My December 2021

Allow me to regale you with tales about my December 2021, my family's Christmas tradition and what I'm reading at the moment

So that was December.

This year went by quickly, but, honestly, I say that every year. Each year, I tell myself the Christmas shopping will be done early and the presents will be with much imaginative and clever. Once again, December fell from the sky and caught me unawares. One of my friends had the same idea as me, but with more success; I received my first Christmas card on the 30th of November, what the hell? Oh to be that organised!

The Van Raaphorst family Christmas 2021

Christmas traditions

The Van Raaphorst family’s Christmas day starts with a breakfast of ham steak, layered with a fried egg and a grilled pineapple ring topped with a cherry. Hubby and I started this tradition the first Christmas of our married life 41 years ago. Occasionally we may travel up to Queensland to be with my father and siblings for Christmas; the ham steaks start our day, no matter what.

Next, we open our Christmas presents and then the craziness begins with preparing salads. The ham goes in the oven for glazing, turkey roasted and cocktails mixed for family arriving for Christmas lunch.

This year our Christmas was a little different. As many families experienced, covid reared its ugly head again. My daughter had been in contact with a close friend who tested positive after they’d seen each other. Which means she missed out on Ham steaks, and instead sat in the huge queue to be tested. She made it back home in time for lunch; and even though she also had a negative Rapid test, she sat away from her elderly grandparents, just in case. The good news of a negative test result came through a few days later. There were many similar stories, but ours were not as bad as some.

What is your Christmas tradition? Do you spend it at the beach? Have a barbecue or full-on traditional roasted everything? Does your family come to you? Or do you travel to them?

No matter how you spent it, I hope you had a wonderful day.

December Renovations update

Renovations are 99% complete. There’s always that one little thing you’re waiting for isn’t there? The good thing is we have a working kitchen and a wonderful new oven in which to bake a lovely Christmas cake and glaze a ham.

Writing –

The first half of December was a bit of a letdown after the November writing frenzy. I needed to spend time around the house catching up on things I’d neglected, including the garden which by end of November, resembled a jungle.

The second half of December saw the writing count steadily progress the story. I’m a little excited about this book. I can’t wait to see how it ends.

The current word count for The Messenger – is 76769.


Read –

Maskerade, Terry Pratchett; The Man Who Died Twice, Richard Osman (It jumped the queue when a friend loaned it to me. Loved it.)

Reading in December –

A Fey Tale, Karen J Carlisle

To Be Read –

The pile just keeps growing. Next on the list is – *A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook – A Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, Richie Billing; *Dyed and Buried, Livia Day (Both on Kindle)

Nothing much is new for December at the moment so let me share viewing newness.

Movies – James Bond No time to Die – I saw it twice, and enjoyed it both times.

Dune – was Epic. I’ll definitely go back and see it again. So now I need to read the books, yes? I saw the original movie back in the ’80s, the one in which Sting played a bad guy, and I remember coming out of the movie thinking ‘What was that?’ Maybe it was because I wasn’t into sci-fi to that degree back then, or maybe it was just really bad. It screened on TV a couple of weeks ago, and I wasn’t even tempted to go back there.

Netflix Series – Witcher, it seems to have taken ages for season 2 to arrive. Henry Cavill is awesome in this role. Can’t say much more about it, I’ve only watched two episodes.

Fun Facts –

I asked Mr Google for trivial fun facts and here’s a couple he revealed –

  1. Peanuts can be used to make dynamite – according to Irish Peanuts, or rather their oil, can create quite a bang if used to make dynamite. The oil makes glycerol, which in turn can be used to make nitro-glycerine, a key ingredient of dynamite. Peanuts aren’t essential however and other ingredients can be used instead.
  2. Dr Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham as a bet. Apparently, his publisher bet him he couldn’t write a book in 50 words or less. (

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a safe and healthy 2022. If you write, may your words flow freely and if you read, I wish you hours of free time to soak in the words

Photo by Designecologist on

What is your Christmas Tradition? What are you reading? I’d love to hear from you.

Karen J Carlisle’s new book A Fey Tale can be found on her website.

**Links to other sites, not my own, are unsponsored.

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