Tag Archives: Giftmas

Sign Up for the Giftmas 2019 Blog Tour

Every year I host a blog tour in December to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank. I call it the Giftmas Blog Tour and I would like to invite you to join me this year 🙂

The blog tour will take place from December 9th through December 16th and it will include:

  • A fundraiser for the Edmonton Food Bank
  • A snowman drawing contest
  • A Rafflecopter giveaway
  • Stories
  • Recipes
  • and more!

In December I will be looking for monetary donations but for right now what I’m looking for are bloggers and prizes.

To donate a prize to the Rafflecopter (which we use to encourage donations to the food bank and sharing on social media to spread the word about the tour/fundraiser) or for the snowman drawing contest all you need to do is follow the link at the bottom of this post and tell me what you’re donating.

Once the tour is over and I have the winner’s contact information I will send it to you and you will send them the prize you’ve donated.

In previous years prizes have included books, critiques, Tuckerizations, bookmarks, crafts, artwork… I think there was even cookies one year? So, basically, anything you can think of.

To participate in the blog tour you need to have a blog* and a willingness to write a blog for the tour.

We don’t have a theme this year (aside from the snowman drawing contest) so you can write about anything you want. Share cookie recipes, a holiday story (fiction or otherwise), try your hand at drawing a snowman, talk about favourite December activities, share a holiday playlist — whatever you want.

Each post will be required to share a link to the fundraiser for the Edmonton food bank and will be encouraged (but not required) to post the Rafflecopter code and information about the snowman drawing contest.

Easy peasy.

To sign up to participate in the blog tour, simply follow the link to the form below and fill it out.

If you have a day you’d prefer to blog on, include that on the form. If you don’t just put ‘N/A’ and I’ll ask you to cover whatever day has the fewest participants.

Sign-ups will close November 23rd so sign up to blog and/or donate a prize before then so you don’t miss out.


And thank you very much!

*however you define ‘blog’. Some people have used self-hosted elaborate blogs, some have used Goodreads and occasionally we’ve even had people use public Facebook posts

Dear Santa (2014)


It has become a Giftmas tradition on my blog for me to write a wishlist of gifts I’d like Santa to bring me. To be super clear, I’m not asking any of you to buy these things for me… well, with the possible exception of Jo LoL I just like making wishlists 🙂

Dear Santa,

I have worked really hard this year and been (pretty) good on top of that. I feel confident I ought to be on your Nice list, anyway. So with that in mind, this year for Giftmas I would like:

  • A white board. Not a huge one, I just want something to keep better track of anthology deadlines (ones I want to submit to and ones I’m editing LOL) and have it easily visible. Originally I wanted a chalkboard but Jo was like ‘Gah! Dust!’ so… white board?
  • As you probably know, I drink a lot of tea. I do not, however, wash a lot of dishes. I’d like the “Art Harder Mother Fucker” mug from Chuck Wendig for when my favourite mugs arLise Watiere dirty. It probably goes without saying that I’d like the larger size, but just in case…
  • I’m not following WWE as closely as I was last year, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still like their swag. I really love Dolph’s new shirtAJ’s shirt, and pretty much all of Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns’ clothes (except the women’s tee shirts because they always rip right away).
  • Lise Watier’s winter collection this year is amazing. I’d be especially grateful to see the Teal Iridescent eyeshadow in my stocking. Though really, anything from that collection aside from the lip colours (bleh) would find a very good home with me 🙂
  • I’m nearly out of the notebooks I prefer to write my first drafts in, if you’d be willing to help me restock that would be awesome. My preferred type are the ‘Journals’ with the fake leather covers from Winnable.com because awesome.
  • I’m always open to new books, more music and Dragon Age: Inquisition looks like a lot of fun (even though I still haven’t played DA: 2. But whatever.)
  • This year my favourite charity thing (because Niteblade is regularly donating to Save the Chimps and Fauna Foundation) is the Girls’ Take Home Rations from Plan. Awesome idea.
  • Oh, and Santa, you know how three years ago I said, “I could also really use some baseboards and riser thingers for my bathroom and kitchen. If we don’t finish them up soon they are just going to blend into the background and we’ll never get them done.” Well… we have some of the riser thingers (one is even installed!) but as for those baseboards… can ye help me out, dude?




And now, because it has also become a tradition, Tim Minchin everyone:


G is for Giftmas

It’s the season of giving, so I’m marking down A is for Apocalypse (because books make good gifts, yo!)

A is for Apocalypse edited by Rhonda Parrish, cover design by Jonathan Parrish

“In A is for Apocalypse, the world ends in both fire and ice-and by asteroid, flood, virus, symphony, immortality, the hands of our vampire overlords, and crowdfunding. A stellar group of authors explores over two dozen of the bangs and whispers that might someday take us all out. Often bleak, sometimes hopeful, always thoughtful, if A is for Apocalypse is as prescient as it is entertaining, we’re in for quite a ride.”

– Amanda C. Davis, author of The Lair of the Twelve Princesses

On sale now at:

CreateSpace (paperback) –> $17.99 $14.99
[Use promo code TY6D2CWD for a further 10% off]

Smashwords (electronic copies) –> $6.99
[Use promo code FC62Z to take $2 off]

Amazon (paperback) –> $17.99 $14.99

Kobo (electronic copies) –> $4.99
[on sale until January 4th]

Amazon and Kobo are being a little slow in updating, so if they aren’t showing the sale price refresh the page. If they still aren’t showing it, I apologize. They should soon.

Giftmas Advent

Giftmas Eve - Photo by Rhonda Parrish

Some people purchase advent calendars to count down the days toward Christmas but for us Advent is an event, not an object.

December 1st we set out 25 candles (usually on our fireplace mantel as you can see from the picture above of last year’s display). Some time after dinner the three of us (Jo, Danica and myself) will turn out the lights and turn on the music. In all the time we’ve been celebrating Giftmas together I don’t think the musical selection has changed. The CDs sitting beside the Advent display invariably are:

  • Salva Nos – Mediaeval Baebes
  • A Medieval Christmas – The Boston Camerata
  • Christmas Through the Ages – Various
  • Meowy Christmas – Jingle Cats
  • A Sesame Street Christmas – Sesame Street
  • Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors – Original Cast
  • The Bells of Dublin – The Chieftains

With the music playing, one of us will light the appropriate number of candles (one on the 1st of December, two on the 2nd, three on the 3rd…) while another hands round a box of chocolates or other such goodies.

Some years we just stand and watch the candle flicker and talk a while before blowing the candles out but my favourites have been the years when Jo would read to us. Usually it’s Dickens. One year it was The Cricket on the Hearth and I’m pretty sure we’ve done A Christmas Carol a couple times. My favourite year was one of the Christmas Carol ones. Dani and I sat on the loveseat while Jo read and I crocheted an afghan in the candlelight (which grows brighter and warmer every day of the month and more and more candles are lit).

It felt very homey, very snuggly.

Do you countdown the days to your holiday celebration in any special way?

I saw a wine advent calendar the other day that really got me thinkin’… Perhaps that’s a new thing we could incorporate into our existing traditions. It sure would make the season merry!


This month on my blog I’m sharing holiday traditions, mine and other people’s as well. This is the second of those posts, you can find the first, entitled Giftmas Cards (and subsequent ones) by visiting the main page, here. Happy Ho Ho!

Holiday Traditions

December is creeping ever nearer and I thought it might be fun to spend it sharing holiday traditions on my blog.

To that end I’m asking my friends and readers (that means you) to write a guest blog about your holiday traditions and email it to me at rhonda@jofigure.com by December 1st. What I’m hoping is that I’ll get a really nice selection of posts talking about New Year’s (Chinese and otherwise), Christmas, Giftmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice and especially anything I missed.

Other than that the posts/stories you share be true and be about the winter holidays the door is pretty much wide open on these blog posts.

Want to give away a book or use them to pimp one of your ongoing projects? Please do.

Rather share a holiday story from your childhood? Yes please!

Feel like telling us all what you’re doing this year? Sounds awesome.

If you have any questions or concerns about details drop me a line (Here, there, anywhere we connect) and please consider contributing.

As my youngest niece (quoting a big purple dinosaur) has been known to say, “Sharing is caring.” so let’s do a little of both, and have some fun along with it.

C’mon… you know you wanna!


ETA: Okay, we’re going to relax the ‘The story you share needs to be true’ rule with one exception — if you’re a writer you can also choose to share a story about one of your character’s winter holidays. Because why not? 🙂



Dear Santa (2013)

It’s become a tradition on my blog that each year I write a letter to Santa about what I want for Giftmas. Not because I want any of my blog readers to buy me those things, but just because sometimes it’s fun to put together wishlists. If you make a Giftmas (or any other winter holiday) wishlist please leave a link in the comments so I can stop by and take a look 🙂

Dear Santa,

This year has been pretty good, especially compared to last year, and if we don’t count diet I’ve been pretty good. So with that in mind I don’t feel bad writing and asking you for a few things…

  • CMPunkHoodieI started watching wrestling again this year, Santa, and though I have a few items from the WWEShop I don’t feel like my wardrobe has been sufficiently wrestling-ified. I like most of the wrestlers (except the Wyatt Family and The Real Americans) so I’m not super particular about what you get me. Though, if I had to choose I’d really like CM Punk’s retro hoodie, The Shield’s sweatpants and The Usos T-shirt


  • I’m always looking for more books, Santa. You could check my Amazon wishlist or my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ list, but both of those are incomplete. I really love short stories so best of anthologies are a pretty safe bet, and I could use a new vegetarian cookbook as well (bonus points for slow cooker recipes because finding meatless ones that aren’t spaghetti sauce is a freaking challenge). Also, I know I have Code Name Verity on my kobo, but I think I also need a physical copy of it. Because reasons.


  • I haven’t had any new jewelry in quite a long time, so maybe it’s time to change that. I am big on silver and sort of simple designs, and when I did a quick google to find some examples for you, Santa, I found this lovely ring which comes in silver but also in this metal I’ve never seen before. It’s lovely. I’m including a picture below for you. Pretty, no?


  • Finally Santa, you know how for the past two years I’ve asked you for “some baseboards and riser thingers for my bathroom and kitchen. If we don’t finish them up soon they are just going to blend into the background and we’ll never get them done.” Well, you’ll never guess what I still need this year. Yeah. Those. If you have room in your sleigh that would be super awesome, thank you.

Thank you Santa.



I’ll leave you with two movies today. The first is White Wine in the Sun by Tim Minchin. Last year I described this as ‘One of my favourite performers performing one of my favourite Christmas songs’. It’s still that, and it still makes me cry.

The second movie is a montage that totally reminds me of Tre (our dog) and Eowyn (our grumpiest cat). Maybe it will make you laugh 🙂

Happy Ho Ho!


Dear Santa

Last year I wrote a letter to Santa on my blog and I thought it was a lot of fun, so have decided to make it an annual tradition. I am not writing this to request anyone buy these items for me, this isn’t that sort of wishlist. It’s just meant to be fun.

Dear Santa,

This year has sucked. Not everything about it, of course, but overall it’s been pretty tough so surely I can be forgiven for the times I wasn’t ‘good’? I mean, even when I was bad it was usually only to myself. That ought to count for something, right? With that in mind, this year for Giftmas I would like the following:Diana Baby camera from Lomography

  • Pretty much any of the cameras from the Lomography website. Really. I’d be happy with any of them. That being said though, I do especially have my eye on the Diana Baby 110 camera with the 24mm lens. So far I haven’t been able to get my IR filter to play nicely with my DSLR so if you were to couple that with some IR film I would think you were the most awesomest bearded dude evar.
  • It’s really quite scandalous that as the publisher of an e-zine I don’t have an e-reader yet. That, coupled with my insomnia has inspired me to add a Kobo Glo to my wishlist. This, despite the missing w on the word glow. I picked the Kobo because it is only an e-reader. It’s not a camera, browser, game console, etc. etc. I don’t want to be more plugged in to online or play more games, I just want to be able to read a book in bed without waking up Jo.
  • I kinda want to spit in a test tube. No, really.
  • As you know, Santa, I am in the process of refinishing our dining room table which is a family heirloom. I would very much like to find chairs that fit it. Since we’re using an unusual color of stain I will give bonus points if the chairs are unstained, so I don’t have to sand them before I stain them to match the table. Not that I’m lazy or anything you understand…
  • Lastly, Santa, do you remember last year when I asked you for “some baseboards and riser thingers for my bathroom and kitchen. If we don’t finish them up soon they are just going to blend into the background and we’ll never get them done.” Well I could still use those baseboards and riser thingers.

Thank you Santa.



I’ll leave you with one of my favourite performers performing one of my favourite Christmas songs ever (even if it does make me cry these days):


Dear Santa,

A friend of mine on LiveJournal posted the list of what she wanted Santa to bring for her as a blog entry last week. I thought it was a fabulous idea because it really gave me some insight into who she was. My list, below is being shared for the same reason. Please don’t think I’m actually asking anyone who is reading this (except you Jo :-p) to get me these things — I’m writing to Santa.

Dear Santa,

I’ve been, well, if not terribly good at least not terribly bad this year. So for Giftmas, I would really love:

  • A hot oil popcorn popper like the one we used to have when I was a kid. I can’t actually find that exact model anymore, I guess they don’t make them these days, but this one here is similar enough to satisfy my nostalgia and provide me with super duper yummy popcorn.
  • I would also really love to “become a chimpanzee’s best friend“. Please. Pretty please?
  • I’m all about the Sims 3 these days but I’m feeling a little limited with my options for ‘stuff’ at this point. I’d positively adore any of the expansions I don’t have yet, or even Sims Points so I can buy some of the ‘stuff’ collections they put on sale on the website.
  • Lastly, if you were feeling super generous, Santa. I could also really use some baseboards and riser thingers for my bathroom and kitchen. If we don’t finish them up soon they are just going to blend into the background and we’ll never get them done. I’ve got the paint for both and I’d really like a chance to use it.

Thank you Santa.



In more directly writing-related news, Shadows is still coming along well. I’ve had a few bumpy patches in regard to ordering some of my scenes, but I still feel very good about this draft. I’m at 22,692 words and still going strong. Since I started working on it this time I haven’t missed a workday and the consistency feels good. Very good.

I wish I could say I’ve been as consistent with my #novpad this year, but I’d be lying. I have 9 poems, I should have 18. But it’s okay. I plan to keep going through the prompts, one at a time, until I finish them all, even if it takes me until January. For me the point of #novpad is mostly to be writing, and I’m doing that, even if it’s not one poem a day. I’m still pleased with my productivity, so it’s all good.

A couple years ago my friend BD did a personal challenge where she wrote for at least 15 minutes everyday for a year. I’m thinking about doing something similar. I don’t usually write on weekends, so I’d let myself off the hook then, but maybe expecting myself to write every weekday would be good for habit-forming and productivity. You know, assuming it’s not just setting myself up for failure considering the cyclical way my productivity works. This will require further thought, but I’m considering it, and if I do attempt it I’ll need moral support so if anyone else wants in let me know.

And let me know if you have a public holiday gift list. I’d love to take a look.