- Saying Grace
- I was raised very secular. For my family, Christmas was one of the year's two Epic Cookoffs, when we got a chance to load the table with turkey and stuffing and rutabaga and homemade cranberry sauce (none of that sliceable canned nonsense for us). We ate in the dining room rather than the kitchen, because only the dining room table could hold my parents, my sisters, my aunts and uncles, and my grandmother, as well as whichever of our neighbors wound up alone at Christmas. The kitchen was for a nuclear family, watching the weather report with the evening meal; the dining room was for an extended family and its extended gossip. My grandmother, the lone religious holdout, would always insist that one of the kids speak a blessing before we could eat—and we did, although my uncles grumbled at the delay and we weren't sure we believed in a higher being.
- Around the time I moved out of my parents' house, I started seeking spiritually, and eventually I connected with eclectic paganism. I liked the cycle of solar and lunar holidays and the animist feeling that the whole world was full of life and spirit. It was a good faith for me, and the online pagan community has been more or less accepting of queer people and trans people and fat people and all the kinds of people I was.
- At Christmas, though, I always felt a little out of place. I'd go home to spend the holidays with my family, and my grandmother would ask one of us to say grace, and I'd always glance at my sisters and have a silent little conversation: I'm not doing it, we'd say with our eyes. You do it. Then my uncle would grumble that someone had better do it, or we'd never get to eat.
- By then, I'd become a vegetarian, and my parents made me special stuffing without turkey broth and special miso gravy for my potatoes. I could smell that miso gravy, even over the smell of the turkey, and I wasn't sure how I felt about them making extra foods, just for me. It felt like a gift I hadn't done anything to deserve.
- Last Christmas, I didn't really know what to say. My sisters would say some nonspecific grace, beg some deity they wouldn't name to bless our family and our meal and the oncoming year, and I'd sit there awkwardly and look for a god I could pin that on.
- Grace, though, is about having something special done for you that you haven't done anything to deserve—and that's a human thing, too. More than that, it's a communal thing, and this Christmas, I understand that a community blesses its members. I've been fortunate enough to fall in with good writers, good readers, and good publishers, who will do kind things just for me. They'll make me a cover and make me a website and promote my books and retweet my tweets and move small mountains for me. They'll even laugh at my jokes, which I frankly think deserves a medal.
- This year, I'll spend Solstice with my little family here in Buffalo. I'll pet my cats, get Indian takeout, and review a good book or play Team Fortress 2. And then I'll drive home for Christmas, and I'll help my parents chop celery for stuffing and help them eat all the pie on Christmas eve. I'll be a part of a community, for my holiday and my family's, and we'll reaffirm that community with every shared bit of gossip and every dutiful laugh.
- This is the blessing I know how to speak: Thank you, everyone, for making a place for me in your hearts and at your tables. Thank you for doing extra things, special things, just for me. Thank you for the goodness you spread through the entire community, and thank you for the wonderful year you've given me. Thank you for giving me the chance to be good for you. Thank you for showing me grace.
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Okay... Your favorite time.... Giveaway Time!!!!
This will be the rule for all Giveaways this week...
All Giveaways will end Saturday, December 24th at Midnight....
The winners will all be picked and announced....
Tuesday, December 27th!
Now time for the Giveaway!
The giveaway is ~ First Wave Winner’s Choice: Pick any one backlist book from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant (“Frontlist” books, i.e. Riptide releases and newest non-Riptide release, are excluded, as are the Courtland Chronicles)....
What do I want from you.....
Well, you have to leave your email address ~ A MUST.
You have to be a follower of this blog ~ A MUST (I am checking!)
You must leave a comment or question ~ A MUST!
Oh and don't forget.........
The Giveaway for Riptide:
From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive
Grand Opening blog tour!
We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.
Go check it out!!!
And remember... Keep it Dirty, Smutty & Hussy!