Sally: Hey there, Mysteristas! I’m Sally Castle and this is Jim Duncan. We’re the two main characters from Liz’s Laurel Highlands Mysteries series.
Jim: Uh, hi.
Sally: Liz asked us to cover for her this month. At the end of the year, she ran out of things to say-
Jim: Now there’s a shocker.
Sally: Be nice! She’s nice to us…usually. Anyway, like I said, she ran out of things to say and figured it might be a nice change of pace for the Mysteristas readers to hear from us.
Jim: Isn’t it funny how when there’s work to be done, Liz manages to slough it off on us? This isn’t the first time, you know. I had to do a, what do you call it, “guest blog” once and, wow, awkward.
Sally: That’s only because you don’t like talking about yourself. Liz is really busy. She has that day job, all the writing deadlines, social life, her family…I can see where it gets crazy. And it’s not like she’s leaving us on our own. She did leave questions. So are you ready?
Jim: Might as well get it over with.
Sally: You’re such a wet blanket, sometimes. Okay, first question. What’s your favorite thing about Christmas? I’m going to make you go first because you’re being so difficult.
Jim: Fine. Favorite thing. Actually, this is easy. I don’t have kids, but my sister, Meg, does. Zach is seven, Hannah is five. They live in Seattle, so I don’t get to see them often. However, on Christmas, Meg sets up a Skype call and the kids open their presents on the call “in front” of me, as it were. Because I tend to work the day shifts on Christmas, so family folks can be at home, this often means they have to wait to open their gifts. But they get such a kick out of it, they don’t mind. Or at least that’s what they say.
Sally: Aww, that’s so sweet! Mine is similar. I spend Christmas Day with my sister and her family. She has kids, so I take my gifts over and we have a big “present unwrapping ceremony.” Noreen (I call her Reen, from when I was little) passes out the gifts one at a time and the person unwraps. Everybody else ooo’s and aaah’s appropriately. Very solemn, but fun at the same time.
Okay, next question: favorite Christmas treat. I’ll go first because this is another easy one for me. Sugar cookies. The cut-out kind you decorate. I can always tell the ones the kids made, because they are kind of blobby with lots of frosting and sprinkles, opposed to my sister’s, which are perfectly shaped and decorated. But they all taste the same – yummy!
Jim: Another easy one – eggnog. Preferably with a splash ofTia Maria and a sprinkle of nutmeg. I’ll take one of those cookies, too.
Sally: Why am I not surprised? Okay next question, favorite Christmas song? I’m a traditionalist. I love “Carol of the Bells,” it’s just so haunting.
Jim: I bet I surprise you with this. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.”
Sally: You’re joking!
Jim: Nope. You absolutely cannot be in a bad mood listening to that song. I blast it while I’m decorating. Secret confession: I’ve even danced while listening.
Sally: Get out! I can’t even imagine you dancing.
Jim: See? You don’t know everything about me.
Sally: Last question, what do you want most for Christmas this year? You first.
Jim: I can’t skip this one?
Jim: Da…rn. Well, I always want a quiet Christmas shift. It seems so wrong to be responding to domestics and breaking up fights on this day, but I do it every year. But this year, well, it would be really nice to go home to someone other than my dog after said shift. Skype calls are nice and all, but eggnog and Christmas dinner alone is getting old, if you know what I mean.
Sally: Stop looking at me like that. I’m kind of the same as you. It would be so nice not to go to work the day after Christmas to find a new pile of cases on my desk. I wish crime would take a holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And yeah, as much as I enjoy going to Reen’s, it would be nice to have a cozy meal with a special someone on Christmas Day.
Jim: Now you stop looking at me. Is it warm in here? Are we done?
Sally: With our portion, yes. So Mysteristas, what would you really like this Christmas? And Jim? Quit hogging the eggnogg.