Today we have the awesomesauce Gretchen McNeil sharing an early Christmas memory. Let's all welcome her!
"Santa Didn't Come"
I don't remember much about 1978. I don't remember Roman Polanski skipping bail and fleeing to France. I don't remember porn magnate Larry Flynt getting shot. I don't remember who won the Oscar for Best Picture (apparently, Annie Hall) and I don't remember who won the SuperBowl (apparently, the Cowboys). I don't remember Pete Rose getting his 3,000th hit, or the first Unabomber attack, or the death of not one bu two Popes, or the birth of the first test tube baby, the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone, or the horrific mass murder-suicide at Jonestown.
What I do remember, quite clearly in fact, is waking up on Christmas morning, 1978 with the panicked knowledge that Santa didn't come.
In fairness, I was three-years old.
My poor mother -- a single mom, by then -- was awakened at 5am by a semi-hysterical daughter who'd climbed out of her crib and run sobbing into her mom's room.
"What's wrong, Bunny Rabbit?" my mom asked, still trying to wake up.
"Santa didn't come," I sniffled.
I don't remember distinctly, but there's a good chance my mom rolled her eyes in the darkness.
"Are you sure?" she asked, soothingly.
She climbed out of bed and took me by the hand. "Let's go check."
Instead of heading for the Christmas tree in the living room, she led me back into my room. Lo and behold, Santa had left a brand new hobby horse wrapped in a ginormous bow leaning LITERALLY against my crib. How I'd managed to miss that as I climbed out is beyond me.
Clearly, I'd been having a nightmare that Santa had skipped our house that year. Perhaps it was my toddler subconscious interpreting the financial hard times we were going through, or perhaps it was just that age-old fear that you'd wake up on Christmas morning with coal in your stocking and a note from Santa detailing your naughty transgressions throughout the year. Either way, I was convinced that Santa hadn't come, and the joy that washed over me at seeing that damn hobby horse was immense.
The tree was no less joy-inspiring. Presents and goodies and treats galore, including the most prized gift of the day: Baby Come Back (she'd toddle away, turns, and comes back to you). Yes, that's three-year-old me opening said doll.
I'd like to point out that my mom and I still have some of those ornaments on our respective 2013 Christmas trees.
I had an amazing childhood. Despite a deadbeat dad and bank accounts that were never as full as those of my friends, I had love in abundance. My mom used to tell me, "Santa will always come as long as someone loves you."
And he always did.
Huge thanks to Gretchen for sharing this story and that photo!! Make sure you're following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, subscribing to her blog and adding all of her books on your GoodReads shelves.
And now for the giveaway!!
Rule #1: Do not show fear.and
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.
Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.
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Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?