Friday, December 6, 2013

Fourth Annual Holiday #READATHON

It's been awhile since I've participated in a readathon, and I have a ton of reading to do if I'm going to complete my challenge of reading 65 books this year (downgraded from the original goal of 75 and the 100 I read last year).  And I found a superfun one!

This weekend Liza of WhoRuYou blog is hosting the 4th annual holiday readathon and there are a ton of prizes and mini-challenges for participants.

In fact, this post is a mini-challenge. If you've signed up for the readathon you can enter by posting about one of your favorite holiday memory in the comment section (Don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you). What can you win? Well since I just happen to be working on the acknowledgements for CHASING BEFORE (the sequel to my debut novel THE MEMORY OF AFTER) I thought it would be cool to thank one of readathon participants in my book.

Why holiday memories?

In THE MEMORY OF AFTER, the main character, Felicia, is trapped in Level Two, and endlessly relives memories of her life on Earth as well as renting the memories of others. To pass the time, Felicia makes top ten lists of her favorite memories, and I'm sure she has a list of her favorite holiday memories as well.

And she'd love to hear ours!

Shall I go first? Okay!

One of my favorite Christmas memories involves the grandmother who inspired THE MEMORY OF AFTER. She adored Christmas and got very excited about giving gifts. The first year I brought my husband to the US for the holidays, she asked me what was on his list. I didn't want her to stress out about giving him a gift, and I knew she had been collecting Beanie Babies to give to my cousins, so I said, "Just give him a beanie baby pig. He likes pigs."

Christmas morning, Daniel opened his gifts and he got 3 special edition beanie baby pigs that my grandmother had special ordered for him. One of them had gold feet! Daniel smiled and graciously thanked my grandmother but on the inside he was thinking, "I don't like pigs that much!"

But that's not the end of the pig story. The next Christmas, I went to the US without Daniel, but my grandmother still wanted to give him a gift. When I arrived at her house, she pulled me aside and said excitedly, "I found the best gift for Daniel!" It turned out that she bought 3 concrete lawn pigs. Each weighed 15 lbs. My weight allowance to go back to Germany was 50 lbs. See the problem? Even today, Daniel and I have a good laugh about the concrete pigs and their unsuitability for travel.

Your turn! 

19 comments:

Kailana said...

I don't even know how many books I have managed to read this year. It might be one of my quietest years ever!

Alyssa said...

The one Holiday memory I can't forget was when all of the members of my family wore something in their body that has a red accent on it (t'was Christmas eve that time). My dad wore a red shirt, my little sister wore a red skirt, and my mom wore a red dress. Their get up had something red on it except mine. I wore a blue dress that time. And when I went to the living room, they all look at me weirdly. Mom told me to change my dress but I just told her that I want to not follow our family tradition for a change (yes, wearing something that has a red on it is our family tradition. we do it during Christmas eve). Good thing Mom was in a good mood that time so she allowed me to wear my blue dress and she didn't scold me.

Unknown said...

Let's see. *scratches head* I can't remember an awesome Christmas memory. Mostly just the generic waking up at 5 AM and badgering the parents into getting up so I could get the small things out of my stocking and then open OMG PRESENTS.

My WORST Christmas memory was the time my parents got me one present (a bag of Ghirardelli chocolate), but mom thought it would be a brilliant idea to wrap objects and put them under the tree so it looked like I had as many presents as everyone else. Along with the object, taken from my old room, were notes about how they'd helped me financially during my first year in my own house. She has been given strict orders never to do that again. If I have one present, do not trick me into thinking there are more.

Christina said...

The unknown comment above is me. I opened your blog in the wrong browser and that email doesn't have a blogger account. *facepalms*

Alina P said...

I love all my Christmas holiday memories, we spend Christmas with the family and as you can imagine a lot of stuff happens :))

Alyssa Williams said...

Last year was one of my best Christmas memories. My husband and I had fallen on hard times as we discovered his mental illness and learning to deal with my disabilities. I had a seizure and the car we were living in was stolen. We spent the holiday in a homeless shelter. The kindness and live the community showed all who were staying there through the holiday season was amazing and unforgettable. They would come and make us meals, gave out jackets, blankets, socks and toiletries. When I had the means it was a tradition in our house to provide such things as well as toys and clothes to those in need, to know how it feels on the other side of it is write opening.

Ariel Tam said...

Oh goodness, a good Christmas memory. Mhh. Well all of my Christmas's have been great so far just from the joy of being with my family and presents of course! And no school, you can't forget about that awesome bonus. But one of my favorite Christmas memories would have to be the year I got my dog. I have always been a huge animal lover, and after nagging my parents for a couple of years to buy me a dog they finally consented. I remember driving for two hours (because I was very bored) to an animal shelter and I was over joyed with the amount of animals they had. I'm sure I was probably jumping up and down with joy. But we ended up getting this shy little Beagle, who is now turning seven this Christmas (the owner didn't know his exact birth date, so we just made it Christmas)! So that has to be my best holiday memory since I got the present I had been pining over for years. :)

Jen R. said...

One of them was when my family and I went abroad to Hong Kong and Macau- it was pretty fun, and it was really festive and Chritmas-y there!

FICTION STATE OF MIND said...

One of my favorite memories is driving with my mother, sister and a car full of friends to get our tree. My mother always had a live tree and often we would drive to a farm outside of New Haven Ct and cut it ourselves.I remember the smell of pine, being squeezed in the backseat of our station wagon, sans seatbelt ofcourse, talking loudly when the car hit a patch of ice and spun a full 360 degrees! We were all fine but it was a thrill I've never forgotten!

Pamela D said...

My Christmas memories are pretty hazy, but I still remember waking up early with my Dad being more excited than me and my brother to open presents.

Kayla :) said...

One of my favorite holiday memories happened at night on Christmas day. I'd been wanting an American Girl Doll and had been devastated not to get one. My grandfather gave me one that night and my cousin got the same one. I remember spending the entire night playing with them and just having so much fun. It was great.

kayla3194 at gmail dot com

Joli @ Actin' Up with Books said...

My favorite Christmas memory is of the first Christmas that I can remember. I was five years old and we had just moved into our new house. I was excited that Santa would be following us to the new house too. I had a terrible time falling asleep and wanted to stay up because I was convinced that I heard reindeer hooves on the roof. I wanted to see Santa and the reindeer. I don't remember falling ever falling asleep, but when I walked into our living room, our tree was lit up and there were presents everywhere. I couldn't believe that Santa had been to our house and I missed it. I can still remember being mesmerized by all of the lights and how they made the room glow.

actinupwb at gmail dot com

Mary said...

This is going to sound ca-razy, but there was one Christmas when I was about 5 that my sister and I woke early and went to sit by the tree. Well, my sister sat in "reindeer poop." It was actually dried cow manure that my parents brought in to make it look like Santa and his reindeer had been at the house. (we lived in Montana, cows were abundant)

Catalinakid21 said...

The last Christmas I spent with my great grandma we were at my uncle's house paying scrabble. She was 98 and whooped my butt.

Lindsey Greer-Smith said...

The traditions from my childhood have made a lasting imprint on me. I loved Christmas Eve chruch with my maternal grandmother... candlelight service. Then from their to my paternal grandparents house to see that ENTIRE side of my family, especially my Aunt Lois and Uncle Dean and their kids even though I saw them almost daily anyway... they are my second parents and the siblings I don't have... I have tons of memories there. But my most recent is the last Christmas with my Paternal Grandfather. He was important to me... still is... he requested us to ALL get together, suck it up and get along... I love that man... so we did and it was great. He loved it and said so over and over including 15 minutes before he passed away 2 days later when he was talking to his PT. He said how great it was and that he could be at peace because he felt he had done a good job and that we would be ok. That has always made a lasting impact.

Betsy Kaplan said...

Making Chanukah cookies with my kids! Betsy Kaplan btskaplan@gmail.com

Stiletto Storytime said...

My favorite holiday memory was last Christmas with my son. We had an amazing first Christmas with him...as first time parents it was all we had dreamed of. And then around 18 months he simply disappeared right in front of us regressing into autism. He barely even acted as if he knew anyone was in the room. He lost all words. We were devastated but promised that if we could bring him back we would do anything we needed to. Two more Christmas mornings passed while we did hours and hours of therapy every day, supplements, diet changes...you name it. Spending over $100,000 in two years in savings because insurance covers almost nothing with autism. Every year we did the same we would do if he were completely here down to setting cookies out for Santa. And last year...he started to come back to us. He is now using two-three word combinations working up to sentences, he cuddles, he makes eye contact at times, he is the most loving child. Christmas last year was amazing. All we had dreamed it could be...and yet we can't wait for this year as he is even more present than last. He is doing amazing. He loves Christmas and with him back with us...it truly is the most wonderful time of year. Thanks so much for the chance to share! Happy Holidays!

Ashley G. said...

Every year when me and my brother and sister were younger and still lived at home we always got up super early to see what "Santa" had gotten us. On this particular Christmas one of our gifts was the movie Ice Age. My sister and I put it in and watched it at like 3 in the morning and laughed until our sides hurt. The movie was hilarious and we had the best time that night!

Liviania said...

Love your memory! I definitely have relatives who if you mention that you like a thing, it is what you're getting for the next five years.