Gingerbread and Parties and Snow, Oh My

First I want to say thank you to everyone for telling us about your holiday wishes on Friday’s post. It was fun reading all of them! Glad I’m not the only one who wants a maid, a new office set-up, or a new computer. In the end, it’s so great to know that God’s taking care of us and we have all we truly need… and whether or not those material dreams ever come true, we’ll all be fine.

So here it is, the start of a new week, and I can’t think of a darn thing to blog about. Don’t you think it’s hard to concentrate this time of year? My work load hasn’t let up and I’m focused on getting a few projects ready for submission and out the door as soon as possible. Plus, the schedule besides work is pretty crazy.

This weekend, my daughter had her very first school dance, which was an exciting milestone and she had a terrific time. (Although I’ve asked myself more than once… how did we get here? Yesterday she was a toddler.) We went to a Christmas party on Friday night and had a lot of fun, especially with the white elephant gift exchange. Saturday night, another party, this one a formal Fire Department shindig so I got to dress up. All these activities make it seem like the holidays—go figure. Plus it was snowing most of Sunday and the outdoor temperature never got above ten degrees (it was minus 2 when we went to church), making it a nice day to stay inside with the family. We did some cooking and baking, decorated our gingerbread houses, watched football and Christmas specials. A perfect Sunday.

So what I’m saying is, my head isn’t into blogging right now. Sorry about that. I promise I’ll have something for you tomorrow. Meanwhile, why don’t you tell me something. Anything. What’s going on in your life? How are your holidays? Will you travel or stay home? Do you prefer ham, turkey, or roast beef? How’s your writing going? Aren’t you excited that both Lost and American Idol are going to be starting their new seasons soon? Talk to me, entertain me, enlighten me. Whatever.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Gabster on December 11, 2011 at 1:58 AM


    Great blog post, saw on…

  2. Heather B. Moore on December 15, 2008 at 10:54 PM

    >My kids made “gingerbread trains”–very cute, but they didn’t last 48 hours. lol.

  3. Katy McKenna on December 15, 2008 at 5:40 PM

    >Yesterday, we attended our church friends’ Fourth Annual Festival of the Aluminum Trees, a huge event with our crowd. What could be better than great friends, good food, and a nostalgic display of a wonderful collection of silver, gold, pink, and blue trees? From here on out, the family is the focus….Yay!

  4. Marla Taviano on December 15, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    >My mom, 2 sisters, SIL, and I each bought a gingerbread house kit. On Saturday, we’re all getting together (with our kiddos) and making a whole village. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but doing it with people I love so much makes it AWESOME. Seriously, I feel physically warm and fuzzy and tingly THE WHOLE ENTIRE TIME.

    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!

  5. Pam Halter on December 15, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    >10 whole days to go before Christmas. That is a virtual eternity for me, giving me time to bake cookies, finish my sewing projects, clean the house and wrap the gifts. If I work non-stop, that is. 🙂 Oh, and I also have a proposal to send out, which was requested after an SCWBI workshop.

    But what I’m really looking forward to is doing gingerbread cookies with my 2-year-old granddaughter. I’ll bake ’em and ice ’em and she’ll put on the sprinkles. 🙂 Too fun!!

  6. Jana on December 15, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    >This is Christmas Number Five for me of celebrating in a small, crammed-with-our-worldly-goods rental house while we remodel Dream Home Number Two (built in 1902). We’re so close to being done I was salivating over finally “Doing Christmas up right” this year but to no avail. (It was going to be such a quick project originally we negotiated a month by month lease with our landlord. Ha.)

    These last Christmases have been celebrated at the Salvation Army Angel Tree, and by singing at church and with the Community Chorus, and hanging out with the homeless on Christmas Eve. They have been good in their own way, sans tree, tinsel, lights and baking, and make me feel holy to talk about them– but Christmas ’09is really going to rock!

  7. Jim Rubart on December 15, 2008 at 1:22 PM


    I thought I liked you before … but LOST and A.I.? Now I REALLY think you’re great! My wife and I can’t wait for either!

    Merry Christmas.

  8. Karen on December 15, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    >Our Christmas with kids and grandkids is over all ready. We exchanged gifts at Thanksgiving since everyone who is scattered all over the continent was home then. We are preparing to leave for a holiday cruise and because we’ll be gone, we haven’t put up a tree or decorated. It seems kind of bleak around here so I’m anxious to get on the ship and see their decorations. Didn’t know I’d miss them so much.

    Did have a Currier and Ives moment in Niagra Falls last week on the way back from my 100 Huntley Street appearance. Sat in a restaurant surrounded by a lighted mini-Christmas village watching the river rush by and huge soft snowflakes fall. Absolutely beautiful.

    Merry Christmas all!

  9. Catherine West on December 15, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    >Well you know how much I love snow…sometimes hubby manages to persuade me to have a Canadian Christmas, but the last time we did that I went out for a walk before checking the temperature and discovered, after I could not longer feel my feet, that it was -31C!!! Needless to say, I prefer my Bermuda Christmas. We most of our traditions here come from Britain, so we will have the traditional Christmas dinner with turkey and ham, potatoes and lots of vegetables. We do a Bermuda dish called Cassava Pie, which is very hard to explain, but it’s delicious and extremely fattening!!! Our weather is typically in the 60’s around this time of year, as it is today, which is lovely.
    I’m looking forward to my daughter coming home next week, son gets out of school this week after a very busy term.
    I don’t get much done this time of year writing wise, which is often good because by the time January rolls around and the house is quiet again, I’m raring to go!

  10. Lea Ann McCombs on December 15, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    >I was gonna say I liked your new photo, but everyone else did so…Well, I like it anyway.

    We don’t do snow in Oklahoma, we do ICE! Lat year’s ice storm put the whole state in a disaster category. We had this season’s first ice storm last night and school’s out and my kids are overcome with joy! Sponge Bob has not been quiet all morning!

    I love this time of year–even all the hype and commercialism! It’s the only time of year where the whole country is focused on something positive and unified in the mindset of “peace on earth, goodwill to men.” Can’t have too much of that.

  11. Anita Mae Draper on December 15, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    >Nice photo, Rachelle. (No, I’m not sucking up…it really is…)

    School buses cancelled here due to extreme cold today and this is warmer than yesterday:
    – air temp -30C/-22F
    with wind chill -42C/-44F

    Even so, everyone still made it to church yesterday and then we drove an hour to a kids Christmas party.

    God is so good! I didn’t know how I was going to finish decorating and get baking done by the time I head into city to get MIL tomorrow, but God has given us this extra day! I’ve told the kids to muster in the livingroom at 10:30 so I have a couple mins to finish this and get dressed before the fun starts.

    I’ve spent more time than req’d Christmasfying the church blog that I write as well as my own but now kids can go to the Sunday school page and decorate a virtual tree. I just had to figure out how to set it up. LOL

    Okay, gotta go…

  12. Rachel on December 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM

    >Oh yeah–and I feel co-dependent regarding the show Lost. If it’s on, I feel happy and hopeful. If a WKU game interrupts it or the writers go on strike, I am bereft. I keep trying to break up with the show, as it wields so much power over me. But I can’t. I’m weak.

  13. Rachel on December 15, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    >Your new picture is cute. Was that at your husband’s formal Christmas party? Dressing up is so fun.

    My sister (and absolute best friend and most reliable, faithful, tough critic) is moving to South Asia to pursue foreign missions with her husband and three little kids. They leave right after Christmas. We live in adjoining townhouses, and have homeschooled our kids together since they were of age. I’m so sad she’s leaving. Really, I feel hollow without her. Now I’m going to have to scrounge up some girlfriends…

    I’ve started blogging. The stat counter is crack-cocaine. It’s best not to ever start checking it, because if you do…

  14. Chatty Kelly on December 15, 2008 at 10:43 AM

    >p.s. Love your new picture!

  15. Chatty Kelly on December 15, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    >First, I’m jealous of the snow (but not the temperature!) We don’t get much snow in VA.

    I’m relating to your comments on the girls, my two girls are 4 and 9, and I just realized that in Jan I have to register my 4 year old for elementary school. WHAT???

    I got a query to write 7 devotionals, so I’m so excited about that (for pay even!)

    My fabulous book idea may not work, because of copyright issues. Boo.


  16. Monica on December 15, 2008 at 9:42 AM

    >Oh, how sweet! A new baby would be wonderful for Christmas!

    I finished a short story last week, and for the first time in a long time, I’m actually pleased with something I’ve written. It’s still a rough draft and not perfect, but I don’t want to throw it in the trash. Yay!

    My boys are still very little, so I’m still not doing a lot of baking with them. The oldest is very into Christmas, though. He loves checking the manger scene every morning for Baby Jesus. 🙂

  17. Yvonne on December 15, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    >My house is turned upside down this year. My daughter and her husband are living with us, because he didn’t have a job or place to live. We squeezed them into the upstairs bedrooms. (I couldn’t find my Christmas decorations in the attic for awhile!)

    They’re expecting a baby anytime. Today is the due date, and my daughter is miserable. I hope little Carter comes soon. So, I will be having my first grandchild for Christmas this year!

  18. Deborah Vogts on December 15, 2008 at 9:11 AM

    >Oh my goodness — look at that snow!!! We had a light dusting last night with some sleet and ice, but not enough to close school today. My girls were so bummed. I have my Christmas cards mailed, gifts purchased (not wrapped), and a list of food to bake & make, but plan on writing most of this week. Then on Saturday my oldest daughter & her husband arrive from Phoenix. I haven't seen her in 7 months, and I am SOOOOOO excited! Hoping for snow!

  19. Melinda Walker on December 15, 2008 at 8:21 AM

    >We had Christmas messages from Isaiah yesterday. (I love the beauty of the language, the imagery, and themes of Isaiah.) The sermons helped my grinchiness–a result of the hectic schedule this time of year. The spiritual aspect of the season gets sweeter each year, and I’m less and less interested in the hooplah part. But four kids necessitates a certain level of celebration. Part of my mood elevation might be that I’m closing in on completing my shopping. Whew hoo!

    A small Christmas miracle occured this weekend–my almost-16-year-old son spontaneously washed a load of his and his sisters’ pants after he got his dirty playing with the dog!

    I’m striving to enjoy the blessings of the unpubbed–I cut way back on my writing schedule last week to facilitate the holiday prep. I’d rather write than decorate or cook or pretty much anything, so that’s part of my grinch-factor.

    Hope you all have a truly blessed Christmas!

  20. Anne L.B. on December 15, 2008 at 6:43 AM

    >Oh yes, it’s way hard to stay focused on writing novel #2, even as my vision for publishing fiction is being subtly transformed.

    Praise the Lord for the gift of His Son and all the ways of celebrating it!

    God’s Christmas gift to me was unexpectedly putting me on our church’s drama team this autumn, which culminated with two performances of our church Christmas program this weekend, and a separate solo role I had in yesterday morning’s worship service. I ought to be exhausted. But I’m exhilarated, and excited about speaking at the jail next weekend.

    I haven’t baked anything Christmas, my husband and kids did the tree thing, and I’m hanging on by my fingertips as our family sails through Christmas parties, birthdays, a wedding, music recitals, and my son’s purple belt. This week is Christmas cards and planning an office party. I’m wearing everything from biblical costume to ultra-feminine to snow pants to sleekly elegant to holiday silly.

    Life is full. Life is good. May the message of Christ’s birth be fresh and alive to all of you. Merry Christmas!

  21. Africakid on December 15, 2008 at 6:19 AM

    >Our son flies home to Germany on Friday and all five of us get to spend the holidays together (miracle of miracles)! And I’m packing up house over the next month–in January, we’re moving back to the Northwest, close to my family. I’m so excited! Very little writing will happen for awhile…maybe a few poems at most. 🙂

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, full of peace and joy.

  22. Gwen Stewart on December 15, 2008 at 6:11 AM

    >* Your girls did a great job on their gingerbread houses. Was that a home project?

    * My son had his first sixth grade dance this year. Spent it running around with his buds–no actual dancing. Their MO is one says something funny and the others repeat it for the next half hour. I don’t get it, but it’s entertaining to witness. Mostly. 🙂

    * I’m 60K words into my WIP and had a big “aha” about it on my way to the grocery store yesterday.

    * Alas, my only dress up occasions for the holidays are the elementary concerts I direct. I add a touch of sophistication by refusing to wear the requisite teacher apparel: a Rudolph sweater with a nose that lights up (even better if it plays the song). I figure if my kindergartners think it’s really, really cute, and they want one too, don’t wear it…or risk a concert ambush by Stacy and Clinton. Heh.

  23. Camille Cannon Eide on December 15, 2008 at 2:55 AM

    >I took a “LOST” haitus after Mt Hermon last March, missed about 10 episodes I think. Ack! Now I have to catch up over Christmas week (I’m on vacation, whatever that means) so I can watch when the season begins. LOST is my one and only TV show. I’ll be having a marathon catch-up party here!!!!
    Please don’t talk about the show till I get caught up, everyone. 🙂
    (Thanks to this blog I already heard who was in the coffin.)

  24. Theo Lynne on December 15, 2008 at 2:22 AM

    >This my first Christmas with my husband and despite the failing economy (I live in the Detroit area, so it’s fairly bad with the Big Three) I can’t help but to smile. I’ve looked forward to this for a long time. Tomorrow I’m going to my home town to shop with my mum and have coffee with my best friend. Over all, I’m in a very good mood!

  25. Kim Kasch on December 15, 2008 at 2:18 AM

    >I love the gingerbread houses and first dances – ahhh…that was so long ago in our house. Memories.

    We had our first snow of the year, Sunday!!! That’s a rare thing in Portland, Oregon. I blogged about it. You can see pics and read about it
    ”Kim Kasch’s Blogspot”

    It’s a beautiful time of the year!