Merry Christmas, everybody! (And y'know what? My Jewish, Buddist, and Muslim friends tell me it isn't in the least bit offensive, and none of them understand why the media has made it a politically incorrect wish, either.)
I should begin by admitting I'm not a "Christmas person". I go through the motions, because my kids and grandkids love all the hooplah. And my husband? Good grief. He's a bigger kid this time of year than the kids are! So I decorate (and people say "Has Martha Stewart been here?"), and I bake (and they ask "Did you inherit Julia Childs's secret recipes?".
One of my least favorite 'get ready' chores is the shopping, because for cryin' out loud, stuff's expensive. And what if I forget somebody? (I believe the whole Hatfield-McCoy feud started cuz somebody forgot to give a Christmas present.) Then there are rude, poorly-raised children who don't even bother to say thank you, even when you've handed out gifts in person. The stores are noisy and crowded with scowling, in-a-rush people who've forgotten The Reason for the Season. And the roads and parking lots? Don't even get me started.
But y'know what I hate worst? Not being able to write!
Even if I don't have a deadline hanging over my head (which is rare), it seems the computer is made of iron, and I've got an invisible magnet inside me. While I'm addressing Christmas cards, running errands, wrapping presents, and performing any of a dozen other mindless chores, my over-fertile imagination is hard at work. Ideas percolate and, like one of those old-fashioned camp coffeepots...
...and all too often fizzle out as they bubble onto my overheated brain.
So I guess in addition to the 14' tree that looks surprisingly like Laura Bush's, and home baked goodies, and gaily-wrapped presents, and a house that glitters and shines like a silver ornament, I'm giving the gift of love. Cuz let's face it: If I didn't truly love these people, no way I'd stay away from my computer this long!
Strange, but during those long, harrowing days between Thanksgiving and New Year's, martyrdom becomes a truly pretty thing. HOHOHOHO!
Seriously, now that I'm 95% ready, I've joined the ranks of those who are looking forward to a big fat stocking, hung by the fireplace with care. (Oh, who am I kidding? I'll settle for a sloppy one with a hole in the toe.) I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve, when my beloved and I attend Midnight Mass, and come home to a peaceful and pretty house to share a cup of mulled wine (and whatever it might inspire
Then we'll both settle down for a long winter's nap, knowing centuries ago, during those same hours, the world's most holy miracle took place.
Merry Christmas, everybody. I look forward to hearing from you all soon. Meanwhile, take care of yourself and those you love, and here's hopin' the new year will bring you health, happiness, peace, and prosperity...and a few Dreams Come True.
All my best,
P.S. I just finished a terrific novel, written by Sharlene MacClaren. Courting Emma is going straight to my Keepers shelf!