It’s mostly about Christmas


Our tree at 2 below. Don’t let the sun fool you!





December is not my month to write. November-even with Thanksgiving, Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday, my birthday,  and Clam Bake-finds me writing like a whirling dervish dances. (Thank you, NaNoWriMo.)

Though December is a bust creatively, organizationally I need to be on top of my game. (I think this requirement applies to at least 50% of the adult population in the US. You know who you are.) It’s mostly about Christmas, naturally:

  • Designing and ordering photo Christmas cards. (No signing as our names are printed on the cards. Nice.)  Addressing the card envelopes. (Who did I mail cards to last year? Where is that list?)
  • Designing and ordering photo family calendars. (Just a gazillion texts to daughters and searches on my phone and Facebook for the perfect pictures.)
  • Shopping for presents. (Pretty much just for my mother. Phew…)
  • Writing checks for grandchildren’s  Christmas presents. (It’s such a relief to put the burden for buying presents onto my daughters.)
  • Shopping for those ingredients-eggs, flour, sugar, nuts-that I don’t normally keep on hand so that I can make cookies with my two local grandchildren.
  • Baking cookies without my grandchildren.
  • Keeping my husband away from the cookies before I have a chance to hand them out.
  • Trekking to the local tree farm to buy the Christmas tree. (My Fitbit appreciates all the extra steps I garner looking for the perfect tree.)
  • Perfectly decorating the damn perfect tree.
  • Buying gifts for the Yankee swap and making food for the writing group party. (That’s it, one non-family holiday party to attend. No more dashing through the snow to get to those parties crammed into the two weeks right before Christmas.)
  • Watching “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Love Actually,” and all the Hallmark Christmas movies (several times).
  • Scheduling and planning the family Christmas party.
  • Checking the weather forecast two weeks in advance of the party.
  • Rescheduling the family Christmas party for a day when we aren’t forecast to get lots of snow followed by freezing rain.
  • Enjoying the holidays!

This list is nothing compared to what it was when I was a working mom with three daughters at home. (About the age that they are now.)  And that’s something I’m grateful for. As I’ve gotten older, I am less able-and willing, I must confess-to juggle all of the additional demands that a busy holiday season can place on me. And as I look back over those years of hectic Christmas celebrations that seemed to last for the entire month of December, I wonder if a simpler holiday season would have been a better option for my family.

Now, what really complicates my month of December isn’t Christmas. It’s the amount of preparation it takes to spend the next four months in Arizona. That list just might compete with Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list. Totally worth it.


About Karen Whalen

A contemporary fiction and domestic suspense writer with an accumulation of incomplete novels and short stories, I spend half the year in NH with our youngest daughter and family and the remainder of the year in Arizona with our other two daughters and their families. This arrangement allows my husband to golf year-round. I am fortunate that my daughters live in places I would have retired to all on my own!

Posted on December 19, 2016, in Karen Whalen, NaNoWriMo, Uncategorized, Writing Group and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You’re a funny lady, Heidi! Merry Christmas!


  2. Best possible solution: visit distant family for Christmas. As The Grandma, you are a sort of necessary Christmas decoration, expected only to be there and smile warmly. The (Elderly) Elf on the Shelf.


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