In the blink of an eye it will be Christmas. So here is my fourth holiday related tale. When my sons were young, we used to painstakingly wrap their presents and place them beneath the tree. We even went so far as to use different paper for packages that came from Santa, versus those from the parents. Yes, the boys paid attention to such details.
One year, when Travis was about 9 and Cameron was around 6, we decided to jazz things up a little. In the past the kids would come downstairs and with a flurry of activity that lasted about two minutes, every present was opened, the floor littered with bits of paper and ribbons and the epic let-down set in. At that point, my darling wife would put orange Danishes in the oven and fire up the coffee pot.
So that year, we agreed to take one big present for each boy and hide it somewhere in the house. Then, while the pastries were baking, the kids would go on a treasure hunt, following goofy clues. One clue would lead to another. Eventually they found the last present. This bit of nonsense helped extend the gift exchange, long enough for the pastries to be done.
What started out as a gag turned into an annual event. The boys loved the treasure hunt and kept asking for more clues. Travis one year even asked me to make them rhyme. I can’t recall if that worked, but hiding a present and sending them around the house became one of our traditions.
Here’s a favorite Christmas song from Mariah Carey, with a little help from some friends.
On behalf of Jamie, Chene, Malone, Pappy and the rest of my characters, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the holidays be filled with laughter and love, shared with family and friends, both old and new. Let there be stories and music, peace and prosperity for us all.
And mark your calendars for February 6! That's the date "Your Turn to Die" the second Jefferson Chene mystery, is slated for release!