2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Thursday, December 14, 2017

DarkSiders Share Their Holiday Traditions



What are your Holiday traditions? Do you have big family gatherings or smaller more intimate celebrations? Do you like a traditional roast with plum pudding for dessert, or a BBQ on the beach? In honour of the Holiday season, a group of DarkSiders share their Holiday traditions.


Kylie Griffin

Both my sister and I are well and truly grown-up (we’re in our 40’s now), and every year we struggled to buy gifts for our family members. About a decade ago our family all decided that we’d have a present-less Christmas, we all agreed we didn’t need to give for the sake of giving, and the money we’d usually spend on presents would be donated to a charity of our choice. Our goal became more family orientated, and focussed on having a great lunch and relaxing together.
I pick a different charity each year to donate to eg. the Salvoes, the Smith Family, the Kmart Christmas Tree, Christmas Boxes for kids overseas. This year I put a box together for a couple of our military service men and women serving overseas.
As for our family Christmas lunch, I’ll probably bring along a Christmas ham or a few kilos of prawns (as we divvy up who brings what for the meal to split the expense).
This present-less Christmas is a “new” family tradition but one we all love now, and it’s wonderful to focus on the time spent with family rather than the worry of what to get others and the hype surrounding the commercialism of gift-giving.

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Kylie Griffin’s addiction to all things paranormal/fantasy & futuristic started at an early age when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship or castle tower used to defend the world from hordes of invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.





Available now 
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Eleni Konstantine

Growing up, we hosted most Christmases at our house for the full on Greek Christmas experience. 

What did that entail? In one word, food!

And not just any food, more years than not, it was a lamb slowly sizzling away on the spit (vegetarians, turn away now). I have a memory of my Pappou (granddad) turning the early spits by hand (of course it was exciting when it became motorised). Everyone gathered around to choose what they like to eat right off the spit. You definitely have to be careful not to burn yourself (thank goodness for the invention of tongs) but it has a whole different taste to when the meat gets cold on the plate. 

Pappou is no longer with us so now spits are done by my brother. His lamb spit roasts are the best with the right amount of seasoning and it’s always succulent. Of course a Greek gathering has plenty of other food and dessert - from pastitio or moussaka to Greek village salad to kaitaifi but the Christmases with a lamb spit was always the best.

Unfortunately it’s been a number of years since we have hosted Christmas, but good food is always guaranteed in a Greek household at Christmas. 

Another thing that I always found fascinating is that in Greece, there really isn’t a Father Christmas. They have combined him with Agios Vasilios (Saint Basil) who comes not on Christmas day but on January the 1st. Since we grew up in Australia, we had the best of both worlds. Father Christmas came along on December 25th and Agios Vasilios came on January 1st. 

Hronia Polla (Happy Holidays!)

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Eleni Konstantine is a Fantasy and Paranormal fiction writer, with a number of shorts published. Her stories range from flash fiction to novels. You can read a selection of her work here


Kim Cleary

For many years my family (myself and 2 sisters plus kids) all spent Christmas Day with our in-laws, then we got together at an elderly Aunt’s house on Boxing Day. My uncle made his famous whiskey soaked Christmas cake and my aunt always made a huge trifle.
Unfortunately, elderly relatives pass away, and when my aunt and uncle passed the Boxing Day tradition fell away. However, we are now all older and live far apart. But we congregate at my sister’s house on Christmas or boxing day … and the trifle making tradition has passed to me! 
My aunt’s were so alcoholic they sometimes made us giddy ... Every so often I make a trifle in her honour :D

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Kim Cleary is the award-winning author of Path Unchosen, the first title in the Daughter of Ravenswood series, which earned a bronze IPPY award in 2015.

Path Unchosen is available now


Juanita Kees

Because our family traditions are more ho-hum than ho-ho, I’d like to share a magical Christmas with you.
Way back in 2008, we were lucky enough to spend the Christmas holidays in the USA and Canada. Having grown up with warm weather in December, I’d always dreamed of having a white Christmas. They looked so wonderful on Christmas cards and in the movies. On our way to a family reunion in Toronto, we spent a week at Disneyland, Anaheim. The magic started from the moment we walked through the door. Real jingle bells, carollers in the halls, fairy lights and holly everywhere, sleigh rides, fur coats, roasted chestnuts and a Christmas tree three-storeys high. For the first time ever, it felt like a real Christmas. It was okay to feel like a child again. As we travelled across the USA into Canada, it became even more magical with our first sighting of snow which resulted in snowball fights and snow angels. Everywhere we went, the houses were lit up with decorations and cheer. There we were experiencing the real thing, and it looked exactly the way it does in the movies. Hot chocolate and marshmallows do taste better from Tim Hortons, especially in the middle of a whiteout.
            Like most magical experiences though, holidays soon come to an end. As much as I enjoyed my white Christmas, I did love coming home to my favourite Bucko and Champs Christmas carol, Aussie Jingle Bells: 
Jingle bells, Jingle bells
Christmas time is beaut
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden ute

Read the rest here.

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Juanita Kees was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now proudly Australian, Juanita is a freelance editor and proofreader. She escapes the real world by reading and writing romantic fiction. 








Finding Paradise is available now




Kathrine Leannan

Santa’s Bells

            From the time my first born was old enough to recognise Santa, we filled the house with books and stories of Christmas and all of the wonder that comes with the Season of Giving.
            One day while shopping I happened upon a wind chime that made the exact sound as Santa’s bells. It was Christmas Eve and it was around 7.30pm. My husband slipped away to the side of the house and rang the wind chime. My son jumped up from his chair, shouting “Santa’s Bells! Santa’s Bells! Santa is coming!” He ran into his bedroom, so excited. I read a Christmas story to him and kissed him goodnight. Sleepily, he smiled, “Santa is coming, Mom. I heard his bells.”
            We did the same with our next child, a beautiful daughter and this year, the bells will come out again as our grandson is three years old and he loves the sound of Santa’s bells.

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Kathrine Leannan writes fantasy/historical, paranormal adventure with romantic elements. A love of the Scots and their history is a common thread in her works of fantasy.






To Baile Do Cailleach: A Home for Witches (The Sydney Witches Series Book 1) is available now

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Wishing Everyone a Joyous Holiday Season.



                                                                                   



2 comments:

  1. What a great variety of Christmas traditions!
    I loved reading them all - had a giggle at Kim's tipsy trifle tale; Eleni's spit lamb sounds divine!; what a wonderful tradition for your children and grandchildren to hear Santa's Bells, Kathrine; and a white Christmas about now would be heavenly, Juanita (given our 40+C temps!!!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed reading the variety too, Kylie!
      Let's hope we all stay cool.

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