Monday, September 21, 2009


I love Christmas. I can’t help it – I love everything from the holiday shows, to the never-ending songs to the cookie baking contest our family has on Christmas Eve. I love the kids toddling forth in their jammies with joy on Christmas morning. I love Christmas dinner – turkey and all the trimmings. I long ago surrendered Thanksgiving to my in-laws….so Christmas is my victory dance, where I embrace mom-hood and everything about it.

However, last Christmas, I realized that too soon it would all end. It happened the day my oldest son, age 17, appeared in our annual Christmas show as Daddy Warbucks. Shaved head and all, he looked about six foot four in his tuxedo, all grown up, and I burst into tears. I had one year left of our Christmas festivities. Then, I knew, we’d begin negotiations. What if they wanted to spend Christmas… in Vail or something? With his chums? What if my daughter elected to visit…a boyfriend in some remote town in Nebraska…at Christmas? I saw my memories slipping away.

I also love football. I longed to have my sons in the game, to bundle up in the stands with a stadium blanket and a thermos of hot cocoa. Alas, the football gene bypassed my oldest…and my youngest son. Thankfully, it landed on my middle child…and he embraced football with the passion I’d hoped for. He made his high school varsity team in eighth grade. (proud mother moment here). I never miss a game. I might be a little fanatical.

That Christmas, when I realized it would all end, our family took sick…and for eight days over Christmas, I made soup and handed out Vicks…and conjured up a book about the crazy things mothers do, the looming threat (and joy) of empty nests and the universal desire to create memories for our children. I live in a small town, so of course, I had to write about the crazy, wonderful small town Minnesota life. (Go Big Lake Trouts!) Yes, it’s a mother book. (But did I mention it also has FOOTBALL in it?) It’s also a book about reclaiming romance after the kids are grown, and discovering that all your years of investing in your children do bear fruit.

I am overjoyed at this story; this holiday tale of my heart. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and that it brings to you some of the flavor and magic of your childhood…and perhaps the delightful memories of Christmases with your family.