Bronwyn Green

The Corner of Quirky & Kinky

We’re starting a new feature for the blog group called First Time. We’ll be showcasing a variety of firsts from different stories. Some might be published. Some might be unpublished. It’ll be up to the author of the blog. 

This month, it’s First Meeting, so I’m going to share the first meeting of Rowan and Gwydion from SUMMONED which is one of the stories from THE CHARMED COLLECTION. 

“As I will, so mote it be.” Rowan Spencer’s words hung in white puffs of breath in the chilly, late spring air as she released energy into the ground beneath her. A ripple of power spread through last autumn’s leaves and fallen twigs, churning the dirt below as though it were water. The lines of the circle she’d cast glowed faintly blue-white underneath the shifting leaves, disrupting the near darkness surrounding her.

Nervously, she knelt outside the circle and watched as the light brightened, searing the damp leaves and grass with its heat. Usually when the energy left her body, it slowly dissipated until it was gone, but this seemed to be increasing with every passing second. She only hoped that meant the spell would be successful. It needed to be successful.

The earth suddenly roiled below her, and she stumbled to her feet, unable to tear her eyes from the ever-brightening circle. She glanced around, hoping no one was nearby to notice the otherworldly glow shining through the trees. The ground rumbled as if something huge fought its way to the surface.

Her heart leapt into her throat. This wasn’t right. Simple protection spells didn’t involve burning leaves or miniature earthquakes. What had she done? And more importantly, how the hell was she supposed to stop it?

She dropped to her knees, laid her hands on the trembling earth and tried to call back the energy she’d sent forth. It didn’t work. A startling shock traveled up her arms and into her chest before she could pull her hands away. It reminded her of touching her grandparents’ electrified fence as a child. She’d wandered around for the rest of the day convinced that she’d drop dead at any moment because she’d disobeyed and snuck into the cow pasture.Now, like then, she wasn’t sure if she’d survive the consequences of what she’d done.

Roots and vines crawled toward the center of the circle, pulsing and rising from the earth—coalescing into a mound at least half a foot taller than her. As she watched in growing horror, the vines continued moving of their own volition, and a definite shape began to form. Discernible arms and legs appeared along with a head and wide shoulders.

Terror dried her mouth as she tried to convince her body to move, to run away and never to return to this place, but apparently, her body had zero interest in listening to her. It remained as firmly rooted to the ground as this humanoid figure seemed to be.

She wished Meaghan or Emma were here. Hell, both of them.They’d always had far better control of their powers than she’d ever had. She was an idiot to have attempted this on her own. No. That wasn’t true; she’d done tons of protection spells over the years. Granted, none of them on as large a scale as this one, but the area of effect shouldn’t matter. But somehow it did. Or, she’d really screwed up something. Something major.

A sudden breeze blew past her, whipping her hair into her eyes and causing them to tear. The breeze picked up the dead leaves that carpeted the orchard floor, drawing them like a cloak around the figure. They clung to the shape, forming a sort of skin over the vines.

Again, she tried to force herself to run, but she remained frozen in place—no more able to leave than the trees surrounding her. Her breath caught in her throat as a faint glow pulsed in the chest cavity of the figure. With every passing second, it grew stronger and more vibrant until it expanded and radiated through the entire body, bright as the noonday sun. She closed her eyes against the intense glare.

When she opened them again, the light was gone, but the figure wasn’t. Blinking around the floating black spots marring her sight, she stared in jaw-dropping awe at the man in front of her. Golden skin covered perfectly shaped muscles and wide, well-formed shoulders. Light brown hair dusted an equally broad chest and narrowed over tightly delineated stomach muscles, before thickening as it extended lower. Catching sight of a huge cock, she lifted her gaze sharply upward, meeting the brightest green eyes she’d ever seen.

The man held her gaze for several long, terrifying moments before glancing around the grove of trees. “You have summoned me, but I see no sacrifice.”

Rowan couldn’t force her voice to work any more than she’d been able to force her limbs to move. His words were heavily accented, sounding vaguely British.

“I require an answer.” His voice was rough as though he rarely spoke, and it sent shivers sliding down her spine, but at the moment, she couldn’t decide if that was a positive experience or not.

She swallowed several times, trying to form words. “I think there’s been a mistake.”

He shifted and stared at her. With his hands on his hips and an eyebrow raised, he should have looked silly. Instead, he looked intimidating and downright scary. What had she done?

“There is no mistake, little witch. You summoned me. I answered.”

She shook her head from side to side and opened her mouth, but no words came out.

He took a step forward. Then another and another until he stood at the edge of the still glowing circle she’d cast. She glanced at the ground, at his bare feet. Would he be able to cross? Circles were meant to keep in the power that had been raised. And entities, too. She’d been with Emma and Meaghan before when they’d secured spirits in a circle to help them cross to the other side.  But whatever this guy was, he was no spirit.

He followed her gaze to the illuminated line and swept his hand through it, eradicating it.

Finally freed from her stasis, she took several steps backward. “Who are you? What are you?”

The hint of a smile curled his firmly sculpted lips. “I think you know who I am. Why would you summon me if you did not?”

“I didn’t mean—” She couldn’t force herself to finish the sentence. Instead, fear got the best of her, and she turned and ran.

“Cease!”

She made the mistake of looking back at him. His gaze had narrowed, and a frown marred his face. Her chest constricted in terror, and she tried to run faster.

She heard a rustling along the ground, but she ignored it and dodged a fallen log. Something brushed against her ankle, tickling her bare flesh.

“You will not run from me.”

“The hell I won’t, bi—” The rest of the sentence was swallowed by her squeal as something wrapped tightly around her ankle, yanking her to the ground. Rolling over, she sat up and tugged at the vine in which she’d managed to entangle herself. As she pulled futilely at the growth, more vines crept across the ground. Toward her. Her heart slammed wildly against her ribs as she attempted to rip the foliage from her body.

More tendrils wrapped her other ankle, holding her snugly, while additional plants encircled her wrists. She tried to free herself to no avail. The man stood over her, and with a wave of his hand, all of the vines pulled tight, pinning her spread eagle to the loamy earth. So quickly, she didn’t even see him move, he suddenly loomed over her, his arms extended and caging her beneath him.

If you’d like more, you can help yourself to THE CHARMED COLLECTION. 

Amazon  *  B&N  *  iBooks  *  Kobo

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ first meetings, too! 

Jess  *  Kayleigh  *  Siobhan  *  Kris  *  Gwen




Usually, my flash fic stories, are one offs, but this photo made me think of a story that’s had several installments. My hope is that you can simply pick up here and keep going, but if you’d like to read the previous sections, here are the links: 

Part One  *  Part Two  *  Part Three  *  Part Four  *  Part Five

“Now what?” Hollis whispered. 

Eoin nodded toward the figure disappearing deeper into the fog and forest. “We follow.” 

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

He snorted. “None of this is a good idea. But I’m not seeing a lot of choice here.” 

“But the cave and the door…”

“Are both gone,” he finished for her. 

She glanced up at the person–if that’s actually what it was, she was beginning to have her doubts–moving farther away from them. But as much as she didn’t want to admit it, Eoin was right. The door and the cave it led to were both gone. And who knew what would vanish next. She’d guess her sanity, but sh was pretty sure that ship had sailed. And sank. 

She took a step forward then reached out and took his hand. He shifted his grip and laced their fingers together.  She wasn’t positive, but she thought she could feel his pulse where their wrists were pressed together. It comforted her more than she cared to admit. He was still an ass, but she could admit–at least to herself–she was glad he’d followed her into the library’s basement. 

They trudged through the growing shadows. No matter how quickly they moved, they couldn’t seem to catch up with the figure in the distance. She glanced at Eoin. His mouth was set in a firm line, and  the red of his shirt looking more and more like the color of drying blood in the waning light.  She’d never considered herself particularly squeamish–she’s pierced her own nose, for fuck’s sake–but for some reason, the comparison unsettled her, leaving her vaguely queasy. 

The movement ahead of them ceased. Or maybe it was just getting too dark to see clearly, but they kept moving. Hollis tried to ignore the evening noises in the forest. The few leaves that still clung to branches rustled in the growing breeze, and twigs snapped behind them as if something was following them. And gaining.

Hollis walked a little faster, and Eoin picked up the pace as well until they were running, dodging trees and leaping over underbrush and logs. He yanked her around a particularly huge trunk, and they both skidded to a halt. 

A heavy wooden door stood in between two huge oaks. There was no other structure–no walls–no building. Nothing attached to it. Just a door. Still clasping hands they each leaned to the side and peered around it. The only thing they were each other’s faces. She suspected her expression mirrored his wide-eyed, open-mouthed shock. 

Moving her attention back to the front of the door, she studied it. Tarnished brass markers spelled out 5C, barely visible against the aged wood. Near the outer edges, there were rectangular sections of varnish missing, as if someone had affixed something to it with scotch tape and had later carelessly removed it, taking bits of the finish with it. 

Eoin gasped, and all the blood drained from his face as he stared a the door, an expression of awe-tinged fear on his face. The sound of twigs snapping behind them drew closer, and he reached out and twisted the handle. Locked. 

Hollis pulled the skeleton key that still hung from a cord around her neck from her sweater as eerie laughter drifted on the wind. What the fuck?! With shaking hands, she fitted the key into the lock and turned it. The lock thunked over, and the door swung open on rusting hinges. 

She stared for a moment, unable to comprehend what she was seeing. But Eoin yanked her inside and slammed the door shut, throwing the lock near the handle just as something huge and heavy slammed into it, causing the wood to shudder and pushing a scream from her throat. Whatever it was slammed against the door one more time, and then there was nothing but the harsh sounds of their heavy breath and the thickness of silence so profound and so complete, Hollis was hesitant to speak.

Eoin released her hand and stumbled forward to stand in the middle of what looked to be a small, devastated library. Nearly all the books had been pulled from shelves and cabinet doors hung askew. Layers of dirt and dust coated everything.

He dropped to his knees in the center of the room, head bowed. Near his feet she spotted a red shirt. Grime and faded fabric aside, it looked exactly like the one he had on. 

“Eoin?” Her voice sounded loud–too loud in the suffocating quiet. When he didn’t respond, she picked her way through the room and squatted in front of him. “Do you recognize this place?”

He glanced up at her, his drowning blue eyes haunted. “This is my parents’ flat.” 

That’s it for me, today. Be sure you check out the other bloggers’ stories!

JessKris  *  Kayleigh  *  Siobhan  *  Gwen

I’ve been staring at this post for a while now, trying to figure out how to make it a little prettier, but really, the past year was rough. I’ll admit, I’m really disappointed in myself which, probably, isn’t a great way to start the hew year. 

I mean, I had some wonderful experiences with old friends, met some amazing new friends, and I’m still here and relatively healthy, and so are my family and friends. Those are obviously the most important things. So, I’m trying very hard not to beat myself up for not accomplishing the things I wanted to accomplish. 

I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to put other people’s work before my own. Sometimes, that’s necessary because of agreed upon deadlines, but that’s not always the case. 

So, this year, I’m going to work on valuing my own work as much as I do the work of others. In addition, I’ll be taking time to decompress. I don’t want to burn out. I’ve done it before, and right now, I feel dangerously close to it, again. 

I realize these goals aren’t particularly tangible or quantifiable, like the goals I usually make.  But, right now, I think that’s for the best. 

What are your goals for the upcoming year? Also, be sure to check out the other bloggers’ goals for 2019. 

Gwen  *  Jess  *  Kris

As always, these are in no particular order. 

10.) I really don’t need any more mugs, but this one speaks the god’s honest truth. 

9.) And I really don’t need any more rings. But this one is gorgeous

8.) I definitely don’t need more yarn, but enough skeins of this and I could make a fantastic sweater. 

7.) I still don’t need more rings, but I’ve loved this faery ring for years. 

Actually, I’m not sure I can come up with 10. This was a struggle as it was, so I think i’m just gonna leave it at 4. 

What about you? Do you have anything on your want-but-don’t-need-list? 

And be sure to check Jess’ list, too! 


This month’s song fic is inspired by Alex and Sierra’s “Little Do You Know”.  Here’s the video if you’d like to give it a listen, and here are the lyrics.  And heads-up, this is probably going to be pretty short. 

“What’s wrong?” Daniel asked. His voice was rough, groggy, as if he’d been pulled back roughly from the soft edge of sleep. 

“Nothing,” I mumbled. “Just allergies,” wiping my eyes with the edge of my pillowcase. 

I could feel the tension in the air–the sharpness of his disbelief coupled with the fragility of my lie. And for a moment, I thought he’d push the issue and call me on my excuse. I thought that maybe he was finally ready to force himself to talk. It wasn’t like I hadn’t tried. But tonight, unless he was willing, I wasn’t going to bring it up again. You can only bash your head against the same wall so many times before you have to step back and reevaluate your choices. 

Instead, he sighed and rolled over while I stared at the ceiling, hot tears rolling into my hair, listening to his breath even out as sleep claimed him.  Not everything ended with a bang, I supposed. Some things ended with the weight of our mistakes, pulling us under until we’re drowning, apathy filling our lungs like water. 

Somehow, it’s our final Promptly Penned of the year. I’ve been really looking forward to this one. As soon as Jess and I saw this, it sparked an idea. And thanks to this prompt and flash fic, we have plans for some connected Bound books–written separately but connected and happening concurrently. And this prompt brought forth two guys that we’re both totally in love with now. So, our posts are similar but from differing POVs, giving you a taste of two heroes you’ll be seeing from us in the future.

The prompt will appear in bold in the story. 

Oliver adjusted his backpack and followed the winding dirt footpath up the side of the of the tallest hill on the outskirts of the small Welsh village where they were staying for the next few weeks. Varying brilliant shades of green cloaked the land, and mist settled in patches the shady places in the valley. The morning sun hadn’t risen far enough yet to burn away the fog, leaving it to hover like lost ghosts roaming the landscape.

He shook his head. That was fucking morose–even for him.

As he walked, he noticed the occasional tiny cottage peering out from the leaves below and the rest was rocks and rolling hills and streams as far as he could see. He paused to take it in, only to stumble forward when Sam lurched into him.

“What’d you stop for?” his brother grumbled.

Oliver turned to look at his younger brother. “I’m just enjoying how fucking gorgeous this is. I mean, look at this place.”

Of course, he hadn’t really intended to drag Sam on any hikes. When they’d originally planned this trip, he’d anticipated bringing Gina along. He’d scoured map after map and all the google images he could find to pick the perfect spot to propose to her. And then…she’d dumped him. His throat tightened, but he swallowed past the lump.

He’d found out later that Sam had run into Gina at a club. With her boss. Who she’d been practically fucking in a booth. Sam had apparently told Gina if she didn’t own up to the cheating, he’d do it for her.

“I’ve been looking,” Sam groused. “Not a goddamn coffee shop anywhere. I’d settle for Starbucks right now.”

Oliver rolled his eyes and started walking again. “Being away from a city and all its conveniences isn’t going to kill you.”

“You don’t know that!”

He snorted. He loved Sam–wouldn’t trade him for anyone or anything, but if they didn’t look so much alike, he’d have a hard time believing they were related. Sammy stumbled behind him. Again. Oliver would bet his return ticket home that his little brother was hung the fuck over.

“Rough night, I take it?”

“My night was just fine, thank you very much. It’s the morning I’m having trouble with.” He panted a little and swore, almost under his breath, as he stubbed his toe on a rock. At least, that’s what sounded like happened. “And what the hell is wrong with you that this is your idea of a good time?!”

His idea of a good time was supposed to be hiking and camping with Gina. Planning their future. He realized now that she’d been been what she thought he’d wanted while she waited for something better to come along. It hadn’t taken her any time at all to transform from nature girl to club girl. Or, maybe she was just one of those people who took on the interests of whoever she was with. Either way, it wasn’t his problem.

A sea-salt breeze blew in from the west, tempting him toward the cliffs overlooking the water. “This is a great time,” he said, pushing thoughts of Gina from his mind. “And besides, I did the London pub crawl with you when we first got here.”

“Um, excuse me, but that pub crawl was steeped in…in culture and history and shit! We drank at pubs that had been there for centuries. Can’t do that back home. We have trails and dirt and…and fucking rocks,” he kicked another out of his way half-heartedly, “at home, Ollie! And you’re missing the biggest draw of all, brother—there was beer at the pub crawl. There’s no beer here, Ollie. None. There is zero beer.”

Oliver snorted and paused at the top of the hill and looked back at Sammy. “When we get back, I’ll buy you at pint at that pub down the street from Gram’s.”

Sam stumbled again, and with a sigh dropped to his knees in the grass on the side of the narrow trail, then flopped over onto his back and starfished, as he stared blankly at the sky. “No need to bother, dear brother… This is my life now. I have climbed this hill, and now, I will die upon it.

Oliver stood over him, trying to hide his grin, and gently nudged him with his foot. “Shut up. We’ve only been hiking for twenty minutes.”

Sam started to sit up then collapsed again, spread eagle on the ground.

“Could you be more dramatic?” Oliver asked, nudging him again.

Sam opened his mouth and wailed wordlessly, startling Oliver.

“That wasn’t a challenge!”

Be sure to check out the other stories! 

Jess  *  Gwen

Few things make me DNF books quicker than lousy conflict. Well, lousy characters, too, but anyway, today’s topic is conflict.

I find books with minimal to no conflict boring. The writing could be polished, the dialogue clever, the sex hot, but without conflict? I’m out. Especially in romance.

For me, the best conflict is pretty simple. Every character should have a goal–something they want–something that’s preferably unrelated to the romantic relationship that will eventually evolve.

There should also be a compelling reason for why they have that goal. They need motivation.

And there should be a reason that goal is currently unattainable. There needs to be something preventing the character from achieving whatever the goal is. This is the conflict.

The best stories have both internal and external conflict. By that I mean there should be both internal and external forces that are preventing the goal from being realized. Better still? Is a romance where the love interests have competing goals. It works to increase both the internal and external conflicts for both people.

The worst conflict is “the big misunderstanding”. Like the hero see his love interest hugging another dude and instantly believes the love interest is cheating on him. And instead of talking about it, it becomes a whole big thing. Just fucking talk to each other. Conflict isn’t something that can be solved with a single conversation.

Sorry, guys. I think it’s just me this week, but if other links come in, I’ll be sure to post them. 

Content Warning: Assault

I scanned the interior of the club, squinting against the flashing lights, trying to find Bree. At least, I think that was her name. Not that it mattered. She had exactly what I wanted, and she was good and drunk. I’d more than helped that along when I brought her her last cosmo.

But I needed to find her before some other guy got to her. I hated being anything other than first. Now, where the hell had she gone? I glanced across the sea of writhing bodies again. There were plenty of bitches in red, but I wasn’t seeing that little red satin dress. The one that would be so easy to untie.

A sliver of light widened into a triangle and spread across the people at at the far end of the dance floor, and a tiny figure in a tiny red halter dress stumbled drunkenly through it, but not before bouncing off the doorframe. I winced. That would likely leave a mark. I mentally shrugged. It was likely going to be one of many–particularly if she was a fighter. My cock was already half-hard at the thought.

Skirting the dance floor, and dodging waitstaff carrying trays laden with drinks, I made my way to the door Bree had disappeared through. I opened the heavy metal door and ducked inside, blinking at the the relative darkness. There was nothing but a smooth gray concrete spiral stairwell lit by emergency lighting.

“Bree?” My voice echoed through what sounded like a cavernous space even though I was trying to be quiet. “You here?”

I heard a sniffle.

“Bree?” I opened the flashlight app on my phone and scanned it above me. The stairwell was empty. I took a few steps down and rounded a curve. She slumped over on, her face in her hands. “Are you okay, baby?”

There was no answer, but I closed the space between us, sat next to her on the step, and slipped my arm around her. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

She slumped against me, her skin chilled–likely from sitting on the cement–but that wasn’t my problem. Leaning closer, I nuzzled her neck while I tugged at the ties of her dress, loosening them.

“What’ere you doin’, Chase?” she slurred, trying to lift her head.

“Shh. I just want to see how beautiful you are.”

The knot loosened, and the satin slithered down her chest, baring her breasts. God, she had great tits. I fisted my hand in her hair and yanked her head back. Her blue eyes were bloodshot, and she blinked stupidly at me.

She hadn’t let me kiss her while we were dancing, so I’d take that now, too. I crushed my mouth to hers, shoving my tongue between her lips as I squeezed her breast twisting her nipple sharply.

She cried out, but my mouth muffled the sound. Then, inexplicably, I felt her smile against me.

“What? You like that?” I pinched her again–harder this time.

Instead of the pain I was anticipating, she started to laugh.

Unease slithered along my spine, and I pulled back a little. My hand still tight in her hair, I shook her. “What the hell is wrong with you, you crazy bitch?”

Her amusement faded. She lifted her head and slowly blinked at me. “Not a goddamn thing.”

As I watched, inky darkness swallowed every bit of color in her eyes. They were so glossy, I could see the reflection of my own startled expression in them. What the fuck… 

Releasing her hair, I started to stand. I was down to fuck, but this was getting too weird for me. In a move so fast, I could barely register motion, and with far more strength than she looked capable of possessing, she pushed her palm into my chest and shoved me against the stairs. My back slammed into the unforgiving concrete, and she straddled my hips, her thighs like a vice around me.

I couldn’t look away from her hypnotic black eyes. It was like I was paralyzed.

“What did you put in my drink, Chase?”

I swallowed thickly. “What do you mean?”

“I mean what did you put into that last drink?”

“Jus-just something to help you relax a little.”

She stared at me, expressionless. “You do that a lot, Chase? Help women relax?”

Shivers racked my body, and I couldn’t speak.

“I bet you do.” She smiled coldly. “I bet that makes it so much easier to rape them when they’re relaxed.”

I really hated the way she stressed that word.

“Especially,” she continued, “when it makes it hard to remember your name or face the next day.”

Cold sweat popped out against my skin, and she blew a cold stream of air against the moisture above my upper lip. I still couldn’t move from where she’d pinned me against the steps.

“But we don’t have to worry about that, do we, baby?” She smiled, and while I was helpless to look away, her canines lengthened into fangs.

Terror twisted my gut as she leaned closer and closer. “I’m sorry-I’m sorry-I’m sorry-I’m–”

“Too little.”

She drove her razor-sharp fangs into my throat and swallowed greedily, hungrily. The pain was intense. And when she finally pulled back, keeping her jaw clamped tightly around my flesh, it became indescribable, but I couldn’t scream. I could only gurgle and stare at her as she delicately wiped the corners of her mouth with the pad of her thumb.

“Too late,” she whispered, sounding like she was a thousand miles away.

My vision darkened around the edges as she retied the top of her dress then stood and descended the stairs, the darkness swallowing her.

Or maybe it was swallowing me.

That’s it for me, today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories to see  what they came up with.  

Gwen  *  Siobhan

 

 

 

 

 

I am soooooooo tired. I’ve been staying up way, way too late for the last couple of weeks. But, I’m gonna knock out this post, and then crawl into bed.

So, last month, I said I was going to:

  • Finish all scheduled audio preps. (YEP)
  • Finish all scheduled edits. (YEP)
  • Work on the new Bound book. (YEP)
  • Make more Christmas presents. (YEP)
  • Put together writers group presentation for November. (YEP)

Yay me. This month is going to be more of the same.

  • Finish all scheduled audio preps. 
  • Finish all scheduled edits.
  • Work on the new Bound book.
  • Make more Christmas presents.
  • Put together a raffle basket for the writer’s group
  • Work on the next collection of re-releases and get them ready to go for the new year
  • Finish my holiday shopping
  • Mail a mountain of packages, boxes, and bags
  • Make Christmas cookies with the fam

We have quite a few family holiday traditions, so here they are- in no particular order. Like usual.

10.) Every year, for one or more family gatherings, I get tapped to make the fancy green bean casserole.

9.) We try to put up our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Though, this year, it didn’t happen until last night. But, at least it’s up.

8.) We tie our Christmas tree to a hook in the ceiling with high tensile strength fishing line because…

7.)…the cats climb the damn tree.

6.) I also usually get tapped to make Welsh cakes. And then everyone argues discusses whether or not they taste like my grandma’s.

5.) Everyone in my family, immediate and extended, has a one of a kind, cross stitched stocking designed by me. So far, I’ve made 22 of them.

4.) My favorite holiday decoration is the last thing that my grandma knitted for me before she died. It’s this Christmas castle. It’s whimsical and fun and reminds me of her.

3.) It’s not unusual to get or give gifts in my family that aren’t quite finished. I can tell you how many times my grandma or my mom have given us fabric pieces that were cut out but not sewn, partially knitted items still on the needles, or sometimes, skeins of yarn and a pattern booklet. My mom used to write a note to us from Mrs. Claus who was usually overwhelmed or overworked and needed our mom’s help to finish the gifts. We totally bought it.

2.) I am literally Leslie Knope about Christmas. I’m probably the least competitive person you’ll ever meet. Unless…it’s a gift giving occasion. If it’s time to give a gift, I work really hard to either find, or make, the best gift for whomever I’m giving it to. I’m honestly kind of obsessive about it. My niece, Lex, often says that I “win Christmas” or I “win birthdays”. It’s a sickness. But, I also really, really love finding or making the perfect gift for someone.

1.) My mom started this one, but all of us kids and our spouses have cheerfully carried on the quirky tradition of how we address gifts. For instance, there are never presents from my mom or Santa. We address the gifts in such a way that gives a hint about what’s inside. Like, one of my brothers got a microscope kit from Marie Curie one year. Back in the 80s, I got leg warmers from Rudolph Nureyev. My kids have gotten stuff from Blackbeard, Long John Silver, and Grace O’Malley. (There was a really loooooong pirate period in our house.) I’ve gotten gifts from Nimue and Merlin and even Alexander Hamilton. It’s so much fun, and it gets squirrelier every year. It’s probably my favorite of all our traditions.

What are some of your family’s traditions? I’d love to hear about them!

I think it’s just me this week, though Jess said she might post hers later. If she does, I’ll update with a link.