Please join me in welcoming four authors from Sourcebooks Casablanca to Debbie's Book Bag today. Juliana Stone, Carolyn Brown, Grace Burrowes and Terry Spear. These ladies are here promoting their four Christmas novels and giving you a chance to win a 4-book giveaway, with one copy of each title! Enjoy the guest post and make sure you look at the schedule and follow along with the other blogs participating. Giveaway details at the end of the post!
Have you started Christmas shopping yet? It’s just about that time to at least start thinking about presents… right? Maybe! On this stop on the Casa for the Holidays virtual tour, the Sourcebooks Holiday Authors are sharing some of their craziest Christmas shopping trips!
Since Christmas was Sister’s favorite holiday we had some wild times at blue light specials where she got down on her hands and knees and crawled through people’s legs to get a roll of wrapping paper for only a quarter or where we stood in line for hours and hours to buy things we didn’t need at the Black Friday sales but hey they were on sale and we might need them later. We did everything together from mammograms to bitchin’ about our husbands and we’d already done both that December when we were decided to finish off the day by doing some Christmas shopping. I was over in the clearance sale part of the store when I heard someone yell, “Sis…ter, where are you?”
That meant she’d found a sale for sure. Maybe she’d found a half of half sale so I hurried in the direction of the voice that yelled again, “Sis…ter, where are you?”
So there I was rushing through the aisles hunting for Sister when I saw this little old lady with a gray bun
on top of her head, using a cart for a walker. Another little old lady with a hair-do that looked like she’d just stuck her hand in an electrical socket rounded the end of the aisle and the first one said, “Sister, I thought you’d forgot me and gone home without me.”
My sister came up behind me and we didn’t even need words to know that we were looking at ourselves when we got to be eighty years old. Me with my gray bun and her with her kinky hair-do. Sister passed this past summer and she didn’t make it to the age those sweet old ladies were…I’ll miss those crazy times with her this year.
I’m not somebody whose ailments respond to retail therapy. In fact, my idea of hell is to spend time at a shopping mall, particularly during the holidays. And yet, I’m a Mom, and that meant for a number of years, I was Santa Claus, at least to my daughter.
When you have an only child, Christmas can loom like a minefield. Everybody else gathers with “family” at the holidays, while you…. hope the day care mom doesn’t need too much time off, hope you can afford some presents for the kid beyond socks and undies, hope you don’t need to buy another cord of wood for the wood stove. The season of hope, indeed.
Some of my Christmas memories aren’t so very cheery as a result of these worries, and yet, we
managed. Every year, the tree went up; every year, we had fun decorating it, and even hanging some lights outside the house. Every year, we made a few batches of cookies.
And every year, I put off shopping for presents, hoping for inspiration, a pot of gold, something to make the annual present procurement ordeal both endurable and successful.
The best year was when my daughter turned eight, and fell in love for the first time. The object of her devotion was a guy, and he solved my every holiday problem. I don’t run across this fellow often any more (seventeen years have gone by), but when I do, my associations are all positive.
Who solved all my holiday problems those many years ago?
That fat, cranky orange cat for some reason caught my daughter’s fancy. I did all my shopping at one store, an emporium that carried Garfield mugs, towels, pillows, banks, pencils, banks, T-shirts, socks, pajamas and stuffed animals. I bought the Garfield videos (two copies of Garfield’s Christmas), and we watched them back to back on Christmas Day.
That was the first, last, and only easy Christmas I can recall, but I will always be grateful to Garfield for giving me the boon of one holiday season, free of shopping malls, reconnaissance missions, and gift-giving anxieties.
And best of all, I’m pretty sure my daughter still has her Garfield bank.
When I was younger and we lived in Florida, it was the only place where it just didn't feel like Christmas. Too hot and muggy. But every year we would go to Orlando (we lived in Merritt Island and my dad was with the space program) and we would shop there, the closest nice malls. Parking was horrendous and so
everyone put something on their car antenna so they could find their car from all the rest. Only everyone got oranges. So you would see a sea of oranges stuck to car antennas. And no one could find their cars!
I’m pretty much a creature of habit and one of my favorite things to do in November is take a trip across the border (I’m in Canada) with several girlfriends for a weekend of shopping, eating, drinking and more shopping. Christmas is our excuse and it’s one we use every, single year!
This year we’re going the weekend before Black Friday because honestly, I don’t want to be anywhere near a mall that weekend. I love to shop, but I sure hate crowds!
My girlfriends are great and generally our shopping
trip isn’t that eventful. We stay at a nice hotel, head out to a different mall each day, buy copious amounts of wine and by Sunday we’re usually ready to head home, tired and maybe a little hungover.
A few years back we stayed at a hotel out in the middle of nowhere and there was a small roadhouse beside it. I’m not sure how, but sometime in the early hours a bunch of us ended up over there, in our pajamas, swigging beer and playing pool with a bunch of local boys. I have no idea what we were thinking, but man, we had a lot of laughs and I’m sure those guys thought us Canadian women were a bit crazy.
To enter to win a prize pack of all 4 of these Christmas authors’ novels, tell us in the comments if you plan out your holiday shopping… or if you wait until the last minute! And don't forget to fill out the FORM. This contest is open internationally and the deadline to enter is Midnight EST, November 6th.
To find out more about these authors, please visit their websites!
Carolyn Brown Website: http://carolynlbrown.com/
Grace Burrowes Website: http://graceburrowes.com/
Terry Spear Website: http://www.terryspear.com/
Juliana Stone Website: http://www.julianastone.com/
FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE “CASA FOR THE HOLIDAYS” VIRTUAL TOUR!
Fun Holiday-Themed Posts from Carolyn, Grace, Terry and Juliana,
And Chances to WIN Books at Each Stop!
Booked and Loaded
Ramblings From This Chick
Debbie's Book Bag
The Reading Café
Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Cocktails and Books
The Bookish Babe
Night Owl Reviews
USA Today HEA
Under the Covers
Romancing the Book
Anna's Book Blog
What's on the Bookshelf
That's What I'm Talking About