Where did the month go?

I made the promise in November, that I would be consistent with my Monday Musings. Unfortunately, that was prior to my getting a retail gig for the holidays.  I’ve spent the past two Monday’s selling books at Barnes & Noble.  (Note: Books make awesome Christmas gifts.  Like really, really awesome gifts.)

Anyway, here it is December 19, and I’m getting ready to shut it down for the remainder of the year.  No more marketing or deep thinking until 2018.  If you’re like me, you’ve got a to-do list a mile long. As I type this, I’m staring at a dining room table covered with boxes that need wrapping and a stack of Christmas cards ready for posting. And, don’t even get me started on Christmas baking. I made the decision to make at least three kinds of cookies, including cream cheese sugar cookies, and three pies. All on top of Christmas dinner. Plus, I’ve got to dig out the good china, wash the crystal, and find some decent napkins that match the plates and table cloth.

Why all the fuss? Captain Pete would tell me I’m killing myself for fixings that aren’t necessary. Then again, Captain Pete would be happy with a spiral ham and a new book on boats under the tree.

The reason is simple. I love Christmas.

Growing up, I longed for the kinds of Christmases you saw on tv, with family gathering from near and far, and the whole house dripping with lights and greenery. Ours was a small family, with very little in terms of holiday traditions. We didn’t bake Christmas cookies. We didn’t do elaborate Christmas decorations or have large family gatherings.

Christmas Eve was for visiting my Grandma Russett. Grandma Russett, God rest her soul, wasn’t must into Christmas celebrations or visits.  Our visit was more a drive-by to drop off her present. If we were lucky, one of my mom’s siblings arrived around the same time so there would be cousins around to talk to. But, it wasn’t what you’d call a Christmas celebration.

(I should mention at this point that Grandma Russett was crotchety.  She didn’t really want us to visit.)

When I got older – high school age – I managed to extend my Christmas Eve activities by attending Mass and playing Christmas Carols around the town tree with the high school band before heading to Grandma’s. By this point, I was the only cousin not in college or married so there were no visiting relatives upon my arrival.

Don’t get me wrong – as pathetic I just made all that sound, my Christmases weren’t sad; they simply lacked….festivity.

Meanwhile I was convinced all my friends were having awesome family gatherings with cousins and Yankee Swaps and all those other cool holiday traditions. (Because FOMO existed long before Facebook.)

So, when Christmas rolls around now, I  kill myself to do all the Christmas craziness because I want it. I want the tinsel and the carols playing 24/7. I want the three kinds of cookies. I want the fun of giving to the local giving tree and passing out Dunkin Donuts gift cards to random strangers. I love that I’m having 10 people at my house. My only regret is that my SIL won’t make the trip and bring the number to 11.  It’s my holiday gift to myself. My way of creating a Hallmark season. (God help us all when I have grandchildren to enjoy; I’m going to be a crazy woman.  No Grandma Russett drive-bys here. No way, no how!)

And if that means my writing time slips, or I have to skip a few blogs and self-promotional posts on social media, so be it. ‘Tis the season to be merry and bright!

Besides, there will be plenty of time for all that other stuff come January 2.

Therefore, I’m off to go create Christmas.

When I return, I’ve got lots of plans for the next twelve months that I can’t wait to share with everyone.  New releases, new deep thoughts on how to rebuild my mental ecosystem, resolutions and … well, just a lot!

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