days early, LOL.

However, I’m betting the blogosphere will still be here on 12-21-12…and that I’ll get to respond to your comments all weekend long. Hope so, anyway!!

I really love holidays and celebrations — not only the events themselves but, also, some of the music and films that highlight the festivities during a particular time of year.  As a family, we watch “Holiday Inn” almost every December (it was one of the inspirations for my latest release, Holiday Man — a steamy contemporary romance that takes place over a year of holidays), and we always sing along (often badly) to Bing Crosby’s classic tune, “White Christmas.”  Lori Brighton reminded me this week about a long-time holiday favorite: The battling brothers in “The Year Without a Santa Claus” — the singing Snow Miser and Heat Miser. And, oh, how I looked forward to those songs every December when I was a kid!

But, aside from the films and the music…and, yes, the sparkling holiday lights and platters of cookies, too, I’m not a huge traditionalist during this time of year. We celebrate Christmas in our house, so I’ll happily put up a tree and stockings, and I’ll cover the windows with snowflake clings, but a specific  set of decorations aren’t required for me to really feel as though Christmas has arrived, and I’m usually excited by the idea of trying something new. Hazelnut biscotti instead of candy canes? Hey, I’m all for it! Pizza for Christmas dinner rather than turkey or ham? Why not?! Skip the present exchange and just make donations to good causes? Oh, yeah…

I have a friend who loves Christmas more than anyone else I know, though. It’s her favorite holiday during the year, and she plans for it, bakes up a storm and decorates every square inch of her house. It’s interesting to me because she’s really into tradition. She always bakes batches of the very same type of delicious cookie. She has a particular menu for her annual holiday party, which stays pretty much the same from year to year. She’s earmarked certain spots in her living room for very specific decorations, and I’ve seen them placed there from one December to the next. That’s what makes the season genuinely Christmastime for her.

So, I’m curious about all of you… Are you big into holiday tradition? Is there a dish you cook or an event you go to or a thing you all do at the end of every year that you feel has to happen or it’s not really the holidays? I’d love to hear about it!!

One quick FYI for anyone who may not yet know, as a special holiday gift to my readers, Double Dipping is just 99 cents right now on Amazon and B&N! Hope you’ll enjoy it. :razz:

And, finally, some R.E.M. for your musical enjoyment:

About Marilyn Brant

Marilyn Brant is a chocolate addict, a music junkie and the USA TODAY bestselling author of ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010) and A SUMMER IN EUROPE (2011), all from Kensington Books, as well as a number of light romantic comedies, including THE SWEET TEMPTATIONS COLLECTION (2013) and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH (2013). Her latest novel -- a coming-of-age romantic mystery called THE ROAD TO YOU -- was just released in October 2013!
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10 Responses to If It’s Not the End of the World…Bring On the Holiday Cookies, Please!

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    I think our biggest holiday tradition is getting together with family. We do decorate but if something happened to our decorations, I would miss them but not mourn them. And of course, I love the holiday songs, especially since I’ve avoided being overloaded by them this year. :)

    • Edie,
      It’s the holiday songs I love the most (maybe even more than the cookies, LOL), especially on the cold, snowy nights when we’re safe at home and don’t need to be out on those roads. A string of lights somewhere, a frosted sugar cookie and “Jingle Bell Rock” and it’s the perfect December night for me :).
      Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …"Yours at Midnight" is here!

  2. Amy R says:

    Our family holiday traditions usually are in getting together. We usually have about 3 family gatherings with different members of my and my husband’s family. Other than that, I don’t have too many hard and fast traditions. My daughter really wants the Elf on the Shelf so maybe we’ll have fun with that next year. We do make some cookies and decorate but they don’t have to be the same all the time. Sometimes I want to have traditions, but other times I don’t want things to be so rigid that if there is a kink in the plan it will throw everything else off. I think that is part of relaxing and enjoying this time of year to me – not stressing out over everything and focusing on the Jesus’ birth and what that means for us. And, I do look forward to reading Holiday Man. The cover alone pulls you in. :)

    • Amy,
      It’s the same for us when it comes to family — we have different Christmas gatherings with different sets of family members. They’re not always in the same place or on the same date (my mom always says, “It’s the holiday when we all can be together,” :) ), and I’ve always appreciated that flexibility. I loved what you said about not stressing out and just focusing on what’s important to your family…yeah. And thank you!! I really hope you’ll like Holiday Man. :razz:
      Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …"Yours at Midnight" is here!

  3. Misty Evans says:

    Happy The-World-Didn’t-End Day, Marilyn! I’m still here with you. :)

    Some traditions are nice and I enjoy them each year, like making favorite breads, candies and cookies. Others I could care less about, but they mean things to my family and friends, so I go along and enjoy them too. Decorating the house and putting up outside lights is a labor of love. Music and movies are a favorite. Spending time with family, well…LOL, just kidding. I enjoy that too.

    I hope you and your family have a fabulous holiday. I hope to read Holiday Man once things settle down around here. Thank goodness the world didn’t end before I got to it!

    • LOL, Misty!! Thanks for still being here with me ;).
      Decorating the house and putting it all away again is something I consider more of a labor of love, too…especially since, for years, my husband insisted on getting a real tree. (I’d find pine needles in the carpet for MONTHS afterward, and no amount of vacuuming seemed to get rid of them all…)
      Hope your holidays with your family are wonderful! xo
      Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …"Yours at Midnight" is here!

  4. Liz Kreger says:

    Well, seeing how it’s nearly 4:00 p.m. here in Wisconsin and the world hasn’t ended … I’m thinkin’ we’re gonne be okay. Personally, I loved watching those idiots on television who spent tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars having bunkers built, etc. What is it about this era of doomsday predictions? What is this? The fourth or fifth one in the last decade? Give me a break.

    Anyway … I love Christmas, but it does tire me out. I do the whole decorating shebang with each decoration in its designated place, although I do go crazy once in awhile and change things over. I’m a wild woman. :cool: I love decorating the tree, putting out my favorite Christmasy stuff, candles, window clings, you name it. I don’t do dinner (we go to my mom’s for that and then my brother’s house … its a gluttonous day), so I don’t have to worry about any type of menu. We try to do cookies, but that doesn’t always happen. I even enjoy sending out cards … usually with personal notes.

    There’s just something about this season that sings to me. And yes, I enjoy the music and am glad that most stations don’t saturate the airwaves too soon. I think there was too much bitchin’ in recent years when they started Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

    In fact, I’m sitting here at the day job wearing a t-shirt that says “Do I look like Santa’s Little Helper?” and wearing a santa hat. Gotta have some fun at a law firm.

    • Liz, you crack me up!!! I can just imagine how cute you look in your Santa hat and funny t-shirt ;).

      I loving knowing people who really get into the Christmas spirit…who’ve never lost their joy in doing the decorating and all of those extra little traditions that make the season so memorable. I’m glad you still enjoy it all so much — and I’m sure that enthusiasm and delight rubs off off on everyone around you.

      Wishing you a very, very Merry Christmas!!

  5. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Marilyn!

    Glad to see we’re all here still! Course, I wouldn’t have been upset if all my bills had disappeared with the end of the world!

    Now I can really look forward to our Christmas!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Head banging here!

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