Excite Christmas Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Excite Christmas. Here they are! All 122 of them:

Wearing nothing but sweats and a sheer coat of lip gloss, she wiggle through her frosted window and jumped six feet to freedom, feeling more charged than a Visa card at Christmas time.
Lisi Harrison (Monster High (Monster High, #1))
What could be more exciting than an October day? It's your birthday, Fourth of July and Christmas all rolled into one.
Peggy Toney Horton
The story is told that when Joe was a child his cousins emptied his Christmas stocking and replaced the gifts with horse manure. Joe took one look and bolted for the door, eyes glittering with excitement. 'Wait, Joe, where are you going? What did ol' Santa bring you?' According to the story Joe paused at the door for a piece of rope. 'Brought me a bran'-new pony but he got away. I'll catch 'em if I hurry.' And ever since then it seemed that Joe had been accepting more than his share of hardship as good fortune, and more than his share of shit as a sign of Shetland ponies just around the corner, Thoroughbred stallions just up the road.
Ken Kesey (Sometimes a Great Notion)
The team must consist of three sorts of specialists, he says. Otherwise the revolution, whether in politics or the arts or the sciences or whatever, is sure to fail. The rarest of these specialists, he says, is an authentic genius - a person capable of having seemingly good ideas not in in general circulation. "A genius working alone," he says, "is invariably ignored as a lunatic." The second sort of specialist is a lot easier to find; a highly intelligent citizen in good standing in his or her community, who understands and admires the fresh ideas of the genius, and who testifies that the genius is far from mad. "A person like this working alone," says Slazinger, "can only yearn loud for changes, but fail to say what their shaped should be." The third sort of specialist is a person who can explain everything, no matter how complicated, to the satisfaction of most people, no matter how stupid or pigheaded they may be. "He will say almost anything in order to be interesting and exciting," says Slazinger. "Working alone, depending solely on his own shallow ideas, he would be regarded as being as full of shit as a Christmas turkey.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
His hand was a claw, sharp enough to open her. She would be like all the others—Ruta Badowski, in her broken dancing shoes. Tommy Duffy, still with the dirt of his last baseball game under his nails. Gabriel Johnson, taken on the best day of his life. Or even Mary White, holding out for a future that never arrived. She’d be like all those beautiful, shining boys marching off to war, rifles at their hips and promises on their lips to their best girls that they’d be home in time for Christmas, the excitement of the game showing in their bright faces. They’d come home men, heroes with adventures to tell about, how they’d walloped the enemy and put the world right side up again, funneled it into neat lines of yes and no. Black and white. Right and wrong. Here and there. Us and them. Instead, they had died tangled in barbed wire in Flanders, hollowed by influenza along the Western Front, blown apart in no-man’s-land, writhing in trenches with those smiles still in place, courtesy of the phosgene, chlorine, or mustard gas. Some had come home shell-shocked and blinking, hands shaking, mumbling to themselves, following orders in some private war still taking place in their minds. Or, like James, they’d simply vanished, relegated to history books no one bothered to read, medals put in cupboards kept closed. Just a bunch of chess pieces moved about by unseen hands in a universe bored with itself.
Libba Bray (The Diviners (The Diviners, #1))
Standing amid the tan, excited post-Christmas crowd at the Southwest Florida Regional Airport, Rabbit Angstrom has a funny sudden feeling that what he has come to meet, what's floating in unseen about to land, is not his son Nelson and daughter-in-law Pru and their two children but something more ominous and intimately his: his own death, shaped vaguely like an airplane.
John Updike (Rabbit at Rest (Rabbit Angstrom, #4))
The warm night claimed her. In a moment it was part of her. She walked on the grass, and her shoes were instantly soaked. She flung up her arms to the sky. Power ran to her fingertips. Excitement was communicated from the waiting trees, and the orchard, and the paddock; the intensity of their secret life caught at her and made her run. It was nothing like the excitement of ordinary looking forward, of birthday presents, of Christmas stockings, but the pull of a magnet - her grandfather had shown her once how it worked, little needles springing to the jaws - and now night and the sky above were a vast magnet, and the things that waited below were needles, caught up in the great demand. ("The Pool")
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
Men whose first coronary is coming like Christmas; who drift, loaded helplessly with commitments and obligations and necessary observances, into the darkening avenues of age and incapacity, deserted by everything that once made life sweet. These I have tried to remind of the excitement of jazz and tell where it may still be found.
Philip Larkin (All What Jazz: A Record Diary 1961 - 1971)
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
Do you remember those times as a kid when you could hardly sleep on Christmas Eve because you were so excited about opening presents in the morning? That anticipation showed that you had no doubt. We should have an even greater anticipation of Jesus. If you are not “eagerly waiting for Him” (Heb. 9:28), something is off. Ask God to restore hope in your life. Not the kind of “hope” where you vaguely wish something would happen, but the kind of hope that anchors your soul (Heb. 6:19). Meditate on His promises and pray for faith.
Francis Chan (You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity)
Oh it was my pleasure, dears,” said Mrs. Weasley. “I’d invite you for Christmas, but … well, I expect you’re all going to want to stay at Hogwarts, what with … one thing and another.” “Mum!” said Ron irritably. “What d’you three know that we don’t?” “You’ll find out this evening, I expect,” said Mrs. Weasley, smiling. “It’s going to be very exciting — mind you, I’m very glad they’ve changed the rules —” “What rules?” said Harry, Ron, Fred, and George together. “I’m sure Professor Dumbledore will tell you. … Now, behave, won’t you? Won’t you, Fred? And you, George?” The pistons hissed loudly and the train began to move. “Tell us what’s happening at Hogwarts!” Fred bellowed out of the window as Mrs. Weasley, Bill, and Charlie sped away from them. “What rules are they changing?” But Mrs. Weasley only smiled and waved.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
I also remember, having been fucked up every day for years, that the world seemed like such a novelty to me during my first few years sober. Like, I remember going through each of the seasons and the magic of rediscovering what it felt like to be in the world: going to a pumpkin patch on Halloween, getting a tree for Christmas, I felt excited by reality in a way that I never had before. I actually wanted to be alive.
Melissa Broder (So Sad Today: Personal Essays)
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Ruins and basilicas, palaces and colossi, set in the midst of a sordid present, where all that was living and warm-blooded seemed sunk in the deep degeneracy of a superstition divorced from reverence; the dimmer but yet eager titanic life gazing and struggling on walls and ceilings; the long vistas of white forms whose marble eyes seemed to hold the monotonous light of an alien world—all this vast wreck of ambitious ideals, sensuous and spiritual, mixed confusedly with the signs of breathing forgetfulness and degradation…the vastness of St. Peter’s the huge bronze canopy, the excited intention in the attitudes and garments of the prophets and evangelists in the mosaics above, and the red drapery which was being hung for Christmas spreading itself everywhere like a disease of the retina.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
I was really in Italy. Not Maya Angelou, the person of pretensions and ambitions, but me, Marguerite Johnson, who had read about Verona and the sad lovers while growing up in a dusty Southern village poorer and more tragic than the historic town in which I now stood. I was so excited at the incredible turn of events which had brought me from a past of rejection, of slammed doors and blind alleys, of dead-end streets and culs-de-sac, into the bright sun of Italy, into a town made famous by one of the world’s greatest writers. I
Maya Angelou (Singin' & Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas)
If you treat each day as a gift, they can all feel like Christmas morning, not sure what you might unwrap next, but excited nonetheless.
M. Reali-Elliott (Summer 20XX)
That was real love − a man you were so excited to see that you didn’t even glance in a mirror to check your hair or make-up before you threw yourself on him.
Lindsey Kelk (Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas (I Heart, #6.5))
The Playwright was excited in the way a child is excited on Christmas morning. I liked this. Most people didn't get excited about anything other than their own discontent.
Maria Dahvana Headley (The Year of Yes)
The day you stop getting excited about Christmas is the day you become officially old.
Stewart Stafford
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
this woman was trouble the first moment he saw her and heard her exuberant “good morning.” Even her name was cheerful: Julia. Looking at her, it was easy to envision the opening scene from The Sound of Music, with Julie Andrews twirling around, arms extended, singing, joyful, excited.
Debbie Macomber (Twelve Days of Christmas)
I was a newly elected thirty-year-old United States senator, excited to be down in Washington interviewing staff, when I got the call that my wife and eighteen-month-old daughter had died in a car accident while out shopping the week before Christmas. Beau and Hunt had been in the car, too.
Joe Biden (Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose)
He lowered his head until his lips hovered centimeters above hers. This was the moment he craved. This heated moment – each of them lingering, waiting, wanting. He loved the excitement of the build-up almost as much as the conquest itself. As he’d told her many times, the greater the anticipation, the sweeter the reward.
Lisa Carlisle (Dark Pursuit (Chateau Seductions, #3.5))
How do survivors feel? Relieved and grateful, perhaps. As excited about their saved life as if it were a gift that the rustling fingers feverishly unwrap from its packaging on Christmas morning and whatever is underneath: you are happy. This is how it should be when you have survived the worst. Far from the crippling horror we were feeling.
Sima B. Moussavian (Tomorrow death died out: What if the future were past?)
Hey Reader! Thank you so much for signing up to get a sneak peek of Tis the Season for Revenge! Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I thrive off of fun, feel-good Christmas movies and books! I’m so excited to have one of my own! Tis the Season for Revenge contains mentions of cheating, verbal, physical, and financial abuse. Please always put yourself first
Morgan Elizabeth (Tis the Season for Revenge)
There are several attitudes towards Christmas, Some of which we may disregard: The social, the torpid, the patently commercial, The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight), And the childish — which is not that of the child For whom the candle is a star, and the gilded angel Spreading its wings at the summit of the tree Is not only a decoration, but an angel. The child wonders at the Christmas Tree: Let him continue in the spirit of wonder At the Feast as an event not accepted as a pretext; So that the glittering rapture, the amazement Of the first-remembered Christmas Tree, So that the surprises, delight in new possessions (Each one with its peculiar and exciting smell), The expectation of the goose or turkey And the expected awe on its appearance, So that the reverence and the gaiety May not be forgotten in later experience, In the bored habituation, the fatigue, the tedium, The awareness of death, the consciousness of failure, Or in the piety of the convert Which may be tainted with a self-conceit Displeasing to God and disrespectful to children (And here I remember also with gratitude St. Lucy, her carol, and her crown of fire): So that before the end, the eightieth Christmas (By “eightieth” meaning whichever is last) The accumulated memories of annual emotion May be concentrated into a great joy Which shall be also a great fear, as on the occasion When fear came upon every soul: Because the beginning shall remind us of the end And the first coming of the second coming.
T.S. Eliot
.....I'm certain I asked for a cowboy one December past-- For I wanted the excitement of pioneers to last; I ached to sing with a fiddle, speak with a drawl and twang; I surely requested John Wayne to be part of my gang. Of course I dreamed of a cowboy in those Yuletides of yore-- For I wanted that ace, that corral fighter, that scout roar; I ached for the authentic frontier hero of the West; I surely requested the sacred battleground's finest. I did pray Santa'd give me a cowboy some time ago-- For I wanted a legend in denim wrangler for beau; I ached to be rounded up safely by my saddled knight; I surely requested I be prospected, mined, settled right... -----excerpted from the poem 'A Cowboy For Christmas' in the book FROM GUAM TO CROWN CITY CORONADO (THANKS TO HERMANN, MISSOURI): A JOURNEY IN POESY, by Mariecor Ruediger
Mariecor Ruediger
I’m excited to go to Matt’s parents’ house for Christmas, but I wish he’d sprung it on me a little earlier, like maybe before all the stores closed. I would have liked to bring his mom something: a candle, a tea towel—I don’t know. I’ve never had a boyfriend, therefore I’ve never had to impress a boyfriend’s mom, so I’m just going off of what I think Reese Witherspoon or Joanna Gaines would do, and they’d sure as shit bring a gift for Mrs. Russell.
R.S. Grey (Hotshot Doc)
The shelves were supposed to be loaded with books—but they were, of course, really doors: each book-lid opened as exciting as Alice putting her gold key in the lock. I spent days running in and out of other worlds like a time bandit, or a spy. I was as excited as I’ve ever been in my life, in that library: scoring new books the minute they came in; ordering books I’d heard of—then waiting, fevered, for them to arrive, like they were the word Christmas.
Caitlin Moran (Moranthology)
There is also a trilogy of books out. I started reading right after Christmas Divergent. I went to read Insurgent after, and now I’m on the third one. I don’t know, it’s Detergent or whatever. But it’s written by a 26-year-old girl. It’s brilliant. But I’m about halfway through now on book number three. Wait until you get to book number three. Hello, Google genome project. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and yet, morality and ethics are afterthoughts. We’re excited about discovery and advancement, you know? We’re in fact so excited that we don’t even take the time to discuss or debate the moral dilemmas and implications of new technology. Sure, we’re still in control of technology now, but does there come a time when we’re not? Who will be the one that says turn it off? When do things go wrong? I don’t see anyone at Google or in the government or anyone at the forefront of technology boom that is contemplating the ethics and morality issues. Now that is a truly scary thought that doesn’t come in a movie.
Glenn Beck
There were glamorous young men with dyed hair who rustled like old cellophane. Older men had airs of sophistication and cold grace, giving the impression that if they were not so terribly tired they would go to places (known only to a select few) where the conversation was more scintillating and the congregation more interesting. There were young women who had the exotic sheen of recently fed forest animals. Although they moved their fine heads languorously this way and that, nothing in the room excited their appetites. Unfashionable red lips cut across their white faces, and the crimson fingernails, as pointed as surgical instruments, heightened the predatory effect. Older, sadder women were more interesting to me. Voluminous skirts and imported shawls did not hide their heavy bodies, nor was their unattractiveness shielded by the clanks of chains and ribbons of beads, or by pale pink lips and heavily drawn doe eyes. Their presence among the pretty people enchanted me. It was like seeing frogs buzzed by iridescent dragonflies.
Maya Angelou (Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #3))
Christmas, 1492…. Unfortunately, on Christmas morning 1492 Columbus' ship, the Santa María, ran aground on the northern coast of what is now Haiti. Not having any way to refloat her, the crew off-loaded the provisions and equipment from the ship before she broke up. For protection they then built a flimsy fortification on the beach, calling it “La Navidad.” With the consent of the local Indian Chief, Columbus left behind 39 men with orders to establish a settlement, and appointed Diego de Arana, a cousin of his mistress Beatriz, as the Governor.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
To give a truthful account of London society at that or indeed at any other time, is beyond the powers of the biographer or the historian. Only those who have little need of the truth, and no respect for it — the poets and the novelists — can be trusted to do it, for this is one of the cases where the truth does not exist. Nothing exists. The whole thing is a miasma — a mirage. To make our meaning plain — Orlando could come home from one of these routs at three or four in the morning with cheeks like a Christmas tree and eyes like stars. She would untie a lace, pace the room a score of times, untie another lace, stop, and pace the room again. Often the sun would be blazing over Southwark chimneys before she could persuade herself to get into bed, and there she would lie, pitching and tossing, laughing and sighing for an hour or longer before she slept at last. And what was all this stir about? Society. And what had society said or done to throw a reasonable lady into such an excitement? In plain language, nothing. Rack her memory as she would, next day Orlando could never remember a single word to magnify into the name something. Lord O. had been gallant. Lord A. polite. The Marquis of C. charming. Mr M. amusing. But when she tried to recollect in what their gallantry, politeness, charm, or wit had consisted, she was bound to suppose her memory at fault, for she could not name a thing. It was the same always. Nothing remained over the next day, yet the excitement of the moment was intense. Thus we are forced to conclude that society is one of those brews such as skilled housekeepers serve hot about Christmas time, whose flavour depends upon the proper mixing and stirring of a dozen different ingredients. Take one out, and it is in itself insipid. Take away Lord O., Lord A., Lord C., or Mr M. and separately each is nothing. Stir them all together and they combine to give off the most intoxicating of flavours, the most seductive of scents. Yet this intoxication, this seductiveness, entirely evade our analysis. At one and the same time, therefore, society is everything and society is nothing. Society is the most powerful concoction in the world and society has no existence whatsoever. Such monsters the poets and the novelists alone can deal with; with such something-nothings their works are stuffed out to prodigious size; and to them with the best will in the world we are content to leave it.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
Men," said the little prince, "set out on their way in express trains, but they do not know what they are looking for. Then they rush about, and get excited, and turn round and round..." And he added: "It is not worth the trouble..." [...] "I am thirsty for this water," said the little prince. "Give me some of it to drink..." And I understood what he had been looking for. I raised the bucket to his lips. He drank, his eyes closed. It was as sweet as some special festival treat. This water was indeed a different thing from ordinary nourishment. Its sweetness was born of the walk under the stars, the song of the pulley, the effort of my arms. It was good for the heart, like a present. When I was a little bou, the lights of the Christmas tree, the music of the Midnight Mass, the tenderness of smiling faces, used to make up, so the radiance of the gifts I received. "The men where you live," said the little prince, "raised five thousand roses in the same garden - and they do not find in it what they are looking for. [...] And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water." "Yes, that is true," I said. And the little prince added: "But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart...
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
My mind, it was certain, was a well-oiled mechanism which worked swiftly and seminoiselessly. I often competed with radio contestants on quiz programs and usually won hands down in my living room. Oh, my mental machine could have excited anyone. I meant anyone interested in a person who had memorized the Presidents of the United States in chronological order, the capitals of the world, the minerals of the earth and the generic names of various species. There weren't too many callers for those qualifications and I had to admit that I was greatly lacking in the popular attractions of physical beauty and womanly wiles.
Maya Angelou (Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #3))
The Merry Chrismouse by Stewart Stafford What a time for the merry Chrismouse, Making toys in his workshop/house, Everyone contributes, even his spouse, With Christmas cheer, no one will douse. A sprig of holly for a present tree, Blizzard snow is grated cheese, The kindly rodent set to please, When he comes on Christmas Eve. Nuts and seeds on their button table, Playing games and telling fables, Discarded tinsel on the wall of gable, In midwinter's icy spell unstable. A time for amnesia that felines exist, Kindness and joy at their fingertips, Baby mice excitedly make lists, To have many gifts when they insist. © Stewart Stafford, 2021. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
A Party for New Year (for Lily and Maisie, the ladies what lunch.) Dear Lily, I have bought something frilly, to wear on New Year’s Eve. You may think it sounds rather silly, and, what I tell you, you will never believe. I met a woman in Primark, I know, not my normal shop. Just heard so much about it inside I had to pop. Well, the top I purchased, sparkles. The frills upon it abound. This woman I met in the changing room. On me, she said it looked sound. It's very, very silver you know. A little bit like Lametta. Oh Lily, I feel quite aglow. On no one could it look any better. Dear Maisie, Things are looking a bit hazy. A silver top, for New Year. Are you really, really that crazy? My word, you batty old dear. I'm wearing my old faithful. The black dress, with the gold trim. It's not like we’re doing anything special. In fact proceedings sound quite grim. Sitting on your old sofa With a Baileys, if I'm lucky. Watching the same old things on the box. I'm not excited Ducky. I want to be in the city and feel the atmosphere. It really is a pity that you want to stay right here. Dear Lily. Now you are being silly. What about your knees? Standing about, feeling chilly, and moaning you're going to freeze. Much better to stay indoors and watch a music show. We'll get the bongs at midnight. This you very well know. I don't have any Baileys. You drank it Christmas Day. But I found some cooking sherry. I want that out of the way. I even have some nibbles, so come on, what do you say? We'll have us a little party. Bring your nightie and then you can stay. Dear Maisie, Do you remember Daisy? Her with the wart on her ear. She thinks she'd like to join us to celebrate New Year. Do we really want her with us? She's quite a moaning Minnie. She always makes such a fuss. I'd hoped she'd celebrate with Winnie. I think I will come over Lil'. I'll even bring the wine. We really should start taking turns. Next year, you can come to mine. We'll have a great time, you and me. Go out in the cold? No fear. We'll be fine indoors, just you see. Friends together, celebrating New Year.
Ann Perry (Flora, Fauna, Fairies and other Favourite Things)
By October of 1958, most roads leading to the Oriente Province had become impassable. Bridges were cut and dropped by the rebels, making travel to the eastern part of Cuba extremely difficult. The elections in November were seen as an obvious sham and everyone knew that the only way to survive was to keep quiet and wait for changes to take place. Most of Batista’s supporters were still in denial and carried out their atrocities with abandon. Tension among the people in Havana had grown and as Christmas approached, it became obvious that this year things would be different. People that had been harassed, or worse, were in no mood to celebrate the holidays. With the country engaged in a civil war that affected everyone, Christmas was not celebrated in the usual manner during the winter of 1958.
Hank Bracker
4. We all tend to deny what’s in our hearts. In some way, we all fail to accept the fact that sin is not just a behavior problem, but more fundamentally a matter of the heart. Sin is not just a matter of occasional wrong actions; it’s a condition of our natures. It’s not just that we sin; it’s that we are sinners. When we tell ourselves that we can handle it, that we’ll do better tomorrow, or that we don’t need help, we’re denying that sin is a matter of the heart, and because it is, we cannot escape it on our own. So this Christmas, how about beginning your celebration with confession? I am convinced that when it comes to the redeeming work of Jesus, exuberant rejoicing begins with brokenhearted weeping. Only when sin breaks our hearts will the coming of the Messiah excite our hearts. And there’s grace for this!
Paul David Tripp (Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional)
But when she got up it was quite light, and it turned out to be half past nine. There had been a heavy fall of snow in the night; the trees were clothed in white, and the air was particularly light, transparent, and tender, so that when Anna Akimovna looked out of the window her first impulse was to draw a deep, deep breath. And when she had washed, a relic of faraway childish feelings—joy that today was Christmas—suddenly stirred within her. After that she felt lighthearted, free, and pure in soul, as though her soul, too, had been washed or plunged in the white snow. Masha came in, dressed up and tightly laced, and wished her a happy Christmas; then she spent a long time combing her mistress’s hair and helping her to dress. The fragrance and feeling of the new, gorgeous, splendid dress, its faint rustle, and the smell of fresh scent, excited Anna Akimovna.
Leo Tolstoy (A Very Russian Christmas: The Greatest Russian Holiday Stories of All Time (Very Christmas))
And you pride keeps you from doing anything absurd,I suppose." Ranulf eyed Bronwyn suspiciously. Their banter was the equivalent of foreplay, except he seemed to be the only one suppressing excitement. His angel just sat unperturbed and serene...almost too composed. "It helps.Just as the meat you ate last night.I smelled it on your fingers." Bronwyn felt her teeth grind as she shifted her clenched jaw. "As Advent is only required on three days of the week, I guess I was fortunate that I was able to consume the last of the lamb before Twelfthtide." "Making me unfortunate. But what about the exemption of children,the elderly, and the infirm?" The man was acting smug and causing her to react defensively. Bronwyn leaved over to pour herself some hot cider and then settled back in the hearth chair, slowly sipping the sweet drink. She glanced at him and then licked her lips and asked, "Oh,are you infirm?" Without blinking,Ranulf purred, "It depends." Bronwyn succumed to a shiver and looked away. She was playing with fire and needed to stop. "I suppose we could hunt for some barnacle geese. That should suffice for meat and still make Father Morrell happy.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight (Zebra Historical Romance))
Now, although hypertension is accentuated by modern civilisation, it is not specifically a disease of civilisation. It is a disease of consciousness—that is, of being human. The farm labourer going to work is as likely to ignore his surroundings as the harassed car salesman. And if the inhabitants of some Amazon village are ‘closer to nature’ than New Yorkers, this is usually at the cost of dirt and ignorance and inconvenience. Hypertension is the price we pay for the symphonies of Beethoven, the novels of Balzac, the advances in medical knowledge that prevent children dying of smallpox. However, it is not a necessary and inescapable price. It is the result of ignorance, of bad management of our vital economy. The point to observe here is that although hypertension may not be necessary, it is as widespread as the common cold. It would not be inaccurate to say that all human beings live in a state of ‘vigilance’ and anxiety that is far above the level they actually need for vital efficiency. It is a general tendency of consciousness to ‘spread the attention too thinly’; and, like an over-excited child with too many toys on Christmas Day, the result is nervous exhaustion.
Colin Wilson (The Occult)
When a Southerner took the trouble to pack a trunk and travel twenty miles for a visit, the visit was seldom of shorter duration than a month, usually much longer. Southerners were as enthusiastic visitors as they were hosts, and there was nothing unusual in relatives coming to spend the Christmas holidays and remaining until July. Often when newly married couples went on the usual round of honeymoon visits, they lingered in some pleasant home until the birth of their second child. Frequently elderly aunts and uncles came to Sunday dinner and remained until they were buried years later. Visitors presented no problem, for houses were large, servants numerous and the feeding of several extra mouths a minor matter in that land of plenty. All ages and sexes went visiting, honeymooners, young mothers showing of new babies, convalescents, the bereaved, girls whose parents were anxious to remove them from the dangers of unwise matches, girls who had reached the danger age without becoming engaged and who, it was hoped, would make suitable matches under the guidance of relatives in other places. Visitors added excitement and variety to the slow-moving Southern life and they were always welcome.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Zoey picked up her spoon and tasted it, and she was immediately and startlingly transported to a perfect autumn childhood day, the kind of day when sunlight is short but it's still warm enough to play outside. For the second course, the chilled crab cake was only the size of a silver dollar and the mustard cream and the green endive were just splashes of color on the plate. The visual experience was like dreaming of faraway summer while staring at Christmas lights through a frosty window. The third course brought to mind the first hot day of spring, when it's too warm to eat in the house so you sit outside with a dinner plate of Easter ham and corn on your lap and a bottle of Coca-Cola sweating beside you. Zoey could feel the excitement of summer coming, and she couldn't wait for it. And then summer arrived with the final course. And, like summer always is, it was worth the wait. The tiny container looked like a miniature milk glass, and the whipped milk in it reminded her of cold, sweet soft-serve ice cream on a day when the pavement burns through flip-flops and even shade trees are too hot to sit under. The savory bits of crispy cornbread mixed in gave the dessert a satisfying campfire crunch.
Sarah Addison Allen (Other Birds)
For what is worth: Slazinger claims to have learned from history that most people cannot open their minds to new ideas unless a mind-opening team with a peculiar membership goes to work on them. Otherwise, life will go on exactly as before, no matter how painful, unrealistic, unjust, ludicrous, or downright dumb that life may be. The team must consist of three sorts of specialists, he says. Otherwise, the revolution, whether in politics or the arts or the sciences or whatever, is sure to fail. The rarest of these specialists, he says, is an authentic person, capable of having seemingly good ideas not in general circulation. „Such a person, working alone“, he says, „is invariably ignored as a lunatic.“ The second sort of specialist is a lot easier to find: a highly intelligent citizen in good standing in his or her community, who understands and admires the fresh ideas, and who testifies that the first specialist is far from mad. „A person like that working alone“, he says, „can only yearn out loud for changes, but fail to say what their shapes should be“. The third sort of specialist is a person who can explain anything, no matter how complicated, to the satisfaction of most people, no matter how stupid or pig-headed they may be. „He will say almost anything in order to be interesting and exciting,“ says Slazinger. „Working alone, depending solely on his own shallow ideas, he would be regarded as being as full of shit as a Christmas turkey.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Around Christmas 2003, we visited Chris’s parents in Texas. I found myself exceptionally hungry, though I couldn’t figure out why. When we came back to California, I just felt something was off. Could I be…pregnant? Nah. I bought a pregnancy test just in case. Chris and I had always planned to have children, but we weren’t in a rush about it. In fact, we had only recently decided to be “a little less careful.” It was a compromise between our spontaneous impulses and our careful planning instincts, which we both shared. We figured, if it happens somewhere in the next year… I was upstairs in the house working when I decided to take a break and check things out. Wow. WOW!!! Chris happened to be home fiddling with something in the garage. I ran downstairs, holding the stick in my hand. When I got there, I held it up, waving. “Hey, babe,” he said, looking at me as if I were waving a sword. “Come here,” I said. “I have to show you something.” He came over. I showed him the stick. “Okay?” “Look!” “What is it?” “Look at this!” Obviously, he wasn’t familiar with home pregnancy tests. Maybe that’s a guy thing-given that the tests reveal either your worst nightmare or one of the most exciting events of your life. I’d wager every woman in America knows what they are and how they work. Slowly it dawned on him. “Oh my God,” he said, stunned. “Are you…?” “Yes!” We confirmed it at the doctor’s soon after. I know you’re supposed to wait something like twelve weeks before telling anyone-there’s so much that can go wrong-but we couldn’t keep that kind of secret to ourselves for more than a few days. We ended up sending packages with an ultrasound and baby booties-one pink, one blue-to our parents, telling them we had a late Christmas surprise and to call us so we could be on the phone when they opened them.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
We had planned to spend Christmas morning with my family, and then head over to Phil and Kay’s for Christmas night. The whole family was there, including all the grandkids. Bella, Willie and Korie’s daughter, was the youngest and still an infant. We opened presents, ate dinner, and the whole evening felt surreal. Tomorrow morning I’ll have a baby in this world, I thought. When Jep and I left that night, I said, “I’m gonna go have a baby. See you all later!” For all the worry and concern and tears and prayers we’d spent on our unborn baby, when it came to her birth, she was no trouble at all. I went to the hospital, got prepped for the C-section, and within thirty minutes she was out. Lily was beautiful and healthy. I was overwhelmed with happiness and joy. I felt God had blessed me. He’d created life inside of me--a real, beautiful, breathing little human being--and brought her into this world through me. It was an unbelievable miracle. And the best part? Jep was in the delivery room. Unlike his dad, he wanted to be there, and he shared it all with me. I’ll never forget the sight of Jep decked out in blue scrubs, with the blue head cover, holding his baby girl for the first time. I’ll never forget how she nestled down in the crook of his arm, his hand wrapped up and around, gently holding her. He stared down at her, and I could see a smile behind his white surgical mask. He was already in love--I knew that look. After we admired the baby together, I fell asleep, and Jep took his newborn daughter out to meet the family. He told me later he bawled like a baby. Later, when she went to the hospital nursery, Jep kept going over there to stare at her. I think he was in shock and overwhelmed and excited. Lily had a light creamy complexion and little pink rosebud lips, and she was born December 26, 2002. Despite the rough pregnancy, she was perfect. God answered our prayers, and now we were a family of three. We’d been married just a little over a year.
Jessica Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
The man was impossible. To her every retort,he had a counter. "A beak you may want to avoid for I will use it." His dimples turned into craters. "Aye, my lady,that you most certainly are not afraid of using. I think I actually see the small scars along your wrists and hands from where you missed your intended target and clipped yourself." Edythe opened her mouth,ready to send out another assualt, when the sparkle in his hazel eyes captured her attention. Tyr was not making fun of her. Rather,he was truly enjoying their conversation, and if she was being honest, so was she. Inclining her head in agreement, she curled her lips mischievously and said, "Inflictions all finches must learn to endure." "Indeed they must," Tyr replied with a bow. "You,Lady Finch,are a genuine surprise. These past few days,your elder sister has been gracious, kind, and all things a lady should be when welcoming a guest, but it seems that only my friend Ranulf can turn her into a fiery tempest. And each time she does, it pulls him farther in.I see now why he is susceptible to such treatment." Edythe briefly closed her eyes and gave a quick shake to her head. "You enjoy being insulted?" "You have not insulted me, you couldn't. You don't know me well enough.Nor I you. We just merely sparred and I am finding that I like wit in a woman, a most uncommon trait where I have been. If I were not so decided in my ways,you,dear Finch, would be in trouble." "Well,then I thank the Lord you are decided, for I am not easily swayed by a pretty face and you have a ways to go before you seem even moderately charming. And before you try to convince me otherwise,I must go see to Lily for she is looking overly animated and all too often the results of such excitement negatively affect me.Excuse me,sir." Tyr bowed and stared as Edythe left his side and headed toward her younger sister. He had not lied. She was probably the most intriguing woman he had ever encountered.But it changed nothing.Marriage was not for him. Still,a pretty redhead with a cunning mind and a sharp tongue would be fun to pass the time with until he had to leave.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight (Zebra Historical Romance))
To those who have looked at Rome with the quickening power of a knowledge which breathes a growing soul into all historic shapes, and traces out the suppressed transitions which unite all contrasts, Rome may still be the spiritual centre and interpreter of the world. But let them conceive one more historical contrast: the gigantic broken revelations of that Imperial and Papal city thrust abruptly on the notions of a girl who had been brought up in English and Swiss Puritanism, fed on meagre Protestant histories and on art chiefly of the hand-screen sort; a girl whose ardent nature turned all her small allowance of knowledge into principles, fusing her actions into their mould, and whose quick emotions gave the most abstract things the quality of a pleasure or a pain; a girl who had lately become a wife, and from the enthusiastic acceptance of untried duty found herself plunged in tumultuous preoccupation with her personal lot. The weight of unintelligible Rome might lie easily on bright nymphs to whom it formed a background for the brilliant picnic of Anglo-foreign society; but Dorothea had no such defence against deep impressions. Ruins and basilicas, palaces and colossi, set in the midst of a sordid present, where all that was living and warm-blooded seemed sunk in the deep degeneracy of a superstition divorced from reverence; the dimmer but yet eager Titanic life gazing and struggling on walls and ceilings; the long vistas of white forms whose marble eyes seemed to hold the monotonous light of an alien world: all this vast wreck of ambitious ideals, sensuous and spiritual, mixed confusedly with the signs of breathing forgetfulness and degradation, at first jarred her as with an electric shock, and then urged themselves on her with that ache belonging to a glut of confused ideas which check the flow of emotion. Forms both pale and glowing took possession of her young sense, and fixed themselves in her memory even when she was not thinking of them, preparing strange associations which remained through her after-years. Our moods are apt to bring with them images which succeed each other like the magic-lantern pictures of a doze; and in certain states of dull forlornness Dorothea all her life continued to see the vastness of St. Peter's, the huge bronze canopy, the excited intention in the attitudes and garments of the prophets and evangelists in the mosaics above, and the red drapery which was being hung for Christmas spreading itself everywhere like a disease of the retina. Not that this inward amazement of Dorothea's was anything very exceptional: many souls in their young nudity are tumbled out among incongruities and left to "find their feet" among them, while their elders go about their business. Nor can I suppose that when Mrs. Casaubon is discovered in a fit of weeping six weeks after her wedding, the situation will be regarded as tragic. Some discouragement, some faintness of heart at the new real future which replaces the imaginary, is not unusual, and we do not expect people to be deeply moved by what is not unusual. That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
ever. Amen. Thank God for self-help books. No wonder the business is booming. It reminds me of junior high school, where everybody was afraid of the really cool kids because they knew the latest, most potent putdowns, and were not afraid to use them. Dah! But there must be another reason that one of the best-selling books in the history of the world is Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray. Could it be that our culture is oh so eager for a quick fix? What a relief it must be for some people to think “Oh, that’s why we fight like cats and dogs, it is because he’s from Mars and I am from Venus. I thought it was just because we’re messed up in the head.” Can you imagine Calvin Consumer’s excitement and relief to get the video on “The Secret to her Sexual Satisfaction” with Dr. GraySpot, a picture chart, a big pointer, and an X marking the spot. Could that “G” be for “giggle” rather than Dr. “Graffenberg?” Perhaps we are always looking for the secret, the gold mine, the G-spot because we are afraid of the real G-word: Growth—and the energy it requires of us. I am worried that just becoming more educated or well-read is chopping at the leaves of ignorance but is not cutting at the roots. Take my own example: I used to be a lowly busboy at 12 East Restaurant in Florida. One Christmas Eve the manager fired me for eating on the job. As I slunk away I muttered under my breath, “Scrooge!” Years later, after obtaining a Masters Degree in Psychology and getting a California license to practice psychotherapy, I was fired by the clinical director of a psychiatric institute for being unorthodox. This time I knew just what to say. This time I was much more assertive and articulate. As I left I told the director “You obviously have a narcissistic pseudo-neurotic paranoia of anything that does not fit your myopic Procrustean paradigm.” Thank God for higher education. No wonder colleges are packed. What if there was a language designed not to put down or control each other, but nurture and release each other to grow? What if you could develop a consciousness of expressing your feelings and needs fully and completely without having any intention of blaming, attacking, intimidating, begging, punishing, coercing or disrespecting the other person? What if there was a language that kept us focused in the present, and prevented us from speaking like moralistic mini-gods? There is: The name of one such language is Nonviolent Communication. Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication provides a wealth of simple principles and effective techniques to maintain a laser focus on the human heart and innocent child within the other person, even when they have lost contact with that part of themselves. You know how it is when you are hurt or scared: suddenly you become cold and critical, or aloof and analytical. Would it not be wonderful if someone could see through the mask, and warmly meet your need for understanding or reassurance? What I am presenting are some tools for staying locked onto the other person’s humanness, even when they have become an alien monster. Remember that episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk was turned into a Klingon, and Bones was freaking out? (I felt sorry for Bones because I’ve had friends turn into Cling-ons too.) But then Spock, in his cool, Vulcan way, performed a mind meld to determine that James T. Kirk was trapped inside the alien form. And finally Scotty was able to put some dilithium crystals into his phaser and destroy the alien cloaking device, freeing the captain from his Klingon form. Oh, how I wish that, in my youth or childhood,
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
There was an excitability about him that seemed it could dissipate at any moment as though he were Christmas in July but rather than sporting holiday cheer and sparkling fireworks, he offered the showing of amateur eggnog hangover and explanations about the lack of permits to the fire department.
J.S. Mason (Whisky Hernandez)
Coming to accept that Christmas is just not that exciting any more has been one of the cruel truths about growing up. It’s just that every year it gets that little bit less exciting. I feel like you have to either fully lean into being a Mad Christmas Person who makes it part of their personality, or you accept it’s a good excuse for some days off work but not much else.
Bethany Rutter (Welcome to Your Life)
I’m so confused about who I am,” she admitted to him. “I don’t know anymore.” “I do,” he said. “You’re the girl who wants to be heard. And what she doesn’t know is that while she thinks no one is listening, we all hear her. You’re the girl who loves people by taking care of them, and that’s why you’re having such a hard time right now. You feel that being able to support your family is how you show your love for them. But they all see it anyway. Your strength is in the glow that radiates from you when you walk into a room. It’s magical because we all see it—it blinds us—even if you don’t see it.” He wiped a tear from her cheek, his words hitting her hard. “Your presence is strong enough that you took a man who didn’t think he could ever feel again and made him so excited to face the day that he couldn’t sleep at night. That’s who you are.
Jenny Hale (A Lighthouse Christmas)
Never be content with what you’re doing. You’ll miss the exciting thing waiting around the corner.
Anita Hughes (A Magical New York Christmas)
Advent prayer Lord, may Jesus be more real to me this season than he ever has been. Open my eyes wider than ever to the beauty of his coming. Give me ears to hear the whispers of your voice. May your restoration continue and your Kingdom come—in my life, in my family, in my workplace, in my church, in my community, in my world—just as it is in heaven. May I live with excited anticipation throughout this season and beyond. Grant that I would enter into the story and the blessing of the Christ child more fully each day. Amen.
Chris Tiegreen (The Wonder of Advent Devotional: Experiencing the Love and Glory of the Christmas Season)
Cassie smiled at the way his face lit up in childlike excitement. She had a feeling she’d rather gaze at that illumination over some gaudy Christmas light display.
Rachael Bloome (The Clause in Christmas (Poppy Creek, #1))
Well, Mary!” Her eyes danced with merriment. “I do believe this might be a very exciting Christmas after all! I never did imagine we should meet anybody worth knowing in Kent, but look, our very first evening and we have met Gentlemen!” She capitalized the word as if to give it an even greater degree of importance and Mary frowned, wishing her sister cared for something beyond the meeting of and flirting with gentlemen.
Meg Osborne (Christmas in Kent: A Pride and Prejudice Variation)
arrived that the Christmas lights had already been switched on. In daylight they were off, of course, but they still looked festive. She would usually spend Christmas with Harry and Jean and of course more lately, just with Harry. Her father gave her presents on Christmas Eve and then, duty done, kissed her goodbye until the festivities were over. It was a relief on both parts. Her dad had no idea how to do Christmas. Lauren knew he’d spend most of it drunk with various women in various nightclubs or in various casinos. It always amazed her that however much he drank, he still had this incredibly acute awareness of what was going on around him. It was something that was quite scary about him. That even when he lost control, he seemed to be kind of in control about losing it. She crossed the road alongside groups of families, chattering teens and excited kids who were going to see Father Christmas. A bit early for that, Lauren thought. When her mum had been alive and Lauren had been a little thing, they’d gone to see Santa Claus in one of the big department stores
Jane A. Adams (Safe (Merrow & Clarke #1))
Home is wherever you are, it may not be exciting or glamorous, but this (indicating the vast view) is the biggest life.
Karen Swan (The Christmas Lights)
It was just becoming light when Celeste woke up on Christmas morning. Perry was sound asleep, and there was no sound from the adjoining room where the boys were sleeping. They’d been almost demented with excitement about Santa Claus finding them in Canada (letters had been sent to Santa informing him of the change of address), and with their body clocks all confused, she and Perry had had terrible trouble getting them off to sleep. The boys were sharing a king-size bed, and they’d kept wrestling in that hysterical way they sometimes did, where laughter skidded into tears and then back again into laughter, and Perry had shouted from the next room, “Go to sleep, boys!” and all of a sudden there was silence, and when Celeste had checked in a few seconds later they were both lying flat on their backs, arms and legs spread, as if exhaustion had simultaneously knocked them out cold
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
Love is like a rose. It's the beautiful, elegant petals and perfume that sell the flower. But those things don't last very long. The petals wilt and die. In the end, it's the stem--the thorny, sturdy green stem--that keeps the flower alive. It's what endures after the petals wilt and the perfume fades. Love is two old people doing crossword puzzles together at the end of their lives and helping each other when they become too feeble to walk. It might not sound exciting, but it's better than that. It's love. [Justin Ek]
Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Promise)
Chris Good evening, ladies . . . He steps into it. . . . and gentlemen and welcome to the Cornley Polytechnic Society’s spring production of The Murder at Haversham Manor. I would like to personally welcome you to what will be my directorial debut, and my first production as head of the drama society. We are particularly excited to present this play because, for the first time in the society’s history, we have managed to find a play that fits the company’s numbers perfectly. If we’re honest, a lack of numbers has hampered past productions, such as last year’s Chekov play; Two Sisters. Or last Christmas’s The Lion and the Wardrobe, and of course our summer musical, Cat. This will be the first time the society has been able to stage a play of this scale and we are thrilled. It’s no secret we usually have to contend with a small budget, as we had to in last year’s presentation of Roald Dahl’s classic, James and the Peach. Of course, during the run of that particular show the peach went off, and we were forced to present a hastily devised alternative entitled James! Where’s your Peach? Finally we’ve managed to stage a play as it should be, and cast it exceptionally well. I’m sure no one will forget the problems we’ve faced with casting before, such as 2010’s Christmas presentation of Snow White and the Tall, Broad Gentlemen, or indeed our previous year’s pantomime, another Disney classic: Ugly . . . and the Beast. But now, on with the main event, which I am confident will be our best show yet! So without any further ado, please put your hands together for Susie H.K. Brideswell’s thrilling whodunit – The Murder at Haversham Manor.
Henry Lewis (The Play That Goes Wrong (Modern Plays))
I rather like the shape of the sheath dress," he said thoughtfully. "And corsets are a dastardly inconvenience when you're in a hurry...But I like them, I think, overall. It's like Christmas. The presents with the tight knots and sparkling wrappers are by far the most exciting to unwrap.
Allie Ray (Inheritance)
In the beginning there was a great darkness upon the Earth. There was Christmas and your birthday but beyond that all was a black endless authoritarian void. There was nothing to look forward to, nothing to look back upon, no future, no history. It was all a kid could do to make it to summer vacation. Then, in a moment of light, blinding as a universe birthing a billion new suns, there was hope, sex, rhythm, excitement, possibility, a new way of seeing, of feeling, of thinking, of looking at your body, of combing your hair, of wearing your clothes, of moving and living. There was a joyous demand made, a challenge, a way out of this dead-to-life world, this small-town grave with all the people I dearly loved and feared buried in it alongside of me.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Advent Season by Stewart Stafford A house bedecked in verdant wonderment, With lights that mirror the starry firmament, Where the Christmas Star did once shine, To guide worshippers to the Divine. The wreath on the door is a welcome portal, For any passing cheerful mortal, Wishing to enjoy warm company, And mountains of gravy-drowned turkey. Nostrils fill with cooking scents, That waft through the house with excitement A feast to consume on the 25th, After the Man in Red has paid a visit. Children orchestrate great noise, And sit and play with gifted toys, While adults watch and reminisce, On childhoods past and favourite gifts. The Wheel of Time turns, Festivities End, And the year itself begins again. In Time's juvenile crawl, Or adult speed, Life zips forward, and history repeats. © Stewart Stafford, 2020. All rights reserved.
Stewart Stafford
he asked them. “Too long. Don’t be such a stranger. Stop by if you’re in our neighborhood. We would love to sit and chat. We can talk about the good old days and we got lots of pictures and stories from Tuscany.” “Will do. Enjoy the evening.” Jack turned and was face to face with their daughter, Patti. “Hi, Jack,” she whispered. “Great to see you again,” she said and kissed him on the cheek. “It was so good to talk with you the other day. It meant a lot to see you.” He watched her as she started to walk away and turned to him and say, “I wanted to let you know that after we talked I gave my husband a phone call. Eric and I decided to get back together. We’ve shared a lot of history, and we’re at least going to give it one last try to see if we can make it work. Thanks for everything, Jack. Bye.” She kissed him on the cheek. Jack saw Hope walking across the floor. “She’s pretty. Who was that?” glancing at Patti walk away. “An old and dear friend. Both Charley and I had a crush on her when we were younger. I’ll introduce you to her and her mom and dad later. You’ll like her.” More people filed inside to an already full hall. Soon it was standing room only. Jack turned to Hope and whispered, “I can’t believe this. We’ve had over twenty businesses make donations to the veterans’ fund to help support job training and for overseas servicemen’s wives and families. We also got money from the Yankee Bookshop, the Woodstock Inn, the Billings Farm Museum, the bank, and Bentleys Restaurant. They all donated money.” “That’s great,” she said excitedly. “And we’ve received over thirty new membership requests for the Veterans Post and that’s just yesterday. This is better than I ever expected. And four companies have committed to hiring more vets locally, including King Arthur Flour Company. They’re planning to build a new distribution center just west of town. I can’t believe all of this is happening.” “You should,” Hope said. “I remember you sat down right over there at that table and laid out what you wanted to see happen and you kept working on it until it did. I’m so proud of you.” He hugged her close and kissed her. He never wanted to let her go. The distinct fragrance of fresh balsam, pine, and holly filled
Bryan Mooney (Christmas in Vermont: A Very White Christmas)
Christmas was still her favorite time of year. Sally felt like anything was possible and that childish idea made her heart flutter in excitement.
Vivianna Waters (Second Chance Santa: Short Steamy Story)
My passion for cooking meals for loved ones originated when I was growing up. Because our family didn't have much materially, my siblings and I didn't get excited about gifts and Christmas and birthdays--but we were exuberant in anticipation of the food! I remember my mother preparing and cooking food for days before Christmas. You could smell the aromas wafting throughout the house, and if you were lucky, she would allow you to lick the spoon and taste a little bit beforehand. As a result, my wife and I now delight in showing the same love my mother put into the preparation of special meals into the celebrations we enjoy. From all those years of watching my mother prepare food for the family, and from my own limited experience in the kitchen, I've realized an important lesson: quality takes time. While most people tend to agree with me, no one particularly enjoys waiting patiently for the turkey to come out of the oven or for the pie crust to be made from scratch. We want the quality, but we don't want to wait for it. As I look around, it doesn't take much to see that this current generation is accustomed to fast foods, instant information, and new friendships at the click of a button. Because of such immediate results, we've ignored the diminishing quality of those things we recieve instantly and our subsequent lack of appreciation for them. Our desire for instant gratification has ushered us to the point that we sacrifice excellent quality because of the difficulty and time it takes to produce it.
T.D. Jakes (Crushing: God Turns Pressure into Power)
Everywhere a sudden light shone down. The all-type cover of New York’s Christmas issue harked and heralded the news that “NEW YORK IS BACK.” “The death of this city has been declared so often,” it read, “that almost no one realizes life here is actually getting better—safer, nicer, tastier, cheaper, snazzier, more sensible and exciting than it’s been in years. Who knew?” Inside, the “celebration of the new, improved metropolis” began “Admit it: You’ve been feeling better, but don’t know why,” though it certainly hinted by naming Rudy himself one of the thirty-eight “new, improved” things about New York: “Rudy Giuliani’s first year as mayor, though far from perfect, has been so eventful, so thrillingly New Paradigmatic that the Dinkins administration seems even less accomplished in memory than it was in fact.” Yet out of the thirty-seven other reasons cited, little was new or in any way related to Giuliani. From Times Square, Chelsea Piers, and Bryant Park to better subways, bustling flea markets, and a wave of coffeehouses, this sudden awakening was the result of policies, plans, and battles of prior administrations and the tireless efforts of individuals who’d fought and labored with their fellow New Yorkers for more than a decade.
Thomas Dyja (New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation)
It didn’t take peering at the brass plates at the bottom of the paintings to guess who they must have been: my very own Lord and Lady Uppington, presiding over Uppington Hall in paint as they once had in the flesh. One could almost picture them stepping out of their frames to play host, sweeping aside the tourists and signaling the silent harp into song. The re-enactors were all wrong; from their costumes, they were late Regency, 1820 or so, rather than the pre-Regency period in which I was interested. There was a wide gap between the two, in style and in outlook. But the servants would probably have looked very much the same, in their livery in the Uppington colors, and so would the pre-Victorian Christmas decorations. If I ignored the “party guests” and the other tourists, it was just possible to picture what it might have been like two hundred years ago, when Lord and Lady Uppington had held Christmas at the family seat. I paused, struck by the symmetry of it. It would have been almost exactly two hundred years ago, wouldn’t it? December 1803 to December 2003. It would have been Colin’s ancestors’ first Christmas together after the mad upheaval of their marriage the previous spring. There would have been candles, just as there were now, and the smell of oranges and cloves. There would have been gaily gowned ladies and excited children and tables laden with ratafia biscuits and dried fruit and the inevitable sticky sweet slices of mince pie….
Lauren Willig (Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas)
Vasana is determinism that feels like free will. I’m reminded of my friend Jean, whom I’ve known for almost twenty years. Jean considers himself very spiritual and went so far in the early nineties as to walk way from his job with a newspaper in Denver to live in an ashram in western Massachusetts. But he found the atmosphere choking. “They’re all crypto Hindus,” he complained. “They don’t do anything but pray and chant and meditate.” So Jean decided to move on with his life. He’s fallen in love with a couple of women but has never married. He doesn’t like the notion of settling down and tends to move to a new state every four years or so. (He once told me that he counted up and discovered that he’s lived in forty different houses since he was born.) One day Jean called me with a story. He was on a date with a woman who had taken a sudden interest in Sufism, and while they were driving home, she told Jean that according to her Sufi teacher, everyone has a prevailing characteristic. “You mean the thing that is most prominent about them, like being extroverted or introverted?” he asked. “No, not prominent,” she said. “Your prevailing characteristic is hidden. You act on it without seeing that you’re acting on it.” The minute he heard this, Jean became excited. “I looked out the car window, and it hit me,” he said. “I sit on the fence. I am only comfortable if I can have both sides of a situation without committing to either.” All at once a great many pieces fell into place. Jean could see why he went into an ashram but didn’t feel like he was one of the group. He saw why he fell in love with women but always saw their faults. Much more came to light. Jean complains about his family yet never misses a Christmas with them. He considers himself an expert on every subject he’s studied—there have been many—but he doesn’t earn his living pursuing any of them. He is indeed an inveterate fence-sitter. And as his date suggested, Jean had no idea that his Vasana, for that’s what we’re talking about, made him enter into one situation after another without ever falling off the fence. “Just think,” he said with obvious surprise, “the thing that’s the most me is the thing I never saw.” If unconscious tendencies kept working in the dark, they wouldn’t be a problem. The genetic software in a penguin or wildebeest guides it to act without any knowledge that it is behaving much like every other penguin or wildebeest. But human beings, unique among all living creatures, want to break down Vasana. It’s not good enough to be a pawn who thinks he’s a king. We crave the assurance of absolute freedom and its result—a totally open future. Is this reasonable? Is it even possible? In his classic text, the Yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali informs us that there are three types of Vasana. The kind that drives pleasant behavior he calls white Vasana; the kind that drives unpleasant behavior he calls dark Vasana; the kind that mixes the two he calls mixed Vasana. I would say Jean had mixed Vasana—he liked fence-sitting but he missed the reward of lasting love for another person, a driving aspiration, or a shared vision that would bond him with a community. He displayed the positives and negatives of someone who must keep every option open. The goal of the spiritual aspirant is to wear down Vasana so that clarity can be achieved. In clarity you know that you are not a puppet—you have released yourself from the unconscious drives that once fooled you into thinking that you were acting spontaneously.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Don’t think about the past visits. You have cupcakes,” Julia said as if they were a magic cure-all, and then whispered, “Bye.” Before she disconnected, he heard her say in that over-the-top excited voice of hers, “Just my dad. He misses me. No, it’s—” “Happy Thanksgiving, Sheriff Landon. Chief Benson here. You might not remember me but we met last time you were in town.” Aidan was about to disconnect but the chief would probably think the call had dropped and hit redial. Thanks to Julia, Aidan was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. If he lost his job because of her . . . He made a noncommittal sound into the phone. The chief seemed to buy it. “I just want you to know that you don’t have to worry about your little girl. I’m taking really good care of her.” Okay, how does Benson not get weirded out talking to a guy who is probably just a couple years older than him about his daughter? Aidan frowned. Wait a minute. Julia distinctly told him she wasn’t the chief’s girlfriend. So what was going on here? Maybe Benson didn’t get that no meant no. Aidan cleared his throat, deepened his voice and added what he thought of as Texan swagger. “Don’t you worry none about my daughter. She’s a bit of a thing and young, but she can take care of herself. She doesn’t need another daddy.” The chief didn’t respond. Aidan heard him talking to Julia, but their voices were muffled. And then they were unmuffled, and he clearly heard the chief say, “What do you mean it’s Aidan Gallagher and not your father?” He groaned, feeling like an idiot. He was going to kill her. “Gallagher, is that you?” the chief gritted out. Aidan pressed his forehead against the steering wheel, and the horn blasted, drowning out his yes. “My office tomorrow morning. Nine sharp.” He didn’t get a chance to respond. The line went dead. Seconds later, it came alive. I’ll fix it. I promise. She was lucky she didn’t add a happy face.
Debbie Mason (Sugarplum Way (Harmony Harbor, #4))
Celebrations Christmas is Italy’s biggest holiday. Stores decorate in gold, silver, red, and white. At home, many people celebrate Christmas Eve with a huge feast, often featuring fish. The Christmas season in Italy lasts until Epiphany, January 6, the date when the Three Wise Men are said to have reached Jesus’s manger. Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholas, is mainly a northern European traditional figure, but one that Italians now often celebrate. Traditionally, Italian children become excited about a different gift-giving figure--Befana, whose name comes from the Italian word for Epiphany, Epifania. Befana as supposedly a woman who meant to go with the Wise Men but was too busy. She planned to see them on their way back, but they returned by a different route. Since then, each year on Epiphany, she busily searches for them, riding on a broomstick and bringing gifts. Children dress in costumes like Befana and go to neighboring houses, where they receive small gifts such as fruit and nuts. At the end of the Befana celebration, Befana figures are burned in a bonfire to get rid of the old year and start the new year fresh. Another major festival is Carnevale. It is a huge festival celebrated in the last week before Lent, a serious forty-day period that precedes Easter. Italy’s biggest Carnevale celebration is in Venice, where people dress in dazzling costumes and parade around the city. Though the costumes often feature somber masks, Carnevale is a time for giddy fun. Children run about throwing confetti. Shopkeepers pass out snacks in the city’s squares. Music fills the air. Like Italy itself, it is a feast for the senses.
Jean Blashfield Black (Italy (Enchantment of the World Second Series))
Creed looks like Santa barfed Christmas presents in his lap (excited and disturbed all at the same time, natch).
T.J. Klune (Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #2))
I’m not sorry it happened. Now that I really think about it, I’m not sorry at all.” She reached for a tall glass, poured him a sweet tea and set it on a coaster in front of him. “I was at first, but I gotta tell you, this ‘everything-happens-for-a-reason thing’ is starting to make sense to me. I’m starting to feel excited to see what the reason was for this. This whole thing woke me up, Darryl. It showed me I was in the wrong relationship with the wrong guy, and apparently in the wrong city, in the wrong state, working in the wrong job.” She bit her lower lip, then said, “I knew it, too. I knew it way down deep. I’d been feeling restless and grouchy and tense. I just couldn’t put my finger on why. But that was why. I ignored my feelings until the problem got so big I had no choice but to make a change.
Maggie Shayne (Oklahoma Christmas Blues (The McIntyre Men, #1))
Part 2: After that, he’d turned to fighting, and not the good kind either. Finn, physically older by seven years, mentally older by about a hundred, had single-handedly saved Sean from just about every situation he’d ever landed himself in. Thanks to Finn, there’d been a lot fewer situations than there should’ve been and it hadn’t been for lack of trying. Fact was, everyone knew Sean had taken the slowest possible route on his way to growing up, complete with plenty of detours, but he’d hit his stride now. Or at least he hoped so because Finn was counting on him in a big way over the next week and Sean had let him down enough for a lifetime. He wouldn’t let him down now. Sean pulled into the B&B’s parking lot and turned to face the crowd he’d driven from San Francisco to Napa. And he did mean crowd. They’d had to rent a fourteen-seat passenger van to fit everyone, and he was the weekend’s designated driver. Oh, how times had changed. “Ready?” he asked. Finn nodded. Pru was bouncing up and down in her seat with excitement. Willa, her BFF, was doing the same. Keane, Willa’s boyfriend, opened the door for everyone to tumble out. It was two weeks before Christmas and the rolling hills of Napa Valley were lined with grape vines for as far as the eye could see, not that they could actually see them right now. It was late, pitch dark, and rain had been pouring down steadily all day, which didn’t detract from the beauty of the Victorian B&B in front of them. It did, however, detract from Sean’s eagerness to go out in the rain to get to it though. Not Pru and Willa. The two raced through the downpour laughing and holding hands with Elle, Colbie, Kylie, and Tina—the rest of Pru’s posse—moving more cautiously in deference to the preservation of their heels. Sean, Finn, and Finn’s posse—Archer, Keane, Spence, and Joe—followed. They all tumbled in the front door of the B&B and stopped short in awe of the place decorated with what had to be miles of garland and lights, along with a huge Christmas tree done up in all the bells and whistles. This place could’ve passed for Santa’s own house. Collectively the group “oohed” and “ahhhed” before turning expectedly to Sean. This was because he was actually in charge of the weekend’s activities that would lead up to the final countdown to the wedding happening next week at a winery about twenty minutes up the road. This was what a best man did apparently, take care of stuff. All the stuff. And that Finn had asked Sean to be his best man in the first place over any of the close friends with them this weekend had the pride overcoming his anxiety of screwing it all up. But the anxiety was making a real strong bid right at the moment. He shook off some of the raindrops and started to head over to the greeting desk and twelve people began to follow. He stopped and was nearly plowed over by the parade. “Wait here,” he instructed, pausing until his very excited group nodded in unison. Jesus. He shouldn’t have poured them that champagne to pre-game before they’d left O’Riley’s, the pub he and Finn owned and operated in San Francisco. And that he was the voice of reason right now was truly the irony of the century. “Stay,” he said firmly and then made his way past the towering Christmas tree lit to within an inch of its life, past the raging fire in the fireplace with candles lining the mantel . . . to the small, quaint check-in desk that had a plate with some amazing looking cookies and a sign that said: yes, these are for you—welcome! “Yum,” Pru said and took one for each hand.
Jill Shalvis (Holiday Wishes (Heartbreaker Bay, #4.5))
I looked at the place on my finger again. This time it really was an empty space. And silent. It was big. For the first time I faced a loss with a sense of curiosity. What would come to fill up this space? Would I make another ring? Or would I find another ring in a secondhand shop, or even in another country? Perhaps someday someone I had not even met would give me a ring because he loved me. I was thirty-five and I had never trusted life before. I had never allowed any empty spaces. I had believed that empty spaces remained empty. Life had been about hanging on to what you had and medical training had only reinforced the avoidance of loss at all costs. Anything I had ever let go of had claw marks on it. Yet this empty space had become different. It held all the excitement and anticipation of a wrapped Christmas present.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
Millie loved surprises so she scrambled off the couch quickly then took a seat on the floor next to the box. “It’s like an early Christmas!” she said excitedly.   Henry
D. Camille (When Henry Met Millie (Fall Black In Love #1))
I’m not a hermit.  I’m just an introvert, which means I like people, but I don’t find parties exciting.  They tire me out—.
Jane Porter (Christmas at Copper Mountain (Taming of the Sheenans #1, Copper Mountain Christmas #4))
You shouldn’t have come out on this, Duncan. We could have waited to see you when the roads cleared.” “It wasn’t that bad, Mom. The plows have been through.” “Yes, but your father cleared the driveway and he didn’t do that great of a job.” “He did fine, Mom. Hey, I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Alex Hartfield. Alex, this is Meredith Wilde.” Meredith’s wide gaze switched to Alex immediately, excitement washing over her features so similar to Duncan’s. “You brought a woman to Christmas? Oh, you should have told me! Come in, come in!” Before she knew it Alex was drawn into a cushy hug and set back so Meredith could look her over. “Oh, my, aren’t you gorgeous? Duncan. She’s a pretty one.” Alex winced and when she glanced at Duncan he was shaking his head and mouthing ‘sorry’ to her behind Meredith’s back. Alex snickered. “We’ve long lost hope that Duncan would ever bring home a real girl. His aunt Helen, my sister, always said he was gay because he was so pretty, but I knew in my heart that it would just take the right woman to catch his attention.” Alex laughed out loud, loving the woman’s irrepressible nature. If Duncan was mid-forties, Meredith had to be mid-sixties to seventies, but she certainly didn’t look it, or act it. Alex looked at Duncan. His cheeks were a little pink and he had a strange expression on his face. “Aunt Helen thinks I’m gay? Seriously?” Meredith waved a hand at him. “Not really, dear. She was just talking out her ass trying to convince herself your cousin Martin isn’t gay.” Meredith turned back to Alex and stage whispered, “but he is.” Alex laughed, thoroughly enjoying herself. Then the other people started moving in. She lost track of names and faces but did single out Duncan’s brothers, Sam and Robert. Both were good looking men, and even Duncan’s father Joe still kept his good looks, though he was years older. He welcomed her with a light hug and a calm look. “Don’t let them overwhelm you.” Nodding,
J.M. Madden (Embattled Ever After (Lost and Found #5))
I flew back to the States in December of 1992 with conflicting emotions. I was excited to see my family and friends. But I was sad to be away from Steve. Part of the problem was that the process didn’t seem to make any sense. First I had to show up in the States and prove I was actually present, or I would never be allowed to immigrate back to Australia. And, oh yeah, the person to whom I had to prove my presence was not, at the moment, present herself. Checks for processing fees went missing, as did passport photos, certain signed documents. I had to obtain another set of medical exams, blood work, tuberculosis tests, and police record checks--and in response, I got lots of “maybe’s” and “come back tomorrow’s.” It would have been funny, in a surreal sort of way, if I had not been missing Steve so much. This was when we should have still been in our honeymoon days, not torn apart. A month stretched into six weeks. Steve and I tried keeping our love alive through long-distance calls, but I realized that Steve informing me over the phone that “our largest reticulated python died” or “the lace monitors are laying eggs” was no substitute for being with him. It was frustrating. There was no point in sitting still and waiting, so I went back to work with the flagging business. When my visa finally came, it had been nearly two months, and it felt like Christmas morning. That night we had a good-bye party at the restaurant my sister owned, and my whole family came. Some brought homemade cookies, others brought presents, and we had a celebration. Although I knew I would miss everyone, I was ready to go home. Home didn’t mean Oregon to me anymore. It meant, simply, by Steve’s side. When I arrived back at the zoo, we fell in love all over again. Steve and I were inseparable. Our nights were filled with celebrating our reunion. The days were filled with running the zoo together, full speed ahead. Crowds were coming in bigger than ever before. We enjoyed yet another record-breaking day for attendance. Rehab animals poured in too: joey kangaroos, a lizard with two broken legs, an eagle knocked out by poison. My heart was full. It felt good to be back at work. I had missed my animal friends--the kangaroos, cassowaries, and crocodiles.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
On January 8, 1959, Fidel made his grand entrance into Havana. With his son Fidelito at his side, he rode on top of a Sherman tank to Camp Columbia, where he gave the first of his long, rambling, difficult-to-endure speeches. It was broadcast on radio and television for the entire world to witness. For the Cubans it was what they had waited for! During the speech, smiling Castro asked Camilo Cienfuegos, “How am I doing?” and the catch phrase “Voy bien, Camilo” was born. The following Christmas the celebrations were exceptional and made up for the drab Christmas of 1958. There were great expectations on the part of the Cuban people, but most of these expectations would be shattered in the years to come. In the United States, people saw things differently. “Kangaroo trials” of Batista’s followers, ending with their executions, infuriated Americans who couldn’t believe what was happening on what they considered a happy island. Members of the U.S. Congress held formal hearings, interviewing exiled Cubans known as Batistianos. The result was that in the United States, people began to rally against Castro and in Cuba, people saw the United States as presumptuous and overbearing. Eisenhower treated Fidel with contempt and Nixon did not hide the fact that he disliked the Cuban leader. It was this combination of events that led Cuban-American relations into a diplomatic downhill spiral, from which the two countries have just now started to emerge. Without American backing, Cuba turned to Communism and looked to the Soviet Union for support. The results that followed should have been expected and were the consequences of American arrogance and Cuban misplaced pride.
Hank Bracker
pilot’s duty, and that of his crew, to check constantly, even when over the target with enemy fighters attacking from every angle and the flak coming up from the German ack-ack batteries just, as Andy remarked, to make life a little more exciting.
Katie Flynn (When Christmas Bells Ring)
Magical excitement underpins childhood Christmases, post-Christmas debt overtakes adult ones.
Stewart Stafford
When we give over our (false sense of) control, and just allow, each change and each new experience becomes less of a worry and more of an exciting new adventure. It can be likened to awaiting Christmas (or birthday) morning as a child: Anticipation of unwrapping a beautiful new gift.
Camille Lucy (The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self)
On Christmas morning, my Mam and Dad were downstairs shouting to me to look out the window. They’d shout, ‘There’s Santa.’ Dad used to ring this bell and say it was one of Santa’s bells on the sleigh. I could hear Santa’s bells ringing as I jumped out of bed, really excited and I looked out the bedroom window in to the dark morning, fully expecting to see Santa and co magically flying through the air and maybe even he would spot me and give me a wave. ‘I can’t see him,’ I’d proclaim in sadness and then the bells would stop and I knew he’d have gone to someone else’s house, but I also knew that he hadn’t forgotten me. I’d run downstairs and in to the room whilst still in my pyjamas where the prezzies were. The excitement was unbelievable and my parents used to buzz as they watched my face beaming up at them in joy.
Stephen Richards (Born to Fight: The True Story of Richy Crazy Horse Horsley)
this attractive coffee cake at a holiday brunch or on Christmas morning for a surefire crowd pleaser. To eat, pull off sugary, orange-crusted rounds of sweet bread, one at a time. DOUGH SMALL SWEET DOUGH OF YOUR CHOICE, such as Basic Not-So-Sweet Dough GRATED LEMON RIND 1 teaspoon MEDIUM SWEET DOUGH OF YOUR CHOICE, such as Basic Not-So-Sweet Dough GRATED LEMON RIND 1 teaspoon LARGE SWEET DOUGH OF YOUR CHOICE, such as Basic Not-So-Sweet Dough GRATED LEMON RIND 2 teaspoons 1. Place dough ingredients, including the grated lemon rind, in bread pan, select Dough setting, and press Start. 2. When the dough has risen long enough, the machine will beep. Turn off
Linda Rehberg (Bread Machine Magic: 138 Exciting Recipes Created Especially for Use in All Types of Bread Machines)
Do you always wear your guns?” I asked. “Mostly. You never know what will happen.” “You might have to run down a bank robber or cattle rustler?” He grinned. “Something like that.” I’d read a story once about Pearl Hart, the famous lady stagecoach robber. How would it feel to wear the heavy pistols slung low on the hips? “May I try it on?” “My gun belt?” I nodded, Christmas morning excitement bursting through me. “Well, I guess it’d be all right.” He unbuckled his belt and handed it to me. “Be careful, though.” More weight than I expected filled my hands, but not more than I could handle. A lifetime of wielding cast-iron pots and pans made a girl’s arms strong. I strapped the belt around my waist, undecided as to whether I imagined myself a bandit or a law enforcer.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
and carefree. It is so good to have Greg back with us again, breathing the salty air, experiencing the breeze on his face. We spend at least an hour on that beach. Almost back at the car, Greg stops at a wooden bench that looks out onto the strand. ‘Let’s sit for a while.’ My stomach tightens. Greg settles at one end of the bench, Toby on his lap, Rachel next to them. I’m at the other. Bookends. ‘Guys,’ Greg says. ‘I want to explain why I’m in hospital.’ ‘It’s OK, Dad. We know,’ says Toby. ‘You’re exhausted.’ ‘Well, it’s a little more than that.’ He takes a breath. ‘I have a sickness that makes me sad sometimes. Other times it makes me very excited.’ They take time to digest that. Toby is first to speak. ‘But it’s OK to be sad, Dad. You said.’ He looks at Greg for confirmation. ‘I did. And it’s OK to cry when something happens to make you sad.’ ‘Yeah, you’re always telling us that.’ ‘It’s just that if there’s no reason to be sad and you’re sad anyway – all the time – well, that’s not good, is it?’ Toby shakes his head wildly. ‘No, that’d be…sad.’ ‘And not good,’ says Greg. ‘No,’ agrees Toby. Rachel’s quiet. Taking it all in. ‘And it’s OK to get excited too,’ continues Greg. ‘Lots of things are exciting…’ ‘Like Christmas and birthdays and fireworks and when you get onto the next level in a game.’ ‘Exactly.’ Greg smiles. ‘But being hyper isn’t good.’ ‘No.’ Toby shakes his head again. ‘When you have Coke or Skittles or something you get hyper. And that’s not good ‘cause you go bananas. Isn’t that right, Dad?’ ‘Yes, son.’ Greg kisses the top of his head. ‘But you eventually go back to normal, don’t you?’ ‘Yeah.’ Rachel, eyes fixed on her father, is oblivious to the breeze whipping her hair across her face. ‘Well,’ says Greg. ‘I have a sickness that makes me hyper for weeks. And that’s not good.’ ‘No.’ Toby squints. ‘Why not, again?’ ‘Well, it can make me do silly things, and can make
Aimee Alexander (The Accidental Life of Greg Millar: A Book Club Pick)
Happy Christmas,” he murmured, and leaned down to kiss her forehead. As the pressure of his lips lifted, Kathleen stepped back, trying to create a necessary distance between them. Her heel brushed against some solid, living thing, and a sharply indignant squeal startled her. “Oh!” Kathleen leaped forward instinctively, colliding with Devon’s front. His arms closed around her automatically, even as a pained grunt escaped him. “Oh--I’m sorry…What in heaven’s name--” She twisted to see behind her and broke off at the sight of Hamlet, who had come to root beneath the Christmas tree for stray sweets that had fallen from paper cones as they’d been removed from the branches. The pig snuffled among the folds of the tree skirt and the scattered presents wrapped in colored paper. Finding a tidbit to consume, he oinked in satisfaction. Kathleen shook her head and clung to Devon as laughter trembled through both of them. “Did I hurt you?” she asked, her hand resting lightly at the side of his waistcoat. His smiling lips grazed her temple. “Of course not, you little makeweight.” They stayed together in that delicious moment of scattered light and fragrant spruce and irresistible attraction. The entrance hall was quiet now; the guests had proceeded en masse to the drawing room. Devon’s head lowered, and he kissed the side of her throat. “I want you in my bed again,” he whispered. Working his way along her neck, he found a sensitive place that made her shiver and arch, the tip of his tongue stroking a soft pulse. It seemed as if her body had become attuned to his, excitement leaping instantly at his nearness, delight pooling hotly in her stomach. How easy it would be to let him have whatever he wanted of her. To yield to the pleasure he could give her, and think only of the present moment.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
I, er…” I couldn’t tell them the truth. Neither one of them could keep a secret. They’d practically handed Zinnia and me itemized inventories of our Christmas presents in November because they were too excited to keep quiet. By the time Christmas Day rolled around, the wrapping was purely ceremonial.
Lucy Score (Rock Bottom Girl)
became a blurry swirl of shapes and colors narrowing into a luminous spot of white light at the end of a black anoxic tunnel and dissolving into a rapid series of bright sharp images that I recognized at once from my childhood: long forgotten memories of important moments flashing by faster than anything I’d ever experienced, twenty to thirty frames a second, each one of them original, like perfect photographic slides from the archives of my young life, every scene compressed into a complete story with sights and sounds and smells and feelings from the time. Each image was euphoric, rapturous. The smiling face of my beautiful young mother / a gentle touch from her hand on my face / absorbing her love / playing in the sand at the seashore with my father / waves washing up on the beach / feeling the strength and security of his presence / soothing, kind-hearted praise from a teacher at school / faces and voices of adoring aunts and uncles / steam trains coming in at the local railroad station / hearing myself say “choo-choo” / the excitement of shared discovery with my brother on Christmas morning / running free through a familiar forest with a happy dog / hitting a baseball hard and hearing encouraging cries from my parents behind me in the bleachers / shooting baskets in a backyard court with a buddy from high school / a tender kiss from the soft warm lips of a lovely teenage girl / the encouraging thrust of her stomach and thighs against mine.
John Laurence (The Cat From Hue: A Vietnam War Story)
I pretty much rolled out of bed and headed out this morning. Dawn is the magic hour. I didn’t want to miss it.” He leaned against the counter, considering her over the rim of his coffee cup. “You should see yourself right now.” She tilted her head and patted her hair. “What? Am I scary bedhead or something? I’ve been crawling around on the ground.” “You do have grass in your hair.” He laughed and leaned over to pluck out a blade. “But I mean you should see how excited you look, like a little kid preparing for Christmas. This totally does it for you.” She gripped the edge of the counter and swung her legs. “I am kind of excited. I got a kick-ass shot of a ladybug today. I know that sounds stupid—” “It doesn’t.
Roni Loren (The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away, #1))
Getting comfortable again, I grab one of the magazines that I keep stuffed under my thin mattress. Flipping to the article the guard Paul told me about, I’m just getting to the part about how chandeliers are a necessity in creating an awesome she-shed, when two prison guards come running in. They take one look at my open cell door, the magic smoke still polluting the air, the unconscious male on the ground, and turn gaping looks at me. I give them a bright smile and point down at Scarface. “Hey, Paul. Could you clean that up for me? I think he wet himself.” Paul lowers his gun and pulls off his SWAT-style helmet. “Another one?” he asks, jerking his chin toward my uninvited cell guest. I shrug my shoulders and give him an apologetic smile. He shakes his head and nudges the unconscious jail-breaker with his boot. “Damn. We need to up our security. We aren’t used to so many supernaturals trying to break someone out of here,” he says, scratching the back of his neck as he frowns in thought. “Yeah, it’s very disruptive,” I tell him. He grunts in agreement. “Good thing your ride is here,” Paul mentions casually as my unwelcome cell guest groans loudly from the floor. I squeal and start clapping excitedly, which startles both guards. “Yes, finally!” I shoot up from my cot and thrust both arms out, ready for the required shackles whenever a prisoner is being transported. Paul releases an amused chuckle, and Terrence—the other guard in my cell right now—gives me some judgement-laced side-eye as I giggle and wait like a kid on Christmas morning for the cuffs to click into place. I’m finally going to be sentenced and booked into Nightmare Penitentiary. I can’t fucking wait.
Ivy Asher (Conveniently Convicted (Paranormal Prison))
My hair, always pale, is now flossy white and very, very long. It is fine too, finer it seems with each passing day. It is my one vanity- Lord knows I haven't much else to be vain about. Not any more. It has been with me a long time- since 1989, this present crop. I am fortunate indeed that Sylvia is happy to brush it for me, oh so gently; to plait it, day in, day out. It is above and beyond her job description and I am very grateful. I must remember to tell her so. I missed my chance this morning, I was too excited. When Sylvia brought my juice I could barely drink it. The thread of nervous energy that had infused me all week had overnight become a knot. She helped me into a new peach dress- the one Ruth bought me for Christmas- and exchanged my slippers for the pair of outside shoes usually left to languish in my wardrobe. The leather was firm and Sylvia had to push to make them fit, but such price respectability. I am too old to learn new ways and cannot abide the tendency of the younger residents to wear their slippers out. Face paint restored some life to my cheeks, but I was careful not to let Sylvia overdo it. I am wary of looking like an undertaker's mannequin. It doesn't take much rouge to tip the balance: the rest of me is so pale, so small. With some effort I draped the gold locket around my neck, its nineteenth-century elegance incongruous against my utilitarian clothing. I straightened it, wondering at my daring, wondering what Ruth would say when she saw.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
You don't know about the spirit of Christmas? Haven't you ever felt that? It's that feeling that everyone is getting along and loving each other and helping each other. It's that feeling of togetherness like you're a team. It's a feeling of hope and faith and excitement in the air.
Rachel Hanna (Blue Ridge Christmas)
At his own home, however, Goebbels found himself increasingly mired, not unhappily, in preparations for the holiday. He and his wife, Magda, had six children, all of whose names began with H: Helga, Hildegard, Helmut, Holdine, Hedwig, and Heidrun, the last just a month and a half old. The couple also had an older son, Harald, from Magda’s previous marriage. The children were excited, as was Magda, “who thinks about nothing but Christmas,” Goebbels wrote.
Erik Larson (The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz)
Mornin’, Cupcake.” His voice was craggy from waking too early. He’d been restless come sunlight. Christmas morning hadn’t been a morning he was anxious for in years. Until this year. She had changed him. In a short time, and for the better. Watching her love of the holidays, her genuine, childlike excitement for a time of year that typically fed his soul nothing but depression, he had opened his eyes this morning excited for the first time in years.
Jessica Lemmon (A Bad Boy for Christmas (Second Chance, #3))
They are telling ghost stories.” “Yes,” said Will, his voice unsteady with both excitement and laughter. “Just the thing for Christmas Eve. It’s an ancient tradition!
Susan Hill (The Woman in Black)
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! It probably isn’t Christmas when you’re reading this but I am just so excited and happy! A lot happened in just one day. Lemme tell you.
Funny Comics (Diary Of A Friendly Creeper: A Very Creeper Christmas (Diary Of A Friendly Minecraft Creeper Book 9))
I did not have to say a word. The look on my face communicated everything to Jase Robertson when he presented me with my Christmas gift in 1988. It was a potted plant, not even a very big one or some exotic species, just an ordinary plant in a plain clay pot. Since I could not hide my confusion, I stared at him with a look that clearly said, “Are you kidding me?” Sensing that I was not exactly pleased with this present, Jase could hardly restrain himself from grinning as he told me to “dig around in the dirt.” As I dug, I found a small box covered in felt (and dirt). I knew immediately that it was a jewelry box but had no idea that the box held a beautiful engagement ring! Once again, the look on my face communicated everything I wanted to say, which was great, because I was so excited and surprised I could not speak. Jase looked at me and proposed in his unique way, not gushing about how much he loved me and tenderly asking for my hand in marriage. He simply said with completely confidence, “Well, you’re gonna marry me, aren’t ya?” Too thrilled and shocked to say very much, I managed to answer yes, and that was the beginning of a commitment the two of us still hold and treasure to this day, one that now includes our two amazing sons, Reed and Cole, and our remarkable daughter, Mia. We have a wonderful life together, but it did not just happen to us. Since the very beginning, when Jase and I first met, we have had challenges to overcome. We are still facing challenges, and with God’s grace and help, we are still overcoming them.
Missy Robertson (Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed)
Do you remember how your mom would wrap the presents so well it’d take at least five minutes to find where you could rip the paper?” I snorted. “Yes, and they were wrapped so much it was like unwrapping a hundred packages from morning ‘til lunch. It was Mom’s way of extending Christmas.” “I loved that—it always built the excitement. Just when you thought you had it, you had to unroll it. I miss her—she was like a second mother to me.
Shaye Evans
She remembered dating. She remembered feeling excited and reveling in the unknown. Dating was like hopscotch for giants. An adult game that made the heart jump instead of the feet. A game she used to enjoy.
Barbara Avon (The Gift)
Thinking ahead, Batista had handpicked Carlos Saladrigas Zayas as his replacement. However, this scheme was not to be, when the people defeated Saladrigas Zayas and voted for Batista’s adversary, the popular former President Ramón Grau. Four years later Grau was followed by Carlos Prío. Halfway through Ramón Grau’s administration, just before Christmas in 1946 at the Hotel Nacional, a meeting of Meyer Lansky and other underworld figures planned the future of Havana as a playground for the Americas. Drugs, prostitution, shows and casinos started to flourish in Havana. In the post war years prior to Las Vegas, people came, and Havana became an instant success!
Hank Bracker
I’ve been thinking about what you said--you know, about the eighth-grade dance. I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out what you were talking about. And”--he swallows hard--“there’s something I need to tell you.” Why is he bringing this up now? “You don’t have to, Ryder,” I say, my heart accelerating. “You were right. It was a long time ago.” “I know, but, well…just hear me out, okay?” I nod, mentally bracing myself. I’m not sure I want to hear this--to open those old wounds again. “I said some things that night, things I’m not proud of. And…it occurred to me that someone might have told you, and--” “I heard you, Ryder,” I say, cutting him off. “I was there, hiding in those trees by the rock. I heard everything.” He lets out his breath in a low whistle. “Shit. I am so sorry, Jemma. I didn’t think--I mean, not that it makes any difference, but I didn’t know. I figured you’d had second thoughts or something and decided you didn’t want to go with me.” “I wish,” I mumble. “The thing is, Jem, those things I said? I didn’t mean them. I was there waiting for you, when Mason and Ben showed up and started teasing me. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to get rid of them, and then they started saying stuff. You know, about you.” “Yeah, I heard.” Even now, all these years later, the memory makes me cringe. “And I knew that if they knew the truth--if they knew how much I really liked you, it’d be even worse. I swear, in some crazy, convoluted way, I thought I was protecting you or something.” “I still can’t believe Laura Grace made you ask me,” I say. “Was Mama in on it too?” He shakes his head. “No. Don’t you get it? I made that up. My mom had nothing to do with it--she didn’t even know. The truth is, I wanted to go with you. Something had changed between us, remember? At the beach over Christmas break?” “I remember.” I’d been hyperaware of him on that trip--self-conscious and nervous and giddy and excited all at once. I’d caught him staring at me when he thought I wasn’t looking, and I’d stolen some secret glances myself. “That was when I realized you were the prettiest girl in Magnolia Branch,” he says. “Hell, maybe in all of Mississippi. Anyway, I was excited about the dance. I even snuck into town that afternoon and bought you a corsage. I had it in my pocket when I went to the rock to meet you.” I barely hear him, because I’m still stuck on the “prettiest girl” part of his speech.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I wanted to kiss you,” she said as they waited for Sonnet to be brought out. “When I saw you this morning, whole and healthy. Did you want to kiss me?” In the bright morning sunshine, Louisa’s green eyes sparkled like spring grass wet with dew, and energy fairly crackled around her. And this magnificent, gorgeous woman—who was to be his wife—was confessing to a thwarted urge to kiss him. The grooms were busy in the stable, and the alley was deserted enough that Joseph could be honest. “I find, Louisa Windham-soon-to-be-Carrington, that I am constantly in readiness for your kisses. This state of affairs brings me back to boyhood Christmases, to the sense of excitement and… glee that hung over my holidays. As if delightful developments were always awaiting me.” He
Grace Burrowes (Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight (The Duke's Daughters, #3; Windham, #6))
During chemistry, it’s another experiment/observation. Alex swirls test tubes full of silver nitrate and potassium chloride liquids. “Looks like they’re both water to me, Mrs. P.,” Alex says. “Looks are deceiving,” Mrs. Peterson replies. My gaze travels to Alex’s hands. Those hands that are now busy measuring the right amount of silver nitrate and potassium chloride are the same ones that traced my lips intimately. “Earth to Brittany.” I blink my eyes, snapping out of my daydream. Alex is holding a test tube full of clear liquid out to me. Which reminds me I should help him pour the liquids together. “Uh, sorry.” I pick up one test tube and pour it into the tube he’s holding. “We’re supposed to write down what happens,” he says, using the stirring rod to mix the chemicals together. A white solid magically appears inside the clear liquid. “Hey, Mrs. P.! I think we found the answer to our problems for the ozone layer depletion,” Alex teases. Mrs. Peterson shakes her head. “So what do we observe in the tube?” he asks me, reading off of the sheet Mrs. Peterson handed out at the start of class. “I’d say the watery liquid is probably potassium nitrate now and the white solid mass in silver chloride. What’s your assumption?” As he hands me the tube, our fingers brush against each other. And linger. It leaves a tingling sensation I can’t ignore. I glance up. Our eyes meet, and for a minute I think he’s trying to send me a private message but his expression turns dark and he looks away. “What do you want me to do?” I whisper. “You’re gonna have to figure that one out yourself.” “Alex…” But he won’t tell me what to do. I guess I’m a bitch to even ask him for advice when he can’t possibly be unbiased. When I’m close to Alex I feel excitement, the way I used to feel on Christmas morning.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
That message made me more excited and aroused than before my questioning. The clicking soon stopped, and my lover assisted me out of the tub. He dried me off and wrapped us both in large towels. Taking my hand, he guided me to my room. As soon as I heard the door close, my mystery lover released my mask. In bed, snuggled under the duvet, was my sexy roommate John, naked and ready for a night of unbridled sex with Oscar and me. Needless to say, we had a fun filled evening with little sleep and lots of play. By the time Friday rolled round, I had unwittingly plunged myself into a muddy pool of forbidden love. During the course of my Christmas vacation, which followed, it created much uneasiness which I had not anticipated. This is the nature of life. Just when we believe we have it all, life throws us a surprise, so we can learn valuable lessons in another chapter of life, making us stronger and more resilient than before.
Young (Initiation (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 1))
What story will you tell me?” “What kind of story would you like?” “An exciting story. One with an exotic climate and mortal peril.” He had to smile at the relish in her voice. “Do we have bloodthirsty warring factions in this story?” “No war, please.” She’d lost a brother to the Corsican’s armies. He’d forgotten that, though she never would. “You want a happy ending, then?” She studied her teacup for a thoughtful moment. “I don’t admit to my family that I still want the happy endings and wishes to come true. A mature woman should just take life as it comes, and I do have a great deal to be grateful for.” “But a mature woman should also be honest with herself, and with me. You’re allowed to wish for the happy endings, Sophie. For yourself and for Kit too.” When
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
at the Throttle ALL WEEK I WONDERED what could possibly have happened to Tom on his first train ride that made it the most exciting experience of his life. When I finally received his second letter I understood why he had said that all the kids in town would turn green with envy. When I showed the kids the letter they didn’t actually turn green any more than a yellow-bellied coward has a yellow belly. But you never saw such a bunch of envious kids in your life. When Tom came home for the Christmas vacation with Sweyn he told Papa, Mamma, Aunt Bertha, our four-year-old foster brother Frankie, and me all about riding in the locomotive from Provo to Salt Lake City.
John D. Fitzgerald (The Great Brain at the Academy)
Your father and I made a deal. I agreed to let him sell some paintings and things to raise the money he needed to fix up the house, and he agreed to let me have one book from the family library to take home each year." "The Christmas book!" said Sophie. "Exactly, the Christmas book. So every year at Christmas I pick one book to keep for my own." He took her by the hand and led her into a small bedroom at the end of the corridor. "Do you see this shelf right here next to my bed? Those are all the books I've picked over the years. It is my very special shelf." "It must be exciting to go into a big library and get to pick any book you want." "I'm glad you think so, Sophie. Because I want you to do the same thing. I want you to pick any book in my flat to take home with you and keep." "Really?" she said, her face lighting up. "Really," said Bertram. "after all, it's almost Christmas." "Any book?" "Any book. But choose carefully," said Uncle Bertram. "A good book is like a good friend. It will stay with you for the rest of your life. When you first get to know it, it will give you excitement and adventure, and years later it will provide you with comfort and familiarity. And best of all, you can share it with your children or your grandchildren or anyone you love enough to let into its secrets.
Charlie Lovett (First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen)
Well, why doesn’t Thomas play the part?” Nigel said, eyeing the strapping young man. “He’s certainly imposing enough for it.” “That’s entirely the problem,” Lucy said. “He’s too big. When he tried on the robe, it started to rip across the shoulders.” “Surely there’s someone else…” Nigel trailed off at the look on Lucy’s face. “Good Gad, no,” he exclaimed. “You cannot begin to think—” “Of course!” Amelia’s face lit up as she grabbed his arm. With the small portion of his mind not taken up with the horror of Lucy’s plan to make a complete fool out of him, he noted that Amelia did seem to be touching him rather a lot this evening. Now she was also bouncing up and down in her pretty white and gold spangled shoes. “You’d make a splendid Father Christmas, Mr. Dash, because you have such an easy way with children. I’m sure the robe will fit, and we can adjust the wreath in an instant.” “The wreath?” Nigel repeated in a hollow voice. He fastened his appalled gaze on Philbert, who nodded in masculine sympathy “Well, Father Christmas must wear his crown of mistletoe, Nigel,” Lucy said in coaxing voice. “He wouldn’t look authentic without it.” “Surely, there must be someone else,” Nigel said, trying not to sound as desperate as he felt. “One of the other servants, perhaps.” Lucy shook her head. “The footmen are too big and the scullery boy is too small.” When the corner of her mouth quirked up, Nigel had the sneaking suspicion she was beginning to enjoy the absurdity of the situation. Lucy knew he disdained costume balls and masquerades as undignified romps and refused to step foot in them. “I know it’s a lot to ask, Nigel, my dear, but you are certainly the best candidate to replace Philbert.” Amelia was still clutching his sleeve, but now she brought her pleading gaze to bear on him as well. “Please, Mr. Dash, it would mean so much to the children. I would be enormously grateful if you would be so kind as to play the part of Father Christmas.” Her beautiful brown eyes, full of concern for her younger siblings, pleaded with him. Blast it, the young ones had probably been looking forward to the treat for days, and would be sorely disappointed if it failed to materialize. And he had a feeling Amelia had been looking forward to it too, if for no other reason than to see the excitement on the children’s faces. With a mental sigh, Nigel consigned his dashing new persona to the dust heap. Life, it would seem, had consigned him to play only one role—that of dependable old Nigel Dash, always ready to take on whatever necessary task fate and the ladies of the beau monde decreed for him. “Of course, Miss Easton,” he said. “I am only too happy to help.
Anna Campbell (A Grosvenor Square Christmas)
Thanksgiving has become the first day of what in now thought of as the “Holy or Holiday Season.” The “holidays” as they are generally known, are an annually recurring period of time from late November to early January. These days are also recognized by many other countries as well, with the “Christmas Tree” and all the trimmings, generally being considered secular. This period of time incorporates the shopping days, which comprises a peak season for the retail market. Regardless of religious affiliation, children and adults alike enjoy the many window displays and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. To a great extent it really doesn’t matter that there are still some people believing that the commercialism of these holidays is blasphemy and that they should be reserved strictly for worship. There are virtually, no valid reasons why we can’t all enjoy these days in our own way. Children of all faiths and ages should be able to understand the true meaning and still be able to enjoy the music, surprises and magic of the season… This year we are again faced with a severely, politically divided country; with a great number of people fearing for their future. It might be too much to hope for, that politicians will be able to put aside their differences. Unfortunately many of them still believe that their hypocritical concept of Christianity is greater than that of their opposition. Regardless, they should however understand that we are all equal in the eyes of God as well as the law, and that America was built by a diverse people. Let us not slip back into a newer form of “Small Minded Bigotry,” but rather forge ahead in a unified way making our country stronger. The time has come to energize our nation by rebuilding our bridges and highways. Rebuilding our airports, investing in high-speed trains, and making education affordable is the way to a more productive future. If we head down this ambitious path of development, we will create jobs and put more people to work. It will help the middle class to regain their footing and it will strengthen our slowly growing economy. When our citizens earn more, the economy will lift us all out of the recession that so many.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
From The Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Mundane Happenings Life is just packed with “Mundane Happenings!” It’s the mundane happenings that usually take the most time and they always seem to interfere, just about when you want to do something really important. Let’s start with mundane things that are routine, like doing the dishes and taking out the garbage. The list for a single person might be a little less involved or complicated but it would be every bit as important as that of a married couple or people with lots of children or even pets. Oh yes, for some the list of mundane responsibilities would include washing clothes and taking the children to their activities. You know what I mean… school, sports, hobbies, their intellectual endeavors and the like. For most of us beds have to be made, the house has to be kept clean, grass has to be cut and the flowers have to be pruned. Then there are the seasonal things, such as going trick or treating, buying the children everything they need before school starts or before going to summer camp. Let’s not forget Christmas shopping as well as birthdays and anniversaries. This list is just an outline of mundane happenings! I’m certain that you can fill in any of these broad topics with a detailed account of just how time consuming these little things can be. Of course we could continue to fill in our calendar with how our jobs consume our precious time. For some of us our jobs are plural, meaning we have more than one job or sometimes even more than that. I guess you get the point… it’s the mundane happenings that eat up our precious time ferociously. Blink once and the week is gone, blink twice and it’s the month and then the year and all you have to show for it, is a long list of the mundane things you have accomplished. Would you believe me, if I said that it doesn’t have to be this way? Really, it doesn’t have to, and here is what you can do about it. First ask yourself if you deserve to recapture any of the time you are so freely using for mundane things. Of course the answer should be a resounding yes! The next question you might want to ask yourself is what would you do with the time you are carving out for yourself? This is where we could part company, however, whatever it is it should be something personal and something that is fulfilling to you! For me, it became a passion to write about things that are important to me! I came to realize that there were stories that needed to be told! You may not agree, however I love sharing my time with others. I’m interested in hearing their stories, which I sometimes even incorporate into my writings. I also love to tell my stories because I led an exciting life and love to share my adventures with my friends and family, as well as you and future generations. I do this by establishing, specifically set, quiet time, and have a cave, where I can work; and to me work is fun! This is how and where I wrote The Exciting Story of Cuba, Suppressed I Rise, now soon to be published as a “Revised Edition” and Seawater One…. Going to Sea! Yes, it takes discipline but to me it’s worth the time and effort! I love doing this and I love meeting new friends in the process. Of course I still have mundane things to do…. I believe it was the astronaut Allen Shepard, who upon returning to Earth from the Moon, was taking out the garbage and looking up saw a beautifully clear full Moon and thought to himself, “Damn, I was up there!” It’s the accomplishment that makes the difference. The mundane will always be with us, however you can make a difference with the precious moments you set aside for yourself. I feel proud about the awards I have received and most of all I’m happy to have recorded history as I witnessed it. My life is, gratefully, not mundane, and yours doesn’t have to be either.” Captain Hank Bracker, author of the award winning book “The Exciting Story of Cuba.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
Right about that time we had a big surprise from Granny. It was close to Christmas, the weather was nice, and I was outside, following Willie and his buddies around while they played football in the yard. Then we heard some gunshots nearby. Pop! Pop! Pop! It took a while for the noise to get our attention, but after a few more shots, we began to pay attention. It was Granny, out in front of her house, holding a .22 rifle. As I watched, she pointed it at our house and squeezed the trigger again. Pop! Pop! “She’s shooting at the Christmas lights,” someone yelled. I started laughing, not believing what I was seeing. We all ran up to the house, shouting, “Granny is shooting at the lights!” I was good and excited; I thought she was just having fun. But Dad took it much more seriously. He immediately burst out of the house and marched straight up to his mother. “Ma, you’re gonna give me this gun right now,” he said. “My kids are playing out here.” My dad’s serious expression scared me, and I realized she wasn’t just playing; something was wrong. Granny was on meds, and they helped, but as I got older, I heard more stories about the crazy things she had done when her manic depression got the best of her.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
And you? Where did you grow up?’ he asked as he began to grind the beans with the pestle. ‘Oh, a place called Dorset, in the south of England,’ Bo said, watching, fascinated. She’d never had her coffee ground for her by hand before. ‘Nowhere as exciting as this.’ ‘I know Dorset.’ She looked up in surprise. ‘You do?’ ‘I once had an English girlfriend from there. Sherborne.’ ‘That’s not far from where I grew up,’ she said excitedly. ‘Do you know Wimborne?’ He stilled, seeming to think for a moment. ‘I think we went there once. A horse race.’ ‘Yes, at Badbury Rings. A point-to-point, we call it. We always used to go to that.’ She sighed happily at the memories as they rose, unbidden by this unexpected turn in the conversation. ‘Do you know I’ve been all over the world and never once met anyone who knew my home town?
Karen Swan (The Christmas Lights)
This is how Christmas should feel. Full of hope, happiness and new beginnings. Full of love, for those we’re with, those we miss and those we’ve found. This is the best feeling, ever! I don’t know what the future holds but, right now, it feels full of promise and excitement.
Jo Thomas (Finding Love at the Christmas Market)
Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming,  we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. Gloria Steinem
Shanna Hatfield (The Cowboy's Christmas Plan (Grass Valley Cowboys #1))
On Holiday? “All aboard the Cheddar Express,” shouted a microscopic speck. “Next stop, the Pittz Hotel.” A fatherly germ stood up, adjusted his membrane, and signalled to his family. “That’s our shuttle bus, kids. Let’s go.” Mr and Mrs E. Coli guided their children, all two million of them, onto the block of sweaty cheese. This was the bacterial family’s first holiday and they were all bubbling with excitement. “My friend went last year and he told me the hotel staff eat Brussels sprouts soaked in baked beans for breakfast,” said a tiny little voice.
James Warwood (49 Excuses for Getting the Most Out of Christmas (The 49... Series Book 10))
Fear and excitement are twins; they live on opposite sides of the same door. It's up to you which room you live in. [Violet Harper Armitage]
Alexandra Benedict (The Christmas Murder Game)
From the Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Appreciation! Appreciation…. One of the nicer things we can get or give is appreciation. It makes what we do worthwhile! It inspires us to work harder, do better and above all, makes us feel better about ourselves. I feel appreciated when someone says thank you…. It’s as simple as that! Of course it’s also nice to receive an award for something I wrote. I recently won two awards for The Exciting Story of Cuba and it made my day! It felt even better to share the moment with my crew because they deserved it and I certainly appreciate them and their contribution, for the effort I got credit for. It’s really very nice when we appreciate people for what they have done for us and remember that it is better to give than receive. Now here is an existential thought that I’ll run past you. You might have heard the ancient chestnut.… “Does a tree make a noise when it falls in a forest with no one around to hear it?” The answer is debatable, with no definitive answer that everyone accepts. Now let’s take this thought one step further by contemplating life itself. Is there really anything, if there is no one to appreciate it? Could this account for our existence? Do we really have to exist at this time and place, within this sphere of infinity, to appreciate everything we are aware of including the universe? To me it’s an interesting thought, since philosophically “I am!” More interesting is that so are you and everyone else. Without us, would there be universe? And if so, would it make any difference, because there would be no one to know. What makes the difference is that we are here and we know that we are here! Therefore, we can appreciate it! I’m not a philosopher. I’m really just another “id” that is contemplating my existence, but what I want to impart is the importance of sharing this existence with others by appreciating them. The English poet John Donne said, “No man is an Island.” I guess the original content is found in prose, not poetry; however it’s the thought that counts. Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical theory of personality states that, “The id is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires.” Now the way I see it, is that the reason that we are here is to appreciate each other and our wondrous surroundings. I might even take things a step further by getting religion into the mix. If we are made in our creator’s image, could that mean that our creator, like us, desires the appreciation of his creation and we are here to appreciate what he, or she, has created? The way we as a people are polarized causes me to wonder, if we are not all acting like a bunch of spoiled brats. Has our generation been so spoiled that we all insist on getting things our way, without understanding that we are interdependent. Seeing as how we all inhabit this one planet, and that everything we possess, need, aspire to and love, is right here on this rock floating in space; we should take stock and care for each other and, above all, appreciate what we have, as well as each other. So much from me…. I’ve been busy trying to get Suppressed I Rise – Revised Edition and Seawater One…. Going To Sea!, published before the holidays. It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m hoping that with just a little extra effort, these books will be available at your favorite book dealer in time to find a place under your Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush. That’s right! Just look at your calendar and you’ll see its October and that the holidays are almost here again! Take care, appreciate each other and have a good week. It’s later than you think….
Hank Bracker
The butterflies flapped their wings again, and it felt good. Exciting. Starting something new. After the summer, she had thought she might never have that feeling again - the chances seemed so impossibly stacked against her. As Marlene shampooed her hair, for some reason she thought of Remus. A few times, lately, she had thought of talking to him. She felt guilty; Remus had always been such a troubled figure, so brave and strong and yet for some reason so repressed and locked down. Bursting with emotions but apparently unable to express any of them. And now they all knew why, she felt so sorry for him. She’d wanted to say something, on their way back from healing classes, which was the only time they were alone, usually. She’d wait for an empty corridor and stop and turn to him and say, very quietly, “Me too, Remus. You aren’t alone.
MsKingBean89 (All the Young Dudes: Christmas Compilation)