Ana’s Advent Calendar, Day 9: Not So Traditional Holiday Traditions

Having Fun with Not-So-Traditional Holiday Traditions

I have a goose decoy sitting on a dusty shelf in my laundry room just waiting for me to bring her out at Christmas. Since my brother found her on the side of the road nearly twenty years ago, the goose has found its way into many gag gifts and special occasions. It is a now a staple of our holiday grab bag exchange. Whoever gets the goose at Christmas holds onto it for the year and regifts it in the holiday exchange the next year. I got the goose last year, which means I get to plot a fun way to turn it into a gift this year. Bwahahaha! Goose

I ran across the goose when I was cleaning in November, and I started mulling over what I could do that would be different and fun. The goose has already been stuffed with Easter Eggs and situated on a nest of shredded paper. She’s also be duct taped, decked out in ribbons galore and stuffed with fruitcake. She’s come gifted with a paper airplane book, a singing fish and a side of Spam.

After a couple days of thought, my writing muse decided to get in on the fun. “We should write a book. Yeah, to show your family at Thanksgiving. About how scared Goose is to leave the shelf in your house and go to a new home. We can illustrate it with real pictures. We’ll take them ourselves with the camera. We’ll have Goose act out all the adventures we have planned for her. We can have her climb a tree, fly off the roof and hang from the basketball hoop. Oh, this is going to be so much fun. Let’s get started!”

So, I still don’t know what I’m going to do for the Christmas grab bag, but I obeyed my muse. With a great big smile on my face and more than a few giggles, I wrote Goose’s story of overcoming her fear of the unknown. It has a mere 500 words and plenty of pictures taken by me and my daughter. It’s ridiculous and silly. I carried Goose to the park to meet real geese, much to my daughter’s embarrassment. (What if the people driving by see you? What will they think?!) I, on the other hand, was having far too much fun to be embarrassed, and I can only hope I gave the neighbors something to talk about!

I spent the rest of the weekend playing with page formatting and fonts. Finally, I uploaded the finished document to Office Depot and had it printed and bound. Everyone who’s read the book so far has smiled and snickered a little. I’ve decided Goose is the perfect answer for the holidays. She’s fun, defuses stress, and makes people smile and revert to childhood antics. Now I just have to find a way to end up with my own grab bag, so I can keep Goose for next year!

Sara D

He only plans for the future. She might not have a future.

When live-for-the-moment massage therapist Willow Jeffries bursts into Colin Vanderhayden’s office, she makes it her mission to loosen up the future-focused CEO, knowing each moment of the present is too precious to waste. Despite her immediate attraction, the only future she can offer is one full of heartache.

The last thing Colin needs is a flighty woman messing up his carefully-constructed plans, but her heavenly massages and addictive personality prove hard to resist. But he has no idea how sick she is.

No longer able to ignore her life-threatening medical condition, Willow slips away to spare Colin a miserable future with her. Is Colin willing to sacrifice his well-laid future plans to get Willow back?

Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, and loses her car keys several times a day. Subscribe to Sara’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/rx_AL Visit her website: http://www.SaraDaniel.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SaraDanielSaraShafer
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SSaraDaniel
Blog: http://saradanielromance.blogspot.com

Advertisements

48 thoughts on “Ana’s Advent Calendar, Day 9: Not So Traditional Holiday Traditions

  1. Joelle Casteel says:

    Hm, not-so-traditional traditions. This morning I’m thinking of two things- pens and Chalica. The pen is a new tradition I’ve set my heart on because my mother tried to shame me when I bought my daughter a “High School Musical” pen when she was a pre-transgender disclosure pre-teen; the first year of making new traditions, my daughter loved her “Nightmare Before Christmas” pen with built-in projector. Chalica is a created Unitarian Universalist holiday- 7 days of holiday starting from the first Monday in December. Each day focuses on one of the UU Principles. Because it’s an invented holiday and newer as well, I’ve been considering new traditions that fit the holiday. Like the idea of something like your family’s Goose 😀 It’s quite cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      I love your pen tradition and the great memories it will give you and your daughter. I’m going to have to look up Chalica. I’m intrigued, and I hadn’t heard of it before. Thanks for enlightening me. 🙂

      Like

      • Joelle Casteel says:

        You’re welcome, Sara 🙂 Funny thing, i’m already thinking of next year’s pen. This year was easy because my daughter loves “Nightmare Before Christmas,” but they only had the one projector pen related to the movie.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. nerdgirl1115 says:

    I love that not-so-traditional tradition. I’m going to have to think one up. I bet it is a great way to relieve stress. We seem to get so caught up in buying that “perfect” gift that we tend to miss out on the joy and laughter of being with loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      You are so right. What I remember and love most about this silly goose tradition is that we spend so much of the gift exchange laughing and joking, and that warms my heart more than any “perfect” gift.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. awesomesub says:

    Hi Sara, I wish we had such a funny not-so traditional holiday tradition as the one with the goose. Finding different ways of giving it away for another year must be a lot of fun to think about and to do. And having a goose with her own story is absolutely special. She is a star! 🙂 I love this.

    hugs

    Nina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Thank you, Nina. A tradition has to start once before it can become a tradition, so you can always try something and see if it catches on!

      Like

  4. Irishey says:

    Hi, Sara.

    How awesome that you wrote and had printed a booklet of goose adventures for your family Thanksgiving! Poor embarrassed daughter. Lol! 😉

    I can just imagine you using photocopy to show Gag Gift Goose “Gaggy” leading a gaggle of geese into much mischief! Maybe you could continue these little short stories for various holidays, celebrations, milestones, other themed “issues” as you did with fear of the unknown. Compile them and sell the book!

    I am thinking your goose needs a shiny red nose to lead Santa’s team of Christmas geese pulling his sledful of toys and naughty elves… Oh, this is fun just imagining the possible shenanigans! 😉 I love the goosey adventures you described!

    Thanks for sharing the blurb from The Captivating CEO. It has quite a serious and emotional backstory to accompany the relationship and romance drama and fun. And, Willow is somewhat flighty/ditzy to boot! Sounds like a good read!

    I started something many years ago when my oldest daughters were very little, which I never thought of as a tradition until my middle daughter mentioned this year that she wanted to do it with her children’s gifts. She mentioned she wants to give them something(s) they need, something they want, something that teaches and/or they can learn from, and silly/fun little things in their stockings. I’ve always done that, but didn’t really THINK of it as “a thing” I do every year. I also didn’t realize my kids identified that I was doing that.

    The challenge is finding gifts that meet two or more of those criteria, or that don’t cost much so I can ensure their Christmas addresses need, want, learn and silly fun.

    Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Sara Daniel says:

        Typos are always sneaking by, and I don’t see them until after the fact when I’m cringing in embarrassment. Sadly, I can’t even blame my phone. 😉

        Like

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Ha, ha! I love the “Gaggy” and the Rudolph nose ideas. So fun!

      I love what you do with your daughters. Fulfilling multiple criteria at once is always a challenge but usually makes for that “perfect” gift. I think most of the time we don’t set out intending the create a tradition. It just develops organically. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

  5. JoanneBest says:

    How do you top a goose? 😀
    I love love love the entire idea of the goose but even more, your idea of making the book! Oh wow! I wish it was available for purchase! I think it would be a bestseller! (and the beginning of a new series 😉 )

    Not-so-traditional traditions? I’ve been sitting here for over an hour wracking/racking my brain (google refuses to give me a definitive answer as to which word is correct 😀 ) to come up with something not-so-traditional but I keep coming up short 😛
    I do know however, that I’m now determined to come up with something new to start ,beginning this Christmas.
    Wow, me, at a loss for words! You’ve performed a miracle Sara, and if I tell the hubby you had me stumped for words he’d want you to move in lol, he always tell me I speak a paragraph instead of a sentence whenever I’m talking 😛

    We always wrap gifts for the dogs and cats and have them open them on their own but that’s not unusual. We always play at the christmasdogsofwar.com benefit every year at Christmas which is sort of not-so-traditional as every band who plays makes sure to do a non-traditional version of Christmas songs but that’s not so unusual either, I mean doing something for charity is also not unusual , although me putting the link here is also not-so-traditional for me because I don’t usually try to promote something I’m involved with artistically but because it’s for charity I’m bending my rule a bit 😉

    A brandy-new Christmas ornament isn’t not-so-traditional either, although I do try to find unusual ornaments for each person in the house that fits their personality and we unwrap them and hang them on Christmas morning. For example my sis-in-law once received an ornament from me of a Chinese food container that says “My night to cook” which is sort of a standing joke in the household. (Although now when I hang it I always think of Trinity from Ana’s Mistress series 😀 )

    Oh Sara! Who would have guessed I’d be stumped! 😀
    I’m going to have to think on this all day (and get back to a few comments I’ve yet to reply to #BadMe ) and hopefully, at the very least, I can think of a new not-so-traditional tradition for my house 🙂
    Oh, and I’ve just added Captivating CEO to my tbr list (which is growing bigger by the day!) I’ve read quite a few of your books but one I missed (and can’t wait to read!) is Psychic Lies, it looks wonderful and I don’t know how I missed it. Thank you for your post, your awesome goose, and the gift of your writing ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Hi Joanne,

      I always have issues with wrack/rack too. And then the online grammar site disagrees with my editor. I’ve decided that going forward I’m just going to find another less troublesome word to save myself the headache!

      Speaking of headaches, my silly goose story had so many pictures that the formatting would be a huge pain if I tried to put it up for public sale. We’ll see. If I get some free time, maybe I’ll change my mind.

      I just checked out the christmasdogsofwar.com, and that does sound like a cool, interesting and not-so-traditional tradition. As far as I’m concerned, it qualifies!

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying my books. I’m working on a new manuscript (hopefully to come out a year from now) that follows two characters first introduced in Psychic Lies. (Shh, that’s top secret information!) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ami Starsong says:

    I love traditions like you have! But the most fabulous thing is that you have written a story to go with the tradition. What a wonderful family heirloom to pass down the generations.

    I’m intrigued that the goose is hollow. We have an old wooden decoy duck, and he is extremely solid! So nowhere to stuff anything.

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your Christmas with us!

    Hugs
    Ami

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Hi Ami,

      Our goose is plastic, so over the years she’s had some very uncomfortable (not to mention, unskilled and non-medically approved) belly surgeries to make her stuff-able! I’m guessing your duck is grateful not to be subject to the same fate!

      I’m also guessing your decoy must be quite a bit older than ours. Now, I’m curious about what decade the switch in decoy craftsmanship went from wood to plastic.

      Like

      • catrouble says:

        Hey Sara…the big push to switch over from wooden to plastic decoys was in the 60s and 70s…my mom tried to buy some for my dad and he had a fit! He used to duck hunt with the old wooden duck decoys…they stayed in our attic and dad got them down every year when he went hunting…not really sure whatever happened to them. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sara Daniel says:

          My gut thought was the 70s. I love the story about your parents. If you find those old wooden decoys, they’d make great gag gifts. Just saying. 😉 (Of course, yours are old enough that maybe they’d be worth $$.)

          Like

  7. Sassytwatter says:

    I am laughing that you were once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels. They are crazy little animals people don’t know unless they have gone one on one with. In college there was a squirrel who loved above my building and he would throw berries from the tree every time I was walking up the stairs with groceries and was successful at tripping me one year. Loved the goose story and the grab bag idea hope you end up with it again this year. We don’t have any quirky holiday traditions may hope to find some this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Oh no, I have this terrible image of you lying helpless on the ground while the squirrel runs off with your groceries. (And I’m a terrible person because I’m snickering as I’m imagining it!) Squirrels just might take over the world some day!!

      Like

  8. kaisquared4 says:

    Our traditions are very traditional. I love the book of Goose’s adventures. Our only nontraditional thing we have been doing the past Christmas and this one is dressing the dachshund as a reindeer when she comes out caroling with us. Captivating the CEO is in my TBR pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Oh, now that’s a great tradition. And I love that you go caroling. I haven’t done that in far too long, but it was always such a fun time and always so appreciated by the shut-ins we visited. Enjoy Captivating the CEO. 🙂

      Like

  9. pieclown says:

    Hi. I started to think of Flat Stanley, when I read of your goose. Great idea. I was the last recipient of a gag gift on my mom’s side. It is not Ana safe. I never to re-gift it, because of the ending of a major Christmas with that family. The passing of my mom and her mom in 6 months of each other. We are spread out by over 1000 miles.

    I do hope you get your goose, if not just bend over and you just may get a different goose. haha.

    pie pie 4 now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      I’m so glad you have your gag gift as a memory of the good times with your mom and grandmother. (I do think you should reveal what it is. Shocking Ana is always so fun. LOL!)

      If I don’t get the goose, you’ve given me a great idea for a new goosing tradition. Um, no, on second thought, I can’t imagine goosing my dad or my 91-year-old grandmother or… Nope! I’ll just have to wait till next year. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. catrouble says:

    Hey Sara…love your tradition of the goose being passed around the family…maybe you need to get a recording of a goose honking and then ask your goose who he wants to live with. As each person’s name is mentioned, he would honk once for no and twice for yes. Of course, he would honk no when everyone’s name was mentioned and then when your name is called, he would just start joyously honking! 😀

    We really don’t have any non-traditional traditions…unless you count the ‘birthday cake’ I bake every Christmas and singing Happy Birthday before opening gifts or the fact that I refuse to cook on Christmas day, the other traditions – ornaments, wrapped gifts for pets, etc. are fairly traditional.

    Thanks for sharing the excerpt of your wonderful story…another to be added to my TBR pile which is growing out of control! 😉

    Hugs and blessings…Cat

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      LOL, Cat. That sounds like a great sequel book!!

      I love the tradition of not cooking on Christmas Day. I hope that gives you lots of time to relax and enjoy the day and to enjoy the special birthday cake!

      Like

  11. renee200 says:

    HaHa I love this story. The goose having its own story is great. I really liked that you took it out to meet other geese. It is the family traditions that will stick with our kids not necessarily the traditions that everyone else does. All our traditions seem to be around food. Blessings, R

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Food traditions are always so memorable. My mother-in-law has her special cinnamon rolls. My great-grandmother from Hungary used to make pork and potato dumplings, and I still get teary-eyed when I think about those meals, even though she’s been gone for over 25 years.

      Like

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Enjoy the holidays with your baby. They are so precious. I miss all those sweet cuddle moments, but I don’t miss getting up in the middle of the night!

      Like

  12. AM says:

    LOL! I love the goose tradition. That’s so funny!

    I don’t think we have any non-traditional traditions. Almost everything we do is pieced together from very traditional elements. We may have to start something this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Thank you, Julie. I’m sure I would have been horribly embarrassed at her age too. It’s so freeing not worry about others’ opinions! 🙂

      Like

  13. Laura says:

    What a great tradition. Our non-traditional tradition is playing bingo after dinner and the prizes are all things from the dollar store which is fun because as you all know there are some weird things that you can get for a dollar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Daniel says:

      Laura, I love the bingo tradition and the dollar store prizes. That’s awesome and sounds like such a fun time. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Please play nicely or you may be asked to stand in the corner. ;)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s