Uh Oh…….Here They Come Again!!!

Hi Everyone,

For the past several years, I’ve been spending Halloween in Europe, and finally this year, the inevitable happened….with one ‘child’  (my youngest) a senior in college, four others in their early twenties, and the oldest three grown up and married…..NONE of my children dressed up for Halloween this year. I never thought that day would come, and just thinking about it, a bevy of their costumes come to mind….the Octopus in Little Mermaid…..the Little Mermaid herself….(the hooker in “Pretty Woman”…oops), witches, nuns, the year my oldest daughter dressed up as a pumpkin, with green dyed hair and an orange face, and then couldn’t get the orange dye off her face for 2 weeks…her boyfriend dressing up as her dog, dropping plastic ‘fleas’ all over the house….vampires, fake blood, and finally, my own Grand Finale dressed as a Whoopi Cushion a few years ago. Definitely, some memorable moments. I’m actually really sad to see this era end. But there it is….no more Halloween costumes for us. It took a while, many, many years in fact. And for all those years, they started planning their Halloween costumes as soon as summer came to an end.

With the disappearance of Halloween as a major landmark in our lives, our early warning system for the impending holidays seems to have failed. Suddenly, it is mid-November, and with a gasp, I realize that it is nearly Thanksgiving. I’ve been busy working on new books, going back and forth to Paris, working on the songs (I write the lyrics) I’ve told you about, and suddenly, holey- moley, it is almost Thanksgiving. It will be a bittersweet year for us this year, our first Thanksgiving without my children’s father, my now late ex-husband, with whom I stayed very close, and who came to all our family events and holidays. Six of our cousins will be joining us, and several friends, but we will surely feel my ex-husband John’s absence acutely. Life….with all its joys and losses, and one feels them even more at holidays. But now, suddenly I have to get ready. The kids will be coming home, relatives arriving, friends joining us for the Thanksgiving meal. The house will be exploding at the seams with boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, my many children. I hope it will be fun.

And right on the heels of Thanksgiving, everyone will be home yet again for Christmas. I love holidays, particularly Christmas, and an excuse for all of us to be together, but no question, holidays are always a mixed blessing for all of us. And in some cases, holidays are just damn hard, and some years for some of us, downright grim. So while I am looking forward to seeing my children during both holidays, and friends, I am also acutely aware of how hard the holidays can be: with the people we’ve lost, the disappointments we’ve had, the people we once loved no longer there, the family events we hope will be peaceful but are often an opportunity for stress in families. And whatever is wrong or absent in our lives is magnified by these supposed to be so wonderful days. And I remember only too well the years when I was totally alone and had no one to spend them with, the tears I shed on disappointing holidays when the people I loved just didn’t come through. I think the holidays put a huge amount of stress on most people, and are seriously depressing for others. And even in happy, healthy, close knit families, people feel the strain and pressure of Christmas. It’s an opportunity for some lovely times, but for some tough times too.

I hope that your holidays will be easy and warm, starting with Thanksgiving, and onward after that to the subsequent ones, Christmas, Chanukah, or whichever holidays. Sometimes it’s a good idea to plan ahead and try to figure out what to do with those days, if there are no immediately obvious solutions. If you don’t have family to spend it with, it’s a good idea to round up friends, or figure out what to do so the day doesn’t wind up seriously depressing. (New Year’s Eve is one of those dates for me, I never know whether to spend it with friends, or just go to bed and forget it, and not even try this year. It’s a dilemma I face every year, with no easy solutions).

So, here we are, the holidays are almost upon us. Here they come again!!! I’m not ready for them yet, although I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping. When they roll around, I hope the holidays will be good to you this year. We all need some good cheer, some love, some hope, and some good times among family and friends. I hope that the holidays will be peaceful and easy for you, and that all your holiday dreams come true!

Love, Danielle

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9 Comments so far
  1. CAROL O. November 21, 2011 10:01 pm

    Hello Danielle….

    A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Family…thank you for the Blog….it was great….and I agree, unfortunately for me…about New Years Eve….It is a dilemma each year….and I have found…that NOT going to bed early….and spending it with close Dear Girlfriends…or Family….(just people that are dear and close to you)is the solution.
    Carol O. in Southern Cal…(just finished Happy Birthday….enjoyed it…but dream about when I read ZOYA….and NO GREATER LOVE and MESSAGE FROM NAM….SOOOO GOOD….bye for now.

  2. thackery November 24, 2011 12:22 pm

    Dear Ms. Danielle Steel,

    Thank you for your warmhearted stories on holidays. Right. We have memories on holidays which could not be enjoyed or shared now with our loved ones, already passed away. So sorrowful, but it’s our life, sometime go to Heaven. As you say we have to enjoy ourselves now. The other day I was reading your novel “Going Home”, which was read once twenty years ago, reminding me of my younger days very much, and at the same time imagining your younger days to keep your life as a novelist, and so on. Now “Coming Out”, thanks a lot for your novels making my life pleasant and meaningful. Continue to read more and more until your works are going on —.



  3. bernadette November 24, 2011 9:37 pm

    hi danielle. hope u have a nice thanksgiving with people dear to you…you”re a great woman, and i admire you a lot…i am from the philippines and have been an avid reader of ur books for years now. i wsh u the best and happiness always…enjoy the coming holidays…i really hope to hear from you…take care and God bless always.

  4. Susie November 25, 2011 5:28 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving! I just finished your latest book and I read it in one day- loved it! The holidays can be fun but some years are tough. I can relate to your feelings of loss. My aunt died of breast cancer in August and we are still grieving. I miss her so. My grandmother’s sister died a couple weeks ago. She was 87. I know my Dad was hurting yesterday- and thinking of his sister ( my aunt who passed in August}. A person who hurt me was on my mind also. But I try to concentrate on what I have to be grateful for and also try to make the holiday fun- eat good food, be lazy, and cuddle with my cat. And it was fun going to the Black Friday sales today! Maybe the solution is to make the day as easy as possible and do what works for you. It is nice to know that other people feel the same.

  5. Dolores November 26, 2011 1:38 pm

    I just finished Hotel Vendome. Overall I enjoyed it. The characters of Hughes and Heloise and endearing and enduring. Also the hotel employees add to the real life atmosphere of a hotel. What I object to is so much of the glitzy people and cheap sex. Can’t you get back to old fashioned morality. I appreciate the occasional references to the Catholic Church but what about characters who actually life up to their baptismal commitment? I have ideas for stories that you could do well: The story of a Catholic family whose son becomes a bishop and what effect this has on family problems and current issues in the Church. A Wall Street family going back to the Great Depresssion when the grandfather commits suicide and how this affects younger generations. How about a love story in Ireland portraying a Catholic woman and Protestant man and how that divides their families. You are a fine writer with many stories yet to tell. Do not cheapen them with shallow immoral characters. We all know such people and situations exist, but please write more about worthwhile people.

  6. Kimberly November 27, 2011 1:42 pm

    I hope you will have a Wonderful Holiday Season, too, with your huge family!

  7. Fathima November 28, 2011 2:51 am

    Love your posts and books Ms. Steel…. God bless

  8. Lilian da Silva Cardoso November 30, 2011 2:52 am

    Hi, Danielle! I came not to talk about Halloween, but on something as important as me! When I read his book Remembrance, something sparked in me. A unique and inexplicable desire to read more and with much effort and joy to write.
    Every time I read Remembrance again, I feel as if this story was real and was part of my life. I wish so much that was real. Thank you for allowing me to feel something so intense just reading and feel a love so deep that words could not explain it.
    Your fan forever, Lillian.

  9. Mary Rosier November 30, 2011 11:16 am

    I have read about 20 of your books over the past few months and am amazed at how many different subjects and professions you write about and wonder how you have found the time to do the research required and the time to actually sit down and write with so many children about. I think “Echos” and “Sisters” are the favorites of those I have read.I plan to read every one. Thank you. I am alone and your books are wonderful company for me.