I don’t like Christmas. In fact, I make Scrooge look like Santa. I don’t put up decorations (I think I’m allergic to the aesthetic properties of tinsel) and only grudgingly display cards, counting the days until I can reasonably take them down and dust the shelves whereon they stand; however, I have been known to come over all Martha Stewart and make gift tags from them for future festive seasons. It’s easier to admit them over the threshold if I know they’ll be sacrificed to a higher purpose.
High points this Christmas will be watching my adorable one-year-old nephew open his presents, and getting to drive my beloved housemate’s superior car all over the country while he is on vacation in Thailand. Low points will be the weather (which won’t be cold or snowy enough for my romantic notions) and the fact that I have my own personal NaNoWriMo going on. My next historical horse novel is due at the end of January, and for the last two months I’ve gaily been assigning the lion’s share of the writing to the week between Christmas and New Year; only now am I wondering if a target of 8,000 words for nine consecutive days is a trifle optimistic for this time of year when, Scrooge though I am, friends and family will have high and understandable expectations of enjoying my company. My long-suffering companions are very tolerant of the times when my International Author commitments take over from my day-job. I’m allowed to cancel arrangements at minus-minutes notice, ignore my phone, and generally hide my face for weeks at a time. Miraculously, when I stagger back into the daylight, bleary of eye and trembling of typing finger, they remember who I am, remember what we used to have in common, and act like I’ve just put a couple of long days in at the office.