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December 19th, 2013

Once again, the year is turning, and my top resolution will be to reboot the Double Cheese Blog. You’ve all heard that one before, right?

Well, this time, I am taking out some insurance. I’ve hired the plucky Rachel, to keep me in line, with firm emails, which may be followed by a stern expression, and perhaps, if necessary, a pitchfork. She may need to stab me a few times. It’s been a helluva year, and I am seriously lacking in motivation to do anything.

Rachel also says she has ideas. This is good. Someone should have ideas. I sure don’t have any. Of course, her first idea is for me to write about a Christmas tradition.

I don’t have any of those, either. Unless you count traditions that I force on the family to put myself in the mood for writing about the Regency at Christmas. Since I’ve started writing Christmas stories, I make a proper English pudding, every year. For Americans who have not tried it, imagine a cross between a spice cake, a fruit cake, and a bowling ball. Now soak it with rum and set it on fire.

Beyond that, family traditions tend to involve traveling to visit my parents, and sitting awkwardly, watching a History Channel documentary about that time space aliens helped to build the pyramids, defeat the Nazi’s, or midwife for the Blessed Virgin, while someone argues religion in the dining room and a chunk of plaster falls out of the ceiling.

Dad died this year, which is a story unto itself, and Mom is now on antidepressants. Christmas up North will be practically unrecognizable, other than the continuing likelihood of falling plaster.

My fondest Christmas tradition, which, strangely enough, didn’t catch on, was the year that the late, great, Kaiju the golden retriever ate the dishrag. Kaiju was big and stupid, and had a mouth the size of the Holland Tunnel. Things disappeared into it all the time, and we didn’t always go after them. It took several days to notice that we were missing a dishrag. The first clues were repeated vomiting and projectile diarrhea. In the kitchen. At Christmas.

The third clue was the dishrag, which was in no condition to be reused.

The dog got antibiotics, and we announced that the dog was in no shape to travel, or go to a kennel. We would be skipping Christmas and not going north until he recovered. Instead, of the History Channel, we had to content ourselves with normal Christmas specials, gifts under our own tree, and no three hour drive on icy roads. Also, the ceiling did not fall down.

It was wonderful. I threatened to feed the dog a rag every year. But I didn’t have to. He ate his next dishrag as soon as the antibiotics ran out.

Anyone else have any traditions they want to share?

And does anyone want a last minute Christmas gift? As a special reward for anyone still reading this blog, which has been dead for a year. I am giving away free books. Lots and lots of them. All you have to do is ask.

Send me an email with your name and address, and first choice of one of the following:

greatest of sins

sinful

scandalous regency christmas

Christmas cover