Christmas…Then and Now

It’s funny, but when you’re a kid Christmas is like the best day of the year (well, besides your birthday). And it’s magic, and Santa comes, and it’s all wonderful. But as you get older, things change. But the changes aren’t always bad:

1) Cooking. If you’re spoiled like me, you’ve never had to make a full Christmas dinner. But over time, I’ve had to take on some of the cooking for my mom who’s getting older. One year very recently she was too ill to make a Thanksgiving dinner, leaving me to make a very bare-bones dinner for my hubby and I. Everyone who knows me knows I hate cooking with a passion. But cooking with my mom is entirely different. One, I learn things. Two, we spend time together. And that’s really important as I grow older — taking time to be with the people I love. You never know how much time you or any one else you love will get, so every minute is precious. And, it’s all about helping take the load off of her — she’s not twenty anymore, and honestly needs my help. So, being the good daughter I am, I freely give my help. (Someday, it’ll just be me, and I hope those days are in the far, far future).

2) Stress. This may seem like a negative, but it really isn’t. I tend to stress out because I simply care. I care to take the time to pick out good gifts for …

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Changeling: The Faerie Shadow

Part 3: The Faerie Shadow
a free fantasy serial by Erin Zarro

Links to: Part 1 and  Part 2

Morning came, sunlight streaming through the windows of the palace. As I made my way to a formal breaking of the fast in the banquet room, I saw her in the shadows.

She was insubstantial, never in the light, and moved too quickly for me to track.

But she was there. I knew it.

I was barely awake yet, and Sorcha and some courtiers were discussing Faerie politics as I sat down in my place at her right side.

Ronan was already there.

“So, are there anyone new to Court?” I asked Ronan quietly as I lifted my spoon. It was filled with some sort of honey concoction and I realized the sleeve of my dress was practically trailing into my food. Oops.

“I’m not sure. Why do you ask?” Ronan chuckled and gently moved my long silken sleeve away.

The honey-thing went down smoothly. Almost too smoothly. Wasn’t there a legend that said if you ate Faerie food you’d never be satisfied with human food ever again?

Why was I thinking that? I was a Faerie princess; I wasn’t human.

“Aisling?” Ronan asked.

I blinked at him, startled. “Oh. Uh…well, I keep seeing someone in the shadows.”

Ronan’s eyes narrowed. “Probably just your imagination.”

“But I’m sure…”

“Aisling, did you sleep well, dear?” Sorcha broke in, giving me a bright smile. She …

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