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When You Grow Up Without Tradition by Kathy J. Bain

197597_1007733841260_1462365699_13278_7836_n1Today’s special guest is my friend, critique partner, and a very talented author of comedy, romance, and romantic suspense, Kathryn J. Bain.

Award winning author Kathryn J. Bain’s fifth book, Beautiful Imperfection, was released September 29, 2013. Her book Catch Your Breath took Third Place in the 2013 Heart of Excellence Contest for her inspirational romance and Breathless took First Place for Inspirational Romance in the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Awards.

She was the President of Florida Sisters in Crime from 2010-2012 and is currently the Public Relations Director for Ancient City Romance Authors. Kathryn has also been a paralegal for over twenty years and works for an attorney who specializes in elder law.

Kathryn grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In 1981, she moved to Boise, but it apparently wasn’t far enough south, because two years later she headed to Jacksonville, Florida, and has lived in the sunshine ever since.

When Fay asked me to donate a Christmas story to Inner Source, I was tempted to say no. After all, I had no Christmas traditions growing up. There was never anything special that we did as a family besides visit other family. Unfortunately most of these involved alcohol.

My father was an alcoholic. The only sure thing we knew about Christmas Eve was he’d be drunk. Even worse, he’d not be jolly like Santa. My father wasn’t a very nice man, whether drunk or sober.

When you have someone in your family who drinks, there are no traditions. At least not any you want to pass on to your children.

That’s why when my daughter, Amanda, was born, I wanted to do something special each year. I was a single mother at the time so it wasn’t like I could afford something as fancy as Rockefeller Center. Even the local playing of “The Nutcracker” was out of reach. So I decided on pajamas.

So every Christmas Eve I gave my daughter a new pair of pajamas. Years later, when my youngest was born, I did the same for her. To some, this might not seem like a big deal, but to us, it became our tradition. And the kids looked forward to it every year.

Both my girls are grown now. And this year, my oldest blessed me with a wonderful granddaughter, Hope. Amanda called the other day and asked if she was supposed to buy Hope’s pajamas or do I? I asked her why. Maybe she couldn’t afford it. Starting a photography business can put a crimp in your pocket book at times.

But, in fact, Amanda had already bought pajamas for her daughter. She just called to make sure our tradition was that the parents buy the pajamas for their own kids.

It warmed my heart to know she wanted to pass this tradition on to her child. It just goes to show, sometimes the simple things are the most remembered. As long as love is involved, those memories will stick.

Merry Christmas to everyone. I pray for you all a blessed New Year.

Kathy is the author of Breathless, Catch Your Breath, and her latest novel, Beautiful Imperfections.

BeautifulImperfection_w11186_680About Beautiful Imperfections:

When witnesses to a mass murder start dying, breast cancer survivor Teddy Federline must push aside her anger and trust an ex-boyfriend to ensure she lives long enough to testify against the killer.

Detective Sloan Michaels still has deep feelings for Teddy but realizes that after the way he left her years ago, he has a lot of making up to do. Now, he must keep his focus on the case and off the woman he loves. If Sloan doesn’t keep Teddy safe, he’ll never get a second chance.

You can purchase Beautiful Imperfections, and Kathryn’s other titles at Pelican Book Group, Barnes & Noble, and

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love the pajama tradition and can so relate to the straightened circumstances that preclude many expensive traditions. When my children were little we always set out the manger that my Godmother had given me when I was a child, the stable in a place of honor in the living room and Mary and Joseph as far away as the house would allow. Each night of Advent the pair would move closer to “Bethlehem.” Eventually, on Christmas Eve, they would arrive just before we left for church. When we got home, the Baby Jesus would be nestled between the pair in the manger and it was always a race from the car to see who would find him first. Once when my youngest was just turned 3 a grandmotherly woman behind us in line at the grocery store asked Lori if she knew who was coming to her house soon. To the woman’s astonishment, Lori piped up happily, “The baby Jesus!” It’s a tradition that has lived on in my children’s families and now it’s my grandchildren who rush home from church to make sure that Jesus has arrived.

    December 18, 2013
    • Thanks for stopping by, Skye. I love that your little said that. I can only imagine the look on the woman’s face. Lovely memory.

      December 18, 2013
  2. Kathryn, I think the pajama tradition is so nice! My daughter and her dearest friend – who is like another daughter to me – send each other pajamas on their birthdays each year. They look forward to receiving them, and then talking on the phone when the call to say thank you.

    I’m sorry your childhood was difficult. My father didn’t drink at all, but my older brother has been an alcoholic since he was 18…and we never knew what to expect from him either. Thank God he stopped drinking just a few years ago. He’s over 60, and his children and wife endured a lifetime of the same kind of thing you spoke of. People who don’t live around that kind of situation have no idea how hard it it.

    But it made you who you are – and I think God knew exactly what he was doing! You have so much to proud of…and I’m proud to “know” you in some small way.

    December 18, 2013
    • Thanks, Delia for the kind words. It’s too bad people don’t get three ghosts to visit to show them how things will be if they don’t change their habits. Maybe that’s why I love “A Christmas Carol” so much is it’s full of wonder as to what could have been.

      Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by.

      December 18, 2013
  3. Kathryn, your story touched me. I’m so glad life is a blessing for you now. Thanks for sharing.

    December 19, 2013
  4. What a wonderful tradition! Makes me want to start doing that! But at 18 I don’t know how much appreciation my daughter would have. 🙂 Christmas traditions – I don’t think we really have any except to spend some time with family. In this way I am blessed. I pray for you and yours a wonderful Christmas season! God bless you all!

    December 19, 2013
    • You’re never too old to start, Donna. 🙂 Thank you for commenting and Merry Christmas.

      December 19, 2013
  5. Terri W #

    What a wonderful tradition! I love your story and what joy you’ve brought to your children. Thanks for sharing.

    December 19, 2013
  6. Thank you, Terri. Merry Christmas and a blissful New Year.

    December 19, 2013

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