Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Merry Crazy Craig Christmas & a Contest

Winner! Winner. Rfhater you won. Please send me your snail address to christie (at) christie-craig.com to send the card. Thanks everyone one so much for playing along. The guesses were funny. But a lot of you guys were right on.


Merry Crazy Christmas & a Contest. Win a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card by guessing what’s under my tree. Contest posted a bottom of blog.

It’s December 18th, Saturday morning, as I sit down to write this blog. It’s seven o’clock and the rest of the house is asleep. The house is quiet. I wish I could tell you not a creature was stirring, but there is one. I hear it in my attic. I don’t know if it’s a raccoon, squirrel, or a possum. While it may not be in the spirit of the season, I’m gonna have to get hubby to throw some of that bad-smelling stuff that runs them off.

I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping yet. My tree stands outside my back door—naked--and waiting to be brought in and decorated. I think I’ll have to rinse it off first, I’m pretty sure my son’s dog mistook it for a fire hydrant. Not that it surprises me; he mistook my living room furniture for chew toys. The tree is a part of the gift our son gives us annually. And for some reason, they get bigger every year. The tree this year is probably seven and half feet tall. Heck, the animal in my attic probably used it to climb up to the roof.

I know I’m a bit behind with pulling Christmas together, but that’s okay. In the last eight weeks, I’ve finished Don’t Mess With Texas, the first book in my new series through Grand Central, I got the proposal done for the second book in the series, I did the revisions on my second YA, I gave two workshops and did one book signing. And for getting ready for the season, I plan to shop today, decorate tomorrow. Besides, the important Craig Christmas ritual has already been done. We all tracked our butts down to the mall and had dialogue with Santa. And that, by the way is the one and only Christmas decoration I do have out. Our yearly Santa pictures.

My daughter called me a few days before we had the date with the jolly ol’ soul, and told me she was taking my granddaughter out to buy her an outfit for the Christmas pictures. I envisioned some traditional red or maybe green dress. Ahh, but my daughter is for sure a chip off the ol’ block. She came back with a pink tu-tu skirt, and a bright pink shirt. We love traditions at the Craig house, but we’re always flexible. Being flexible brings a bit of craziness to life, but it also brings some laughter and memories.

My 22-month-old granddaughter was perfect sitting on Santa’s lap. She was mesmerized, not frightened, not crying, just in awe. Of course, she proved she had the Craig genes in her when, an hour later while sitting at a nice restaurant, the little angel dressed in a pink tu-tu looked at the waiter and announced, “I farted.” Hey, that will be one Christmas memory I’ll cherish forever and remind my granddaughter of for years.

The food I cook for Christmas day will be the turkey (Yes, I’ll be sticking my hand up a turkey’s butt again this year) and the dressing, mashed potatoes, and fresh green beans, rolls, gravy, it’s a pretty traditional southern holiday meal. Normally for Christmas Eve we have a spread of snacky foods: chips, dips, crackers, cheese, and usually some kind of fancy bread to make subway-like sandwiches. But this year, my fisherman of a son-in-law asked to cook us all fish tacos. Fish tacos may not scream “Christmas Eve” but hey . . . it works for us. As long as I don’t have to clean out its inners...gulp.

Now, I know I’ve blogged about this before, but here at the Craig house, opening gifts is always the highlight. And it’s not because of the gifts. It’s the game. We write clues on every gift and the person opening it has to try to guess what it is. You have to be fair; the clue has to be legit, one that when they open it, they think… “I should have guessed it,” but we purposely make it hard. I’ve already gotten about four calls from my daughter, who was itching to tell me the clues she’s written on the presents for everyone else. She told me yesterday, “I bought you some neat gifts. I don’t know if you’ll like them, but when I saw them, I immediately came up for the perfect clues, so I had to get them.” I have a feeling guessing my gift this year is going to be hard.

Not that I don’t plan to get even. I’ve bought a few gifts for the clues, as well. So what are all you doing for Christmas? Any crazy traditions you have? Below is the contest. Make sure you send your answers to my email posted below.


Guess what’s in the package. Below are three clues I’ll be writing on gifts that go under the Craig tree. By the way, there are also clues in the blog post that could help you guess.

One clue for my daughter’s gift is: Right there. No, to the left, no, to the right.

I have a gift to my son that states: It could be a foot long, or half that. But it costs more than five dollars.

One for my son-in-law states: It may be hard to swallow, but I think you’ll actually use this.

Can any of you guess what those gifts are? To the first person who guesses two of the gifts correctly (yes, I know they are hard,) I’m offering a fifteen dollar gift card. Email me your answers to christie (at) christie (-) craig.com. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Craig Family.


Refhater said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family Christie. Love the Santa pic!

I come from a large family and due to everyone's assorted schedules, we had our family Christmas last Saturday. 14 of us were able to be there for a nice venison dinner with rosemary potatoes and mixed veggies.

Our Christmas tradition is the "garage sale gift" that mom gets each one of us every year. She scours garage sales in the summer and then gives us each a prize at Christmas. Those prizes can be anything to a rubber ducky bath squeegee to a telescope. (My garage sale gift this year was a hockey plaque. Younger brother got the ducky squeegee.)

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope it's what dreams are made of.

Amy S. said...

Trying to guess, for your daughter either a camera or a framed picture. A giftcard to subway for your son? Trying to just guess these.

TerriOsburn said...

Your household always sounds like tons of fun. Well, not the dog chewing furniture stuff, but all the rest. LOL!

We don't have any traditions in my family. Total lack of imagination, especially compared to you. Maybe I need to start one. We are a presents-Christmas-morn family, not presents-Chrimtmas-Eve. That's no fun!

Amy S. said...

I'll guess socks for the son in law.

Sally Felt said...

We do the clue game, too! Once, when considering a clue from my brother (then a young teen), my dad correctly guessed the contents.

This is a MAJOR FAUX PAS. My brother was crushed and all my dad could say was, "I was sure there was NO WAY that's what it was."

Since then, we're all careful that only the most ridiculous guesses are said aloud. True guesses are kept silent and revealed only after unwrapping. In fact, "weather radio" is our most used out-loud guess, in honor of that long-ago Christmas.

Suzan Harden said...

Between the Craig penchant for odd disasters and the Harden mix for turkey, holidays and ERs, you can't figure out why I SHOULDN'T come to your house this weekend?

I can see the Chronicle headlines now: LOCAL AUTHOR IN CRITICAL CONDITION

"In a vain attempt to protect her family's Christmas feast, local writer Christie Craig defended a 20 lb. turkey from a home-invading possum. During the steak-knife, super-ninja fight between Ms. Craig and the possum in the family's kitchen, the Godzilla mutt belonging Ms. Craig's son seized the turkey. In the mutt's attempted retreat, he tripped Ms. Craig, who accidentally stabbed herself during her fall. While the stab wound itself was was not severe, an unknown drug-resistant bacteria resided on the knife blade. Ms. Craig is currently in Memorial Hermann Hospital's ICU, being treated for the bacterial-infection.

Both the possum and the mutt are being held by Harris County Animal Control, pending charges.

Linda Henderson said...

My daughters pass a cd back and forth every year that my son-in-law received about five years ago. It's always fun to see how they can sneak it past whoever is receiving it. My oldest daughter has it this Christmas, so my youngest or her husband will get it back this year.

Brandy said...

We may be facing the flu this Christmas-Son is recovering and we're waiting to see if someone else will come down with it since we have Christmas Eve plans. Kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I wish we had a fun tradition like y'all do with clues on the gifts!
As for guesses? Um, camera for your Daughter and tape measure for your Son and one of those nice water bottles for your Son-In-Law? Probably all wrong but fun to try!

Happy Holidays!

Ciara Gold said...

That photo of you is priceless. As for your critters, I had a rat dancing in my walls two nights ago. Eck! And of course while I was trying to sleep, the cat was dancing right along with him. Now - if I could have figured a way to get the cat into the wall for the merry chase, all would be good. But alas...

Susan M said...

If you catch the possum you wouldn't have to buy a turkey. Remember, it's cornbread dressing that goes with roasted possum, not that uppity oyster or roasted chesnut stuff. And save the tail for the dog.

Ruth said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family Christie. Your Angel is beautiful. Hope you have the happiest of days and may the joy always follow you. Santa pics in our family group are an adventure, just don't go on the same day at pet day with Santa Claus.


Donna Marie Rogers said...

Christie, what an adorable picture of your granddaughter! And what a GREAT story to be able to tell when she's older..."Hey, honey, can I tell your boyfriend the fart story?" LOL

We have no real traditions, sadly. The kids open their gifts, and then we usually head to Illinois for a few days. This year it'll just be us, then we're heading to Illinois January 7th for a late celebration with my family and Paul's aunt (she's divorced and has no kids, so we always make sure to stop and visit, exchange gifts :-).

Man, your clues are hard! LOL My hat is off to whoever guesses correctly! Happy Holidays!!

Christie Craig said...


I like that tradition. It would be fun to see what treasure you might find for those you love.

I think that's why we love the clue game, it makes the presents take on so much more meaning than just going out and buying something. Not that we don't each other what we want as well, but the clues and the crazy gifts are always so special.

Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Amy,

You were so close.

Thanks so much for playing. I'll announce the winner tomorrow morning on this blog.

I've been wrapping gifts and writing more clues today.

Merry Christmas.


Christie Craig said...


We do some of our presents at night, but always save some for the morning. Santa brings the ones at night.

It is fun around here. But always crazy, too. As of this morning, I still could hear the creature in the attic. A little freaky.


Christie Craig said...


Socks? LOL.


Christie Craig said...


How cool that you guys do it, too. Ahh, we don't care if someone guesses. But we don't tell until the gift is open. Keep 'em guessing until the last minute.

I think I started the game because my mama always gave us clues to our gifts. She would never tell us what they were, but she always gave us good tips. Her first clue was always..."bigger or smaller than a bread box." Funny how today kids don't even know what size a bread box is.


Christie Craig said...

Ahh Suzan,

But think how much fun you would have waiting for the ambulance to arrive. It would be totally exciting and grist for the mill.

Seriously, change you mind just show up. We'll let you make the drinks. LOL.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Linda,

We also have a few gifts that keep showing up. But my daughter refuses to take them with her. So I just regive them to her every year--with different clues. One is a piggy bank. I think it's cute. My daughter is the one who gave it to me first and she said it was too ugly and meant to be a regift. I don't think it's that ugly. Especially when I put something in it--like a check or cash. LOL. Do you think she had that in mind??

Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...


Or you kidding, the flu???? Oh, no! Don't accept this gift. I hope you guys are okay. Hang in there. Actually, we've had few years where someone was under the weather. Here's hoping you guys are all okay and have a blast celebrating the season.

Merry Christmas. Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...


I swear, I'm tempted to let my four cats loose in the attic, but I'm afraid whatever is up there is bigger than they are. My neighbor had raccoon in their attic that my son went and recused last year. Don't think my sissy cats can take on a raccoon.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope your wall problem goes away.


Christie Craig said...


Roasted possum?? I'm from Alabama, but I've never gotten that recipe. But I can tell you. . . the dog would probably enjoy the tail.

Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Ruth,

Thanks so much girl. I know you have tons of grandchildren, I'm still on #1. How do you do it??


Christie Craig said...


Oh yeah, that story will cost my dear little granddaughter. LOL. Enjoy your Christmas. I'm sure your aunt loves you for the time and effort you put into the visit.

Merry Christmas. I still have your book on my to-be read list. I can't wait, girl. I'm getting closer.