Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Season of Nostalgia by Shanna Hatfield

My sister, as a baby.
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For many of us, the holiday season is so much more than an opportunity to eat too much food, spend too much money, and  try to cram in too many activities into our already busy lives.

The holidays are about the relationships we share with those we love.

About the special feelings we keep in our hearts and the individual moments of innate sweetness that we want to remember forever.

The Christmas season always make me think of my sister. She was born with a brain tumor that continued to grow throughout her life. She also had epilepsy and never quite reached mental maturity.

Ten years ago, she passed away from head trauma resulting from one of her seizures.

She was 14  when I was born and really messed up the good thing she had going. She had been the baby of the family for all that time and liked things as they were. Along came this interloper who threw the world as she knew it into a tailspin.

To say there was a bit of resentment on her part would be a mild understatement. Most of the time, I think my presence was a constant reminder that her position had been usurped.

But Christmas…Christmas, with its wonderful magical air would sweep over her with a beautiful blanket of peace and goodwill and things would be different. The desire to have fun, to be good because Santa was watching, took over.

My Dad and brothers with my sister - mid 1950s.
She would start making presents for everyone. Under different circumstances, I think she would have been a great artist. She liked to draw cartoons and did a bang up job with it. Her favorite character was Snoopy.

She also liked to do embroidery. The last Christmas she was really with us, she stitched up two little pictures of dogs (another of her favorite things) and gave one to me and one to Captain Cavedweller. I have them in frames hanging just outside my office door.

Although she wasn’t overly fond of the great outdoors, before Christmas she could be found outside attempting to build a snowman or plotting some way to bombard unsuspecting individuals with snowballs.

She would get involved with things she normally ignored the rest of the year, like baking and decorating. The decorating... oh, my. There were times I thought it might throw my mom into a tailspin.

I don’t know where it came from but there was a music box – a little golden bird cage with a tiny bird inside that would tweet a holiday tune (which I can’t even remember now). She would dig through the decorations until she found it. The nostalgic aroma of bayberry would waft out of the storage box and fill the room with a scent that forevermore will bring a picture to mind of our family decking the halls, circa 1978.

Once found, she would have that bird tweeting over and over until I thought my parents would throw it in a snowbank. As annoying as it was, it wasn’t Christmas until she got that music box out and played it a dozen times.

As he head into the holiday season, I’d like the opportunity, just once more, to watch her play that music box, to see the look of wonder and joy that filled her face each Christmas.

My wish for you all is that you cherish every precious moment with those you love and hold dear. Make some beautiful Christmas memories with them this year — memories that take up a very special little corner in your heart.


 The Christmas Cowboy (Rodeo Romance Book 1) —
Flying from city to city in her job as a busy corporate trainer for a successful direct sales company, Kenzie Beckett doesn’t have time for a man. And most certainly not for the handsome cowboy she keeps running into at the airport. Burned twice, she doesn’t trust anyone wearing boots and Wranglers, especially someone as charming and handsome as Tate Morgan.
Among the top saddle bronc riders in the rodeo circuit, easy-going Tate Morgan can handle the toughest horse out there, but trying to handle the beautiful Kenzie Beckett is a completely different story.
As the holiday season approaches, this Christmas Cowboy is going to need more than a little mistletoe to win her heart. 
Download it FREE today!
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen, one story at a time. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with characters that seem incredibly real.
When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
This USA Today bestselling author is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, and Pioneer Hearts.
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