Friday, December 10, 2010

Surviving Christmas

It's December 10th already; we're smack in the middle of the Christmas season and, I'm pleased to report, things aren't so bad. There is a wreath on my front door, a red and green sparkly plaid cloth covering the dining room table, and a tiny Christmas tree in the living room; there is even a sprig of mistletoe hanging in the kitchen doorway, although the only kiss I'm likely to get is from my dog. The greeting cards have begun to arrive, and I have already been to two delightful holiday concerts--more about those in a future blog post. I have sold a few Christmas items in my Etsy store and come up with some low-cost/no-cost gift ideas for friends and loved ones. I have enjoyed a couple of eggnog lattes, a handful of Christmas movies, dozens of Christmas songs. And baby, it's cold outside.

Best of all, I got an early present yesterday: after reading my requested synopsis, the agent I dream of representing my work asked to see the first fifty pages of my manuscript. Opening that email was better than opening a stocking filled with Godiva chocolates--and it wasn't fattening.

Yep, it's finally beginning to feel like Christmas.

To help keep myself in the proper frame of mind, I am squeezing in a few minutes every day to do some seasonal reading. Every year, I try add a book or two to our holiday collection; back when my children were small, I chose books to read aloud to them. Some of our favorites were Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer; The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Jan Brett or Tasha Tudor; The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg; The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Wojciechowski; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson; and Christmas with Ida Early by Robert Burch. During that time, I personally made an annual event of reading Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, and Miss Read's Christmas Tales. Since then, I have discovered another Christmas novel by Miss Read, No Holly for Miss Quinn; last year, I also read Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (Christmas with the Kranks was based on Skipping Christmas, but as is often the case, the book is much better than the movie). This year, I am reading Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs, a recommendation from the blog Petit Fours and Hot Tamales, whose family I will join in January. I have only finished the first chapter but so far, so good.

Like playing holiday music on the piano, reading these special stories helps me to escape from the hustle and bustle that threatens to consume both my spirit and my soul this time of year and to get out of my head and into a better place. What books have been a part of your family's holiday tradition? What are some of your grown-up recommendations?


Tami Brothers said...

Your doing great, Pam!!! This is really good progress.

We are really excited to welcome you to the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog. Can't wait to read your posts.

BTW, you looked great on Saturday. Loved that dress!!!

Have a great week.


Pam said...

Thanks, Tami! I am thrilled to be a part of PFHT. And thanks for the compliment; I had such a good time on Saturday! Hope you have a great week, too.