Friday, December 18, 2009

That Christmasy Feeling

The holiday spirit just hasn’t hit me yet this year. With deadlines and copy edits and all the other things life brings on a day-to-day basis, there hasn’t been time to think about it, much less decorate, shop, and wrap. And it’s only one week until Christmas!

I need help!

I’m looking for suggestions to get my spirit in gear. I’ve read some wonderful blog and Facebook posts about memories of Christmases past, learning the true meaning of the holiday, and how to de-stress at this most maddening time of the year. But none of them have done the trick. I feel like Scrooge, and that’s not how I want to feel. So let me know what you do to get in the mood for what’s been called the most wonderful time of the year.

May the spirit of the holidays be with everyone this year and on into the next. That includes me!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule, Happy Kwanzaa to all!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The celebration started early this year!

Hi, everyone,

This is an extra-special blog post for me because I’ve got some good things to share with you all.

First, I’ve just received confirmation of the title for my third Harlequin American Romance. I’m thrilled about this because the title works in two ways--and either way you look at it, it’s perfect! FAMILY MATTERS is tentatively scheduled to hit bookstores in October of 2010.

Next, I recently sold my fourth Harlequin American Romance and, believe me, I’m still doing the happy dance over that! Though both the title and publication date are tentative, the good news is that DADDY’S HOME should be out--fingers crossed--sometime in 2011.

And last but not least, I’m happy that my blog date falls mid-month, as it gives me yet another reason for this early celebration: the chance to say happy holidays to you all!

May you enjoy a safe and fun-filled holiday season, and may you find the new year brings you good health, much happiness, and success in everything that matters to you.

All my best, always,



Barbara White Daille

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Cowboy Christmas

Since Christmas is just around the corner and my release this month is called A Cowboy Christmas (Dec 09) I thought it fitting to share Omar Barker's famous Christmas Prayer Poem. Trust a Cowboy to whittle down the true meaning of Christmas!

By S. Omar Barker (1894-1985)

I ain't much good at prayin', and You may not know me, Lord-
I ain't much seen in churches where they preach Thy Holy Word,
But you may have observed me out here on the lonely plains,
A-lookin' after cattle, feelin' thankful when it rains,
Admirin' Thy great handiwork, the miracle of grass,
Aware of Thy kind spirit in the way it comes to pass
That hired men on horseback and the livestock we tend
Can look up at the stars at night and know we've got a friend.

So here's ol' Christmas comin' on, remindin' us again
Of Him whose coming brought good will into the hearts of men.
A cowboy ain't no preacher, Lord, but if You'll hear my prayer,
I'll ask as good as we have got for all men everywhere.
Don't let no hearts be bitter, Lord.
Don't let no child be cold.
Make easy beds for them that's sick and them that's weak and old.
Let kindness bless the trail we ride, no matter what we're after,
And sorter keep us on Your side, in tears as well as laughter.

I've seen ol' cows a-starvin, and it ain't no happy sight:
Please don't leave no one hungry, Lord, on thy good Christmas night-
No man, no child, no woman, and no critter on four feet-
I'll aim to do my best to help You find 'em chuck to eat.

I'm just a sinful cowpoke, Lord-ain't got no business prayin'-
But still I hope You'll ketch a word or two of what I'm sayin':
We speak of Merry Christmas, Lord-I reckon you'll agree
There ain't no Merry Christmas for nobody that ain't free.
So one thing more I'll ask You, Lord: Just help us what you can
To save some seeds of freedom for the future sons of man.

Wishing all of our blog readers and their loved ones a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Healthy New Year--Ti yi yippee-yippee-yay!

A Cowboy Christmas
*in stores now*

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Traditions

This year my best friend and I decided to start our own Christmas Tradition. Debra and I have been friends since fifth grade. We were in each other’s weddings. Our kids grew up together and her oldest daughter and my youngest son were in the same high school graduating class. And third generation, Debra babysits for both her granddaughter and mine.

So this year we took our granddaughters on a weekend excursion to Marble Falls, Texas to see the Christmas lights. We made a jaunt to Johnson City where the girls raced around under the light wrapped trees and clapped their hands in awe at a horse drawn carriage and Santa Claus. We watched a living nativity play and petted the animals. We drove through a display with a light tunnel and the girls stuck their heads out of the sunroof and squealed at all the beautiful lights. In Marble Falls we strolled through a Christmas display and sipped hot chocolate. The view off our balcony took in the reflection of the Marble Falls light display across the lake. We even talked the girls out of lunch at McDonalds and dined at the Bluebonnet Café where we sampled each other’s slices of homemade pie. According to my granddaughter, Lilly, it was the best day EVER! And an extra bonus for me Marble Falls and the Bluebonnet Café are the setting for my 2011 release.

Debra’s favorite part was the tiny Christmas angel at the nativity play, Samantha enjoyed petting the sheep, and Lilly loved sticking her head out of the top of the car. For me, it was just sharing a new adventure with wonderful people I love.
Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas full of both old and new experiences.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's almost Christmas and so far the Grinch has sent $800 worth of heating repairs, $900 worth of auto repairs, one car sent to the junk yard (we had about $5000 in that), $300 for a new garbage disposal, $600 for Hollyball dress, ties, hair, corsages, and just this morning in the midst of printing my edits that are due the 17th, the laser printer decided it needed a new $100 ink cartidge. Oh--and did I mention we finally got the Christmas tree up and gorgeous only to have it topple over, breaking ornaments we've had for decades? (This month's pic is of Abbey, Russell and Hannah all dolled up for the big dance. Terry was off picking up his date!)

Okay, so while none of that has been fun, I was snuggling with Hubby on the sofa last night in front of the fire with a wonderfully sappy Lifetime Christmas movie playing when it struck me how incredibly blessed we are. When we were first married, that much calamity striking at once would've meant a dreaded call to the folks to beg for money. Now, it just means covering the big, honking holes in the sofa with blankets for a little while longer! Ornaments break, but the memories attached to them will be with me forever.

I'm grateful for family and friends and my goofy, infuriating pets. While I need to lose a few pounds, I'm grateful for the bounty of food always in our cabinets and fridge. The older I get, the more it seems like my favorite parts of Christmas have less to do with gifts and more with the true gifts of family traditions. Playing epic games of boys versus girls Trivial Pursuit on Christmas Eve while watching The Grinch and Christmas Vacation. I love seeing friends and baking and the special hush of Christmas morning when it feels as if the whole world's taking a much-needed breather.

Happy, happy holidays to all!! What are some of your favorite family traditions?