Merry Menage Giveaway 34

Welcome to my blog as part of the
Merry Menage Giveaway Hop hosted by Day Dreaming, My Secret Romance and The Book Tart!

Need a new bedtime story to light your fire? Looking for something with a little heat to warm you during the cold holiday season? Feel like decking the halls naughty style? Well then, come join us as we stand under the mistletoe for this wickedly sexy giveaway hop! The more the merrier!

Have no worries, we’ll help you trim your trees, deck yours halls, dingle your bells and spark that fire!

It’s December already!  I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. I’ve yet to put up my tree or any of my decorations. I have not bought a single present. When my sons were little I was one of those people who was so organized my Christmas shopping was often done before Hallowe’en. Then the baking would start. Around the first weekend of December, I would make a gingerbread house. Then I’d let the pieces sit and harden for a few days before putting it together into its house form. The following weekend we’d add all the decorations. It was a lot of work, but it had been something I’d started before Gizmo Guy and I were married and became a tradition every year after that.

Same as going out to cut down our own tree from one of our local tree farms. We’d bundle the boys up in their thickest coats and boots, and trudge around the fields to find the “perfect” tree. We’d let the boys choose, then Gizmo Guy would crawl underneath the branches and cut it down, and wrestle it into the trunk or tie it onto the top of the car, drag into the house, and begin the endless process of trying to make sure it would stay up straight without falling over.

Then we got a dog. Who decided the tree was a fantastic place to sleep under. Or maybe she just liked sleeping on the tree skirt. But usually in the middle of the night, we’d awake to a thump, and often a crash of broken glass too.

About the same time, many of the tree farms we used to go to sold out to developers and soon were razed to make room for new houses. We found ourselves driving farther and farther away for that tree hunting experience. So after grudgingly admitting having a live tree was too much of a hassle, we gave in and bought an artificial. One good thing about it was it let us put the tree up much earlier than we had with a live spruce or pine.

It was about the same time when the boys decided they’d rather just have the candies on the gingerbread house rather than having to deal with the almost cement-like substance the icing had become over the month since I’d first glued them to the gingerbread. To be honest, I was relieved not to have to spend that much time making them anymore.

But now the boys were grown; they didn’t believe in Santa anymore, so many of the routines and traditions we had — not only choosing and cutting the tree, or designing and making the gingerbread house, but things like Gizmo Guy and I surreptitiously slipping out into the back yard to leave “reindeer prints” in the snow late Christmas Eve, or writing a note from Santa thanking them for the milk and cookies the boys had left out. (I was very careful to change my handwriting.) Now Christmas was reduced to a list of presents to buy being handed to you, a date on the calendar for decorations to be put up, or taken down.

Then one year my eldest knew in advance that we’d bought him a guitar amplifier. What he didn’t know was that when he was at work one day, we opened up the box and removed the amplifier, replacing it with weights so it would still be heavy if he tried to move it. Since he’d left it as the last present to open (after all, he knew what it was) he got a bit of a surprise to find the weights and the first “clue” to lead him on his scavenger hunt.

Each year since, we select one family member’s gift and hide it or disguise it. We write a series of clues, leaving the first in their stocking, and each subsequent note in another spot until they finally find their present. It’s not decided in advance; usually it’s a decision made on the spur of the moment. Maybe it’s a special present the person didn’t expect to get, or maybe it’s something they really wanted and we make them work for it. But it’s brought back some of the fun to Christmas morning.

Are there any traditions you’ve lost along the way or new ones you’ve created, or want to lose? Tell me for a chance to win a print copy of Private Deceptions, containing Private Property — one of my most popular menages. ( The contest is open internationally.)

(Then stop by my “I Need a Kindle for Christmas” contest, running separately from the Merry Menage hop…yup, I’m giving away a Kindle this month.)
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34 thoughts on “Merry Menage Giveaway

  • mrs sam watson

    I LOVE CHRISTMAS… miracle baby was born on Christmas morning 6yrs ago….after trying for almost 9yrs….yayyyy…..I start shopping in July ….lol….

  • mrs sam watson

    My dad started a tradition of dressing up as Santa and my mom as Mrs Claus and handing out presents to the kids in the area where we lived inHonduras. My dad would close the streets and throw a party..feeding all who came…after my dad Mom still continues the tradition…giving to those who need. Taught us to always give what we can…I still carry that with me and continue to give to those around sons are learning the same tradition…I love it….I know my dad is proud of us….there is nothing more greater than to make someone smile..just because you can….

  • Mary Preston

    I like the idea of the scavenger hunt. One of our traditions is; we get to open one gift on Christmas Eve.

  • Phuong

    I don’t have any Christmas holiday traditions. We would just stay awake until midnight on Christmas Eve to see Christmas Day. We would order some take out and just munch on it and sometimes close friends might stop by. I used to go over to a friend’s house for their Christmas gift exchange, brunch and then we would play the game “quarters” which was always fun although I would always lose.

  • Diane Sallans

    My Mom used to make many different kinds of Christmas cookies – I hope to have time to do some of her old favorites this year.

  • Karina V

    Our tradition is to prepare Christmas meal together πŸ™‚ and to decorate the tree, of course πŸ™‚

  • Lisa G

    Since my kids don’t have a real concept of the holidays, we don’t have any traditions


  • Renee B

    My hubby and I open 1 gift at midnight while sipping eggnog and listening to Christmas music. Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • elaing8

    I can’t think of any traditions lost or created recently. we’ve been doing the same ones for years.The open 1 present Xmas Eve.having the family over for Christmas Day.

  • Cathy V

    Our tradition is the “adults” in the family draw names and we buy a gift with a price limit for the person whose name we drew, instead of buying gifts for everyone. We have been doing that for about 8 years now.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Kelsey Summer

    One tradition we have is to buy an ornament everywhere we go. We bought our first ornament on our honeymoon almost 20 years ago and now our tree is covered with memories of all of our trips/vacations (and pictures of our kids growing throughout the years).


  • Susan platt

    The whole family decorates the house together and then goes out to eat.

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

  • April

    My sister and I have a tradition where we watch A Christmas Story everyday until Xmas!


  • lori meehan

    My husband and do not have children so we really don’t have any traditions unles you count that he gives me cash for Christmas every year. Which I love. When I was a kid Santa would leave all our gifts under the tree in individual piles. We loved that. I never understood when people wrapped each present from Santa. I loved the excitement of seeing everything out.
    Merry Christmas everyone.

  • Eva P.

    One tradition that I love is staying up until midnight and opening presents then, also before midnight, my eating my mom’s tamales too! πŸ™‚

  • Jenny

    Now that everyone in the family is grown we have started a new tradition of celebrating on Christmas Eve. We have the big dinner then and open presents as well. That way everyone can relax on Christmas.

  • Carla

    My children take a couple of weeks of from school (we homeschool) and we spend that time making cookies for service members and local police and fire departments.

  • Julianne

    We don’t have a tradition that I’d like to get rid of, other than living somewhere cold. We put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Sometimes it takes 2 days or 3 days to fully decorate. We are getting old. Depends on how much we want it to be done. haha Then I like to turn out all the lights and just watch the top turn and put designs on the ceiling and walls.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  • Sherry S.

    Other than getting together with my family at my sister’s I don’t really have any kind of traditions.

  • Brandi S.

    I make cut-out sugar cookies with my little brothers and sisters (parents couldn’t stop so now I have tons of them lol the youngest is two years old!) every year. Its special to them but it is a pain in my butt, my back always kills me by the time we get done and I do all the cleaning while they go nap lol Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Leah Braemel

    Congratulations to Phuong who won a print copy of Private Deceptions. Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit my blog and enter. Check back regularly for other contests.

    This contest is now closed.

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