Hey there, lovely reader!
Are you nearly done with your holiday prep? I don't have too much to do having such a small family and it's just about done. 🦌
We are limiting gifts this year to one from each person (3) plus our Secret Santa gifts, also three. Our Secret Santa shopping is a fun night. One night close to Christmas we go out as a family. First, we go to a dollar store (or pound shops as we call them in the UK.) We draw lots and then go in and buy something for our person. Then we go to a bookstore and do the same for a different person. And finally, World Market which has lots of things from around the world and I stand the chance of getting something British that I haven't probably had in years! We have a budget for each shop and after our shopping, we go out to eat. We started this when our boys were about seven and it hasn't changed much in the sixteen years since, except mum and dad no longer pay for it all. 🎅 🤶
On Christmas Day there will be calls to my English family, gift opening (with sausage rolls and mimosas,) followed by comedy shows (with mince pies and mulled wine) in the early afternoon. Dinner happens late afternoon, and I may have a gin and tonic. We eat all the traditional fare. I usually buy it all prepared and supplement with roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings because it's not Christmas dinner without them. 🥂
In the evening we will watch a movie accompanied by Christmas pudding and custard, or cream/ice cream if preferred – I have all three plus brandy butter. I won't stint. I think we're planning on Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget. We are big Wallace and Gromit/Shaun the Sheep/Chicken Run fans. 🎬
Boxing Day (the day after Christmas Day) will be a detox day. My Secret Santa will have brought me a book and I usually spend the days between Christmas and New Year reading it along with completing some of my current jigsaw puzzle. I'll drink smoothies and eat healthy because if I continue to eat Christmas food, I will be sleepy for days. 🍗
My favorite thing at Christmas is to tip the people who help me during the year in one way or another. For the past few years, because of all the pandemic struggles, I've tipped double and treble the normal amounts. It's just the most rewarding thing to do. In this way, my books keep giving and giving and I couldn't be happier. 😀
I also know that Christmas is not a happy time for everyone. If you are one of those people, please know that we are thinking of you. You are not alone. It will be over soon and in the meantime, we have books. 📚
It only remains for me and mine to wish you a wonderful holiday. I'll be raising a glass of mulled wine in your honour or perhaps a g+t, maybe both. This year my Christmas card features Biscuit and Upton St. Mary. May your day be merry and bright. 🍷
P.S. If you would like to do my annual Christmas card as a puzzle, please click here to play (remember sound uuuhhhhP!) If you don't fancy that, just scroll to the bottom of this email. 🔔
(Doing this puzzle was so much fun, please feel free to share it. It will keep the kids quiet for five minutes. Took me 8:21m.)
Give the gift of books this Christmas
Do you know anyone who would enjoy meeting Annabelle, or Inspector Graham or Roxy or Diana?
Are you looking for a digital stocking filler? Did you know that Amazon makes it easy to gift Kindle books?
Go to a book's page on Amazon, click the BUY FOR OTHERS button and enter your recipient's email address. They'll be sent a code that can then be redeemed for the book you've suggested.
Of course, it makes sense to start with the first book in any series. . .
Here are quick links to the first books in my series:
Annabelle: Death at the Cafe ➜ click here
Inspector Graham: The Case of the Screaming Beauty ➜ click here
Roxy: Mardi Gras Madness ➜ click here
Diana: Snatched ➜ click here
Or buy the omnibus editions:
The Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mysteries Books 1-4 ➜ click here
The Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mysteries Books 5-7 ➜ click here
The Reverend Annabelle Dixon Cozy Mysteries Books 1-8 ➜ click here
The Inspector Graham Mysteries Books 1-8 ➜ click here
Or a sampler of the first books in all my series:
Alison Golden Mystery Sampler ➜ click here
Just click the link, find the BUY FOR OTHERS button and you'll be good to go. Personal recommendation is the best way to encourage new readers to get stuck into the series. I'm grateful for every single one.