Christmas with Family, and Cherished Memories

There are just four days left of the winter term at school. Last week I enjoyed watching our daughters perform in their school nativity plays. Both were brilliant, of course, and we had lots of laughs and lots of loving smiles as we watched. Then I had the pleasure of seeing my daughters display their dancing in the after school classes we attend. My youngest is learning ballet, and she looked incredibly cute performing a routine for a song from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid. My elder daughter attends a freestyle dance class, and she performed a dance routine from Disney’s Aladdin. It was great fun to watch!

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We have enjoyed a weekend of parties (both birthday and Christmas), and simply a little time to wind down and finish preparing for Christmas. Is it really only a week away? Wow! I will add that my happiness is tinged with sadness at present. As I write this post on a Sunday morning, I await news from hospital about my paternal Grandad. He has been ill for almost two weeks now, and his time here on earth is almost up. We have visited him and prepared, but of course the tears will continue to flow as we grieve and release. His birthday is on Christmas Eve, and as a child it made our festivities all the more exciting and fun. I will always cherish the memories of my Nan and Grandad hosting parties at their bungalow, at the big family gatherings we would have, and all the dancing and singing over the years. I love my family.

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Heritage Jewellery Gifts for Christmas

Are you still searching for Christmas gifts? How about some heritage jewellery for the lady in your life? These would be perfect for your spouse, partner, mother, sister, friend… I think I like the oak leaf necklace most!

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Also, you can get FREE DELIVERY on orders over £35, and better still, £10 off if you spend £60 or more on gifts. So, you can stock up the wine rack, finish your gift shopping, and add a few sweet treats for a bargain price. Merry Christmas!

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Festive Snow

It was nice while it lasted! We finally had a sprinkling of snow here in the North West, and it stuck. Our youngest daughter was amazed to see real, proper snow that she could walk around in and make snowballs with. My husband and I had a snowball fight that got a little bit vicious…whoops! And we tried to build a snowman, but the dog kept eating it.

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View through the train window Churnet Valley Railway

The snow came down on Friday night and stayed for the weekend while we had a sleepover at the in-laws’ house. Back home, however, it all melted away very quickly, and now it has gone. Ah well, maybe it will return for Christmas…

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Letters From Santa

Our children have enjoyed a magical weekend on the Santa and Steam train at the Churnet Valley Railway, and a visit to Santa’s grotto at their school Christmas fair. To top it off, we finally had some decent snowfall in the UK, and “Little Switzerland” looked especially festive and pretty as we chugged along the old train tracks, sipping sherry and soaking in the atmosphere. I loved it!

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The weekend finished on an excited note when my daughters woke to find their Christmas elves sitting under the tree, each holding an envelope addressed to the children. They had received official Lapland Mailroom letters from Santa! He wrote personal notes to each child, and presented them each with a “Good Child” certificate. Suffice to say that we are well and truly excited for Christmas Day.

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Winter Wonderland Holiday Blog Share

From 11th – 18th December you can visit a selection of fabulous authors, download their FREE books for you, and enter a competition to win a $60 Amazon gift card. You can use this if you are in the UK, so please take a look and see what surprises lie in store.

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Blog schedule

December 11, 2017 – Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers Blog

FREE BOOK: Elementary, My Dear Gertie

​​December 12, 2017 – ​ Catherine Green Author

FREE BOOK: Christmas with the Vampires

​December 13, 2017 – Stanalei Fletcher Blog

FREE BOOK: Tell It Like It Is

December 14, 2017 – Doree Anderson

December 15, 2017 – ​Kathryn E. Jones

FREE BOOK: Tie Died

December 16, 2017 – Karl Beckstrand

FREE BOOK: Anna’s Prayer and Muffy & Valor

December 17, 2017 – I Must Be Dreaming Blog

​December 18, 2017 – Mary’s Garden Blog

FREE BOOK: Profit (Book V The Beckett Series)

 

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How to Enter the Competition

It’s easy to enter for the $60 Amazon Gift Card. Here is what you need to do….

  1. Visit each blog to read their seasonal daily post
  2. Leave a comment
  3. Enter rafflecopter!

Each author will include instructions for their freebies.

Rafflecopter will be available from December 11 to December 18th 2017.

Holiday Blog

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Making Paganism Work for Me

I am ready for a break. Christmas is fast approaching, my children are counting down the days until their school holiday, and I have lost all motivation for work. Seriously, I can barely bring myself to switch the computer on, never mind do any writing! I started to feel quite worried, actually. I mean, if I don’t work every day, my business won’t grow and I won’t sell any books. But then I stopped to think about it.

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Will the world really end because my business is slow? No. I am very fortunate that my husband can support our family with his wage, and while his job is not the most pleasant, he does generally enjoy his work. For those frustrating issues that arise, I am here to offer love, support, and reiki to take the edge off his stress. So, really, my work is at home. I knew that all along. I made the conscious decision after the birth of our first child. I run the home, I nurture the family, I do all those little, essential, hidden jobs every single day. I matter.

Witchcraft and Magick SpookyMrsGreen

Image Credit: NEJ Photography

So then I think about my spiritual work. Am I a bad pagan, or a poor witch, because I am not practising my craft? No. I am practising my craft. Ok, so I don’t do regular spell work, and most of the time I can barely remember what phase the moon is in, but I am still pagan. I walk in nature almost every day. I breath in the fresh air, I appreciate the sun, the sky, the world around me. Everything else will happen when it is supposed to. And for now, my focus is reiki. I take time to meditate, to rest my body and quiet my mind. I can really feel the effects, as well. I have absolutely no desire to rush around and stress about Christmas. Now, I feel the urge to do some crafts, and make some Christmas cards… you have a lovely day!

SpookyMrsGreen in Bulgaria

Mr Green and me many years ago! 

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*Sale* Clarks Shoes for Children, Women and Men

Psst! Clarks Shoes have a big half-price sale starting today, across all ranges. That includes shoes for kids, shoes for women, shoes for men, and even bags of all styles. You could grab a little stocking filler for your darlings, or a treat for yourself. Those pesky children will grow at the worst possible time, won’t they? Take a look, and grab a bargain. Season’s greetings!

Clarks Sale

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*HUGE Christmas Giveaway* 25 Days of Box Sets for You!

Grab an AMAZING, *FREE* Urban Fantasy box set! + 19 more box sets in other sci-fi & fantasy genres! Also, don’t forget to join our “25 Days of Prizes” giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 25 FREE X-mas prizes!

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Hi folks, welcome to December and the official Christmas countdown! This festive season I bring to you a brand new urban fantasy novel from my new collection. You can download it for free during our 25 Days of Box Sets giveaway promotion, and it will be widely available to buy in 2018.

Return of the Vampire Hunter by Catherine Green

Just your average Cheshire housewife – who used to hunt vampires!

Hannah Oakley used to be a vampire hunter. She retired from active service when she fell in love with the female vampire she was hunting, but old wounds refuse to heal. She and the vampire fought almost to the death at the time, and now it seems that the vampire has tracked her down. Hannah must return to work, grudgingly accepting help from a new hunting partner, and she is determined that this time she will finish the job. But can she ignore the old lust for her vampire lover? Is the mother able to be a vampire hunter one more time? And will her marriage survive the ordeal?

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Now, because we are fast approaching Christmas, and I am full of festive cheer, you may download Return of the Vampire Hunter for FREE, as part of the 25 Days of Box Sets Giveaway courtesy of New Adult Noir(e). You can find it inside the Mages and Mavericks urban fantasy box set.

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Reiki and Emotional Healing at Christmas

My reiki practise continues alongside all the other chaos in my life at present. You know what I mean: husband, children, domestic challenges, family challenges, work and all the rest. I never really took time to learn what reiki healing is all about before I started my journey. I used to think that it was a mysterious, magical “cure all” process that wasn’t relevant to me. How wrong I was!

Reiki energy healing works best when you begin with the self. Learn to channel reiki energy, and you will learn how your body feels, how your mind works, and how you relate to the world around you. During the past twelve months, I have facilitated a lot of personal emotional healing using my reiki practice. Last Christmas in particular was a very powerful time for me. I had a lot to learn from my suppressed feelings about my parents’ divorce, my family dynamic as it now stands, and what that means for my children growing up. All of these events had happened many years before, but I had quashed my emotions, ignored how I felt, and kept myself busy with other areas in my life.

Witch in the Woods SpookyMrsGreen

Image Credit: NEJ Photography

We all suppress our feelings to a large extent, I think. And they come out at all the wrong times, or so it would seem. Imagine the scenario where you begin to prepare for your family Christmas holiday. You hurry around from one task to the next, making lists, writing cards, buying and wrapping presents, trying to facilitate everyone’s needs, and somewhere in there, you must sort yourself out. By the time we reach Christmas, you might feel exhausted, drained, and completely disconnected from the family and friends with whom you socialise. And then you don’t enjoy the festivities. You feel ill. You feel angry. You might cry. Reiki helps me to prepare for these big social gatherings. It helps to calm my mind so that I can focus on the present, and if something doesn’t quite go to plan, no bother. We simply deal with the issue and move on. How do you cope with the Christmas stress? Have you tried reiki healing?

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Having a Premature Baby @LottyLots #PrematurityAwarenessMonth

November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and my close friend Lotty has been posting videos on YouTube talking about her experience of having a premature baby in December last year. She hasn’t properly been able to speak about the whole event, but I remember receiving some hurried text messages in the middle of the night when she went into hospital. Living a few hundred miles apart, and having my own children to care for, I couldn’t just drop everything and hurry over to help, much as I wanted to. Besides, she was in hospital. They weren’t allowed visitors to begin with, because she and the baby were so poorly. But they recovered, and now Lotty hopes to share her experience, offer tips and advice to other parents in similar situations, and use the opportunity to continue her healing process.

#WorldPrematurityDay UK hospital LotsofLotty

Photo Credit Lots of Lotty

We have become very blasé about pregnancy and childbirth here in the UK, I think, and probably all around the world. Women continue to work throughout pregnancy and sometimes return very early after having their babies. The time spent in hospital is usually less than twenty four hours, unless there are medical complications, and we are basically sent on our way and left to settle in to life with a baby. Yes, we are very lucky to have hospitals, midwives, nurses, health visitors, and so many other support staff at our disposal courtesy of the NHS. But I’m talking about the cultural implications of pregnancy and childbirth. Women are expected to get on with the process, to do everything naturally, and to continue life as it was before.

And what about the other parent in the situation? Perhaps there is a husband, a partner, a close friend who is stepping in to nurture the new baby. How do they feel about their life being turned upside down? How do they cope? My husband was brilliant throughout my labour with both children, but during my pregnancies I felt that he neglected me. He was always at work. He did all the overtime he could possibly acquire, because he was conscious of being the wage earner, and he desperately needed to support his growing family. This continued after I had the babies, while I was sitting at home breastfeeding, washing clothes, and feeling overwhelmed with responsibility, doubt and confusion. And mine was just a normal pregnancy, childbirth and introduction to parenthood.

#PrematurityAwarenessMonth Lots of Lotty SpookyMrsGreen

Photo Credit Lots of Lotty

We should honour our fellow parents, whether they are the mothers, fathers, or legal guardians. Having a baby is an incredibly challenging adventure, no matter how mundane it might appear from the outside. Lots of Lotty is running a series of videos throughout November to share her tips about how to cope when your premature baby is still in hospital. You can watch Lotty’s videos where she talks about how to manage your time in hospital, how to support your baby, how to support yourself, and how it impacts on your family and friends. Check out the hashtag #PrematurityIs, and follow Lots of Lotty on Facebook and Twitter.

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