I’m Ready!

The last little package arrived. I’ll gift bag that sucker and be done with the wrapping, ribboning, bowing and tagging.

Gifts to pals I won’t see this year, shipped weeks ago, and most landed where they’re meant to be.

Tree up, mantels dressed, candles lit.

Thanks to Kayla and a marathon baking day, we have tons of cookies. I stood as baker’s assistant while she did the real work–and a lot of work it was. Also delicious.

Getting Grandda into the act
Cookie Boss

 I’ll sneak in a Nana brag as our college girl got her grades. Straight As. 

We had a really fun, laborious day together. I miss seeing my grandboys, and having the gang baking in the kitchen. Next year–I hold onto next year.

I miss holiday celebrations and time with my friends. Next year.

Obviously, we won’t have our big bash of a New Year’s Day Open House this year. But next year.

And I admit, sometimes it gets me down. It’s hard not to hang out with friends and family, hard to cut out long-held traditions, hard to give up all those personal contacts, the hugs, the laughs, the simple, basic pleasure of being together. 

But next year.

I’ve got plenty of work to keep me busy. Writing, for me, has always been a blessing, but maybe never as much as in 2020. It gets me going in the morning, helps keep me from dwelling–too much–on everything else.

Then there’s the weekend cleaning/cooking/baking routine. It helps, too.

But boy, will I happily pass my toilet brush to someone else next year.I’ll buy them new ones! Gold-plated toilet brushes if they want. And shiny silver buckets, jewel-encrusted scrub brushes! Whatever it takes.

Meanwhile, it all keeps me busy, and somewhat sane.

Last week’s snowday view.

Also keeping us busy around here is Parker who had surgery last week for a torn ankle tendon. He’s recovering well, but JESUS! he now requires pretty much constant care. No opening the door so the dogs can stroll out and do what they do. Bag that cast, use a leash, walk him out, try to avoid having the Cone Of Shame bash you in the calves and shins. 

Parker and his new accessory.

He and Atticus both have the sads over the situation. But this, too, will pass. Next year.

Meanwhile meanwhile, the house is festive, and that perks me up.

Best, Jason, Kat and Griffin will come for Christmas as we’ve continued our careful bubble. I’m incredibly lucky there. We’ll have a late brunch once they get here, then tear into the presents. And won’t it be fun to watch a two-year old discover new toys under the tree?

Since Kat can’t eat mammals (reaction to a tick bite) we’ll have lasagna for dinner–with a salad bar to start, garlic bread from the Italian bread I baked last weekend, and an ice cream bar for dessert.

Then we’ll watch the new Wonder Woman. Yay!!

Not our usual Christmas, but we’ll make it happy. Then there’s next year. Next year, Kayla won’t have to haul all the gifts from here to her family because we’ll all be together. We’ll be together–family and friends–because we’re apart now keeping each other safe. And that’s the most loving thing we can do.

I’m wishing all our health care workers, our first responders, teachers, front line workers, delivery workers, USPS workers, grocery workers, and all those who’ve done so much, worked so hard to keep us all safe, to care for us, to keep it all going the best holiday possible. And a better, brighter new year.

I wish the same for all of you.

When I light my candles tonight, I’ll light them with that wish for all.

Next year will be better, and it will be brighter. But for now, we’ll make the now as solid and safe and shiny as we can.


87 thoughts on “I’m Ready!”

    1. We are truly blessed here in New Zealand and we are fortunate to be able to celebrate without restrictions with our family and friends. We know how lucky we are to have this freedom. May 2021 bring the same to others around the globe. Read & re-read so many of Nora’s books during our lock-down. Thank you for the stories.

    2. Merry Christmas to you and yours… I’m so blessed that my 2 kids are each other’s neighbor and I watch my youngest granddaughter so we can be with each other at Christmas…. God Bless!!

  1. Love your Fall into the Story blogs. They always brighten my day. I think we all have the next year theme going. There is always hope for better times. I am thankful for making it through this with cancer treatments and really look forward to next year. Merry Christmas Nora and family

    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ms. Nora. Hopefully, 2021 will be better for everyone.

    2. I just wanted to say good luck with your cancer treatments. And Merry Christmas Sandy🎅🎄🎅

  2. We shall all light our candles and wish good for all of us. Merry Christmas to you and your family and, as always, thank you for keeping your stories so darn interesting and giving us a great year of reading. Your writing keeps you going throughout the year and reading them keeps us going. Such a great balance in the world.

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. May 2021 bring us all together once again🎄🎄

  4. Since I am a homebody at heart, reading has been my saving grace. I do miss seeing my elderly parents who moved back to Kentucky from Florida to be near family. That has not exactly panned out as hoped, but, as you say, next year…

    I miss jumping into the car to run errands whenever the mood strikes or going out for dinner, but I am staying close to home and only venture out for essentials once a week, donning my mask, wielding my sanitizing wipes, and keeping my distance.

    We have made a couple of carefully conscientious trips to see the grandchildren in another state who have done the virtual school thing this year to minimize exposure in the hopes of keeping our daughter virus-free while our son-in-law was deployed for 5 months. Three kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats vs. one parent far from extended family make for a stressful situation so we have come to the rescue when times have gotten out of hand. I know folks think deployments are hardest on the military member, but it takes the hardest toll on those who feel their absence and have to cope without a partner or a dad on a daily basis.

    I look forward to getting things back to normal. As you said, next year.

    Merry Christmas and continued blessings, no matter how large or small.

    1. Kathy, please thank all of them for their service! Yes, deployment is hard on all members of the family, and maintaining a household with kids & critters during these times sure can’t help! I’m glad you’re able to help out, with “carefully conscientious trips”! good luck & Happy Holidays!

      1. My husband is a veteran, and seeing the other side of deployment was a real eye-opener for him. Add virtual school to deployment Murphy’s Law and a pandemic, and you have an alphabet soup of disasters large and small.

  5. Thank you so much for helping me get through this year – “hanging” with Eve and her gang – reading the entire series yet again – got me through the loneiest of times.

    Thank you, too, for sharing these snapshots of your family and homelife.

    Know that your books and blog bring much joy to many.

    Wishing you and yours – as well as Laura and hers – a very Merry Christmas – and a Happy – and Healthy – New Year.

  6. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Praying all stay safe and healthy this year…for next.

  7. Congratulations to Kayla on her straight A’s.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Happy New Year too.

  8. Merry Christmas and let’s hope the new year brings us to the end of this strife. I will be staying home too: l live with my youngest son who has helped in keeping me safe since my DIL is an RN and working with COVID patients during surges. He does my shopping and laundry. When I think I will go completely nuts I go shopping early in the morning for food. I and the world I’m sure will be happy when we’ve conquered this. In the meantime, peace.

  9. Thank You Nora…for you selfless days..writing…doing something you love to help those of us that Love the results of your labor!
    Wishing You and All of Yours a Very Merry Christmas and Blessings for a wonderful New Year!
    Laura, if you are listening…this includes you as you are Noras right, well, maybe left too, arm!! As always, we look forward to the Next Years Book Signings!!! 🎄☃️🎉🎊

  10. As long as all of you are together…everything else is a bonus…NEXT YEAR ! We focus on the power of thinking positive…the power of love (power of acceptance…and we embrace all else!

  11. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Thank you for the books you’ve written. They have kept me company and entertained as while apart from friends and family.

  12. Happy Yule, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to 2021.

  13. My husband and I are spending our first Christmas “alone” since 1966. Our first child of four was born in July 1967 and we were in Italy when my husband was in the USAF. Everything you wrote, Nora, very much hit home. I wish you and those you love Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

  14. Have a very Merry and very Blessed Christmas. Next year, all I want for Christmas are hugs — lots and lots of hugs.

  15. Merry Christmas to you and all your family. Thank you for the amazing stories that have kept me sane during lockdown. Next year will be better. I know missing the traditions is hard, but better to miss one year than every other one.

  16. Oh Parker dear – so sorry to hear you had to have surgery! Luckily for you, you hit the parent lotto and I’m sure N and B are taking good care of you. Tell them, and Atticus, we wish them a happy, healthy Christmas and new year- 2021: gotta be better!!

  17. NEXT YEAR, I love that statement. Next Year!

    Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

  18. Nora, your books have always helped me to stay sane, but they have REALLY helped this year. Yes Next Year it will be better.
    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!

  19. Next year. Merry Christmas for now and enjoy the family you do get to see!

  20. Your books got me through 2020. Both old and new. May 2021 be the year of hugs and deciding that we aren’t putting off seeing our friends.
    Bright Blessings upon you and yours.

  21. Good God Almighty – I needed to read that. I’m so glad 2020 was a good writing year for you, because your books (of which I re-read regularly) are what have kept me sane this year. Knowing I could escape in the midst of all the hard – visiting “old friends” through the pages – it’s made it ok. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And as I just re-read The Obsession – perhaps the “pants of humiliation” might help with those bruises? Just sayin. 🙂 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

  22. Merry Christmas 🎄 Nora and Laura. My heart feels everything you’ve written. Thank-you for sharing the gift of your writing. Your books have made 2020 pass a little faster.

  23. Merry Chrustmas to you and yours. Enjoy everything you can do! We are all waiting for next year!

  24. Merriest Christmas now to you, Laura, and your families. Next year with such hope!


  25. Thank you for sharing so much with us this year. Your holiday celebrations are well planned and well earned. I look forward to having my freedom in the near future with continued mitigation and the vaccines. Thank you for your talent. I look forward to the delivery of my next ID. Stay safe in your bubble typing away. I too salute the wonderful people who have made my safety possible. Fingers and toes crossed for 2021!

  26. Thanks for your writing, it’s kept me going all through these dark times. Congratulations Kayla. Hope you all have a happy Christmas and we all have a healthier 2021.

  27. Merry Christmas to you and yours , from me and mine.
    I’m an essential worker so I’ve worked through this whole pandemic and thank the lord that I haven’t caught Covid. I’ve had several cousins that have gotten it, and it’s been really hard on them. They say it’s no joke having it. One is still on oxygen, but he’s home now. PTL.
    I do so enjoy reading your blogs and hearing what you’ve been up to.
    Since Covid, I won’t let my Mother, who will be eighty in April, go to the library or to Walmart. I do all the shopping, groceries, household products etc.
    Since she can’t go to the library to get books to read, she started reading my collection of your JD Robb’s In Death series. ( I have all of them, including the anthologies) She’s fallen in love with the series and of course, Eve and Roarke and the gang.
    Thank you for all that you do for us, by keeping us sane during these last eight to nine months of social distancing.
    I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and tell Laura I hope the same for her and her family.

  28. What a great message. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Like you said… we do this now so we can have next year ❤️

  29. Thank you so much for all the wonderful stories, it made 2020 so much better.

    A happy and blessed holiday for you and yours.

    Blessed be and be well.

  30. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice and Happy New Year. Congratulations to Kayla on her A’s. Sounds like you have everything in hand. Me too. Yes a different time and missing get togethers. Thank you for your wonderful writing that has helped me thru this year. The Convergence gives me lots of hope for this next year. Enjoy

  31. Merry Christmas to you & your family/friends. My husband & I have been looking forward to “next year” really often as well. His immediate family is all elderly & rather high risk. My siblings are younger than I, but my parents are in their mid 80’s & Dad recently had serious surgery with tons of complications & re-admittances into hospitals. No big gatherings on either side, but some few drive by visits. 2020 has definitely been the worst thing we’ve experienced in many, many years. Next year just has to be better.

  32. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a much better New Year!
    So glad to read your writings , especially “ Next Year”. I really needed to read this today as I’m struggling without the family, hugs, and gatherings. Stay well

  33. Merry Christmas to your family! And yes to NEXT YEAR!
    Love all your books and your wonderful posts!

  34. My dog had to have a surgery and did not handle the cone of shame – Amazon has an inflatable collar by Benchmate – it is much nicer for all and works.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours
    My Mantra has been next year also, sometimes that is all that keeps me going.

  35. A Very Merry Christmas & a Joyful, Hopeful, Fresh-Start New Year to you & your family.

  36. Merry Christmas Nora
    And a Happy New Year!!
    And yes next year will be better!!

  37. Good evening all,
    WOW! Kayla is the cookie boss! It was great watching her help out over the years. Now she’s all grown up. Go girl do your thing. Congrats on the straight A’s.

    Nora, Laura,
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Next year has got to be better. Please God we need it. On a positive note I read twice as many books this year. Thanks to authors like Nora for keeping us sane with great stories. May God bless you and your families. Laura thank you for keeping us posted we are a wild bunch. LOL

    We will all celebrate big NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!

  38. I’m hanging onto Next Year too. Merry Christmas to you and yours Nora. The same for Laura. For everyone. 🙂

  39. Blessings to you and your family, for all the many hours of joy you have brought me. The laughter the tears, the family. Your dog reminded me of “Tag” in Obcession. Take care, best of health,
    happiness ..stay safe ❤️

  40. Congratulations to Kayla for her perfect grades!!! Thank you ever so much for sharing those marvelous pictures. The cookies look delicious. Next year, next year, next year will be sooo much better than this year! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your engrossing, always interesting and entertaining novels – they have helped keep me sane this year. I am currently rereading the In Death series, and making notes for myself to help me remember when things happen. May your Christmas be full of love and May the New Year bring you blessings of friends, family and fun!

  41. I completely understand the feelings! This was going to be a special Christmas – the foster grandbabies’ first one with our family. We’ll still see each other (over the internet) but there will be an emptiness in this house. My husband also threw a wrench into the plans, as he is in isolation upstairs until he can get a (hopefully negative) COVID test after Christmas. He was deemed a close contact, so he is banished for 5 days, which is the length of time from initial contact for a COVID test to be more accurate. Of course that lands on Christmas Day, so we will be opening presents with the windows open, masks on, on a cold, blustery morning in New England! Think of us while you are in your cozy places, and feel free to laugh. We’ve got to laugh over this, or else I’ll cry. Stay safe everyone, and onward to 2021!

  42. Merry Christmas to you and your family. No spending a month in Florida with the son and family. Winter at home in Wisconsin is going to long. Next year, we will be doing things again. Seeing friends, going out to eat. Carryout is not the same. My tree makes me happy. Going to Florida the last 12 years we never put our tree up. Beautiful!! Stay safe and may 2021 bring health and happiness. Hugs and love!!

  43. Happy Christmas to you all! We all hang on to “next year”. Thank you for the stories that made this year more bearable. I just finished The Awakening and can’t wait until book 2!

  44. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Good riddance to 2020 and better times in 2021.

  45. Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas to all. I hope everyone has a great Christmas/Yuletide

  46. I wish you all the very best of holiday wishes. We will indeed have next year! Stay safe, stay well and we will get our “normal “ back in 2021.

  47. Way to go Kayla! Freshman year can be hard, so good for you! So glad to hear you’re all staying safe and healthy, and that you’ll get to see your youngest for the holiday. They are too much fun at that age to miss. I’m immuno-compromised, so I was already somewhat used to staying apart though it’s ratcheted up a bit more this year. You know you’re doing it right when you look at a doctor’s appt. as a social event – lol. It’s hitting my sister hard, that both dad and I won’t be coming to her house this year, so I’m saying “next year” sounds pretty good. By then perhaps we’ll at least be all vaccinated and not a terror to each other. Hang in there!

  48. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.
    Here’s to a glorious New year and please fingers crossed that next holiday season will be back to our individual normals .
    Thank you for the new stories this year, your books hold a special place in my world and thanks for that.

  49. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Happy New Year, wishing you all a safe and healthy new year 💜💜

  50. Many Christmas Blessings to you and your family. Also many thanks for all your wonderful books which kept us sane throughout this year.

  51. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Hope for a much better 2021!

  52. Merry Christmas to you and your family Nora and the same to Laura. Having Griffin around will make Christmas special as toddlers are great at opening presents and playing with boxes.
    Hope Parker feels better soon and can get out of the cone those things are no fun for fur babies or their humans.

    Enjoy the holiday season and have fun.

  53. Nora,
    I do not know if you will read this or if maybe someone else has mentioned this to you but there is a new type of “cone of shame” that is way better than what poor Parker is wearing in the picture. It is an inflatable collar that is very comfortable for the dog to wear, allows them to eat and drink and sleep easily, but prevents them from scratching or worrying wounds or stitches. I have used it on both of my dogs and we will never go back to the other again. Look it up on Amazon or ask your vet.
    Merry Christmas and bright blessings for a Happy New Year!
    PS Your stories have entertained me for years, but this year have kept me sane!

    1. Mellssa – Oh my I also was going to write about the dog “cone”. we use a pool noodle threaded through his collar or an old belt if necessary. keeps them from the wounds and much easier on him and you.

  54. Nora, your words were never more important. I too am looking towards next year. Our holiday morning will be via zoom with our daughter, daughter in law, and granddaughter. Will it be the same? No. Will it be enough? No. But we will manage and like you, we will look towards next year. Thank you for sharing your gift, your books, which are a panacea to so many. Sending all good wishes to you and your family, and to Laura’s family as well. And to your other fans, I’m sending good wishes as well.

  55. First CONGRATULATIONS KAYLA! Big accomplishment for the first year of college!
    Second I hope Parker has a full recovery! My little chi had surgery for a luxating pattella so I feel your pain. In her case she was restricted from walking, jumping and climbing her stairs to the couch and down for 3-6 months. Yeah that was fun.
    Third I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I absolutely love your Next Year. I’ve been saying that since the spring.
    Also wishing Laura and her family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  56. Merry Christmas to you and your families Nora and Laura. Thank you for the blogs, the new books, the upcoming books, and all the published books. I love all of them. My favorite is whichever one I am reading when asked 😀
    May 2021 bring togetherness again

  57. Wishing you a Merry Christmas Nora and family!

    My family rotates years to host sister Christmas, this took place last weekend. I was happy to unwrap one of your latest releases! Between my sisters and I at least three of your new books made their way into gift bags this year. 🙂 Thank you for doing what you do!

  58. I can so relate to your post. This will be the first time in 25 years that my children & grands don’t come to us for our yearly Chanukah party. Its sad and lonely, but i keep reminding myself, that this too shall pass. like you said- next year.
    You must be so proud of Kayla- straight A’s are something!
    Thank you so much for the many hours of escape your books bring to me, and all your fans. Wishing you and Laura and your families a safe and merry Christmas.

  59. I hear you. Keeping busy has kept my sanity. I like a good clean, it’s thinking time and satisfying for me at least.
    It’s been hard at times in the UK in the summer not seeing my parents as we’re very close.
    Congratulations to Kayla on her fabulous results, you go girl!
    I’m a little gutted I cannot go to midnight mass this year due to covid19 so it will have to be via f/b live. I feel very connected to my late grandparents there.
    Thank you for your hard work Nora and your imagination as my books are my treasures.
    Happy holidays to all and merry Christmas to all. Stay safe and look after each other. Here’s to next year finding it’s feet. Xx

  60. Happy Holidays Nora, to you and your family!

    Next year is my mantra as well. December has been a terrible month for me and my family. First I was diagnosed with stage 0 cancer and had surgery (12/21). Next day learned my sister died from COVID and my mom passed out and was diagnosed with AFib. So I say 2021 – next year!!

    Again, Happy Holidays to one and all.

  61. Merry Christmas! Thanks for writing books that allow me to travel in spirit. It helps.

  62. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Thank you for the wonderful message, so well said, I’m sharing it because not all in our extended family seem to understand the importance of keeping everyone safe till NEXT Christmas.

  63. Merry Christmas to everybody! Just my husband and me this year. He’s a Christmas Eve baby. For his birthday a seafood boil. Christmas will be ham with sweet potato souffle, scalloped potatoes, asparagus,dressing. I came home from work to discover he had bungee corded our tree in the corner. Our kitten Delilah had discovered it was full of bright, sparkly, shiny things too much to resist. I had used the non breakable ornaments & hung them with ribbons instead of hooks.

  64. Nora, I’m very glad that all your packages have made it in & that most you mailed have made it where they were meant to be. I saw pictures of various USPS distribution points yesterday; OMG! Stuff stacked all over the place in & places that got added to help with the storage needs. Plus many workers out due to quarantine and/or illness. It’s a rough year for everyone & all we can do is keep saying Next Year!

    Since I’m part of my Dad’s pod even tho’ I live alone, I was supposed to go up to his place tomorrow, along with my sister & her husband. She’s Dad’s main care-giver. But I was having trouble with a tire so dashed to the tire maintenance folks yesterday afternoon since I didn’t want to get stranded tomorrow with a flat tire in 20 degree (pre-wind chill) temps. However, I walked in there, up to the counter & realized of the 6 other people in there, only one was wearing a mask. Well darn, tire taken care of, but I get to stay home & quarantine for a week at least. We’re being very cautious because Dad is 90 & has heart concerns. Ah well, won’t be the first one I’ve missed–others due to weather. We’ll do Christmas in a couple weeks…

    Congrats to Kayla; Straight A’s in college isn’t easy! Well, they’re not supposed to be but some kids just do very, very well! And as others have said, reading about Parker, I thought of Tag and the Cone from Obsession. That one is in my top ten favs of your titles!

    Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to everyone reading the blog & responses! I saw a decorated window the other day; borrowing from the Grinch: 1st line: 2020; next 3 lines: Stink! Stank! Stunk! How very true! Next Year!!!

  65. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!!! I will be Face timing my daughter to watch her, my son-in-law and grandkids open their gifts. Talking to loved ones throughout the day will be the topper to a wonderful day in my new home. I’ve been rereading a few of your books 📚 while waiting for the new In Death. Can’t wait for next year! 💖

  66. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Sending healing prayers for Parker. Wishing you all a better next year.

    Your writing is what is keeping me sane in 2020. Thank you for that.

  67. Merry Christmas and Happy New And Better Year to you and your family.

  68. Merry Christmas and thanks for keeping my mum somewhat sane this year with your stories. Both novels and novellas. Wishing you both Nora / J.D. and Laura a good day today and a hopefully more prosperous 2021.

  69. Merry Christmas!! Sorry to hear about Parker and his cone of shame. Too bad he can’t wear the pants of humiliation!!! Best line ever btw, from my all time favorite of your books:)

  70. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, no matter which you celebrate and I wish everyone a healthy, Happy New Year.

    We don’t look at the holidays as cancelled, simply postponed, we’re planning (both sides of the family) to celebrate in summer. Let’s hear it for Christmas in July!

    Wear the mask and keep everyone alive to get the vaccine!

  71. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. for some reason I only got this blog today. We did the same as you except we had a Christmas Day brunch with biscuits & gravy, bacon, ham and eggs. And mimosas. Then we watched the new Wonder Woman. We live in Maui and all my kids live within 5 miles, so our bubble is complete. Our granddaughter who is in college in the mainland, had to have 3 covid-19 tests before she could avoid quarantine. We were blessed to have her home. My daughter who is a police officer has had 3 tests too. All negative. Peace and health to all and we are looking forward to this year ending. And the promise of normal.

  72. Nora Roberts,
    You have the energy of three people! You also have an imagination that doesn’t quit and the ability to share it with all of us. I am always amazed when I note your body of work.

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