Bucket List

Because it’s New Years, I started thinking about resolutions and goals, and just about those things I want to do. You know, bucket list items.  So I decided to Google the top bucket list items to see how far off my own list is from that of other people. Below is the list.

Here’s how I added up. I’ve done seven of these twenty items.   One, I’ve done twice.  Another, I’ve done three times.  And one, I’ve done fifty-two times.   I’ll bet you can guess the one I’ve done that many times.

There are eight of these I’d never do—nope, not me.  One on my “never-will-do” list wasn’t always on that list. I tried to do it three times, and it got canceled all three times.  So now I figure that God was telling me to get a grip and grow a brain.

There are four I would like to do.  And one, just doesn’t interest me.

What about you?  How many of these have you done?  How many would you never do?  How many would you want to do?  And do any not interest you at all

Can you guess the ones I’ve done?  Ones I would never do? Ones that I want to do?


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Google Bucket List

  1. See the Northern Lights
  2. Sky dive
  3. Get a tattoo
  4. Sleep under the stars
  5. Go on a cruise
  6. Swim with dolphins
  7. Get married
  8. Go scuba diving
  9. Run a marathon
  10. Go zip-Lining
  11. Buy a house
  12. Ride an elephant
  13. Learn to surf
  14. Take a trip to Italy
  15. Write a book
  16. Go hot air ballooning
  17. Go skinny dipping
  18. Learn to play the guitar
  19. Go to Paris
  20. Visit Ireland

Merry Christmas, Y’all!



Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!





Don’t Breathe a Word

She closed her eyes and breathed in his scent. “This feels good.”

“Real Good.” His whispered words stirred wisps of hair at her temple. “But I should…go.”

Looking up, she lifted to her tiptoes. His mouth lowered and the kiss felt like a promise.

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Holiday Traditions

Traditions are an important part of who we are. They’re what families have in common. And this time of year seems to be steeped in tradition.

In my family, we have traditions that we carry out year after year. Like we all go to have our picture taken with Santa—and I mean ALL of us, not just the little ones. Our entire family and any visitors all meet up at the mall and we have our picture taken. I have pictures of my mom, my dad, even my grandmother sitting on Santa’s lap.

We also have a tradition of fun presents at the Craig house. You see, at gift opening time, we sit in a big circle and take turns opening gifts.  Every present has a clue written on it and before a person can open a gift, he or she has to read the clue and try to figure out what it is.  If stumped, everyone will join in and try to guess.  And I admit, the crazier the clue is the better the time we have.  So, in addition to the real gifts, we actually go out and buy crazy gifts so we can have some crazy, crack-you-up-laughing clues.  So there’s lots of laughter.

We can’t talk the holidays or tradition without talking about food.  Gathering around a table and eating the food that has been part of the holiday season before some of the family members were born.  For our house, the main course is always the turkey and dressing.  That’s dressing, not stuffing.  And that’s cornbread dressing. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.)

I’ll dropkick, go ballistic or have a conniption fit if any oyster or fancy sausage even thinks of trying to sneak into my dressing. We’ve got southern standards, steeped in Alabama law (yes that’s where I’m from) of what does and doesn’t belong in dressing.

There’s fresh green beans, and because my granddaughter loves peas, but isn’t a green bean fan, peas have found their way onto our holiday table.  That said, my son-in-law and hubby despise peas, so the joke is always to keep passing them their way.  “Hey, you didn’t get any peas.”

Mashed taters, whipped with real butter, is a regular. White rolls and gravy is a must.  And yes we are soppers, meaning we use those rolls to sop up the gravy.  I know in some fancy restaurants where you get confused what fork and knife to use, it might be bad-mannered to sop.  But you get one fork with your holiday dinner at the Craig house and sopping is allowed.

What are your favorite family traditions? Do you always serve the same food? Are you soppers? Do you put oysters or sausage in your dressing? Do you go Caroling? Maybe go to church? What are your holiday traditions?



To Gift Card or Not to Gift Card

This is the question that I think so many of us are debating this holiday season.  Just the other day, I was walking behind two women and they were talking.  And yeah, you know me, I eavesdrop.  One of them said, “This year we are doing the $25 Christmas gift card exchange.” The idea of just trading cards didn’t thrill me.  It’s like pulling $25 out of your purse and exchanging bills. Maybe the fact that it’s from a certain store might be the surprise, but . . . uh, no.  It didn’t feel festive.

Don’t get me wrong, I see the pros and cons of a gift card.  And I’ll admit, I’m about to go shopping for cards myself.  But have you ever given someone a surprise gift that was just so darn perfect?  I mean, something that they really wanted, but either didn’t know they wanted it, or had forgotten they wanted it?  Or didn’t think anyone would get it for them.  Something that is so perfect that their expression is worth ten times more than you paid for the gift.  I love giving those kinds of gifts.  It just warms my heart and makes the hours I spent fighting the scrooges at the mall so worth it.

Ahh, but have you ever had to buy a gift for someone, and you didn’t have a clue what to get?  I mean, they are very selective—yes, that’s a nice way to say picky, but that’s not really a bad thing. But you know where they love to shop. So you get them a gift card from there. Is that so wrong?  No?  Maybe? I mean, isn’t it better than getting someone something that they won’t use or don’t like.  Or even worse, will use as a white elephant gift next year.  I’ve gotten a few of those.

And how many gift cards have you gotten that you didn’t use?  Sadly, I have a few.

But if you ask someone what they want and they say… “Oh, I love shopping at Marshalls. Or I need t-shirts and I usually get them at Target.”  And yes, there are people who love shopping.  Shopping is part of the gift.  My daughter always plans a day after the holidays where she will head out with all the gift cards she received and shops till she drops.  And my granddaughter has decided she likes that, too.  It’s a ritual. Their thing.  So is it so wrong to get them what they want?  I don’t think so. And frankly, if I had something in mind that I want from a certain store, I’d like getting a gift card from that store.

But here’s the little issue.  I don’t want to just give them cards.  No, I need something to go along with the card.  In the Craig house, we give lots of little gifts, some are gag gifts, some aren’t.  But now these gifts can’t be pricey, or it takes away from the value of the gift card.  So, the whole gift-card giving makes the holiday season easy, doesn’t pan out.  No, it makes it a bit harder, because now the gifts have price limits, making it more challenging.

So I give gift cards, but I don’t just do gift cards. What about you?  Do you do them?  Do you like giving them?  Like getting them?  Do you feel it’s taken some of the gift-giving joy out of the season?  Do you think Scrooge invented them?

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Happy December!

Let the frantic holiday season begin! Yes, it’s time to search for the perfect gift for Aunt Beth, unless you are planning on giving her another fruit cake—that she might turn around and give back you next Christmas.  Then you need research for the “hottest toy” this Christmas for your child, or niece or nephew. Don’t forget to bake Christmas cookies and pastries. It’s also time to put up all those Christmas decorations.

Now, we put up decorations, but we don’t go crazy like some of the displays you see on TV and YouTube.  A couple of years ago, I bought one of those light display things that had lights dancing on my house. I also pull out my sixteen-foot tall Christmas tree, and it takes a ladder and several people to decorate.  Then I have some holiday knickknacks that I put out through the house.

So you know it’s Christmas at my house, but I’m not the one where the neighbors complain because of all the traffic the Christmas spectacular brings. But I do appreciate the effort that goes into one of these displays. So I wanted to share some of the best ones I found, but be sure your speakers are on. Then be sure to tell me which one is your favorite?

Trista Lights

Musical Instruments

Amazing Grace

Pirates of the Caribbean

I hope you all are having a good time getting ready for the holidays.  If nothing else, grab a book with a holiday theme (like The Cop Who Stole Christmas), a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy the season.

And don’t forget to snag a copy of my latest romantic suspense, Don’t Breathe a Word, today! Get it at Goodreads, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books and Amazon.