Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Traditions & What's in the Oven

It’s Christmas time. I have deadlines. I still have gifts to buy. I have a bird that is waiting for me to clean out its innards. Oh, joy! I have to go sit on Santa’s lap. Oh, joy! But that Oh, Joy! isn’t sarcastic. I love sitting on Santa’s lap.

Now all you dirty little minds stop going there. I know . . . it’s hard not to go there. I mean, we don’t really know what Santa looks like under that red coat and beard. He might be Brad Pitt. Well, he could be! Don’t ruin my fantasy!!! And for goodness sakes, don’t do what my agent did last year and send me a link to an article where a woman was arrested for sexual assaulting a mall Santa. And can you believe she asked if I was visiting that town? When I sit on Santa’s lap, I behave. I have to. I have my family all around me.

Seriously, the man under the red outfit isn’t why I enjoy sitting on Santa’s lap. I enjoy it because well, it’s tradition. I can remember being young and Mom taking me and my two brothers to Sears to hop up on the Jolly Ol’ Soul’s lap and tell him what we wanted for Christmas. I pretty much knew the truth about Santa, but it still felt magical.

Then during my first Christmas with hubby, on a whim we piled on top of Santa for a picture, and without realizing it, I had created another tradition. A Craig tradition. Every year, the Craig family goes to the mall and stands in line for an hour or two, sometimes even three hours, to get our pictures with Saint Nicolas. You can bet your bottom dollar that I hear whines. “Why do we have to do this every . . . every year?” or “I swear Santa pinched my butt!” (This one coming from my husband!) or “You are not putting that picture out, I look fat.” (This one coming from myself.)

But then, when I bring out the pictures every year, it never fails, the person who whined the most, spends the most time looking through the images. In 24 years, we’ve only missed one year, and it was because we were in Alabama taking care of my dad after his heart surgery.

I know I’ve blogged about these pictures before, but this year is special. (And it’s not because I’m sure it’s Brad Pitt under the red suit. But like I said, don’t tell me it’s not. This is my fantasy!) The reason this year is special is because we have a new addition to the Craig family. No, I didn’t dump Mr. Craig and get a new man. And no, Mr. Craig didn’t decide to run off with Santa last year. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, in spite of some of Mr. Craig’s flaws, he’s a keeper.

The new addition I’m talking about is still in the oven. My daughter, who yesterday I swear was asking Santa for a Care Bear, is pregnant with my first grandbaby. Goodness, where do the years go? (See this years picture and just for grins I'm adding the one when I had my son in the oven.)

Christmas Past . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . .Christmas Present

Yes, that means, I’m gonna be a grandma. But the first person who calls me granny is gonna get their merry little butt kicked. And if you don’t think I can do it, talk to the bird that just had his innards removed.

In all seriousness, Christmas is a great time to reflect on all we have. And I don’t mean the gifts under the tree, I’m talking about friends, family, and loved ones. So hug someone you love a little tighter. Tell someone you don’t get to see very often that you miss them. Smile at a stranger. Give someone who needs it a helping hand. And laugh. Laugh a lot. And hopefully this holiday, you’ll take the time to curl up with a good book. Hey…if it’s Divorced, Desperate and Dating, that’s even better.

So here’s what I’d like to hear from you. Tell me about one of your Christmas traditions. Tell me about the book you hope to curl up with this holiday. And oh, yeah . . . tell me what man you imagine is under the red suit. (After seeing Brad Pitt old in the clip about his upcoming movie, I might be rethinking my under-the-red-suit man.) Or share with me a few grandma stories. Hey…I’m about to become one.

Merry Christmas!

Crime Scene Christie


Anonymous said...

Congrats on being the new addition..you could always be MomMom, that's what my mother insisted on as Grandma or any variation of that made her sound old.

We used to have the tradition of baking the pies every year, but it seems to have gone by the wayside. My dad and sister used to bake Lemon Meringue pies from scratch. But since it was their thing to do, the rest of us stayed out of it and didn't ask if we could start it up again.

I like the idea of the family portrait with Santa every year. As for a good book to read...well i'm starting a Debra Webb book...I really like her writing, mostly mysteries with a bit of romance thrown in.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...


When my oldest Daughter-in-law was pregnant, I said I really didn't like being called a Grandma. She suggested "Nanna". So that is what I am to 3 grandkids. Today is my 58th Birthday. People are always surprized when I tell them I have grandkids. I tell them my husband married a Child Bride LOL

We always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. Being German that is when St. Nicholas comes. When my Grandparents were still living we even waited till the Eve to put up the Tree.

I am just starting a Linda Howard book "Up Close and Dangerous". Of course waiting for Gemma's latest book to come.

Have a wonderful holiday.

In Michigan where we have more snow coming!!!

Lucy said...

I don't have kids (not because I didn't want them) but when we were all younger, and my nieces and nephew were very young, we started celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. That's when I started my own tradition of going to the movies on Christmas day. I almost always go to one that opens Christmas day and, when several good movies are out that I want to see, I'll go see two. The only exceptions to that were a couple of years when, after my mother passed away, I'd go to Arkansas to spend Christmas with my step-father. There isn't a movie theater anywhere near where he lives (I think the nearest one is at least 50 miles away - seriously) so it's not really an option. I'll be home this year and I plan to go see that new Brad Pitt movie you mentioned. ;)

As for grandmother names, my mother went by Mimi. My father's mother went by Ganga. Someone, I can't remember who but I think it was someone associated with my ex-husband, went by MyMommy. Congratulations, by the way.

By the way, where is your hat in the Christmas past picture? It's your trademark! ;)

Oh, and lastly, I plan to read as many books over the holiday as I can. I want to (and am) doing things around the house while I'm off but reading is on the agenda of things to do. I received an email the other day that the books I ordered (including yours) is on its way. Can't wait.

Merry Christmas Christie. :)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Michelle,

I don't care what the baby calls me. It's other people who will have to watch out. (Big smile.)

I'm going to bake pies Christmas morning after we open the "Santa" gifts and before we head over to my sister-in-laws for the big dinner. Hmm...Lemon Meringue sounds good.

Have a great Christmas and enjoy that book. I haven't read her. I'll have to check her out.


Christie Craig said...


This is crazy. I just started Up Close and Dangerous last night. So we'll be reading it together this holiday.

And about age and being a child bride...I used to tell everyone I married when I was ten, but one of my friends told me to be careful. Since I was from the South, someone might believe me. (Smile.)

We always open gifts from each other on Christmas Eve and then Santa's gifts in the morning.

Thanks for stopping in and Merry Christmas.


Christie Craig said...


I like the tradition of going to the movies. I have a friend who did that every year on Christmas day, too. We all go to the movies a lot at Christmas, but not on Christmas day. I've seen Four Christmases and Seven Pounds. There are a few more I want to see, too.

I hope you enjoy your reading and movie going.

Have a great Christmas.

And hey...I'm wearing a hat in this year's picture. And I don't normally do that. But because I knew I'd be posting it on the blog, I did it just for that reason.

Merry Christmas.


Terri Osburn said...

Congratulations! And you have nothing to worry about, no one will ever believe you're a grandmother.

My daughter is only with me every other year (not with me this time) so it's hard to make traditions. Add to that that we've moved several times in the last few years and it's even more difficult. Someday I hope to put down real roots and maybe start some traditions of our own.

I can say that in my family, we always wait until Christmas morning to open presents. Christmas morning wouldn't be the same if everything was opened the night before.

Christie Craig said...

Ahh Terrio,

Thank you. I plan to be the coolest grandma ever!!!

I guess it would be hard to build traditions for every other year, but I think you can do it. I hope you'll take the time to do something wonderful for yourself this year.

And yes, roots are good. Of course there is also something to be said about new experiences.

Have a very Merry Christmas Terrio.


Here's ho

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Merry Christmas, Christi! And congratulations. When I first read you promo about your blog, I wondered if you had the bun in the oven....gasp!

I go by granny with my three grandkids. I was 44 when the first was born, and people couldn't believe I was a grandmother.

Growing up, my family had a couple of traditions for Christmas Eve - we had oyster stew (which mom finally changed to potato soup, so us kids would stop complaining), then we'd drive around and look at the lights (there seems to be less of them these days then there used to be) and then we'd come home and open presents. Santa would leave us the 'big gifts' and the stocking gifts for Christmas monring.

My husband is a 'open gifts on Christmas morning' guy, so we do that now. But we still drive around to look at the lights on Christmas Eve.

Anna Kathryn

Christie Craig said...

Anna Kathryn,

You had better gasp at the thought of me with a bun in my oven. Goodness, hubby had the vesectomy, and it would be hard to explain, never mind that I also had my innards removed. (Smile.)

I think you did good making your mom switch to pototo soup. I'm not big on oysters either. Hmm, I know some poeple who put oysters in their dressing/stuffing. My family is more of a cornbread dressing, oysters not allowed.

When we were kids, my dad would drive us around to see Christmas lights. And I did that with my kids when they were little, too. Now I can't see my eighteen year old being impressed with lights. Maybe the grandbaby will be impressed.

Congrats on being a grandma. I'm looking forward to it.

One thing I haven't done this year is put out a jigsaw puzzle. I always like doing that. I may see if I can pull one out.

Merry Christams and thanks for stopping in.


Kate Douglas said...

Congratulations, Christie! We have five grandchildren, and I'm still not sure how our two kids managed to multiply as fast as they have, but there is nothing more wonderful than holding that little baby for the first time, and remembering when you held YOUR little one for the first time! My husband and I just got to see our newest grandson, three month old Owen, this weekend, and it was like holding our son at the same age. Son, of course, is now over 6'5"...Merry Christmas. The most important Christmas tradition, for us, anyway, is getting together with as much of the family as we can. I want to wish everyone the very best this holiday season!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Kate,

I'm imagining the little grandbaby to look just like my daughter. And I can't wait to hold her. I've already gotten to feel her move in her mom's belly.

And yes, getting together with family and friends is really what makes this season special.

Thanks for stopping in. And congrats again on your news of a new series.


Dru said...

Congrats on the new addition to your family.

We don't have any holiday traditions, per se. My mom just wants me to show up (I'm not a holiday-kind of person), despite loving holidays.

Christie Craig said...


Ahh, make your mom happy and be there. Family can drive you crazy at the holidays, but most of us are lucky to have those quirky poeple in our lives.

Thanks for stopping in.


Jane Myers Perrine said...

I'm looking forward to reading Divorced, Desperate and Dating!

Jane (Myers Perrine)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Jane,

Here's hoping I give you a chuckle over the holdiays.

Thanks so much for stopping in.

Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Congrats to your daughter!

Not sure we really have any traditions. Not that I can think of, anyway. :)

And i want Hugh Jackman as my Santa.

Christie Craig said...


Oh...Hugh will do. Yup, he'll do for me, too!!

Thanks for stopping in.


Minna said...

One of our traditions is watching the declaration of Christmas peace on tv. Usually while still decorating the tree.



Christie Craig said...


That sounds like a great tradition.

Anyone else watch a favorite movie/TV show every year?

I almost always watch While You Were sleeping. I think that's my favorite Christmas movie.

Gemma Halliday said...

Congratulations, Christie! I’m so excited for you!!

When I had my son, my Mom was thrilled... but horrified at the fact that she was now a grandma. She kept saying she was way too young to be a grandma. (In her defense, my youngest brother was only 11, so I can see her point.) So when the boy was born, he somehow sense her non-grandma-ness and called her “Auntie”. It stuck. I love the look on his friends’ faces now when he introduces her. “That’s Auntie, my grandma.”


Keri Ford said...

Love the picture idea for Christmas. The tradition in our house is to see all our family. It's really a Christmas miracle that we can get to them all every year. Hubby's family, my family, and my step-dad's all live in the same county! We get all them in on Eve and day. And then my dad comes in either a few days after or before.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christie Craig said...


Auntie, huh?

I'm not sure I could pull that one off. But I'm gonna keep it in mind.

In all seriousness, I don't care what I'm called. I'm just looking forward to spoiling the little girl, and sending her home to her mom to deal with the after results.

Merry Christmas Gemma!


Christie Craig said...


You are lucky to have them close. I have my mom and step dad on one side of the US and my dad and his family on the other. We're in the middle in Texas.

The only family we have here is my sister-in-law and then my daughter and hubby. But we always have a great day.

Merry Christmas Keri!


Estella said...

Congratulations! Being a grandmother is awesome!
Merry Christmas!

Christie Craig said...


Thanks so much. I'm looking forward it. And of course, you know I'll post pictures.

Merry Christmas!


Nancy Kay Bowden said...

Merry Christmas, Christie!

I have so many Christmas traditions, I wouldn't know where to begin. I was horrified this week to learn my oldest (who IS traveling during the holidays) did NOT put up a tree!!! This is unheard of in our family.

Most of my traditions have to do with crafting stuff. I have tried to cut back on this since I took on writing fulltime. You know how well I stick to the no-craft policy, LOL. I'm hopelessly addicted to Alene's Tacky Glue. But I truly have calmed down over the years... a little. :)

The projects all finished, the decorations decked, yesterday I pulled out my guitar and played along to all my favorite Christmas cds, resulting in blisters on my finger tips. Yes, I haven't been practicing guitar either--because I've been writing. Anyhow, Dan Fogelberg's Christmas cd is a favorite...especially if you love folksy, medieval sounding tunes.

BTW, if any glass ornaments on your Christmas tree cracked yesterday, I apologize. My fault. I should know better than singing THAT loud.

Christmas Joy,

Christie Craig said...

Ahh Nancy,

I can't imagine your voice would break any glass. You do everything else with perfection.

Those craft objects she makes are gorgeous. I recieved a very nice table decoration. Martha has nothing on you, Nancy.

Thank you for stopping in and have a great Christmas!!!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on becoming a grandma! My mom will be taking on that title anyday depending on when my lil nephew deems it fit to come out lol.

In my family many years we went downtown and through neighborhoods looking at lights. Sometimes it came in handy as a distraction while my Mom was doing some last minute wrapping lol

We also have a family x-mas party every year with my Mom's side on xmas eve and each great aunt takes a turn hosting.

I am currently reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maas, but I have a couple Karen Harper books and possibly Brigadoom by Susan Goodwill. And if Santa listens I will be picking up the Divorced books along with Gemma's new one at B&N after X-mas!

I loved Weddings Can be Murder and
I wouldn't mind if Carl got crumbs in my bed LOL!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

Anonymous said...

I don't have time to read many blogs but I had to read this one!
We celebrate Hanukkah, but one of my all-time favorite stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Right now I am getting ready to start a Chsitmas romance (love these at this time of year) "Come Toy With Me" by Cara Summers (Harlequin Blaze).
As for traditions--since my children were little, I always took them shopping to pick out a toy for a girl and boy for our local toy drive. Even today (they're now 25 and 21) they pick out toys which we give to a local women's shelter which is in need. Happy holidays!

Christie Craig said...

Lisa St. James,

Congrats on the new nephew.

Ohh, I have Donald Maas' book and it's good.

And I hope Santa is good to you and you get the Divorced books. I need to go wrap a few more gifts now.

Have a very merry Christmas. And thanks so much for stopping by.


Christie Craig said...


That is a great tradition. And how wonderful that you passed it along to your won children.

I always try to find one outlet to give to every year. I think we all need to remember how blessed we are.

Happy Hanukkah! And thanks so much for stopping in.