Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Bah Humbug

It's only 22 weeks until Christmas. Okay. I can hear you cursing me as you read this. You're shaking your heads and asking, 'Why is she mentioning Christmas in July? Is she mad?' The answer is time.

Last year I expected my writing time during December to be limited, but I never expected it to be non-existent. With all the present buying, wrapping, food shopping, parties, dinners, New Year celebrations, the 31 days of December, and early January, became a black hole of non-writing. In the face of such overwhelming opposition, my writing just didn't have a chance.

I’ve made the decision to not let this December meet the same fate, and have drawn up a plan of action:

  • Write a Christmas present list six months in advance.

  • Buy several presents each month from July through November.

  • All presents to be wrapped by 1st December.

  • Buy ready-made, where possible.

  • A ban on buying Christmas magazine specials, thus avoiding comparing myself to their perfect visions of Christmas.

  • Learn to say no to some of the invites - how many £11 set Christmas meals can a person eat in a day, anyway?

  • Agree with myself in advance that the two weeks of Christmas/New Year will be writing free, and that I will not feel guilty about it.

  • If all of above fails to free up December writing time, agree to do NaNoWriMo next year as a form of penance.
I love Christmas, I do. I just don't want the whole of December, and early January, to be taken over by it.
Do you have any tips for fitting writing into the festive season, or do you just know December is a non-writing month?


  1. As I get older, I find the December season of writing in limbo tends to shrink! I do some of the above options, but I also put less pressure on myself as far as purchases are concerned. I still write, but I notice that the spirit of the writing swings from elated spirit to a hint of a melancholy spirit. The December season is a somewhat "mixed" season for me.

  2. I'm 16, right? Christmas is just an excuse for my grandparents to get completely wasted and annoy the hell out of mum and I. Although it is funny when mu brother and I take the mick, cos usually they're so drunk no one remembers.

    But it's harder for me, especially as I often have to ask my parents to buy me presents for others. And then there's of course, me. I have everything I want now, new phone, laptop, music player, hi fi...I have it ALL. What can I possibly want this year?? A new laptop would be nice but that's pushing my luck...

    As for writing, I'd write anyway. But I guess going to college, I'll be doing essays and stuff. Oh the fun.

  3. I always give myself the "season" as time off. And I'm quite anal about buying presents and cards and things well in advance. Yes, I have already bought some! (but I do a pressies advent calendar so I need to have 24 small gifts sorted and wrapped by December 1 anyway. [nothing over £2. It's fun but challenging])
    You are supposed to enjoy Christmas you know. I find if I'm not careful that the planning takes over and I don't stop to notice it while it's happening.

  4. Oh wow!! That is so disciplined and focused!! I wish you all the luck with this!

    I'm a christmas month freak - in that I absolutely ADORE that time and new year's too - and will just go with the flow and get carried away and bah humbug to writing!! LOL!

    22 weeks to christmas ??!?! Wow!!

    Take care

  5. Writing at Christmas? Are you kidding? Between the kids, the presents, the parties, etc. I'm lucky if I can talk let alone write a sentence that makes sense.

    I just resign myself to the fact that writing won't happen. Then, if I do find the time to jot something down I am extremely happy!

  6. Dear Lord, you are certainly forward thinking! I haven't even thought to August let alone December!

    I usually write up until a few days before Christmas. BUT I don't have kids or inlaws around (we're strategically placed between Egypt and Canada) so I can do that!

  7. Last year a friend of mine asked 'Have you done your Christmas shopping?"
    I shook my head thinking she was joking as it was early October. Turned out she'd done all hers and she wasn't the only one. They were all at it, being organised, planning ahead, pressies bought, wrappped and hidden!
    All I could think was, what is this craziness? My hope, that maybe this meant the shops would be less crowded in December, with all these organised folk around, was short-lived, it was still absolutley packed mid December when I did my shopping.
    Hmm :/

  8. Greyscale – I think what you said about not putting too much pressure on yourself with purchases is a big part of it. When time is limited, you can’t do it all!

    Pixie – oh, to be 16 again. What joy it was to not have to worry about anything else but buying a few presents. Hope you get your new laptop!

    AJ – I used to belong to a crafting site, and we would do Christmas gifts. One of them was called the 25 Days of Christmas, and would involve a small present for each day. It was fun, but involved a lot of thought and planning. The postage costs could be horrific if you didn’t put a lot of thought into size and weight.

    You are spot on about planning taking over, and then not stopping to enjoy it all. I must to do that more.

    Old Kitty – love your enthusiasm. We should all be more like you!

    Janel – your Christmas is like mine! LOL

    Talli – I know. I’m bit anal about it all. You are good, writing up to a few days before. As I work for a major supermarket chain, and Christmas is our busiest time of the year, I’m usually exhausted the week leading up to the three days of Christmas.

    Penandpaints – we’ve all made that mistake! I have a reoccurring dream every year in which it’s Christmas Eve and I haven’t done my present shopping yet. Guess you could call it a nightmare!

  9. Oh I love Christmas. I don't have my family in England so I don't have to shop a lot. I agree about shopping early and I did that when I was with my family in the Philippines but I don't know why - I always ended up deciding I'd get better presents by early December! I know it's silly rushing and all - but you know what? I miss it. Now I only have to shop for a few friends and I can shop for my family and put them in a box then send it off but I can do that any time.

    So...that means, I can write any time I want come the month of December! :-)

  10. I´m completely with you. I love Christmas and I love planning. Right after New Years Eve, I start planning Midsommer, which is at the end of June. Right after Midsommer I start planning for Christmas.

    What I do is I try to focus on what´s most important to me - just prepare the foods that we REALLY like, get a few great gifts instead of loads to everyone and so on.

  11. Len - I hadn't thought about missing the mad rush, but I guess I would. I'm so used to being that way every year!

    evalinn - I need to do as you say, focus on what is really important to myself and my family.


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