Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Louse Who Stole Christmas

By: Becca Leighton Burke
From: The Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Book 1 Title: A Deadly Grind
Pub. Date: May 2012
I'm stepping in to post for Jaymie this month, because, well... just because. I told her not to worry about anything, and she was fussing about this, and I said I'd take care of it. She's packed up Hoppy and Denver (the dog and cat... Denver didn't take it well, being shoved in a carrier; he's now hiding under the bed in the guest bedroom) and taken off to Canada to spend Christmas with Grandma Leighton and me.

You see, Jaymie's nursing a broken heart.

What happened? Well... she's been dating Joel Anderson for a while now, and though I didn't like him, he seemed to make her happy. She was full of plans for Christmas with Joel. Strolling along the riverfront during Queensville's Dickens Days, my home town's annual nod to Christmas in Victorian England, mulled cider at the bandstand while the Wolverhampton High band struggled through Oh Come All Ye Faithful, and home to our (co-owned) lovely yellow brick house for a romantic fire in the fireplace.

How do I know all this, about her plans? Well, she sobbed it into my rayon blouse during a couple of hours at my place, after she drove the two hours to get to London, Ontario, where I live, to spend Christmas with me and our grandmother, who lives in a retirement home. I'm fifteen years older than my little sister, and sometimes I feel like a second mom to her.

She'll be okay. She's smart, and strong, and better than the likes of Joel Anderson. I know from my secret sources (Valetta Nibley and DeeDee Stubbs, my two high school friends from Queensville) that Joel has already moved in with some little blonde bimbo who just moved into town. He'd better not cross me, because there is no fury like a Leighton whose sister has been scorned.

And I'll make sure Jaymie has a good Christmas. Our parents are up from Florida, and we'll all be together. Jaymie's only 32... she'll get over it and find someone better to love. I ought to know; I've been twice married, twice divorced. Life goes on.

Have you ever had a Christmas that didn't go quite the way you planned? I ache for anyone whose heart is broken this time of year; it can feel like the end of the world, but it's not. I just want to urge everyone; if you know someone who is hurting this Christmas, do a little something for them.

The best gift you can give is your time. Reach out, show them how beautiful the world still is, and take them cookies, chocolate, preferably, if it's a broken hearted woman.

And have yourself a merry little Christmas!


  1. I look forward to reading your book, especially since it's set in London, Ontario which I know from years ago. Merry Christmas to you, too!

  2. From things Jaymie has been saying here, I suspected this would happen. Your wonderful family Christmas should help her get over it.

  3. Actually, Nancy, the novel takes place in Queensville... hope you're not disappointed!

  4. Becca Leighton BurkeDecember 21, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Janet... I know, right? She should have seen it coming a mile away. But we'll coddle her, and she'll be okay!

  5. It sounds like this was the best thing for Jaymie. Hope she gets over Joel quickly and what better way than spending Christmas in such a loving place.

  6. "Have you ever had a Christmas that didn't go quite the way you planned?"

    This is a question you're going to hate I read. My sister died December 20, 2003. I had been taking care of her and her kids for the last three years (off and mostly on) as well as my own two kids, while she battled cancer.

    I had done all her shopping by then and we'd wrapped her presents. All that was left was making the Christmas dinner. I was determined to carry that off as planned for all our sakes.

    It is the end of the world when someone dear to you dies or otherwise leaves you. The real heartbreak is that life goes on regardless. But therein lies the key to restarting the world again. One foot in front of the other. Onward and, we always hope, upward.

    Happy Holidays

  7. Alison,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You sister was really lucky to have you, as are her kids. I wish you peace and love this holiday season. Be good to yourself.

    Happy holidays to all, whatever you are celebrating!