Welcome One and All to the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Be sure to check out the month of December calendar of fun visits with our authors which is on the homepage.
Tomorrow, Day 2, visit with  J.D.R.Hawkins  and Martin Crosbie

We begin with some thoughts on the holidays from all of us here at indieBRAG. We have a wonderful and hardworking team and some terrific people who contribute to our blog and help us to do the best we can for our indieBRAG authors.

A Clouston Christmas


A delicious gift!

As I was going through pictures of our many Christmas’s, I was amazed at how many places we have celebrated this special holiday- Philadelphia, Gloucester, New Jersey, Toronto, Chicago, Whistler B.C., Wisconsin, Richmond UK, London, Washington DC- all amazing and memorable. The one common thing about all of these Christmas’s was the wonderful growing family now numbering 14. We have shared so much laughter, love and not a little bit of drama!

With a family filled with artistic and creative members – a writer, a fashion CEO, an actor, a singer with a flair for design and, of course, a book guru, yours truly- and that doesn’t include the spouses and grandchildren – this is no surprise! Although we are scattered across this country and across the Atlantic Ocean, we try to come together whenever possible, not always an easy task. Although we will not all come together this Christmas, we will still be sharing the love and memories of so many Christmas’s past. To all of our friends around the world, no matter you beliefs, I hope you will share with us in the spirit of love, kindness and giving of a special time of year.

– Geri

a Tree of celbration

A Clouston family tree

Our Little Christmas Angel

for Bobs post on Zoe

In Memory of Bob’s Angel


Seven years ago, just before Christmas, our precious little granddaughter, Zoe, came into the world, filling our hearts and those of her other grandparents, her nine aunts and uncles, two cousins and, of course, her mommy and daddy with boundless joy. And then, barely a week later, she was gone. The years that have followed have been kind to our far-flung family, and Zoe now has two happy, healthy sisters who are, and will be, everything that she might have been. We are deeply thankful for our many blessings; but each year, as December approaches, we cannot help but pause and think about our little Christmas angel.

– Bob

One of the best things about Christmas is the sense of relief that comes of doing nothing. Especially in this age of ‘always on’ and digital everything, it’s a year’s end sigh-of-relief to fall into a comfortable chair, grab a cup of eggnog and focus on nothing more than the twinkle of a Christmas tree. We are now so connected to everyone and everything in our day-to-day lives, it takes the reliable retreat of a holiday to take a deep breath and relax. So grab a book, grab a loved one and enjoy this time of comfort and quiet.

– Shannon


Chirtmas in Richmond with Loved Ones



Stephanies Family Tree

Christmas has always been an important time in my family’s life- not only because of the traditions we have shared but most importantly our faith in Christ’s birth. I often think of the candlelight Christmas Eve Services we have gone to and how meaningful they have been to us. I think about the gift of giving to others and seeing their faces light up with happiness. My memories are filled with favorite movies we watched together, favorite Christmas songs, baking goodies, playing board games and decorating the tree. Even though we still do many of those things, some of our traditions have changed as we have grown older, but some traditions have remained the same. I wish you all wonderful Christmas and holiday. May your new year to come be blessed and full of happiness and joy.

– Stephanie M. Hopkins

The Third year we were New Yorkers, my husband and I decided to stay in the city for Christmas- we were all done dealing with the Noreasters and cancelled flights of yore. The notion of being away from our families was a very lonely one, indeed, so we were determined to make it special by reinventing old traditons. For decades, Ian’s fmily has made the formidable gingerbread Christmas cutouts…perfect for ornaments (and nibbling, too). We found a lovely tree at a nerby pop-up lot and stuffed it into the trunk of a cab to get it home, then stayed up till 2:45 on Christmas morning decorating angels, bells, stars and mittens, each as different as snoflakes. That year, our tine apartment was even more cramped than usual, but the little Douglas fir made the season bright for two homesick kids.

Sending you all wishes for the warmest of memories, now and always.

– Ellie

Ellies tree

Ellie and Ian’s Tree

kyle and andrew 2

Kyle and Andrew, “The Tech Team”

First Thing on Christmas morning, my dad would always pull out his ratty old JC Penny holiday record album. When we heard the first notes of “We Need a Little Christmas” blast through the speakers, my sister and I would race around the house with our filled stockings until the song was over. Only then were the two of us ready to open presents.

Priorities, people! Hope you find lots of joy in the little things this Christmas.

– Andrew, Regal Creative

Anyone who comes from, or is a part of, a large family knows how difficult it can be to get together, even but once a year. I have six uncles and aunts, and the tree goes down to the grandkids level (starting with my grandparents.) My grandfather remarried in his early-to-mid thirties, and though he was faced with many struggles, he raised his children, and gave them the freedom they needed to grow and travel their own paths in life.

Of course, as life goes by, it’s easy to get tied up with all that it gives you, and because of this my grandfather made a point to bring everyone back together at his house each Christmas day. He passed away earlier this year after a short, but painful, struggle with pulmonary fibrosis. My most favorite Christmas memory (and tradition) is the time that we got to spend, everyone together, laughing and sharing our thanks and joy for each other and all that life gave to us.

This year will be very different without him present, but his spirit and memory will be with each and every one of us. I encourage all those this Christmas season, regardless of creed or religion, economic status or otherwise, to remember those in your life and give thanks. I wish that, regardless of your circumstance, you all have a very Merry Christmas, and pray for good tidings for you both now, and in the new year!

– Kyle, Regal Creative

The Holiday Season is a Time of Reflection for me – thinking back on a the year I have had and those loved ones who ar no longer among us. Growing up, I loved Christmas for the experience of gift giving and receiving within our family even thoug we were rarely together ont eh holiday. However, on special Christmas, while a child in Florida, our entire immediate family came together at our house. I will always cherish that one Christmas – especially since my cousin is no longer with us today. She and I were very close right up until her final days battling with brain cance seven seasons ago. christmas was her favorite holiday and I will never forget how much joy the holiday brount her. I miss you, Linda. Happy Holidays.

– Cathy Helms, Avalon Grahpics


Duane, Linda and Cathy circa 1974 Florida Family Christmas

8 responses to “Welcome One and All to the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop”

  1. anna belfrage says:

    A nice warm up to a promisong blog-hop. But where is the twitter button?

  2. Geri says:

    I just got a message from Andrew that they fixed it!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Really enjoyed reading these Christmas messages from everyone.

  4. Geri says:

    We have the best team ever- they are very tolerant of me and my last minute ideas! I am afraid I work Stephanie to the bone but she keeps coming back! Bless her-

  5. Lorraine Devon Wilke says:

    Loved getting a chance to “meet” those of you I haven’t met yet via your Christmas anecdotes! We authors appreciate everyone you all do to help get our work out. All best for a wonderful holiday season!

  6. J.B. Hawker says:

    I was traveling yesterday, but am looking forward to all the other days of the Hop! A great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

  7. Geri says:

    We are so happy to have you on the “ride” to Christmas! I can’t wait to see your post-

  8. Geri says:

    It is such fun to be able to introduce those who work so hard for us but seldom get to be seen!
    Merry Christmas to you-

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