Dec 25

Happy Holidays – Robyn Carr – MERRY CHRISTMAS

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This is the time of year when all my fellow authors trot out their special recipes and I just trot out my appetite. I shiver and shake when sites request a tradition or recipe or favorite memory, certain that my holidays, while precious to me, will be so boring to others. No one trusts me with anything more complicated than green bean casserole and one of my most memorable Christmases was when the tree died and I was afraid to let the kids turn on the lights, afraid it would burst into flames. Fifteen minutes after we brushed the needles off the presents and opened them I said to my husband, “Get it out of here!”

But wait. About ten years ago my husband and I joined a dinner club. I know, I know. Based on what I said earlier about recipes, this must fill you with doubt. Eight couples hosted each other monthly, so I had to come up with a dinner roughly one and a half times a year. Needless to say, I always had to have help. I somehow managed to pull it off. After about four years our Dinner Club accidentally discovered that there were only two out of eight couples who actually liked to cook and were good at it. But we had so much fun together! We ultimately disbanded, meeting for dinner out now and then.

But no one wanted to give up our favorite Dinner Club gathering — the Christmas Ornament exchange. Everyone brought an hors ‘d oeuvres, bottle of wine and an ornament.

After visiting, gossiping, lubricating with wine, chomping down some delicious snacks (we usually had to draw names to see who would get to bring the artichoke dip – it was easy to make), we settled in for the exchange. All are wrapped. We draw numbers. #1 chooses a package and opens an ornament. #2 can steal #1’s or open a new one. If your ornament is stolen, you get a new one. Ornaments can be stolen only three times, then they’re safe. #1 is pretty much screwed. The selling of numbers has been known to happen. There is bartering, begging, hiding, trading. The ornaments range from beautiful to precious to ridiculous to gross. It is hilarious!

The ornaments I am now in possession of include a ceramic pickle, a breast (yes, a breast), a ball that sings Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Jesus in a manger, an elf giving the finger, another pickle and a pair of shoes. I had to really fight for the singing ball and the shoes.

Yes, I am only assigned the green bean casserole, but I have my traditions. Laughter and good friends. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Merry Christmas!
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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! One lucky commenter on Robyn’s post will a copy of Hidden Summit (or any of her Virgin River Series if you haven’t started it or gotten to HS). Because of the holidays, the winner won’t be selected until 12/26, 6:00 PM, CST. CORRECTION the Prize will one of Robyn’s books in print, sent straight from ROBYN.
Hidden Summit, the next Virgin River book.  
Comes out  Tuesday, 12/27/11
 Click here for Piper’s VIRGIN RIVER Review 

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  1. Frank

    What a hilarious and wonderfully special tradition, Robyn! I love that your group has stuck together despite the lack of interest in cooking 😉 And what ornaments full of memories!

    Wishing you a warm and joyful Christmas this year, too!

  2. Frank

    Oops, that’s me using DH’s account…

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  3. SouthernLady23

    LOL what a great post! Loved the ornament gift exchange and I’m so glad you’ve all managed to stay in your club! Happy Holidays!


  4. MelissaS

    Great post Robyn!
    I love your books, I feel like I know all the characters personally.(Sometimes too well lol.) Can’t wait to catch up on the VR series.

    Merry Christmas!!

    Melissa S


  5. redjuliet

    I think an ornament exchange is a great idea. Some of my family does a gift exchange with the same rules. I was lucky to get #12 this year and didn’t have to fight for the gift card I wanted! It is a lot of fun. Hope your holiday is wonderful!

  6. ClaudiaGC

    That’s a lovely tradition!
    Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas!

    claudigc at msn dot com

  7. Meagan B

    I’m always looking for new traditions so this is great! Merry Christmas!


  8. merriedth

    That was a pretty good memory…LoL…The ornament exchange sounded like it was a good time and with funny ornaments…thanks for sharing

  9. Jerry Wittle

    LOL I love funny post. Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!

  10. Michelle Bledsoe

    I love it. Those times that are spent with friends at the holidays with love and laughter are the best. Merry Christmas Robyn.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  11. Maria D.

    The dinner club sounds like fun! I like the idea of getting together and doing an ornament exchange…thanks for sharing the story with us!

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

  12. Christy

    Sounds like a lot of fun…maybe will have to get my friends to do this next year!

  13. Catherine Lee

    Great post, Robyn. I’m not much of a cook either…but appetizers I can do. The ornament exchange get together sounds great–and easy. That might become a new holiday tradition for me.

    Merry Christmas.


  14. Shelly

    lol I really like both the dinner club and the ornament get together as they sound like a lot fun and a way to make some new friends. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 🙂

  15. Tiss

    The ornament exchange sounds like fun, but can also get dirty!LOL.
    I hate to cook too, but there is no one else to do it most of the time. Merry Christmas!


    Great Post =) Merry Christmas !!!


  17. Susan

    The dinner club sounds fun! What a good way to challenge yourself to cook!

    Merry Christmas!

  18. Heyjenn

    Great Post! Have a merry Christmas and remember to indulge to your heart’s content!

  19. Robyn Carr

    Thanks for showing up on Christmas, everyone! Have a lovely holiday and splendid new year!!

  20. Sue Sattler

    Sounds like something I need to start next year. What a great idea. Merry Christmas.

  21. Leni

    I remember having gatherings like this and discovering all of the talents that my friends have. It’s a good way to meet some new people and get all of the latest news 🙂

    Merry Christmas

  22. Kathryn Merkel

    I love Yankee Swap Christmas exchanges. My women’s group recently had one with presents & we all had sore stomache muscles from laughing as people with low numbers were actively advertising the benefits of the gift they had received in hopes that it would be stolen & they would get to choose again. I had #3 & before we reached the end of the numbers I had opened 6 or 7 because everyone wanted what I had. I ended up with a box of tea & I hate tea. Guess what I’m giving at the swap next year? lol

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

  23. Timitra

    Great post Robyn!!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!!!

  24. CelticAmazon

    I apoligize for the deletion/edit above.
    Merry Christmas, Robyn. I have a special place in my heart for your Virgin River series. After I read one, I tracked down the rest. I served active duty in the Marine Corps and my hubby was Army Special Forces. Thanks for a chance to win your new one.
    panthers.ravens@yahoo dot com

  25. Joanne

    What a great story. It’s nice that your group still gets together. We get together every year for a cookie exchange.
    Happy Holidays!


  26. Terrid76

    I’ve heard good things about this series but have never started it.

    Love the story about lack of interest in cooking. Heck, I just love to go out to dinner so that would have gotten my vote every time.

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  27. Bianca

    I love the ornament exchange!. It’s a great memory maker :). Have fun with your green bean casserole

  28. Eileen

    Oh I love the idea of the Ornament exchange! I’m going to have to remember to do that next year. I love the Virgin River series and it is an autobuy for me. I absolutely love Preacher’s story! One of my favorites.

  29. Di

    Those gatherings sound like a lot of fun – I think it’s the crazy & silly things we really remember rather than those that are “regular & normal”.

    Hope all had a Merry Christmas!

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  30. Jen B.

    We have a gathering tomorrow. Getting together with family and friends is great!

  31. DiDi

    Merry Christmas!!!! I love the ornament exchange. The day after Christmas my sister in law hits the roads early to get as many Hallmark ornaments as possible for the family. It’s fun because sometimes she calls me and says can you go to this hallmark and see if they have ….. ornament. It’s like a big scavenger hunt

  32. sueh

    Well, you may not be a great cook, but you sure are a great author, so I say you are blessed to be able to make even more people happy than making a great pot roast! Can’t wait for the latest book. I get them as soon as they are in the store and devour them within a few days. Thanks.

  33. MaryC

    We do a gift exchange using the same rules. Happy Holidays!

  34. Sexy Grandma

    I love the Virgin River series.

    I don’t cook much either, but with all the recipes posted on the Holiday Celebration I have been inspired to experiment.

    Thank you for the chance to win

  35. hregtvedt

    I love the Virgin River books! Thanks for the entertaining post! Merry Christmas.


  36. Carol L.

    The best part is through your getting together you’ve made great friends you still see. Good friends are hard to find. Hope everyone’s Holiday was a Happy one.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  37. booklover0226

    I enjoyed the post. It sounds like a fun time to be had by all.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  38. Janet

    I love to read of everyones different holiday traditions, we’re each so individual. Hopefully everyone’s Christmas was wonderful this year, and the new year brings good health and happiness.
    jargon47 at yahoo dot com

  39. Lynn P

    I love the Virgin River series, have read almost all, have the others in my TBR stash.

  40. Tracey Q

    We did a similar ornament exchange at work but no one had the guts to steal an ornament from anyone else. Yours sounds much more fun!

  41. DiDi

    THANK YOU ALL for stopping by on Christmas Day!!!

    ROBYN thank you so much for sharing your holidays with us!

    Best wishes on HIDDEN SUMMIT’s release day!!

    CONGRATULATIONS to catherine you are the winner on Robyn’s post. I will email you with details

  42. Crystal

    LOL I love that I’m not the only one who hates to cook. I’m not assigned to bring anything to my parents. I offer to buy the pies and my mom let’s me get away with it. As for the ornaments I love that idea. Maybe the book club could do that next year!!!

  43. Leagh

    I have not read any of these but I will be sure to put them on my TBR. They sound really good.

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