Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holiday Writing by Morgan Mandel

Monday night's program by Jerilyn Willin at our Chicago-North RWA meeting was about "Writing during the Holidays." Jerilyn mentioned there are habits and traditions we tend to do that put pressure on ourselves. Some of these can still be done away with, or maybe delegated to someone else, and we may be able to enjoy the Holidays more.

She made a lot of sense. I'm determined to keep my writing going and not fall into the trap of making everything perfect for the Holidays. I'll not haul all the decorations up from the basement, just enough to make the house look festive.

My husband and I already made the decision a few years ago to use a small fiber optic tree that fits on our end table instead of a huge one I have to decorate and ponder over where each ornament goes. Well, actually that was done out of necessity, since we still don't trust Rascal not to live up to her name and do something crazy with ornaments. Also, there's just no room for one any more. The fiber optic tree looks beautiful when the lights are off and we enjoy watching it.

The jury is still out about whether or not I'll cook for my side of the family or opt to go out to the Chinese restaurant, the only place open in my area on Christmas. I kind of like giving everyone a home-cooked meal, but there's a lot of time and energy spent doing that when I could be enjoying myself and relaxing instead, and not only that, fitting some writing and reading in.

What about you? Will you go all out, or are you cutting back so you can enjoy the Holidays more?


Morgan Mandel
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5 comments:

Roseanne Dowell said...

I'm not ready to give up the traditions of decorating abig tree. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I already decorated outdoors. If we weren't going to visit my father in law, I'd probably put our tree up this weekend, but it'll have to wait until we get back the 22nd. I'll put it up before Thanksgiving. Traditionally, I put it up the day after Thanksgiving. But since my kids took over Christmas, but still come here for Thanksgiving, I now put it up before. We don't light it until Thanksgiving evening, although I think I'll probably light everything in the afternoon. I love looking at the lights. I still cook Thanksgiving dinner, but Christmas dinner is at one of my kids. They each take a turn, so they only have it once every six years, which works out well for all. Will I still write? Other than Thanksgiving and Christmas, yes, I'll write a little every day.

Mona Risk said...

I gave up the big tree when we moved to an apartment. There is no room. But I put a lot of Christmas decorations. The home cooked dinnerS--several dinners-- are a must since my children and grandchildren come to spend a week. Writing is an impossibility and may be considered an insult to family traditions by my little ones.

Fiona said...

I will be doing more writing because of the 2-week break from school. They can't call me to sub if they are not in session! I will indulge in the Christmas traditions I love, like tree, cookies, pies, and family visits. But I will stay up late and write to my heart's content, without fear of a 6am phone call!

Deb Larson said...

I'm a Christmas-holic! I usually have 3 good size trees up. I can't help myself - I light up every nook and cranny. We also entertain a great deal during the holidays. But I understand the pet problem too - several years ago we woke to a downed tree and our kitten nowhere to be found.
I will write as often as possible but have learned not to be too upset when writing time gets sucked up by other demands!
DL Larson

Margaret Carter said...

I have always regarded the holidays as a period when I have extra free time to actually get some WORK done. Therefore, it bugs me that this is just the time when the entire publishing world seems to shut down. I make a point not to send in any submissions between Thanksgiving and New Year's, if I can help it. But, really, do editors have to vanish off the face of the Earth at that time?

This attitude goes back to the period in life when my kids were in school, so over the holidays I didn't have to worry about getting them up. Also, that's the part of the year when regular meetings are suspended, so one has more time at home. Nowadays, from Christmas to early January is when I try to work a lot on "my" stuff before starting the high pressure of legislative session (I work for the Maryland General Assembly) when my brain gets too limp for serious writing.