Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas at the Outer Banks with Mayor Dae O'Donnell

Christmas at the Outer Banks
By Mayor Dae O'Donnell
From A Haunted Dream
By Joyce and Jim Lavene
www.joyceandjimlavene.com



(An excerpt from Mayor Dae O'Donnell's speech)

"Every year since I became mayor of Duck, North Carolina, I've been asked to speak at our History Museum Christmas Faire. This year is no exception, and I am happy to be here. Our Christmas traditions here on the Outer Banks go back 400 years, earlier than most in America.

Elizabethan Christmas traditions were first brought here from England by Sir Walter Raleigh. They probably included everyone being welcome in each other's homes, Mummer's plays and Morris dancing. There would have been feasting and generosity. Plenty of greenery would have been hauled in for the celebrations, and of course, a yule log.

 The residents here that first Christmas probably had to do what they could for food - roasting meat, making Christmas pies, puddings, and porridge. Life was harder here than it had been back home. So many things weren't available.


We celebrate both Old and New Christmas now. Many newcomers don't know what that means.

There was a change in the calendar in 1752 when the English government adopted the Gregorian calendar to replace the Julian calendar. Eleven days were dropped from the month of September which made Christmas Day fall on December 25th, New Christmas. Many of us still celebrate Old Christmas in January.

Duck had a habit of celebrating New Christmas with drinking, too much food, and lively shooting parties. Old Christmas was kept quiet - no parties, dancing or drinking.

There was also the appearance of 'Old Buck,' a representation of a large white bull that was supposed to roam the islands. Seeing him was said to bring good luck in the coming year. No doubt more people saw him at the wilder parties during New Christmas than later during Old Christmas.

Today, we celebrate with lights and parades. There is still plenty of feasting, bonfires and oyster roasts. We celebrate the year behind us when the sea has been good, and pray for a plentiful year before us. We mourn those who no longer walk beside us, and hold our loved ones a little closer while storms howl across the islands.

Life is good for us here in Duck and getting better all the time.

Thank you very much for having me here today."

"Nice applause," Gramps said. "Good speech. You should've asked them to vote for you, Dae."

"It's Christmas. I can't campaign all the time."

"Let's go home and do some of that feasting you were talking about."

"Sounds good."

Merry Christmas from the O'Donnells in Duck, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina! May your new year be bright!

A Haunted Dream
Missing Pieces Mystery #4
By Joyce and Jim Lavene

WIN A COPY FOR YOURSELF BY ENTERING YOUR NAME HERE DURING THE KILLER CHARACTERS' COZY CHRISTMAS!

www.joyceandjimlavene.com
www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene



99 comments:

  1. I love hearing about traditions in other states, countries, and homes. Did you know that, in homes with an alcoholic parent, chilren do better emotionally if they continue traditions despite the fact that an adult is drunk as a skunk Apparently, setting up traditions show that the traditions are more important than the alcoholism!

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    1. Thanks, Sharon. I didn't know that but it makes sense to me.

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  2. From the shores of Colorado River in Nevada we wish you a joyous Christmas. Find the comments being posted here of great enlightenment. Thank you for your time.

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  3. Merry Christmas to all. I celebrate Christmas from the day after Thanksgiving through Epiphany! I get annoyed when I see decorations taken down December 26th! The 12 days of Christmas are the ones after the day after all!

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    1. I'm with you, Kat! I like Christmas to last as long as it can!

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    2. We celebrate until through Epiphany as well. We also still celebrate St. Nick's Day, December 6th.

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  4. I love how this series is set in my home state. Love it!

    Kimberlee
    http://girllostinabook.blogspot.com
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com

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    1. I love North Carolina and all its varied traditions! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. How interesting, the next time my family celebrates anything here I'll watch for the White Bull! Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing Duck's history!
    Lynn

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with the white bull sighting!

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  6. I enjoy Christmas mysteries. Looking forward to reading it. I hope I win.
    Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all!

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  7. As an Army wife I spent many years in North Carolina. I love reading books set in that state. I think I need to learn more about "Old" and "New" Christmas.

    Beverly aka Booklady
    bevarcher at me do com

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    1. Hi Beverly! Old and New Christmas is a good idea! Thanks!

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  8. I love to read and hear about all different traditions in different states and countries. Happy Holidays!
    a.connolley@gmail.com

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    1. Me too, Amy! I love to put them in our books too!

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  9. Interesting info. about Christmas.
    cozyintexas@yahoo.com
    Ann

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  10. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com

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  11. I love Christmas stories!
    Elaine Ellen

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    1. I love anything and everything about Christmas, Elaine! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I bought the first 2 books at the Buxton book store when I was on vacation this summer. Merry Christmas to all.

    Sandy 2012

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    1. Hi Sandy! I hope you enjoyed the books!

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  13. This sounds like a very interesting book. I like mysteries and Christmas stories. I was born in NC this would be totally cool to read. Thank you.

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  14. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

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  15. Joyce,
    I'm so glad we got to do the Mystery We Write blog tour together. When I read about "A Haunting Dream," I knew I would have to read it. I ordered my paperback copy yesterday. Can't wait!

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    1. Thanks, Patricia! I enjoyed working on the blog tour with you and everyone else!

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  16. Duck, North Carolina!! You may be interested in other 'silly' names for towns. Here is a decent site for some:

    http://www.you-can-be-funny.com/FunnyCityNames.html

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    1. They called it Duck, Tom, because people hunted ducks there. Weird,huh? I'll have to check out your funny city names link. I love funny street names too. We have a treet near us called Laughing Dog Lane!

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  17. I like this series and would love to win the newest book.

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    1. Thanks, Sandy! I'm glad you stopped by!

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  18. Anything written by the Lavenes is wonderful. This series is no exception. A Christmas one should be really good.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! Merry Christmas!

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  19. I miss our family's tradition at Christmas, but times have changed and many have crossed over. Our Christmas was always at Grandma and Grandpa's house. They would have a big meal and everyone was there including in-laws and their parents. We were visited by our very own Santa. My sister and I passed out the presents as he pulled them out of his big white sack. Ahh, the memories.

    Thank you for the giveaway Joyce and Merry Christmas from Indiana.

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    1. I had a big family Christmas like that growing up too, Kelly! It changed, and now I am the Grandma! Life goes on, doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. I would love to spend Christmas in the Outer Banks, my favorite place to go for vacations. I have never seen the beach in winter.

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    1. Duck is as amazing in winter as it is in summer, Jeanette! Very quiet. Perfect beaches. Love it!

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  21. I'd vote for him, at least based on the speech.

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    1. Dae appreciates the vote of confidence, Libby!

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  22. Love this couple! Started out with the Renaissance Fair series, and now read EVERYTHING they write. I hope I win!! Jan Curtis, Lexington SC

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  23. I love this series. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! We appreciate you stopping by!

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  24. Thanks for this guestpost, would love to win this book.

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  25. The book sounds like it would be so interesting.

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  26. Great series....would love to win!

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  28. Merry Christmas from MN - where traditions often involve snow! I'm at the age where curling up with one of your books sounds much more inviting. :)

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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    1. LOVE Minnesota! Lived there for almost 8 years! Still miss the snow! I read a lot of books there during those cold winters!

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  29. I'd love to win a copy. I've read the first book and I have the second and third ones to read. I like the book cover.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Michelle! Berkley artists are the best! I'm always excited to see what they'll come up with next!

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  30. Love Duck N.C. and the last book left me hanging so one or another INEED THIS BOOK. Read all your series and can hardly wait or the series to start that you write under Cook. Hope Jim is better and that you stay well. HAPPY HOLIDAYS Ruth Nixon

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    1. Happy holidays to you too, Ruth! Jim is doing a little better today. Thanks for coming by!

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  31. Replies
    1. Merry Christmas, Renee! And a Happy New Year!

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  32. i'm sooo looking forward to have the chance to read the book. and thank you for sharing the stories about Christmas :D

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  33. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  34. thank you for the giveaway!!!!

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  35. Learn something new everyday. Didn't know about the eleven days taken from September and "old" Christmas.
    How charming.

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  36. I love reading about a state I live in. Happy Holidays.

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    1. I like reading and writing about North Carolina! Thanks!

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  37. Thanks for posting the giveaway !! I also learned something new tonite, the eleven days taken from September and the old Christmas !!!! Have never been to North Carolina, lived in Alabama and Florida, but a real Boston girl... so reading about Duck, NC... made me smile !! thanks for that !!!

    have a great night !! Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary! My husband, Jim, is from Alabama.

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  38. This was wonderful thank you. I live to learn & love to learn also.

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  39. From 70 degree days and 6 foot waves I wish you the Happiest of Christmas season from the shores of the Pacific here in Northern California. I love your writing and hope I win this book, its on my TBR list. Merry Christmas

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  40. This sounds like a great book, and area.

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  41. Nice excerpt.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  42. Traditions are such an important part of the holidays---and the south is so strong on traditions---what a great match.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  43. I love this series, and the excerpt.

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  44. I LOVE this series!!! So...hey....PICK ME! :)

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  45. This series sounds wonderful! Wishing Christmas blessings to everyone!
    luvs2read4fun(at)gmail(dot)com

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  46. This series sounds wonderful!
    Wishing Christmas blessings to everyone!
    rayptc(at)gmail(dot)com

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  47. Sounds awesome cant wait to read it.

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  48. We celebrate St. Nick's Day on December 6th and the Season does not end until Three Kings Day. I grew up in the Caribbean and Three Kings Day always meant a big parade and party.

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