HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS MOVIES WITH TEENS
Whether you look forward to the presents, the cookies, the food, the music, there is one part of Christmas that also stands out. Yes – THE CHRISTMAS MOVIES! No Christmas season would be complete without the movies. I’m not really talking about the Hallmark Christmas Movies, but the movies that can be seen with the whole family, all ages, for a night of laughter and fun. I mean, who doesn’t like Buddy the Elf, for one?
Take for example, a family with teens (that’s me!). It is hard nowadays to pull them away for baking cookies, decorating the tree, all those holiday memories that they participated in when they were smaller. That time has been replaced with technology, video games, social media, you name it. Let’s be honest here. Not many teens nowadays want to bake cookies but they will be the first in line to take a cookie fresh out of the oven.
But one thing I can count on in spending time with my teens during Christmas is watching Christmas Movies. Not all, but certain ones. Buddy the Elf, for example, brings forth a sense of humor, comedy antics and his high level of energy that will engage the teens as well as the rest of the family. I put Buddy the Elf on at least once a Christmas season and my teens will curl up on the couch, with iPhones in their hand, but mostly they are watching and laughing. I even had my oldest text her friends about the funny scenes and soon, one after another, asked to come over to watch it with us. To me, it’s not about keeping the same traditions as your child grows, but to find ones that still warm them up to the holidays. The other movie that is a hit is Nightmare Before Christmas! With these two, we have always had so much fun keeping the Christmas spirit alive!
I will still bake the cookies, decorate the house, even if I do it by myself or with my mother. But the one tradition I can keep in my heart as my teens continue to grow up is a Christmas Movie. The key is to find that one movie or two that they will laugh at, they will love, and no matter how much time is spent on the movie, you are together with them and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. I know this year will be different. Not a lot of people can gather in one place, but there are creative ways to go about this. I already told my daughter to set up a watch party for her friends when we turn on Buddy the Elf! I will even deliver Christmas cookies to her friends so the only thing they are missing is being in the same room with us!
In fact, I am enclosing a chocolate bark recipe to make that teens will love!
Ghirardelli’s Dark or Milk Chocolate (4 oz at least)
Ghirardelli’s White Chocolate (4 oz at least)
*Miscellaneous toppings of your choice (I use broken candy cane pieces, sprinkles, etc.)
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Melt Dark or Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate. I prefer to melt in a pot compared to the microwave. Use a double boiler if you have one. You want it to be smooth and creamy, fully melted.
3. Pour the dark/milk chocolate over the parchment paper.
4. Drizzle the white chocolate over the chocolate.
5. Using a toothpick, swirl the white chocolate into the dark/milk chocolate.
6. Decorate the top as you desire.
7. Place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. Longer is sometimes necessary.
8. Once hardened, break into pieces.
*Serve this with a tasty chex mix snack on the side! The combination of flavors will be a hit – My teens take a bite of bark then a handful of chex mix!
Blood Prophecy, Book Three
by Barb Jones
Publisher: World Castle
Malakai, Seattle, Present Day
With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.
He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.
…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.
Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him. He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling.
Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day
Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.
She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.
A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.
She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.
“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”
She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.
Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her.
Then, the idea for The Blood Prophecy came while she was sleeping. In a dream, Barb saw a unique storyline involving all the races and an epic battle of good versus evil. It was a modern-day plot with a three-thousand-year-old prophecy, The Blood Prophecy. Barb finished the first book in 2014, The Queen's Destiny. Two years later, she released The Queen's Enemy, and the third book in the series, The Queen's Ascension, arrives on August 17, 2020.
She is not only a paranormal thriller author but an IT professional and mother of two fantastic children. Today, she resides in Florida but is still a Seattle girl at heart.