Thanksgiving is always fun, even though I really don't like turkey. Instead, I love the side dishes! My husband's sweet potatoes with maple syrup, brown sugar and nuts, with a splash of rum. I make homemade cranberry sauce--super simple, and super good, even plain! My sister-in-law makes broccoli casserole with cheese. YUM!
Christmas was always Mom's favorite holiday, since she grew up 8th of 10 during the Depression, in a large Polish immigrant family in Chicago. No toys or gifts ever, so she made sure that our family never lacked for them. We didn't feel spoiled--just loved.
Hogmanay was special to me faither who was from Glesga. He said that when he was growing up, Christmas in Scotland wasnae a big deal. New Years was, because they celebrated Hogmanay. How? At midnight, you eat homemade shortbread cookies (I make them every year.) You drink ginger beer, or have a wee dram of Scotch. Then the next morning, on New Year's Day, he remembered visiting all of the bars in the area. There would be lines outside of them, filled with women, and blond and red-haired men. Tradition says that the first person through your door, for good luck all year, must be a tall, dark-haired man, with a piece of shortbread in his pocket so you'll have food all year, a lump of coal in another pocket so you'll have heat, and something to drink that will keep you warm and happy all year. My dad would get pushed to the front of the line, because the barkeep wouldn't open the door until there was a tall, dark-haired man at the head of the line. Dad got free drinks everywhere he went! No wonder it was his favorite holiday!
I don't usually feature holidays in my books, but in Never Too Old For the Game of Love, and Recipe For Love, Reyes Family Romances Books # 1, and 2, there are scenes crucial to the plot that take place during "the season." In the first book, Tegan and Alejandro realize separately, at Thanksgiving, that they are developing feelings for each other, when their affair started out as just one hook-up weekend a month, when her ex has the kids. She has them for Christmas, but she and Alejandro spend New Years in a very romantic cabin in the woods. In the second book, Patti hosts Thanksgiving, and her ex tries to ruin the day. The biker she hired to help her cook in her diner, puts him in his place--leading to a romantic encounter Patti and J.T. have both been waiting for!
What are favorite holidays of other authors? Check them out: