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Hello, readers,

It’s amazing that it’s already the Christmas season! It’s also amazing to me is that it’s taken me this long to write another blog. But if you’re really a writer, you write and produce every day. And so I have, and it’s been a good year.

One of the things I have accomplished this year is this: My 21st book is my one and only cookbook, and it was forty years in the making (the whole story is on Amazon). It’s titled Around Our Southern Table and is a collection of five generations of (mostly) family recipes. Even non-cooks have been buying it and have told me and my publicist how entertaining it is to read. My friend and fellow author Rick Bragg hailed the cookbook as “a legacy for generations to come.”

Something else I did recently–just yesterday, as a matter of fact–was to quit wasting my time with a publisher who didn’t value MY time. I worked with them loyally for more than a year, and was warned by several people that this publisher would just use me and not pay as they said they would. Well, when I quit them, I said so in a gentle, well-worded email–and was roundly given a tongue-lashing by them over the phone! So I was right to get shed of them. I have learned to value my time, and you should do the same.

Now for a Christmas story (and I’m paraphrasing here): There once lived a man who was an atheist. There was no way God would send His Son to be born in this world, much less born to a virgin. It was impossible! Then one bitter cold night, he realized that his poor birds outside should have some kind of shelter, where they could have at least a little warmth and some food so they could survive the terribly chilly night. As he built a shelter under a tree in his back yard, he looked up and could see the birds looking down on him as he worked. After he finished, he put a light bulb in the shelter, then a little food, so the birds could have warmth and nourishment.

Still the birds would not come down. He thought to himself,¬†If only I could become like one of them–a bird–to bring them a message that, if you come here, to light, you will find life.

He suddenly realized that¬†this was exactly what God had done–sent His Son in human form, to become one of us, so to share the message with us of eternal life and salvation.

And the man knelt down right there in his yard, to pray, for the first time in his life.

Have a Merry Christmas!!