Pretty papers and pretty ribbons make for pretty memories!
Award-winning author, Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her special brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.
Ten things you won’t know about Ann by reading her bio:
She’s married to her high school sweetheart.
She loves shopping at thrift stores.
She doesn’t remember her first kiss.
She hates talking on the telephone.
A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
She secretly wants to get a tattoo.
She believes everyone should own at least one pair of cowboy boots.
She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.
She sucks at math.
Pretty Papers Pretty Ribbons
by Ann Everett
As long as Momma and Daddy were alive, we all gathered at their house each Christmas Eve.
Over the years, our families grew until we had about forty people. Talk about a madhouse! But I’ve always loved Christmas especially spending it with my parents. There’s nothing more comforting than the sound of your parent’s voices. The familiar scent of Daddy’s mincemeat pie greeting you at the door like an old friend. I should mention nobody liked mincemeat but Daddy!
Covered dishes weren’t allowed because we had one member who was a lousy cook. She was so bad, news of what she’d bring spread through the crowd faster than you could say Elf on a Shelf.
Momma had a funny habit. When it was time to eat, she’d call everyone to the table, and following the prayer, she identified the food. “This is corn, this is green beans, this is mashed potatoes”—and so on until every dish had been named. We made fun of her—and now, when we all get together, nobody helps their plate until one of us identifies all of the food! Her quirk became a tradition.
Each year we played the Chinese Christmas game where each member brings a wrapped gift. Then, everyone draws a number to determine the order in which you get to choose one. If you don’t like your gift you may have an opportunity to take someone else’s loot.
I was never lucky at this game. I usually got stuck with something I didn’t like. But this particular year, took the cake…or should I say mincemeat pie! My number came up which was number nine. Not bad since there were only sixteen adults playing that year. I took my time. I perused the packages. Big. Little. Odd shaped. I zeroed in on a small one beautifully wrapped in red paper with a striped, glittered bow. I picked it up and shook it. Not a sound. It wasn’t very heavy and looked to be just the right size for a scented candle. I love candles. I sniffed the box. No telltale odor.
Carefully, I opened the box, and inside was a topiary made with a baby food jar, sand, and plastic flowers. I didn’t know they still made plastic flowers!! Usually, I can muster up an Oscar-winning performance when thanking someone for a gift I don’t like, but my gratitude came out weak especially when the whole room was laughing!
Later, I had a chance to steal a gift, which I took, but eventually, the topiary came back to me! To rub it in, for the next week, my sister called every day to see if I was taking care of the topiary.
Ha, ha. She’s such a comedian. Guess what she got for her birthday?
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Ans here’s the story Ann is bringing with her.
Chirp (A Bluebird, Texas Romance) by Ann Everett released a few years back in the contemporary genre.
A woman hiding from her future… Heiress to the largest steel company in America, twenty-year-old, socially awkward Blaze Bledsoe hides out at Dessie Bishop’s farm. For the last three years, Blaze has eluded one investigator after another. But just when she thinks she’s safe, a PI closes in, and her luck is about to run out in more ways than one.
A man running from his past… Rance Keller, a tough, hard-living ex-con, fresh out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit, arrives to claim the house his grandmother left him. Finding a strange girl living there, his plans for a solitary life take a turn. Her lack of modesty, no filter, and word of the day fetish baffles him, but those big green eyes and sweet mouth have him losing sleep.
Welcome to Bluebird, Texas, where two damaged people with secrets, discover trust can lead to passion.
Rance stepped outside and followed the aroma of bacon to Bubba’s Diner. Just what he needed after going heels to Jesus all night. He removed his last cigarette and tossed the package into the blue trash barrel at the corner of the building. Really should give up the bad habit, and he would. Later.
It occurred to him, last night’s tag-team event with the BFFs, had fulfilled his goal—fifty-two women in fifty-two weeks. No more pressure. With an early start and few stops, he could make it to Bluebird in one day. Grab a quick breakfast. Crank up the Harley. Hit the road. Couldn’t wait to see the place again. Enjoy the seclusion and relax in his grandmother’s old claw-foot tub. That’s what he loved about the little country town.
Everything remained the same. Never any surprises.
Thanks so much for letting me share one of my Christmas memories with your readers!
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Fun story! Sweet that you’ve continued the naming tradition.
Our Christmas dinner is turkey, green beans, and carbssssssssssss. As many potatoes, rolls, bread, dressing, sweet potatoes, rice, beans we can fit on the table, haha.
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