Two years ago I got coal for Christmas. My young brother-in-law, who at that time was still just the brother of my fiance, and who was none to happy to share his beloved older brother, decided that I should get coal for Christmas. To be fair, my future sister-in-law and my fiance also got coal, having been deemed very bad siblings.
I've never been so excited by a Christmas present.
It wasn't just because my California-hot-house-flower self was FREEZING in my husband's homeland of rural Ireland, but because it was the first time I really felt like a member of the family. That coal (which was in a plastic bag rather than just a lump, as a lump of coal is very dirty) was a gift given only to the siblings, and now I had some of my own. I went on to spend hours watching DVDs of bad TV shows with my new sisters, cooked dinner with my future mother-in-law and started drinking with the sister closest in age to me when we lost power Christmas eve. That electricity-less Christmas, including Mass in a small stone parish church with my new family made me fall all the more in love with the brilliant man I'd proposed to.
When we did get married six months later my brother-in-law attached himself to my hip, even dancing with me, which I would never have expected. And it all started with some coal.
Lila will be giving away the winner's choice of any one of her titles in ebook format to one lucky commenter!