Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Traditions

Tis the season for mothers to run themselves ragged getting ready for the big day. There’s shopping and baking and parties and decorating, the trimming of the tree and cooking and wrapping and the absolutely essential but last minute addition to the Christmas list.

There’s the coffee cake that has become an important part of Christmas morning and the breakfast soufflé that no one loves but we’ve had it for so many years it’s not Christmas without it.


Christmas morning will arrive and we’ll open presents and eat the same breakfast we eat every year. My husband and I will pick up wrapping paper and grumble about the mess.


Then – and only then – will I indulge in my favorite Christmas day tradition. I’ll admire the tree with its bright lights then curl up on the living room couch with a mystery from Santa. That’s right. Each year Santa brings me a book. One year it was Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen by Emily Brightwell. Another year Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Sanctuary made an appearance in my stocking. Amazing how Santa figures out exactly what I want to read! Amazing how the kiddos have figured out that their tired mother needs a few hours with a book before she can face Christmas dinner.



So this year, when the madness has ended and I displace the dog and curl up on the couch with a collection of nutcrackers looking over my shoulder, what holiday-themed mystery should I read? Any tips for Santa?

I wish you all a holiday season filled with joy, fellowship and wonderful books!





Julie Mulhern always wanted to be a writer. She spent her childhood creating pen names and dreaming of exotic, mysterious, romantic places. To that end, she went to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia (because, when you’re from the Midwest, the South is both exotic and romantic). There she earned degrees in politics and French. She even spent a year living in Paris. But the Midwest beckoned and she returned home. Now she lives with her husband, two daughters and a dastardly dog (see above). It might not be exotic or mysterious but it is romantic. Visit her at www.juliemulhern.com. Her first mystery The Deep End is available for pre-order.


18 comments:

  1. We moms are the magic-makers, that's for sure! I was just thinking how much preparation went into Thanksgiving--3 days of work for twenty minutes of frenzied gorging. And I love it for the memories my kids have. As my kids get older, though, it eases quite a bit. They participate more--and require less. And, I, too, fill my downtime with reading. There's nothing like it to recharge me for the next round of family fun.

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    1. Suzanne - mine that TBR because "the next round of family fun" will be here before we know it.

      I love Christmas. I do. But is a tremendous amount of work. And after all that preparation, I NEED down time and a good book!

      Merry, merry to you and yours.

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  2. I recommend: BET ME by Jennifer Crusie/LOVE YOU MORE by Lisa Gardner/ SKINNY DIP by Carl Haissen or MISS JULIA SPEAKS HER MIND by Ann B. Ross.

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    1. Pam,

      Thanks so much for your suggestions! Hope your holiday is filled with joy and plenty of time to read!

      Merry, merry!

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  3. Besides the cooking and eating, on Thanksgiving our BIG family always plays a wild game of Estimation. Christmas Eve is always simpler eating, and then gift giving--families will do their own thing on Christmas day. Hubby and I will enjoy relaxing, though we often visit the close families to see what the kiddos received.

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    1. Marilyn - that sounds lovely! I hope you have a joyous holiday and that you find time to put up your feet and read a good book!

      Merry, merry!

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  4. That's a fantastic tradition! (I usually take a long bath with a book after all the present opening.) I'm not a great mystery reader -- but I do love a Lisa Gardner book.

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    1. I might break with tradition and read a certain #1 superromance! .

      Merry, prosecco-filled, merry!

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  5. Have you read Sharyn McCrumb? The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter is one of my favorites. Or Margaret Maron's Bootlegger's Daughter? Both are the part of really good mystery series.

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    1. Oooh. Ahhh. Thank you!

      Merry, merry!

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  6. Oops,forgot one: CHASING CHRISTMAS by Lori Borgman

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    1. Super! I love a Christmas story on Christmas day!

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  7. Hi, Julie! I hope Santa brings you some jolly good books this year.

    I'm so unprepared for Christmas it's not funny. We alternate our Christmas dinners each year with another couple. I'm off the hook for cooking this year, which is great because I find baking a turkey nerve-racking. Last year, I got so frazzled that I left out a vital ingredient in the dessert. It was still edible, fortunately!

    Have a fabulous holiday season!

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    1. Vanessa, I haven't cooked a turkey in years - sort of. I brine it and I stick my hand up under the skin and rub herbed butter but I don't apply heat. That's my husband's job. Both grilled and smoked turkeys are delicious and the oven is free for a dessert!

      Merry, merry! Happy, happy!

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  8. WHY has Santa not been putting a new book in my stocking every year??? I want answers! I love that tradition and the rest of them sound like fun, too. I haven't read on Christmas Day in years, but when my boys get a little older, I may begin that tradition. For now, it's filled with family and fun. And a honey-baked ham. Merry Christmas to you (and enjoy that new mystery!) I can't wait to enjoy YOURS.

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    1. Santa needs to get with the program! Books! And as for those cute little ones, enjoy them now! They'll be teenagers far too soon. Merry, merry!

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  9. I like this tradition! Santa should try a translated novel by one of my favorite Scandinavian mystery writers. Anything by Camilla Lackberg, Anne Holt, or Åsa Larsson is a reading pleasure. :-)

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    1. Thanks for the tips, Asa. I'll let Santa know!

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