Holiday Hustle

We’ve been in the thick of it.

We had our annual Progressive Shopping night with any employees who want to participate. That’s Turn The Page, Fit, Gifts, the inn, Vesta. It’s fun to go as a group from business to business, enjoy the company, do a little shopping. It’s also a great chance to socialize and get to know each other as your own work, your own business can create a kind of bubble.

The Inn, dressed for Christmas

We all end at Vesta for dinner. So much food! But before the feast we announce our winners in the year’s fitness competition.

And the Inn BoonsBoro staff defend their title, and keep the (wonderfully tacky) trophy for another year. The team’s led by Head Innkeeper Karen, this year’s individual winner, who I’m told seriously cracks the whip.

IBB Wonder Women

And those girls at IBB prove to be clever pranksters. Part of the inn’s holiday decor is a full-size Nutcracker. He’s huge! And heavy. It didn’t stop them from hauling him across the parking lot, putting him in the doorway of a side room. And scaring the pants off Heidi, Fit’s manager, when she opened for the day.

Nice one, ladies!

Boonsboro’s decked out, and that makes a festive canvas for Turn The Page’s holiday booksigning. A busy day, and lots of fun–along with Griffin’s first booksigning. (He slept through most of it.) When he was awake, he enjoyed being snuggled by various TTP staff. I think the staff enjoyed the snuggles even more.

I get my boy through the weekend as we have another holiday event on Sunday, which includes our very special guest. Santa! (Griffin also slept through most of it, despite all the noise.)

Then there’s a work week, with some bits and pieces of holiday prep worked in. The week ends with a holiday party here for the managers. Some fun food, a lot of champagne and all the good cheer you can hold.

Back row L-R: Renee, Michelle, Natoma, Heidi, Janeen, Laura Front: JoAnne, Holly, Karen (the whipmaster), Nora

Oh and those inn girls left me a little nutcracker on my workstation. I see what you did there, ladies! Gave me a laugh–and Mr. Nutcracker will enjoy being part of my holiday gang.

For the weekend. Cookies! Lots and lots and LOTS of cookies. Logan skips this year, and Kayla serves as head baker with some assistance from me and from Colt. The girl’s on a roll. We dive in with cheesy Christmas movies on the kitchen TV–which Kayla and I agree are just silly fun. (I don’t believe Colt paid any attention either way.)

We end up with a double batch of chocolate chip (a crowd favorite) snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Candy Cane Kisses, with the grand finale of painted sugar cookies. We include a lunch break so real food goes in tummies as well.

Kayla and her sous chef, Grandda

With Colt serving as taste tester, we deem all cookies delicious.

It’s always fun to hold a marathon cookie bake, but seeing Kayla take over so willingly, and so skillfully is the best part. One day she’ll bake in her own kitchen, and I hope look back on the years she baked in mine.

Logan has no problem eating the cookies when we have the gang for dinner. And a big bag of them go with the kids after dinner.

Today, after my morning workout I have a few little gifts to bag or wrap. I need to check the bread situation to see if I need to bake. And, at some point, sign four tubs of books. But compared to a solid eight hours in the kitchen yesterday, this is a day off!

All the traditions that weave their way into the fabric of our friends and family make a warm and colorful cloth. I love watching the cloth unfold every year.

I hope you all have your own warm and colorful cloth to cuddle with.


Note from Laura: the 2018 finale to #random Katness:

First family holiday photo

43 thoughts on “Holiday Hustle”

  1. The pictures aren’t showing up for me. Anyone else have this issue?

    1. I’m getting the pictures, but over top of the blog. Can only read parts of it. It happens sometimes, not sure if it’s the blog or my Mac!

    2. I’m sorry this is happening. I’ve checked two computers, a tablet and my phone. All show the photos correctly.


      1. Yeah I can see the photos and I’m on my iPad.xx
        Love how family grows for people.
        I LOVE Christmas as it’s family time and reading Nora’s books.

      2. It’s fine on Chrome on my mac but the photos hate safari.

        Hope this helps.

  2. Beautiful family and lots of fun. It’s fun to see my daughters picking up the traditions and making cookies with my grandchildren to bring to us. Have a merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. Merry Christmas Nora and Family!
    May your holiday season, and the New Year be Blessed❤???

  4. That is a great picture of you with Griffin. It’s such fun for us when you show pictures of your life with family and friends is done , so I have the time to read Of Blood and Bone for the third time. Thank you for the great book. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

  5. What wonderful holiday traditions to be passed down! Grandkids are simply amazing. ? While mine will be in Hawaii this year with the other side of the family (lucky ducks lol) I will miss them like crazy and wait to see them the weekend after Christmas. Love to you and yours and a very happy holiday season. ?

  6. No problem with the photos for me.

    What a whirlwind! No surprise. It all looks so cozy. Especially with Grandpa helping. (?)

    Not sure why this happened. I got a little misty eyed at the ‘first family holiday photo.’ It seems everyone waited so long for Griffin to get here, and now he’s in the family photos. So wonderful!

    Oh, had to laugh at Griffin sleeping through the festivities. My daughter was a sleeper too.

  7. The Inn is beautiful as well as Nora’s family. Thanks for sharing the warmth!

  8. Always love to hear what’s going on! Love all the photos! Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

  9. Blessings to you and your family. Thank you for all the hours of reading entertainment. Wishing you the best of health and happiness for 2019

  10. Thank you Nora and Laura for the pic’s and stories, we all love them so. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  11. In addition, the only picture that was really clear was the very last one of Kat and Jason and Griffin…great pic.

  12. I had somehow shrunk the posts to one side. No clue how I did it but my good friend Google told me how to fix it. Was great fun reading about holidays with Nora and her family.

  13. Love the photos you share! The grands are really growing! Love Griffin’s first family photo! So sweet. Merry Christmas one and all!

  14. Wonderful photos and so much to be thankful for this Christmas season. Enjoy every moment:)

  15. Merry Christmas Nora and family! Your grandson is gorgeous! I miss my tween granddaughter being a baby/toddler, but now since she’s older, we’re going to go shopping together, after Christmas, and she can pick out something she wanted but didn’t receive for her birthday in December or Christmas.
    Get all the snuggles in you can, while you can!

  16. All the photos were fabulous! You have a beautiful family! And what fun holiday events with employees, friends and family! Happy Holidays to you and yours, Nora! Happy Holidays to Laura and her family! Thank you, as always, for sharing.

  17. Wonderful blog and photos. Hope to get back to the bookstore one of these days for another reigning. Looks like it would be wonderful to do it this time of year. Merry Christmas everyone!

  18. Thanks for sharing your Holiday Hustle and the awesome photos of everyone…lots of love and happiness in those faces

  19. Merry Christmas Nora and crew!!! I read and reread all your books. I do the same with my J.D. Robb books. Thank you. I’m pretty much homebound and your books help to give me a sense of being outside.

  20. So enjoy these updates..
    Thank you Nora. & Merry Christmas!!

  21. You have given us all years of wonderful reading and we are all thankful. Hope you can take some time off and just bask in the love of your family and friends. Happy holidays!

  22. Beautiful photos, beautiful traditions! Merry Christmas to all and extra kisses to the baby. Thank you for sharing. I am in the hospital with double pneumonia and have been able to read Of Blood and Bone for the second time.

  23. Hi, Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you and your family as well!
    I love your latest blog post and the pictures are fantastic as always.
    I honestly don’t know where you find all of your energy but Rock On. That’s the spirit of Christmas.
    We are doing things a little different this year. We moved on December 1st and we have a front and fenced in back yard, a garage that is a delight to my boys and for me not only the house but my very own washer and dryer! ( This is our Christmas).
    We ran out of money December 2 nd haha! Well close enough but we have the tree up and inside decorations. We will have a nice dinner and wonderful desserts and family.
    So it’s not our usual busy time but I know it’s the people in my cloth that counts.
    That baby is so cuddly. He’s growing do fast but I can’t believe how much Colt has grown!
    Kayla is so pretty and I am really excited that she is very enjoying cooking and baking.
    I thought it was so sweet in your blog telling about her future kitchen. Oh I know she will always remember the be times in your kitchen. Great memories are being made in your home and that’s what will be remembered.
    Merry Christmas to you all, be jolly and happy and will you please send me some cookies lol 🙂
    Maybe Not! But they really looked delicious.
    Beth Reed

  24. Merry Christmas to all. I was pleasantly surprised Saturday when I picked up my mail and had an envelope with an ornament and card from Eve and Roarke. Thank you for the wonderful gift from my favorite author and her wonderful books.

  25. Everything and everyone so full of Mirth. Well deserved and also well appreciated, I am sure.
    Baby Griffin (He’s Huge, Nora! Big, Strong baby ?) looks more and more like Dad every time I see him. Sorry Kat, time to go for the girl ? and put more effort into it 😉

    So may cookies! It is so much fun and sweet to witness Kayla stepping in the Nora’s shoes she chose to step in ?

    As for your (business) Clan they are The Best ???

    Happy Holidays! May many Blessings wrap your generous hearts and Lives and Thank you for all the Joy, Kindness and Fun shared during the year…

    Laura, Thank you for making this place an interesting and joyful place to hang around ? Happy and Blessed Season to you (and your beautiful, charming and happy Clan).

    To everybody I cross paths here with I wish that Magic floods your lives and beings this Season ? ??️??

  26. The Inn looks gorgeous. Lovely family pictures – your grandchildren are growing up so quickly. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  27. Griffin steals the show! So precious!!!

    Hope you all have the best holiday and a fabulous New ayewr!!!

  28. Great pictures and the cookies look yummy!!! Griffin is just the cutest little snuggle bunny!!! Have a wonderful Christmas!!!!

  29. Just wanted to take a minute to wish you – Nora (and you, too, Laura) – a very happy, delightful holiday season. Thanks to you both for keeping us entertained throughout the year, not just with magnificent reads, but with these delicious glimpses into your world. Enjoy your families during this Yule.

    Merry Christmas.

  30. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! What a beautiful family and all the fun you had making cookies. All the grand kids are growing up so fast. Thank you for sharing.

  31. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for you, Nora and Laura and families. I could have used Kayla as my sous chef while making my 50 dozen cookies this year! Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and snickerdoodles are two of the favourites, along with ginger cookies, whipped shortbread and bacon maple shortbread. My oatmeal raisin cookies are also a hit, even with chocolate chip lovers! 🙂

    I am saving “Of Blood and Bone” for after the rush of the holidays when I can reread “Year One” first and savour them both. Thanks for all your books, Nora, I enjoy reading and rereading them all.

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