Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Calendars, Christmas and Cards--The Daze has Set In

Okay, this was going to be my personal blog post, but I completely forgot to post on the RM blog this morning. It wasn't until my good CP emailed me to remind me of my duties, that I figured out I had to do the blog today.

Sorry! But I have a good excuse.... I am knee deep in Christmas wrapping paper, ordering cards, trying to make calendars, shopping at COSTCO and hunting for presents while still trying to eek out a little personal writing time.

The writers on other blogs are calling this the "haze of Christmas." I call it the DAZE. Man, oh man, I remember when I enjoyed making pretty cards on line and writing a funny letter filled stories about our family. I remember when making photo calendars was a blast. I remember when I actually took time to do all of these things and I anticipated them with great joy.

Boy, have things changed since I became a writer (albeit unpublished, I am treating as a full time profession). Last night I grumped about the time I needed to put into making the calendars (meh--it's a lot of work). My DH said, you're just mad cause you'd rather write (mind you he isn't taking over the job--cause he gets paid to do his argh). This morning I cursed (well not loudly, but in my head) the iPhoto program that allowed me to make my cute little picture card on-line and put in a little letter. I didn't write much. I put in bullet points for our entire year--easier that way.

But that's better than what I sent last year: I said we moved, that's it. Everyone was asking about the letter and said they missed it, but my creative juices are drained by the time Christmas rolls around.

I'm still stuck making calendars. I also have to make photo books for a relative in Canada. And I haven't even begun wrapping yet. AACK. I love Christmas, but all the chores wear me out. I am in a DAZE. I went to COSTCO--haven't been there in months--haven't missed it. I had no idea they sold jumbo sized vitamins for half the cost I was paying at my local apothecary (easier to get to). Will I go there in the New Year, when all this hoopla settles down? Not likely. It takes too long to get there and I want to write.

Now don't get me wrong. I love the holiday season and all the good family times. The lunches with friends. The food. Don't forget the food. The presents. The joy of getting up at, oh, 4AM--never mind, that I could do without--and seeing our Christmas movie. Sigh. It's just that it is draining, it is like a one woman job (seriously? who invented all this work for us?) and all I want for Christmas is a nice glass of chardonnay, a good book, and a little time to myself to do nothing.

I always start off the month thinking, I'll try to write a half an hour a day. Some days I manage. Other days, I get way more done. Today? Nope. Ain't going to happen. All my creative juice is pouring into calendars, photo books and blogging.

I think I've forgotten what it is like to do nothing.

So, what did you used to LOVE about Christmas (or the holiday season as you celebrate it) that you dread doing now or feel takes too much time away from your writing obsession? Is it a one woman show where you live? And how do you manage to squeeze time in to write?


Gwen Hernandez said...

I've cut way back. If it's not too expensive, I buy the gifts online. My card is written, but I hate it and am planning to start over.

We weren't going to decorate the house this year, but my oldest elf did it. I keep putting off shopping (hate it), but everything has to go in the mail, so I need to get on it.

Basically, everything gets put off until the last minute so I can write. I make a horrible elf.

Christine said...

Gwen, my calendars are done AT LAST. Now I have to do photo books (one I am happy to make, one is a glass of wine story --or bottle ). I accidentally bought two blu ray discs that we already have so back to the store I go (I seriously do this every year--I have no idea what we have). I still have to finish shopping for DD and DH. BUT iphoto has a cool card maker that allows you to put the letter in--I chose not to this year--I don't know--so much happens and the older we get, the more bad stuff happens like people getting sick and I just can't write about it... or the good stuff... okay--back to work I go... geez, a long comment back :)

Cari Hislop said...

I usually send cards off in January though I'm not bothering this year. How many people care if they don't get their Christmas card till after Christmas? Not many! Two years ago I spent hours and hours making these Christmas ornament/Christmas cards (little Christmas birds)and I think out of the sixty or so I sent/gave out (for once before Christmas)...I think only one person (a non relation) actually commented on the fact I'd made them and they were cute. I'm not making Christmas cards this year, and the only people overseas getting a card will the The Parents and one or two siblings (the rest will get e-cards).

However, my left over Christmas cards from two years ago came in handy for decorating my living room. While watching tv last Sunday night I sat and made about 12 feet of white paper chain, draped it around the living room and then taped on the little birds.
It looks really lovely.

This year I'm going to concentrate on me and my husband. I think we have to know where to draw the line. If "the preparations" make us crazy, I suggest its the preparations that are crazy.

I've bought my Christmas presents. My husband will wrap them and I'll enjoy them. On the day I'll watch my Christmas movies. Play with my new toys. Eat my chocolate and hopefully make my husband laugh inbetween kisses under the mistletoe...and if I feel like writing...I may be eating my chocolate and that sounds fun! :)

Naima Simone said...

I'm going to say decorating for Christmas and putting up the tree. I still LOVE it, but every year I seem to do it later...and later...and later. Soon I'm going to be like my parents when I was growing up and spend Christmas Eve decorating the tree!! LOL!

Christmas cards? Forget about it!!

M.V.Freeman said...

First, what I LOVE about Christmas-- tree and the lights, and the Christmas movies. I like making cookies with my kids (except now they fight all the time.)

What I dislike--it seems I have NO time to myself, to even write. I never see all the people I want to see. *sigh*

I have pulled back, I am not doing cards..I just can't seem to get them. As for the Christmas letter...its going to be a New Year's one if things keep going the way they are. Still, I seem to be cleaning A LOT.

So,here I am in my own Christmas Daze...

How appropriate Christine...:-)

Martha W said...

"I didn't write much. I put in bullet points for our entire year--easier that way."

I almost snorted coffee out my nose. lol! You are still one up on me - I write 'Happy Holidays' and sign it 'The Warners'... DONE! :)

Christine said...

Naima: I love the tree. We have a huge family tradition about decorating after Thanksgiving during the weekend. That's fun! But I totally get your post-- other stuff for me happens later and later. I asked my DH about it and he said it's because I do the Golden Heart now and I literally don't do anything for Christmas till after that puppy is mailed.

Mary: I love making the goodies, but as my DD gets older, I end up doing most of the work myself. I was actually relieved we were going out of town this year so I don't have to host a Christmas Work party for DH and have even MORE goodies to make!

Cari: I love your card idea! I'm going to save it for next year! And you're right. Why get stressed over all the preparations? Usually I am pretty cool about it all, but the trip to TX and my FIL's terminal cancer has me hurrying up and doing so much more just to make sure he gets it all this year. Cards? Can't get out of them, but I may limit them next year to only out of town and overseas. I once had 100 plus to send. I whittled it down to 45. I only send to in town if someone sends to me.

Martha: you crack me up! I love it. That's what I did last year and my "fan club" gave me grief about not sending my fun letter (not braggin, but I used to make a point about making it super funny). Any rate, this year, they got a nibble. I did discover the iPhoto pics are great and allow for it all to be in one page. I won't bore you with what I USED to do before the invention of the picture card/letter LOL.

Good news! I am finished my calendars and the photo books! Woohoo!

Jeanie said...

Christmas? Is it that time again?

No, seriously, I have the tree in the stand. No lights or decorations up. Nada. Present mania begun but not finished, and I haven't even bought wrapping paper, though that's on the list.

As for writing, forget about it! No time. I think about it . . . a lot, and I've done a little revision on old stuff, but no new stuff.


Christine said...

Jeanie: I feel your pain! Argh for sure. I have much done, but every year something slides through the cracks and the numbers keep growing and growing. Soon that crack better grow to accommodate my slips.

I did buy wrapping stuff at the Hobby Lobby (woot). I love paper and notions (brings back good scrapbooking memories). In fact, I plan to incorporate my love of papers and notions into an interesting new year's decorating box.

Stay tuned!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

This is the first year I've actually had a December deadline. So guess what that's done to my Christmas preparations? I have not mailed cards. I bought two presents yesterday. The tree is up, because I made hubby drag it down from the attic the day after Thanksgiving, and there are decorations on the mantel.

I have no idea what I'll manage to get done, but I've decided not to stress over it. I just tell everyone I was on deadline, and I expect revisions any day. Nothing more I can do. :)

Christine said...

Lynn, I was wondering about you as you worked on the revisions for the novella. I know you were busy. Published authors don't get to say no to their deadlines, regardless of where and when they occur in the year. And publishers and editors aren't going to let life problems be excuses either. This is why I'm sticking to my goal of writing during the holidays. And I think the discipline will pay off in the end. I believe entering the Golden Heart is a good way to prepare yourself and your loved ones for holiday deadlines. This is the second year in a row I've had to hold off till Thanksgiving and it does make getting it all done seem very tight.

If I didn't have a chicklet in the house, I'd probably scale back a lot more. As it is, the goody making has cut down a lot. We'll see. I keep hoping when she goes to college and comes home for the holidays she'll be my personal chef and baker :)

She's way too busy to help me with a lot of the preparations due to school and finals and concerts and....

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and can find some time to relax. You've earned it!

Sahil said...

Wish all your friends and families and everyone around a Merry Christmas by visiting a new unique way of sharing your thoughts and expressing your feelings.