Thursday, December 13, 2018

Crazed or Calm? What Will You Choose This Holiday Season?



Christmas is almost here and I'm about two months behind on everything that needs to be done. I've just finished the third book in my Deadly Forces series for Sourcebooks (and am waiting for a title), and have realized that I have no presents yet, my tree isn't up, and the kids come home from college tomorrow. Forget about the Christmas cards and baking.

Last night I felt the beginnings of a panic attack. Usually I have my Christmas planner out on November 1 and start the countdown. I check coupons, plan menus, and come up with a baking schedule. Because this book 3 has kicked my butt for the past ten months, I'm behind on everything.

So I did what I do when I get stressed. I took a bath. I filled the tub with hot water, added bath salts, and put on some Christmas music. And it felt wonderful.



As I drifted away, trying to forget how difficult this latest book was to write and how it sucked all of my creative energy for almost an entire year, I made a conscious decision to let my lack of planning not matter.

If I have to buy my cookies at the grocery store? They'll still be eaten.

If I get my cards out after Christmas? No one really cares.

The Christmas Tree? I'll leave that to the kids.

If I order everything on Amazon Prime? Most things will still get here on time. And if they don't? Well, that's what gift cards are for.

What brought me to this realization? As I sat in the hot water and let my mind still, I realized that this season isn't about my to-do list. It's about love and family. My kids come home tomorrow and I haven't seen them in months. If all we do is watch Hallmark moves, play board games, and eat pizza--for an entire month--I will still be the happiest mother in the world.

I don't want to run around these next two like a crazed, crabby woman. This book, truly, drained me. But I'm sure that I'm not the only person in the world who's had an exhausting year and has had to work up to the very last moment before Christmas.

The trappings of Christmas don't matter (regardless of what Pinterest or Hallmark movies say). The fact that my family will be together, healthy and happy, is truly all that is important. I just wish I didn't have to take a bath to remember that.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays during this wonderful season.



As a treat, I'm leaving you with one of my favorite holiday recipes that's so super easy even my kids can make it: Baked Pineapple.

I know some will question the white bread (Ack!) and the canned pineapple, but I promise no one will recognize these very humble ingredients. If you're making it for a buffet table, cook several. It's always the first thing to go.

Baked Pineapple
INGREDIENTS
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 20 oz cans crushed pineapple in juice
  • Dash salt
  • 6 slices white bread cut into cubes (the cheap, soft white bread)
  • 4 slices of white bread cut into cubes for the top.
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
  • Garnish
  • Fresh berries
  • Confectioner's sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter sides of a 3-quart casserole dish or an oven-proof cast iron pan.
  3. Thoroughly mix the first five ingredients and pour into dish.
  4. Top with the two slices of cubed bread. Dot with butter.
  5. Bake 1 hour. Serve hot
  6. Garnish with fresh berries dusted with Confectioner's sugar
  7. Serves 8
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Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.
Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.
EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo |  Google
And adding it to your Goodreads TBR list is also always appreciated!

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