Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Need A Production Crew! AJ Nuest. Christmas Blog Event

Only ten days left until Christmas and my ‘What Every Woman Wants Beneath Her Christmas Tree’ blog event continues! Now through Christmas an author or vendor will be swinging in every two days to share a part of their holiday with us. Each and every featured guest is leaving something under this blog’s Christmas tree for YOU to win. In addition, everyone who comments between now and December 25th is entered to win a $100 gift certificate to Amazon!

Today and tomorrow, it’s my pleasure to welcome over romance author, AJ Nuest who will graciously be giving away an Ecopy of Jezebel's Wish to one lucky commenter.

Let's hear from AJ...

Help! I Need A Production Crew!

As the married mother of two, our family looks forward to Christmas with all the fervor and enthusiasm due middle-class American family. The day after Thanksgiving, we begin pulling out decorations, making wish lists, and scouring our favorite cookbooks for that one special recipe.

One would think this ensures our holiday goes off without a hitch, just like all those Christmas specials on television.

The happy family sits down to a delicious home-cooked meal. The stockings are hung above a roaring fire and the tree displays a stunning arrangement of hand-crafted ornaments. The children are perfectly behaved. Mom is gorgeous, her hair a bonnet of perfection, her stylish dress wafting around her knees while she floats around the kitchen in a pair of spotless high heels. Dad comes in from shoveling the walk and smiles at her in that special way, handsomely attired in his new Christmas sweater. After dinner, the children don their pajamas, kiss Mom and Dad on the cheek, and trundle off to bed. Mother and Father share a smooch under the mistletoe and glass of wine before the crackling fire. Christmas carols hum romantically in the background and a pile of shiny wrapped presents are stacked neatly under the tree. Everything is perfect.

I don’t know about you, but this ain’t how things go at our house.

Mom gets up two hours earlier than normal to start the preparations for the evening meal. Thinking she has more than enough time, she puts off showering and whips her hair into a ponytail using the rubber band off the asparagus. The children wake up and grumble for breakfast. Realizing she forgot to buy eggs, Mom wakes up Dad and asks if he could please go to the store. Dad grabs a coffee and heads out the door, only to return moments later and announce the car has a flat tire. Mom gives the children a candy cane off the tree for breakfast, hands Dad the checkbook, and returns to the kitchen.

The children decide to go sledding. Mom leaves the stove to gather gloves, scarves, hats, snow pants, and boots. She spends a half hour negotiating with daughter that even though last year’s snow pants have a small tear in the left knee, they will still work, and can she please stop arguing with her brother about who gets to ride the sled first.

Mom returns to the stove to find the hollandaise sauce burned beyond recognition. Dad enters kitchen reeking of motor oil and announces that he is just now heading to the store. Daughter reappears from outside, crying because she fell off the sled. Mom calms daughter down and hands her a second candy cane.

Roast gets inserted into the oven. The cat tears into the kitchen batting a glass ornament across the floor. Mom returns the ornament to the tree, only to find the bottom half is bare and the ornaments have been scattered throughout the living room. An hour later, the tree has been redecorated and the pine needles vacuumed.

Dad comes back from the store with a gallon of milk, enough double-A batteries to power Chernobyl, and an extension cord. Daughter pulls out painting project and arranges all her supplies on the dining room table. Son decides it’s time for band practice and spends the next hour banging out the same rhythm in his bedroom. Dad disappears to fix a string of broken lights on the front of the house. Mom returns to kitchen, pours a glass of wine, and peels potatoes.

The children decide to build a snowman. Mom leaves the stove and realizes the first set of gloves, scarves, hats, snow pants, and boots are soaking wet, lying in puddle on the utility room floor. She ransacks the closet for new gloves, scarves, hats, snow pants, and boots. A half hour is spent negotiating with daughter that even though she has to wear her brother’s hand-me-down snow pants from last year, no one will notice. They’re navy blue, for God’s sake.

While the children are busy and the husband has a task, Mom cleans up painting supplies, changes into sweatpants and begins (yes, begins) wrapping Christmas presents.

Four hours later we sit down to our Christmas Eve meal. No one has showered, the kitchen is a disaster, and Mom is on her third glass of wine. The cat walks into the dining room and barfs up a gelatinous combination of pines needles and candy cane goo for our viewing pleasure.

THIS is the way Christmas dinner goes at the Nuest household. And while it’s chaotic, loud and messy, I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe this year, I’m thinking of hiring a production crew.

Sky here. WOW, you have your hands full, AJ! The idea of hiring a production crew sounds fantastic. LOL. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season!

AJ Nuest lives in northwest Indiana with her loving husband and two beautiful children. She is the Senior Editor for Still Moments Publishing, and the author of two contemporary romance novels.

Visit her on the web at her Blog ~ Facebook Twitter.

Email: ajnuest@yahoo.com

Purchase Jezebel’s Wish at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.

Watch a book trailer for JEZEBEL'S WISH

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win. Contest ends Saturday, December 17, 12 AM, EST.


kimmyl said...

Oh wow I thought my Christmas prep was chaotic. I have now started preparing stuff the night before so that I can just throw most of it in the oven. It helped a little bit more when I tried it for Thanksgiving.
Jezebel's Wish sounds like a great read. Adding it to my TBR pile. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy Holidays!!!!!


Calisa Rhose said...

Can I borrow that crew? I have rewrapped at least four gifts so far, with a fifth waiting in my closet. Why can't the dogs find another window to sit in to bark at the wind? At least my cat isn't climbing the tree this year, or stealing the balls. Oh- and gift number six needs taping up, courtesy of dgd #3.

Happy Holidays AJ!

Lynn Chantale said...

I was down with the chaos until the kitty hacked up said fur ball. Or would that be candy cane pine needles. EWWW!

Now throw in 10-15 kids from the ages of 6months to 18, as well as adults from 21-50+ then you have Christmas at my Dad's house. We kick him out the kitchen and get bout it, bout it. So pour me a glass of that wine and pass me the tape and we can get this Christmas rockin. Or run around wearing tinsel from the tree.

Merry Christmas

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Loved your story. It brought back sweet memories of Christmases past when the kids were still small. One Christmas morning after the gifts were opened, I looked over the mass quantity of stuff strewn across the floor and wondered where the big Star Wars ships were for the boys...and didn't I get my daughter a pair of boots? I went up to the attic and sure enough, under a blanket, were more gifts. I'd forgotten them. Even in my 30's I was having senior moments.

Have a marvelous Christmas, y'all.

AJ Nuest said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kimmy! Great tip about starting things the night before, but usually I'm up until the wee hours wrapping gifts and getting everything under the tree. I haven't seen an early Christmas eve in about ten years. Happy holidays back atcha, hon!

AJ Nuest said...

Hey sweet Calisa! I'm laughing because last night Jack and I were deep into adding and subtracting fractions (homework) when my daughter shrieked. A second later the cat tears through the dining room, dragging a Christmas present behind her, back feet tangled in the ribbon. We all just looked at each other and burst out laughing. Took Lily Belle a while to catch the cat she was giggling so hard.

Jennifer Jakes said...

LOL- That sounds like EVERYday here at my house!
Thanks for the giggle and Happy Holidays:)

AJ Nuest said...

I vote for wearing tinsel, W. Lynne! Bring it! And really, honestly, I wouldn't have our Christmas any other way. It's completely messy, loud and in no way resembles those specials on TV, but who cares. They are completely OURS!

AJ Nuest said...

LOL Vonnie. OMG, I have sooooo been there. Or even better, how about opening the back closet two months AFTER Christmas, and discovering the Littlest Pet Shop village you completely forgot to give your daughter. 'Splain that to me, Lucy!

Calisa Rhose said...

I have to tell ya'll- Every year my parents gave me birthday gifts on Christmas rather than waiting the three extra days. I hated that. One year mom hid my birthday present having decided to give it to me on my birthday for a change. A week after my birthday she went out and bought me a new gift. To this day no one knows what she bought and hid- or where it went, but I never got it. Next year? Yep, birthday on Christmas again and every year after until I married hubby who refused to give me the gift on Christmas ever. Not to this day.

Worse- I seem to have developed mom's talent for hiding gifts. We wait til the week of Christmas to shop, and wrap immediately, to ensure everybody gets theirs! I've found Easter/birthday/Christmas gifts for my girls still hidden away a year later.

Sky Purington said...

Great to have you over, AJ. Fabulous post! :-)

Beth Caudill said...

Yep, that about sums up Thanksgiving. Except my Dad and husband are out golfing and my mom and I get to split the terror of entertaining kids.

Oh and I have a dog not a cat. So we have begging instead of glutenous candy cane goo. :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

It just wouldn't be Christmas if it went smoothly. Fun post. Thanks, AJ.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

I was laughing right along with the rest of you until it dawned on me, Christmas is in 10 days!! 10??? Crap, I need to start shopping! And where the hell did hubby hide that tree in his man-cave?

Beth Trissel said...

Hilarious and sounds familiar only we have three cats--one a bouncy kitten--and four dogs--five grandbabies who live nearby and young nieces. And, and, and. God bless us everyone.

Juli D. Revezzo said...

AJ, I laughed my head off about the hubby's return from the store. Sounds like the kid going to the store for the gallon of milk and getting sidetracked by the Saturday matinee. *g* About the cats, hubby's mom put up an extra tree (one of the miniature ones) for the cats. Seemed to keep them preoccupied enough to save the real tree. Maybe that's something you can try?

Vonnie, I remember my parents "Finding the presents" in the attic after the fact. ;) I always thought they were kidding, but maybe not?

AJ Nuest said...

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for leaving me these great comments. Calisa, I'm cracking up about the birthday presents. Having a birthday in January myself, I feel your pain. Mom was always hiding my gifts and then would eventually find them months later.

The dh and I just got back from doing a little shopping ourselves this afternoon, and Mac, I hear ya about Christmas being only 10 days away. My husband looked at me in JC Penney and said, "Weren't we just here like a month ago?" I laughed. He hadn't been in that store since last Christmas.

Ah, the joy of the holidays! Love you ladies! Happy holiday everyone!

Liberty said...

It sounds like a wonderful day. At my house, all the adults have to work on Christmas Eve. Your description of Christmas Eve sounds more like my Christmas Day, with the exception of the wrapping, which I stay up all night doing. Then instead of going to bed I wait for the kids to wake up and they can start the process of undoing all my great wrapping.

DarleneLF said...

Great post, AJ! And why am I not surprised to hear about the chaos in the Nuest house? Never a dull moment. lol!

The Scarf Princess said...

Our Christmas plans always go goofy and I too long for those Hallmark movie moments. Your book sounds super good and I'll be putting it on my wishlist.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Sky said...

Calisa Rhose, I'm just like you (or should I say, just like my mom) I tuck gifts away in a safe place I know for sure only I will know where they are and darn if I never find them again! Seriously... where do they go? Better yet, what am I thinking when I hide them? LOL

Mary Preston said...

I'd say that's the way life really is. It's mess & chaos & people & it's all good.


Usemeplz said...

I read your post with great pleasure, thanks for rising my mood!!!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi A J
Yes, however well we think we've planned, there's usually something chaotic about a family Christmas isn't there|! It's part of the magic though I think.

I think I've already told you your book's on my wish list and I absolutely love that cover - and I really enjoyed the trailer too.

Happy Christmas.

Chicks of Characterization said...

LOL, sounds like you've been visiting my house!!!! LOVE IT!! Thanks so much for sharing!!! Jezebel's Wish sounds like a great read!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!