In honor of Mission of Christmas coming out on November 12th, I decided that I need to do a  Twelve Days Until Release Party. 

Each day, until the release of Mission of Christmas (It’s on PRE-ORDER from Amazon… at $2.66 and from Samhain for $2.45), I’m going to write a little story about a holiday memory from my life, with my family.

Mission of Christmas is all about the family and holidays, and the importance of the togetherness, and I thought it would be fun if I shared some of the zaniness that inspires my writing.

And maybe, on release day, we might just give away a few copies of Mission of Christmas to a lucky person who leaves a comment in any of the posts. 🙂

So here goes…

Zany family story number 1.

Picture if you will…

It is two days before Christmas, and the entire family has gathered at my grandmother’s house to open presents.

To properly set the stage, we have Grandmother and Granddad, all four of their children, three boys and my mother, the only girl. Also, everyone’s respective spouse, (now we’re up to ten) plus all the grandchildren… all eleven of us, packed into Grandma Jane’s tiny 1950’s brick ranch living room. People are everywhere, many of the adult males standing around, with their piles of presents on the floor. The children are all over the floor, anywhere there’s space. All the women are seated on the limited amount of furniture.

And chaos ensues, as everyone opens presents–this is when Grandma Jane’s gifts were opened, as well as everyone in the family bringing presents for everyone else. So it is a joyous chaotic mess of paper ripping, cheers and grins.

I was twenty-one at the time, and I had three presents. The first I opened was a blender, which made me giggle, because I’d said something to Grandma Jane one time when we were out shopping that I wanted to get one, but hadn’t done it yet. So, needless to say, I was excited. After all, how could I make margaritas without a blender?

My second present was a bundle of clothes, and then I picked up the small rectangle gift. It was very light, so I wondered what Grandma had put in there. I opened it up, and found myself holding a box of Hefty One-Zip sandwich bags.

Because my grandmother is known for her reuse of boxes, I checked it over, to look for tape, thinking maybe she’d save the box.

Nope. It was a package of Hefty One-Zip sandwich bags. New and ready to be used.

Hmm, I thought. Well, she did get me a blender. Guess this goes with the blender to put whatever blended concoctions I made in.  I shrugged, said thank you, and didn’t think much about it. Because, after all, Grandma Jane was a practical kind of woman. It made sense to me.

Sure, it was a little odd, but it went with the blender, so I didn’t think much about it.

Until I looked around.

Every grown woman (My mother, and all my aunts) had their own box of Hefty One-Zip sandwich bags.


I look at my mother, just in time to hear her say “Mom, what an interesting gift. Whatever made you think of this?”

My grandmother’s shoulders went back and she grinned. “Well, those are the best, and I had a coupon.”

To this day, we have no idea if Grandma Jane was being a smart-alec or if she just had a senior moment when she was wrapping presents. Personally, I think she was just being so practical, that it didn’t dawn on her that it would be an odd gift.

Of course, Jane had a rather ornery sense of humor too, so who knows.

There was concern that she might have been losing it a little bit at the time, but for me, it’s one of my favorite presents ever, because whenever I see them on the shelf at the store, I think of her.

And giggle.

And smirk.

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