The tree is up, the outside of the house is decorated, and the holiday cards are in process. Every year, December seems to go by faster and faster — the month hasn’t even started yet and I already can feel the days slipping away. I want to pay attention to every single second this year. I want walks in the snow, nights curled up just gazing at the tree, meals eaten by glow of candlelight. I want carols on the stereo and lots of time just hanging out, reading or talking or playing board games. I’ll let you know how that plays out sometime in January, ok?
In the meantime, here are some ways to make the holiday season more merry for you and your loved ones:
Watch From Time to Time. It’s written and directed by Julian Fellowes, the selfsame fellow behind Downton, and you’ll recognize several of the faces. It’s a lovely, haunting story set at Christmastime during World War II.
Invest in your inner writer (or the inner writer in someone you love). If you live in New England, consider giving a gift membership to Grub Street, or a workshop or class. It’s a great organization that truly helped me grow as a writer (and continues to do so). Which reminds me, I need to renew my own membership….
Eat chocolate. Okay, chocolate makes a good gift too. I’m particularly fond of Taza chocolate, especially their chocolate mexicano line. It’s sweet and spicy and addictive. I also love the dark chocolate sea salt caramels from Whole Foods. (An awfully nice friend gave me an entire box just before Thanksgiving, and I have hidden them away for those dark writerly moments of the soul.)
Give a book. Sadly, I cannot post many of the books I plan to give because a certain eleven-year-old who lives in my home has figured out how to subscribe to my blog. (It’s bad enough when they snoop in closets for presents!) But I can safely share two here. They are:
- Summer and Bird, by Katherine Catmull. I loved, loved, loved this fairy-tale esque story so much that I might have captured it from the local library several times in a row. I’m planning on purchasing it so it can live on my shelves without guilt.
- Papertoy Monsters.
A cross between origami and cartoon art, the book has over 50 teensy monsters, each with its own backstory, to be pressed out and glued or folded together. Both my kids love making them, and I may have created a few on my own when they were asleep one night. I’m not confessing.
What’s on your holiday list this year?