Tag Archives: christmas

The Season:Its Essence & Me Featuring Piper Huguley

Wrapping up the series with another wonderful author Piper Huguley. I describe her as the historical romance princess. LOL. I have never been drawn to historical romance until I read her work. Let’s see what the season means to her. Remember share & comment to be entered to win one of Piper’s books.

Unoma & Friends Presents (7)

As I grow older, I have learned to appreciate family at Christmas. What comes to mind for me at the holiday is how Mary and Joseph marveled at the birth of the Baby Jesus. Even in the meekest of circumstances, they came together and enjoyed one another. So the lesson that I take from that long-ago Christmas is how God wants us to come together. So I make plans to enjoy my family as much as possible. After all in the Christmas story, the Wise Men and their presents came later. To me, that means for me that the gift giving is less important than the renewing of familial bonds.

With the loss of both my mother and grandmother over the past few years, I am resolved to make all of my Christmases be about the renewing the bonds of love in a family. There are many, many ways to create family as well. So, I also like to imagine the various ways people are, hopefully, enjoying one another’s company over the holiday. One of the most touching commercials I’ve seen this year is the one with the young boy who invites the elderly neighbor over to Christmas dinner. That little boy knew the true spirit of the holiday. I hope other people reach out and invite people into their lives. The bonds of connection matter a great deal and I think it may be one of the reason I write romance. Romance is the genre that is all about the creation off a family unit.

My Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Piper-Huguley/e/B00L76Z34E/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Blog: http://piperhuguley.com
Facebook: Piper Huguley
Twitter: @piperhuguley

This marks the end of the series.I hope you have enjoyed meeting those I consider friends & sisters.

Be Blessed

Unoma

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The Season:Its Essence& Me Featuring Abimbola Dare

Hey everyone!! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance. There was a break in transmission last week, that was because I was trying to wrap up the year and head on vacation. Well we are back and this week you’;; get two post and I will be wrapping up the season. I am giving away a Christmas story for one lucky winner who share and comments on the post. Introducing to you…my sister scribe Abimbola Dare..I know her as Bims…enjoy.

Unoma & Friends Presents (6)

A cock crows in the fields beyond my grandfather’s compound. Another follows, and soon a symphony of crows fill the air. The early morning wind carries the sound into my grandma’s bedroom; where I laugh and twirl in front of the mirror, as my yellow dotted Christmas dress swirls in response.
There is a white hat on my head. Its edges are like the blades of the dusty ceiling fan above Grandma’s bed. It is held in place by a white elastic band, knotted at the ends so that it secures the hat firmly. I tug the discomfort out of the elastic band; and curtsy. My smile is framed by lips glistened with Vaseline, my face a snowy color from too many dabs of dusting powder.
I look like the 7 year old Princess that I am.
I turn around, but Grandma’s eyes are still closed, her lips moving without sound. I tap my feet on the floor. How long will it take her to wish Jesus happy birthday?
A moment passes. I hear the shuffle of feet downstairs. My cousins are awake. There is a shout from someone. A bark of laughter. The house is filling up.
“Hurry and finish grandma,” I whisper. I dare not interrupt her conversations with Jesus.
My older cousins would soon bound upstairs to Grandma’s room to say good morning and Merry Christmas.
There is an undeclared competition between us.
The first to greet Grandma “Merry Christmas” would get the chunkiest chicken thigh from the specially cooked pot of stew, and an extra helping of Grandma’s jollof rice. I had crept out of my parent’s bed in the opposite room at the crack of dawn just so I could get here first.
Of course I couldn’t resist a stop at Grandma’s long standing mirror to take a peek at my reflection. The mirror doubles as a photo frame: there are pictures tucked in at odd angles into the edges, pictures of Grandma’s children, of my cousins and I, of Grandma without the grey hair and wrinkle encrusted face.
Finally, grandma throws her hands in the air and shouts Halleluyah seven times before she notices me.
“Abimbola.” Grandma calls my name and then she launches into my Oriki, a string of praise names in profound Yoruba that has never made sense to me.
“Merry Christmas Grandma!” I say, cutting her off and jumping into her lap. “I said it first oh!” I remind her in a warning tone. “When sister Titi and Deyo come up to greet you, let them know I said it first. Because that chicken is for me. Okay?”
She frowns, and I raise my voice and repeat myself. Grandma is partially deaf.
She pulls me into her ample bosom and replies me in Yoruba. “You said it first! Abimbola is first! No one can take that chicken from you. Not even—”
The door busts open and my cousins tumble in. Behind them, my older brother, Yemi, the tallest of the lot, on the cusp of teenage hood, strolls with a gait that makes me think a quarter of his left leg has been chopped off.
“Merry Christmas Grandma!” My cousins cry, running into grandma and pressing their faces into hers, kissing spots on her cheeks.
“Yeah Grandma,” Yemi says. “Merry Christmas.” His voice seems to have been soaked in beer overnight. It is deep, with a slur that doesn’t suit him. He bows slightly. He thinks it is uncool to hug anyone.
My mother would have stung him with a backhand slap and asked him to prostrate.
Grandma only beams at him. “Yemi handsome!” she teases and he ducks his head, embarrassed.
“Who said it first Grandma?” Sister Titi asks, pushing her glasses up her nose. “Who wished you merry Christmas first?” Sister Titi is the eldest of the lot and my favourite cousin. She always has a fistful of Buttermint and Choco Milo sweets for me.
“I did!” Sister Deyo says. She shouts too loudly, perhaps because of Grandma’s partial deafness.
“Abimbola did,” Grandma says and there is a collective groan and murmur of how it is unfair that I got to sleep in my parent’s room opposite Grandma’s.
In response, I wiggle my bum in a victory dance. I had beat them to it again this year. Just like I did last year.
After a round of prayers with Grandma, my cousins and I trudge downstairs, and settle into grandpa’s sofa. My father slots in a VHS cassette of The Sound of Music into the video player, which nobody watches. Uncles and aunties begin to trickle in, bearing wads of Naira in sealed envelopes and tucking them into our tiny palms. We squeal out our thanks, and promptly submit the money to our parents. Then we return to the table to eat like we’ve been starved for an era; and then dash outside to play with knockouts.
Night falls, and one of the aunties calls us back into the house. We sit at grandma’s feet as she begins to tell us a story of her life as a youth, of her experiences, of a time when sounds were clear and she didn’t have to ask people to repeat themselves. In a corner, the other adults engage in meaningless arguments about Nigeria’s bad administration, and the rising price of oil.
Grandma finishes her story with a yawn. That night, I sleep next to grandma, tuck my arms into the folds of her flesh and dream of a land filled with dolls and pretty things.
The next morning, I return home with my parents, teary eyed, but filled with hope that the next year would be a repeat performance.
And so it was until Grandma passed away. Then Christmas fizzled into drab afternoons watching muted TV shows, into forced visits to my father’s important and boring friends who did nothing but drink pepper soup all day and send me on errands to refill empty bottles of Stout. Christmas fizzled into just another day.
Many years have passed but these memories linger: recollections of a Christmas that tingled with laughter…. that carried the smell of home, of earth, of Lagos. Memories that decades abroad cannot erase or replicate…memories of Christmas with my beloved Grandma.
That is the Christmas I remember, the Christmas I cherish.

Hope you enjoyed Abimbola…please follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/bimbylads/

Be Blessed

Unoma

 

 

The Season:Its Essence & Me featuring Theresa A. Campbell

Hey…14 more days until Christmas!!! Are you ready? Well let me tell you a secret, I haven’t bought even wrapping paper…work is crazy and I have writing deadlines…BUT yep there is a BUT, come Christmas day,my family would be happy. I’m not stressing mama going to work it out somehow.

I hope you have been enjoying my friends. Well today allow me to introduce Theresa A. Campbell. I’ve met so many kind, fabulous people on my journey and she is one of them…enjoy

Unoma & Friends Presents (5)
Many Moons Ago, December 24th, Clarendon, Jamaica, West Indies

As I stood in front of the small dresser mirror that night, applying a final touch to my

hair, tweaking the front a little to one side, and fluffing up the top for a higher puff, there was a wide grin on my face. My heart danced happily in my chest in anticipation. It was Grand Market night!

Finally finished dressing, I gave myself another quick rundown from head to toe– from the short, greasy, Jheri Curl hair with faded sides, to the Vaseline shiny lips. Next was the bright,“shocking” color orange and black pants suit that I picked up from the seamstress that evening: a short-sleeved top, with the matching pants that were small at the waist, flared out at the hip and small at the ankle. The look was complete with my black patent shoes. I was ready to hit the road, and I dare anyone to tell me I wasn’t the bomb! LOL.

Moments later I arrived in the Square and connected with my friends. It was time to get the Christmas celebration started! Young and old, man and woman, boys and girls, there were people everywhere. Booming Reggae music bellowed from big speaker boxes as merry hips, waists and feet moved to the beat. Loud laughter and animated chatter permeated the air. Our noses were tickled by the sweet smelling aroma from the well seasoned jerk chicken in the large pans with thick puffs of smoke, the mannish water (goat head) soup, roasted and boiled corns, and other delicious Jamaican food. It was a very festive night with all neighboring communities coming together to have a good time.

The next day was Christmas Day. It was quiet and relaxing in comparison to the night before, with soothing Christmas carols playing on the radio, and our grandfather reminding my brother, cousin and me of the true meaning of the day; it was Jesus’ birthday.

So even though it has been a long since I celebrated Christmas in Jamaica, I still reminisce on some of those happy memories from my childhood as I now create new ones filled with love, joy and laughter with my loved ones. But most importantly I never forget the reason for the season: Our Lord was born! Joy to the world indeed!

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday,

Theresa A. Campbell

http://www.amazon.com/Theresa-A.-Campbell/e/B00HIK0CCQ/

Until next week where I bring you another author friend…have a good one. Remember, comment and you win an ebook. Winner will be chosen 12/18 @5pm EST

Be blessed

Unoma

Join my exclusive community here

The Season: Its Essence & Me featuring Faith Simone

Hey there!

This is later than usual but there was a break in transmission. Well now we got that squared away… I’d like to introduce you to Faith Simone. Faith has always been my Facebook buddy, we both write Christian fiction and support each other. But you see nothing moves friendship up a notch than when you go to that person’s city and she is a gracious host and crowns it off by taking you to a hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint…I mean what more can I say….anyway introducing Faith Simone.

Unoma & Friends Presents (4)

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Faith Simone

Christmas is a time of year when being with the ones you love is all that matters. It’s good food, animated conversations, smiling faces and sincere expressions of affection in the form of cards and gifts.

Gifts. The one part of Christmas that gets the most attention. Somewhere along the way, many people have confused the act of buying a gift with the true meaning of Christmas. What is billed as the most wonderful time of the year becomes a time when stress levels increase with the same intensity and speed as bank accounts decrease. The consumerism of our culture crowds out the sweetness of this season’s original intent.

We have to be careful and diligent about shifting our focus away from catching that sale, solidifying that deal, and shopping until we drop. If stress tries to come knocking at your door this holiday season, kindly mark it “Return to Sender”. Take time to remember what the tradition of gift giving symbolizes: a celebration of the birth of Christ.

My motto is simple: spend more time than money. Make that phone call. Send that card. Watch the cheesy Christmas movie. Take those cookies to your job and bring a smile to your co-worker’s faces.

Christmas is a reminder of new beginnings and hope for a fallen world. It’s the perfect time to reflect and count your blessings. It’s a time for extra kindness, charitable acts of love, and renewed faith.

That’s what truly makes it the most wonderful time of the year.

Website:

http://www.faithsimone.com

Facebook:

http://facebook.com/AuthorFaithSimone

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/FaithSimone2011

Goodreads

http://goodreads.com/FaithSimone

Google+

https://www.google.com/+FaithSimone

Amazon Author Page

amazon.com/author/faithsimone

I hope you enjoyed this piece. Faith is giving away an e copy of her debut novel, When the Real Thing Comes Along but you know what you have to do…share & comment to be eligible to win. Winner will be announced 5pm EST 12/11

Blessing

Unoma

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