12/29/14, Whew, We Made It!

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been thinking about you over the holidays, hoping that all was going well for you, and that your holidays went smoothly, and weren’t difficult, too challenging, or disappointing. I hope they were fun, even better than you hoped. And I hope that Santa was good to you!!

I had a lovely Christmas with my kids, short but very sweet. We came from as far away as 6,000 miles (me, from Paris), to be together. Three of my younger kids flew out from New York, one from Chicago, one from LA, others were already in California. With a family this size, it’s a major feat to get everyone together. And everything went according to plan. I am always particularly grateful when none of us get snowed in somewhere. Two years ago, my plane was the last flight out of Paris in a snow storm, and 2 days later, mine was the last flight out of New York in another snowstorm, before they closed the airport. But I made it home that year too. This time of year, the weather can be dicey, and with 4 of them flying in from the East Coast, I was relieved once everyone got home. And I always cut it very close, as I am with one daughter in New York every year on her birthday on December 18th, and the next day, I fly back to California for a holiday party I give. I haven’t missed it yet, but it could happen. Anyway, I made it home on time this year.

The time we actually spend ALL together has gotten very short: we were only all here for 3 days together this year, which doesn’t leave much margin for error. It doesn’t leave time to catch up if you have a bad day, miss a flight, or have a headache. But I am enormously grateful that they still all come home despite busy lives, demanding jobs, living in other cities, and significant others who are welcome to spend the holidays with us, but often need or want to be somewhere else. So I’m sure that my kids feel pulled, wanting to be home with me and their brothers and sisters, and wanting to be with their partners too. We had a lunch for Santa and little children. Another lunch for the people who work for me, which was a lot of fun. And we always have a family dinner on Christmas Eve, which is the high point of our Christmas together. We go to the same children’s mass first, in the same church where we have gone since they were born. There are lots of little children, and everyone sings Christmas carols, and then we come home for dinner. Our table used to be full with all nine kids, and my children’s father always joined us, even once we were no longer married. He was an important part of our Christmas celebrations. My three oldest married children no longer join us on Christmas Eve, and have dinner at their own homes that night, or with their in laws, so our ranks have been thinned out. Their father, and my late son Nick are no longer with us, and we feel their absence sharply that night. So that night, I have dinner with the 5 younger of my children, and their significant others when they’re around, if they have any. Santa still drops in for a visit, and everyone tells him what they want for Christmas. And at the end of dinner we play The White Elephant game (we play it at my staff Christmas luncheon too. I got a first aid kit this year and love it). It’s a funny game, everyone brings a gift, and we put them in a pile. Each person selects a gift, and you’re allowed to ‘steal’ it twice from someone else if you like it. And the gifts can get pretty outrageous. My youngest son flatly refused to give up his Chewbacca back pack last year (he swore he was going to wear it to work!!). I got a somewhat naughty Santa sweater this year at our family dinner, and managed to hang onto it, and I wore it on Christmas Day!! We had fun playing the game, played Christmas music, and enjoyed being together. And the challenge for me that night is remembering how grateful I am for my children around the table, and not thinking back to those who are no longer with us, and when our Christmas table was loud and boisterous, with many more people around it, John, Nick, and my older children. I have to force my mind to the present, and focus on now, and not remember the happy times when they were all little kids. These holidays together are precious too, and happy, even if everyone is grown up now.

On Christmas morning, we open presents and hang around together in pajamas, we have lunch around the kitchen table, eating left overs from the night before. And at 6pm, EVERYONE comes home for a Christmas night dinner, my older married kids, the younger children, and even some of their in laws, and little children. It’s a busy, loud, boisterous dinner that night, more like the old days. And I totally envied one of my daughters in law, who arrived for dinner beautifully dressed, but her feet hurt so much after countless holiday parties, so she wore her bedroom slippers: the cozy fleece lined kind—-I wanted to rip them right off her feet and put them on. She was the only woman in the room whose feet didn’t hurt, tottering in high heels, after days of celebrations!!! It was a really nice dinner, and everyone had a good time.

Christmas ended quickly this year, with all of them having pulls in their own life now. My youngest married daughter wanted to be at home with us, but her husband didn’t come, so she left at 5am on Christmas morning, to fly back to New York, and have Christmas dinner with him. She managed to keep everyone happy, him, and the family, and sacrificed herself getting up at 4am on Christmas Day and spending the day on the plane. Another daughter left at 6am the day after Christmas, to join her boyfriend and his family on a trip. So it was a beautiful holiday, but the time together was short. They used to spend a week or two at home over Christmas, and we had the luxury of time together. Now, it was all over in three days. But they were three wonderful days. I can’t complain when they make such a huge effort to get home at all, and it was wonderful to be together. As one of my friends reminds me regularly when I think or talk about the past. “That was then, this is now”. And she’s right. And now was wonderful this year, even if the time we spend together is short. They make a huge effort to be here at all.

I got lovely presents from all of them, and tried hard to find things they like. The girls love to get clothes, and with three of them working in fashion, it is REALLY hard to find things that the designers they work for didn’t design, they didn’t design themselves, or haven’t seen for 6 to 9 months before they appeared in the stores. But I think everyone was happy with what they got. I always love the sentimental stuff, a pillow with “Momma” embroidered on it, and a little gold bracelet with “Momma” on it, a wonderful carved book from one son, (a box made of typewriter keys!!), a beautiful bracelet from two daughters who teamed up, and a delicate ring that spells out the word “Mom”, and shoes are always a winner with me, and I got some great ones!! (pink suede flats, red high heels, black flats with sparkles on them, sandals with wooden soles for the summer, ‘camouflage’ flats—-I love shoes and they all know it!!!). And I got a beautiful little portrait of my little blue gray Chihuahua, “Blue”, who is Minnie’s baby sister. (I already have a lovely portrait of Minnie!!)

So we made it through, it was a lovely, warm, loving holiday. We will always remember those who are no longer here, and feel their absence. But the good times buoy our spirits and outweigh the losses…..and as my friend says, That was Then, this is Now. And it was a lovely Christmas this year, they were home for a few days, and I cherish my time with them. I hope your holidays were good too….and they are behind us now. We can look ahead to the New Year. And for the first time ever, I’ve decided not to do anything on New Year’s Eve. I don’t like going out that night, my children are all busy or away. None of the invitations I got felt right, many of my close friends are away. So I’m going spend it at my typewriter, and work right through. It feels like the perfect way to spend New Year’s Eve this year…..writing!!! Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and be careful if you’re driving or on the road. And I wish you a fantastic new year, of health, peace, prosperity and happiness. May all your wishes and dreams come true in the new year!! (and mine too!!)

I send you all my love, Danielle

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41 Comments so far
  1. Stella Ann December 29, 2014 1:21 pm

    Wishing you a wonderful New Year. Thank you for your Blog. I too felt the losses of loved one’s this year. I’ll remember “that was then and this is now”. Best Wishes. Stella Ann

  2. Teresa Cunha December 31, 2014 5:09 am

    I’m glad you had a nice Christmas. I had too, although, at a certain point it didn’t seemed it would be good, but as they say “Is not how it starts is how it ends”, and with a pass of magic, everybody managed to be on time to Christmas Eve’s dinner and have a great time and enjoy all the gifts.
    I’m not a fan of New Year’s Eve festivities, just stay at home and watch a movie or so, at midnight my parents and I get together and wish each other a good year and that’s it.
    Wish you a very happy 2015 and may all your dreams and wishes come true.

  3. Terri December 31, 2014 7:01 pm

    Happy New Year. I too enjoy staying in for New Years Eve. My husband and I along with our two college age kids, ordered Chinese food and are watching a movie all in the comfort of our home. It’s -7 outside right now, so going out in that type of weather doesn’t even sound inviting.
    Enjoy your quiet time and writing. It’s important to have our down time and just “be “.
    Blessing to you D,
    Terri Blau , Savage, Minnesota

  4. Carol January 1, 2015 12:46 pm

    Dear Danielle,
    Its me Carol in So. Calif…who sometimes blogs to you..who has collected all your wonderful books right up to date, except for the Poems and the Childrens Books of Old..
    thank you for a lovely Blog and sharing…FAMILY…
    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALSO DANIELLE…I know you do not usually do Book Signings, but wish you would, just once,close to your area, or in So. Calif. I would love to meet you in person someday, finally.
    Looking forward to your next Book out, while I start to read Pegasus..

  5. Ben Lunt January 2, 2015 7:10 am

    Dear Ms. Steel,

    I know that asking such a question as I am about to is odd, unusual, to be sure, but I am of the opinion if you want to know, ask.

    For these many years I have greatly enjoyed writing tall tales in the Science Fiction genre, working always to improve the skills and story lines. As I near a time when self publishing seems a viable option, my new task involves other skills, all new to me, and apparently harder to acquire than a first glance indicates.

    There are many people newly involved in the practices of book design, editing and so forth, all cleverly and strategically positioned to gather what income they can from aspiring writers. For enough money, they assure me they will transform my feeble efforts from laughable to literary perfection. The single missing element of a story worth telling is mysteriously missing from all their promotional materials and I am left with the feeling one gets while listening to hustlers in a pool hall, lawyers and used car salesmen. I am presently writing a short essay on the phenomenon entitled “Bears In The Stream.”

    It does not matter anyway; I am a recently disabled Veteran of the Viet Nam War and have no money for them to relieve me of anyway.

    Do forgive me for this long way ’round the barn, all for a single question, but I confess it is my hope to entertain you on the way so you might concede and give me the information I seek.

    Having become familiar with a good software and the skills needed to design a book, I jumped right in and made a mess of it, then slowly fixed it all up. It is very nice now, with one glaring exception. The fonts and ‘feel’ of the pages is not right. My work in that area is unsatisfactory and many attempts yielded little improvement.

    Off I went to book stores, libraries and bookshelves everywhere. It has been about two years now, looking for something which, in my opinion, was perfect. Yesterday, in the ‘free book exchange’ library in the boaters lounge in the marina where I am presently docked, I found your book “A Good Woman”. There were hundreds of other books there and I feel like I looked at half of them, always going back to your book. I have it on my boat right now and have gone through all the fonts on my computer and still cannot find the font.

    As you know, I will have to ‘buy’ the rights to the font I use, and I simple cannot afford to blunder through a labyrinth of costly errors. So, finally, we arrive at my question: What is the font used by Delacorte Press on your book “A Good Woman”?

    Believe me, I understand how abstract such a question is and hold little hope of an answer, but I have to ask.

    Thank you for your time and patience, Ben

  6. Joyce Bilodeau January 3, 2015 8:52 pm

    Oh Danielle, you did it again!! I just finished reading PEGASUS, I loved it, what an awesome story! You are amazing, I read it in two nights and felt like I was there the whole time!

    I love all your books and admire you so very much…
    Happy New Year to you and yours, may all your wishes come true…
    One of mine did which was a long time in coming,after having raised, bred and showed Old English Sheepdogs, My husband finally let me pick another one, after having lost my last one 7 long years ago! This will be my last one, im sure, so she is already very spoiled and only 6 mos old, I adore her and I know you are such an animal lover yourself so you understand How much she means to me! All the very best, Joyce Bilodeau

  7. bernadette estacio January 4, 2015 3:22 am

    Happy New Year Danielle!!!All the best for 2015..

  8. Sylvia January 6, 2015 12:24 pm

    Have a wonderful New Year

  9. Linda Wick January 6, 2015 12:27 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    You are an awesome lady and I enjoy all your books and christmas letters. It really is awesome to read about your life because it puts into perspective that you are a human being too and not an illusion we read about (if you get my drift). I have loved your stories forever and cant wait till the new ones come out, (write faster)lol. Keep ariting and have a great new year.

    Yours sincerely,

    Linda Wick

  10. Angel January 6, 2015 12:37 pm

    Great….how can I subscribe to your Blog? I would love to be able to receive on my e-mail. Happy New Year.

  11. Robin January 6, 2015 12:43 pm

    Hi Danielle, Thank you for sharing your holiday adventures, dinners, time with your kids. Was fun reading your blog. It does feel like the holidays went much faster this year. Glad to hear you got a chance to spend it with all your kids or most of them. And ur doggies too

  12. Irma Preston January 6, 2015 12:53 pm

    Greetings, I just started the book Pegasus, oh my God, as I truly enjoy all your nooks, have a blessed and prosperous New Year….

  13. Kimani Ngahu January 6, 2015 12:56 pm

    Wishing you a wonderful 2015. And thanks for sharing your Xmas and New year moments. Mine was simple, travelled to my rural home to spend the few days with my Mum. Enjoyed reading PEGASUS in the serene environment. Thanks for keeping me company since high school by way of your wonderful books. May God bless and keep you.

  14. Maznah Majid January 6, 2015 12:56 pm

    Wisjing you a Happy Prosperous New Year to you and your family. May God Always Put Us Under His Tender Care Always.

  15. Pat January 6, 2015 12:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing your family Christmas with your fans.
    As you lnow not all Christmas Days are special but after the loss of our most special ones we must enjoy this time with family and friends.

  16. Kathleen wood January 6, 2015 1:03 pm

    Hi danielle. I had a very nice Xmas in newport,Rhode island With my family and I enjoyed receiving your letter and picture which came along with my other Xmas cards.i wish you a very happy and healthy new year. We have kept in touch for over ten yrs.i have all your letters and cards.my brother Patrick Kennedy always spoke highly of you and beattie,for he did work for her years ago. All the best. Kathleen Kennedy wood

  17. Marja January 6, 2015 1:03 pm

    I like the way you write on your blog. Very positive.
    Although it was à short time with your family you are thankful for this.
    I also had à Nice time, Justin with my husband, daughter and granddaughter. My Son couldn’t come because of his sick dog.

  18. Kathleen wood January 6, 2015 1:05 pm

    Hi danielle. I had a very nice Xmas in newport,Rhode island With my family and I enjoyed receiving your letter and picture which came along with my other Xmas cards.i wish you a very happy and healthy new year. We have kept in touch for over ten yrs.i have all your letters and cards.my brother Patrick Kennedy always spoke highly of you and beattie,for he did work for her years ago. All the best. Kathleen Kennedy wood. Ps. I have kept all the pictures that you sent to me,autograghed

  19. heather moore January 6, 2015 1:16 pm

    Happy New year Danielle. I am very glad you had a good Christmas I did as well. I can relate when you say it is hard not think back. I see my boys all grown up and its hard sometimes but I too am grateful for being able to spend the holidays with them. I hope this year find you healthy and happy. Always your biggest fan, Heather

  20. Sharon Dewalt January 6, 2015 1:51 pm

    hi Danielle, thank you for your interesting reading of your Blog for the Holidays. It must be very nice with having s big family, and to have them all home for Xmas holidays. I wish you a Happy, Healthy new year, and keep those books coming in

  21. Jeanne Barish January 6, 2015 1:59 pm

    Danielle, Happy New Year to you – it is always nice reading about your life. I hope you have many new books in 2015 – I cannot wait to read them! Take care dear lady and happy typing!!!

  22. Carolyn Stuckey January 6, 2015 2:51 pm

    Happy New Years,I enjoy reading all your books the old ones, and the new ones. I love all your books. And I pray and hope that you have a wonderful new year.

  23. Brenda Caporossi January 6, 2015 3:25 pm

    Have loved your books for years. Enjoyed your blog. I also lost a son 9 years ago. He was 31. I spent Christmas with my son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and grandson. in Texas. Have a great new year. Brenda

  24. Nona Loeffler January 6, 2015 3:58 pm

    I Love all your books and have them all but there is one thing. That in the Happy Birthday book I found on thing wrong I sure living in another country it is different by you spoke of Smokey Bear you wrote Smokey the bear. is Just Smokey Bear I have been with Cal Fire or C.D.F California Department of Forestry for 20 years and have also been the bear for about 15 years. So just to let you know in the future it is Smokey Bear. Thank you.

  25. Sharon January 6, 2015 4:15 pm

    wishing you a very Happy New Year it was an interesting lovely blog glad you had a gd christmas and new year. I love reading your books i have a few in my collection and the films you made on dvd too . christmas is a time when we do miss our loved ones so thought are with you and your family . I once read and still have the auto bio about your son Nick , it was a lovely thing to read and im so sorry for your loss. I hope 2015 brings you bring you every happiness and dreams come true. Best wishes Sharon

  26. Patricia Ullmann January 6, 2015 4:29 pm

    Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. Thanks for sharing with us. Looking forward to your next book. Happy New Year!

  27. Gail Allan January 6, 2015 4:32 pm

    ove your books and movies and even more your PERFUME

  28. Ann Spellman January 6, 2015 4:48 pm

    when I was 17 years old and I came home for Christmas break and I asked my mother for something to read he pointed to her bookcase and I pulled out my first Danielle Steel bookI’m 53 years old now and I have read every book Danielle has ever written.I have always been one of your number one fans I love you and you’re riding keep up the good work the only thing I don’t like is the headaches I get when I cry for you from your books.:)

  29. Marielena January 6, 2015 5:43 pm

    Dear Danielle,
    Happy New Year! to you and your family. It was wonderful and entertaining
    reading your blog this year. You have a beautiful family and
    I have enjoyed and admired your bookds for many years.
    wishing you lots of health, love and happiness for 2015!

  30. Deborah January 6, 2015 5:48 pm

    Read your “Pegasus” novel, as always, I can’t put the book down, or, if I have to, I come back to it as soon as I can. When is your next one coming out? My Christmas was quiet this year, which was nice for a change. There is and has always been a festively full house of family and guests, with a delicious dinner for all. This year we just wanted to stay in the comfort of our own homes. I made a nice meal for a friend and his cousin, and had a quiet evening swimming in a newly renovated pool house.

  31. Lola January 6, 2015 7:01 pm

    I turned 45 on 12/29th and have been reading your books since the age of about 19. Suffice it to say ‘I’m a HUGE fan

  32. Natalie January 6, 2015 7:40 pm


  33. Sharon Lang January 6, 2015 7:41 pm

    You are an amazing woman. I have read every book you have written. I collect them all in hardcover. Currently I am reading Pegasus. My husband bought it for me for Christmas & I am so enjoying it! I feel like I know you. I was so touched by your book about your son Nick. It brought me to tears. I have 3 sons myself. Happy New Year Danielle, I wish you all the best in 2015. CHEERS…..Sharon

  34. Peggy Case Blanco January 6, 2015 11:31 pm

    Happy New Year!! I too had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. Looking forward to your next novel. All the best to you and your family in 2015.

    Sincerely, Peggy Case Blanco

  35. Gabriele Green January 7, 2015 9:20 am

    Happy New Year Danielle. Have a wonderful Year.
    I have saved reading ur New Book Pegasus to read on my Cruise in March and in Feb. When ur other book comes out I will add that too.

    Thanks agIn for all ur great books.

  36. Myrt Dorroh January 15, 2015 8:00 pm

    I so enjoyed your Christmas garhering you generously shared. I can so relate your feeling of somewhat of a dissapointment but yet understanding of how gatherings just are not the same when our children are grown and have a life of their own. I am in the same boat. Mothers never really let go, we just have to be very understanding – which is a mother’s biggest responsibilty.

    Thankyou, Danielle for all your wonderful books. I have enjoyed every one of them. I just finushed Pegases

  37. Gloria Venger January 16, 2015 6:04 am

    Loved reading your newsletter. I get depressed around the holidays. My mom’s birthday was in Dec. and she also passed away in Dec. My dad passed away right after the New Years but that was along time ago. To get back to the present I just finished Pegasus. What a great book. I felt like I was right in the thick of the story. When I read all of your books I feel like I am right there at the time and place. I live in Florida for now but really from Ohio.My husband and I would come down here to visit before we moved. On one of our trips our son and family took us to Sarsota and saw the Ringling estate. What a place. He had a exclusive and wonderful museum also a replica of the huge circus and also had a gudided tour of the house. I am sure with this book you did a lot of research. The house in which John Ringling ans his wife lived in is really something to see. If you ever come to Florida I would suggest to see it or when you did the book you may have seen photo’s. I am anxiously awaiting for your next one to come out. I have written to you before. I am all caught up with reading all of them. I know I should have written this a few weeks ago but I want to wish you a great 2015.I hope I won’t have to wait to long for the next one. I get your newsletter so I guess the date will come then. Thank you for all of your books . They are just alittle bit of everything. A very Happy and belated New Year

  38. onwumere Sylvia January 17, 2015 3:08 pm

    La blog c’est comme une chapitre de votre roman. Ca va bien et joyeuse annee.

  39. Jane Freeman January 18, 2015 5:50 pm

    Ilove reading anything you write, even your family holiday info seems like a wonderful novel!!!WISHING YOU a great new year,and looking forward to any new book you write, they are all delightful! !!!!

  40. Arsie Glarner January 31, 2015 7:55 pm

    I loved all your books, I enjoyed reading them… Keep it up waiting for the next one after Pegasus. God Bless…

  41. cara crawford April 12, 2015 11:26 pm

    Thank you again for allowing us glimpses into your life it makes you seem “real” as silly as that sounds. So many “famous” people don’t allow the public that gift. Where you are naturally a talented writer the words just flow pulling the reader right there with you. Glad your Christmas was a such a nice one.