EDITOR’s NOTE: We hope that our readers will “cozy up” by giving copies of Laura Elizabeth’s wonderfully engaging new cozy mystery, All Is Now Lost, in this holiday season. Why? In earlier columns, we explained that—for millions of Americans—a cozy mystery is a perfect gift. Then, we explained how much Laura Elizabeth cares about the wellbeing of her beloved real-life Atlantic island Daufuskie—to the point that she’s even made Christmas ornaments featuring the island. Part of the fun of following a cozy mystery author, readers tell us, is getting to know that author as well as their characters. So, as one last reminder before Christmas, we want to share a warm newsletter from Laura. Yes, that’s part of the fun. Laura invites readers to sign up for her free monthly newsletters. (And one more tip: Readers of her newsletters enjoy her occasional “extras” like yummy recipes from her family or her Daufuskie Island. All you have to do is order a book, read it yourself or give it to a friend—and connect with Laura online.)
Sound like a gift you want to give someone?
Then, here’s the December issue of Laura’s newsletter …
A Cozy Minute
I hope you are enjoying a cozy December! My house is decorated, and I am slowly chipping away at holiday shopping, cookie baking, and my favorite—gift wrapping! As I think about these things on my holiday “to-do” list, I am looking forward to celebrating our family traditions. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, my family has a “standard” menu woven from a few of my childhood favorites and tweaked with things we have made our own.
One of our most treasured holiday traditions is our Christmas Eve “Book and Ornament” for our children.
After our meal, as we settle with cocoa, coffee and Christmas cookies as we gather for this gift exchange. The ornament we select is usually from a place we traveled to during the year and is a fun way to memorialize our time together. Many years, the ornaments are from Daufuskie, the real-life Mongin Island! In the years we moved to a new home, we gifted ornaments that celebrated this change.
The book is a very thoughtful selection and is one that reflects something that has been impactful for each of my children. Some years, the book may be on a topic in which they expressed interest. Sometimes it is just a way to show support for a life challenge and other times it is a way to celebrate an accomplishment!
I write a letter in each book and want them to have, in my handwriting, the words we all need to hear, perhaps: “I love you, I treasure you, I believe in you, I am proud of you. You have so much to offer the world. You are incredible. I am grateful for you.”
At this point in my life, I have had more holidays without my parents than I had with them. Some of my greatest treasures are the notes and cards they gave me, knowing they, at one time, held this same piece of paper in their hands and chose it just for me. So I love knowing my children will always have these messages from us commemorating all the things we share.
Thank you to those who have connected with me, sent me messages, and visited with me at my recent All Is Now Lost events. I love hearing your stories about your holiday traditions! I am always wrapped in gratitude to hear how many things we have in common and how many new and interesting things I can learn about other cultures from you.
Thank you to the reader I met this weekend at a South Carolina book signing event who shared her recipe for ‘Bûche de Noël’ (also known as a yule log cake)! When living in Virginia, I purchased one every year from a local baker, but I am now inspired to try to bake my own this year—stay tuned!
Wishing you joy, peace, and lots of island magic!
All the best,
P.S. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others who may want to experience some island magic. I would love to meet new friends and I thank you for being on this journey with me!
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