Review: A Cotillion County Christmas

TITLE: A Cotillion Country Christmas

AUTHORS: Carolynn Carey, Amy Corwin, Barbara Miller, Cynthia Moore

PUBLISHER: Cerridwen Press

LENGTH: Anthology (roughly 70k)

GENRE: Historical romance

COST: $7.99

A collection of four romance novellas within the holiday period, set in the Regency English countryside...

I have to admit upfront, historicals are not my genre of choice. I’m not a history buff, and the periods that do intrigue me are very specific. The period of English history as specified in this anthology isn’t of any particular interest to me, but I was a fan of one of the authors and bought this specifically to read her work. It’s hard to admit, then, that the anthology as a whole, including the novella I was highly anticipating, is a rather disappointing presentation.

Thoroughly Modern Crafting--Phillipa Grey-Gerou

We’ve all gotten them—the scratchy gloves, the lumpy scarves, the sweaters with one arm longer than the other. In our family, my grandmother was notorious for starting Christmas presents and then giving them to us unfinished. To this day, incomplete Christmas gifts are called Nana presents, even though my kids never got any from her.

If this is what you think of when you hear “knitting”, though, it’s time to move your crafting sensibilities into the twenty-first century.

Cuban Christmas Eve

Cuban Christmas Eve Dinner.

Christmas in Cuba has had its ups and downs over the last few decades. What was long one of the most festive days of the year for the Cuban people went underground in 1962, when Cuba officially became an atheist country, and Christmas was no longer celebrated as an official holiday. For many years, public displays of Christmas decorations were banned. However, President Castro restored the holiday in 1997, in honor of a visit from Pope John Paul II, and it is now becoming a joyous and festive holiday once again.

Christmas Eve is the important day of celebration for the Cuban people, and one of the most cherished traditions in Cuba is Christmas Eve dinner, which has a very specific menu, prepared by Cubans everywhere. After dinner, many go to Midnight Mass and exchange gifts. My father in law was born and raised in Cuba, and Christmas Eve dinner was one tradition that he made sure to pass on to the next, American generation of his family. He is no longer with us, but we continue to enjoy this delicious meal every Christmas Eve.

'Twas The Night-Fiction by Manuel Royal

I remember sunlight, but not what it feels like. I know it was warm on my face. Up at the 'Shop, the Sun edged down beneath the horizon by October, and then it was dark, and it's dark tonight and always will be dark.
Cities pass below me, broad swathes of light splayed out along the coastlines or plains. Closer, I see street grids, blocks of houses, blocks of roofs. And chimneys, the world is full of them. In the most modern cities, houses with central heating nevertheless sport chimneys.

Rudolph's Shiny New Year (And Existentialistic Crises)

I've never seen Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer. I'm not sure why. Maybe CBS traditionally scheduled it on Monday nights, and we only watched football on Monday nights in my family. Maybe my parents hated us. It's hard to say. I never felt like I was missing out on anything, though, and I don't really have any desire to rectify the situation. Besides that, we all know the story by now. But I bet you guys didn't know that there's another Rudolph-themed film. One I used to watch quite regularly. It's from 1976, and it's called Rudolph's Shiny New Year, and it's one of Red Skelton's very last performances. Despite the fact that it's a Rankin-Bass film, like the first one, when the movie does a flashback to explain Rudolph's tumultuous past, it does not use clips from the first one. In fact, the story is told with new animation to accompany the famous song. Due to that, there's actually no connection between the first movie and its apparent sequel.

Before I start discussing the movie itself, I want to give you a taste of its, well, insanity. This is a 20 second commercial for ABC's "newest" Holiday classic.

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