Christmas Lights

Once again, the holiday season is upon us. Time to shop, cook, sing, wrap presents, send out cards. Oh, and one more thing...the traditional drive around town to look at the Christmas lights. Here's a typical excursion.


Christmas Lights

It happens every year. December comes. Soon, colored lights blossom all over town. Inevitably, on a cold, frosty evening, one of us suggests, "Let's take a drive and look at the Christmas lights." Why, I don't know. Here's how it usually goes.

Dan: Who wants to take a drive to see the Christmas lights?

Heather and Mike: I do! I do!

Dan: Okay, let's get bundled up.

Coats, hats, mittens, boots, and other miscellaneous items of apparel are rooted out and donned, while Liz stuffs the baby into her bunting.

Mike: I need help! I need help!

Liz: Mike, you can zip your own coat. I'm busy dressing Helen.

Mike: No, I can't!

Liz: Yes, you can. You're a big boy.

Mike bursts into tears. With an exasperated sigh, Liz zips his coat. The tears stop instantly.

Dan: Is everybody ready? Okay, kids, go get into your car-seats.

There is a mad scramble for the door. A scream goes up.

Heather: Mike pushed past me!

Mike: No, I didn't.

Heather: Yes, you did! I wanted to open the door! I was there first!

Mike: No, you weren't.

During all of this, Liz has been gently saying, "Take it easy. Not so loud. Don't get upset." Eventually she bursts out, "Be quiet! So what if you didn't get to open the door?!?"

With a growl, she shepherds the children out the door with one arm, carrying the baby in her other arm. The noise subsides. Finally, everyone is in the car and the ride commences.

Heather: Daddy, I'm cold.

Dan: The heater is on. It takes a while to warm up.

Heather: But I'm cold!

Dan: So is everyone.

Heather's complaints dwindle to mutters.

Liz: Look at those pretty lights over there.

Heather and Mike: Where? Where?

Liz: Look out Heather's window.

Heather: I see them.

Mike: I can't see! Where?

Liz: It's too late. You missed them.

Heather: *I* saw the lights, Mike.

Liz: That's not nice, Heather.

After a moment, Dan says: Look over there. I see Santa!

Heather and Mike: Where? Where?

Dan: Look out Mike's window.

The baby wails. Liz looks into the back seat: Mike, leave Helen alone.

Mike: But I can't see!

Liz: Well, if you can't look out the window without leaning on Helen,

then we'll have to go home.

Mike starts his famous "fake cry."

Dan: Be quiet, Mike.

There is a short silence.

Heather: Mommy, look at the pretty lights on my side.

Liz: Yes, they are pretty, aren't they?

Mike: Where?

Liz: We're past them now. Look at those up there.

Mike: Where? Where?

Liz: Up there...Mike, out my window. Look where I'm pointing! Right there!

She stabs the windshield with her index finger. Mike continues to stare out the opposite side of the car.

Liz: Never mind. You missed them.

More sniffles. Then they stop suddenly.

Mike: Daddy, look at the lights on my side!

Dan: Very nice, Mike.

Heather: Look at my lights!

Mike: Look at mine!

Heather: No, look at mine!

Dan and Liz: Shut up!!!

There is a moment of astonished silence.

Dan: All right. Nobody talks. Just look out the windows, and be quiet.

Heather and Mike, meekly: Okay, Daddy.

After a moment, Helen starts to cry.

Liz: I guess we'd better head home.

Dan: It won't hurt her to cry.

Liz: Well gosh, Dan, *she* can't see any of the lights. It's hardly fair.

Dan: All right! All right! We'll go home!

He screeches into a U-turn in the middle of the street, mumbling: I don't know why we do this every year.

Liz turns away, folds her arms deliberately and mutters: Neither do I.

The Delisis ride home in silence.

This is the way it runs every year. You'd think by now we'd learn...What's that? Oh, sorry, I have to run. It's time to go out and look at the Christmas lights.

© Elizabeth Delisi ~

If you've made it this far, here's a traditional  Christmas cookie recipe for you to enjoy. Happy Holidays!


Hungarian Kifli

Place 3 cups all-purpose flour in large bowl. Work into flour 1 cup butter, chilled and cut in pieces, using pastry cutter or fork. Add gradually 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten; 1 1/2 tbsp. cream; and 2 tsp. grated lemon peel.

Mixture will be crumbly. Gather dough into a ball. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Working with hands, squeeze dough until well blended.

With palms of hands, shape dough into smooth roll. Slice into 48 pieces. (If dough is too soft and sticky to handle, chill for a short time.) Shape pieces into balls.

Lightly sprinkle a small area of working surface with confectioners' sugar. Roll one ball at a time into a circle about 1/16 inch thick. Spread dough with 2 teaspoons of Solo fruit filling in your choice of flavor. (Or use several different flavors and make assorted cookies.) Gently lifting nearest edge, roll; shape into crescent by curving ends of roll slightly.

Place crescent onto cookie sheet lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, with overlapping edge underneath. Brush crescents with slightly beaten egg. Bake at 375 degrees 15 to 20 minutes; remove to cooling racks. Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Delisi, author of "Lady of the Two Lands." Read all about it here:


Preorder your copy of "A Fairy's Quest" today!

Please help me welcome author Maya Tyler, and check out her latest book, A FAIRY'S QUEST. Welcome, Maya! Tell us about magic, and your newest book.

 * * *



What the world needs now is magic. Even in the darkest days of human history, somehow we persevere. We are a resilient species who can believe in something bigger than ourselves. See a broader picture. A future beyond the now. Whether it’s religion or nature or science. Maybe it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Maybe it’s magic.

For centuries, magic was the explanation given for anything beyond the comprehension of the current contemporaries. And magical creatures, like fairies, were as often blamed for misfortune as they were credited for good fortune.

A few years ago, I embarked on a magical journey of my own. The Magicals Series was born. The first two books featured vampires and wizards. And my latest release, A Fairy’s Quest, features—you guessed it—fairies.

Do you believe in magic?

A 1990’s McDonald’s commercial featured a song with that title. I still remember the lyrics. It banked on the hope that children believe in magic, ergo, a visit to McDonald’s would be a magical experience. This wasn’t the only McDonald’s commercial to incorporate a magical theme. An ad from 1985 entitled “Disappearing Burgers” portrayed the Hamburglar, with a magic kit, using magic tricks to steal the burgers and Ronald bringing them back with a magic trick of his own.

I believe in magic. Not just the kind magicians perform, but the magic you can find anywhere. It’s the sunshine after the rainstorm. Spring after a long, cold winter. Day following night. I equate magic with hope. And, after the year we had—and are still having—with the COVID pandemic, a little hope is just what the world needs.


Author Maya Tyler is excited about her upcoming paranormal romance novel, A Fairy’s Quest, Book Three in The Magicals Series, coming from Tirgearr Publishing on April 6, 2021. A Fairy’s Quest is available for pre-order now.

Also available:

The Magicals Series

A Vampire’s Tale

A Wizard’s Choice


New York had Broadway. LA had Hollywood. Chicago had magic.


            During the Golden Age of Magic, descendants of The Anunnaki sought refuge in the City of Magic.


            Five years ago, fairy princess Alina Lehrer played the role of dutiful daughter until, in a single act of rebellion, she broke her arranged marriage agreement with David Laurent and destroyed a powerful alliance between their families. She fears her mother will hold it against her until she fulfils her familial duty—to reclaim the fairy crown that had been stolen from them more than a century ago.


            Now, the usurper to the throne is dead, thus ending the fairy-wizard feud. It is time to reclaim the throne, and ultimately the stolen crown. But happily-ever-after seems as far away as ever for Alina. She is still heartbroken after the rejection of her first love and is still healing from a near-death trauma. She must push aside her personal feelings and find a way to confront her demons in order for her to complete her quest.


            Rylan Jackson, codename Orion, has an impeccable record as a trained assassin for The Royal Court of Fairies. As The Court's most trusted asset, he always gets the job done. Until his target is Alina, the one woman he can’t resist.


            Fate has placed Alina and Rylan on opposing sides in a world of deception and betrayal. Where truth is ambiguous. Where loyalties war with affection. Where there are no coincidences.


            But Alina has the power to change her destiny and soon learns Fate is not set in stone.



Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, listening to music, practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.


You can find Maya on the web at the following locations:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog




            I’m going to Paris, the city of love. Maybe I’ll even have a passionate love affair.


            Alina jerked her head up at the sound of the stranger’s lilting French accent. “Hello.” Hello, handsome. Did my imagination conjure this hunk?

            “First trip to Paris?” His pronunciation of “pah-rhee” rolled off his tongue like


            “Yes.” Alina twisted in her seat to get a better look. Her perceptive eyes sized up

her companion. He was a gorgeous specimen of a man. Dark brown, shaggy hair. Hypnotic brown eyes. Strong jawline. Just a hint of stubble, like he had shaved that morning. Stop staring. “What gave it away?”

            “The guidebook in your tote?”

            “Yeah. That’ll do it.”

            “Business or pleasure?”

            Alina flashed him a suspicious “you’re a stranger, I’m not telling you anything” look.

            He threw his arms up in mock defeat. “I am Rylan Jackson.” He extended his hand.

            “A—” Wait a minute. I don’t need to give him a real name. It’s a good time as any to try on a new persona. “Allie.” She picked an alias, not so different than her real name, before reaching out to shake his hand. His hand was warm, rough, like he used his hands to make a living. Touching him sent a buzz of awareness swirling through her body.

            “Now, we are friends, oui?”

            His sultry smile disarmed her objections to the friendly conversation. It can’t hurt to flirt a little while I wait for my flight. It’ll be good practice.

            “I suppose.” Alina ran her fingers through her hair. “What brought you to Chicago?”


            He emphasized the word, rolling off his tongue like a promise. The air around her heated up, almost to the point of stifling. Oh, my. Resisting the urge to fan her face or pull at her collar, she took a sip from her water bottle. I have no words.

            “Now, you. Are you traveling for business or pleasure?”

            “I guess… pleasure. I needed to get away for a few days.”

            “And you plan to take in the sights? Oui? The Eiffel Tower? The Louvre Museum? Versailles, perhaps?”

            “That’s the plan.”

            “Do you need a guide?”

            “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve seen that movie, and I know how it ends.”


            “Girl goes to Paris. Meets guy at the airport. Girl gets kidnapped and sold as a sex slave.” Her cheeks flushed an impossible shade of red. “Not that I’m insinuating—”

            “You are smart to be wary of strangers.” His face hardened, turning his chiseled jaw into pure stone. “I should not have suggested—”

            An announcement over the PA system listed several delayed flights.

            Alina glanced at her ticket and rolled her eyes. “Looks like we’re gonna be here for a while.”

            “Would you join me for a café?”

            I don’t know him. I should say no. She bit her bottom lip in consternation. Come on, Alina. It’s just coffee… What’s the harm?

 * * * 

Preorder your copy of "A Fairy's Quest" today!