If you're anything like me, you've already designated this week as the beginning of the holiday season, which also means the end of being productive at your main job, whatever that happens to be. I know I won't be getting much writing done, although I hope to do some planning and plotting while I stand in supermarket checkout lines or wait for the oven to heat up. My desk, which usually sports research books and publishing notes, now features a grocery list, recipes, and a calendar to keep track of our commitments to Christmas parties and travel arrangements.
Will there be time to bake Christmas cookies before we leave for a week in South Carolina? Can we find a free evening to go see "Lincoln" with friends? Can we visit all our outlets for Lions pecans and make sure they have enough stock to last them through the end of the year? What about Christmas shopping and Christmas cards? What are we eating for Thanksgiving, and how can I make Christmas dinner both spectacular and different from Thanksgiving -- a particularly difficult question because we may not get home until Dec. 23rd?
And worst - - - -What about book promotion? My new book just hit the shelves and electronic book catalogs within the last week. It deserves almost non-stop promotion to be sure my readers all "get the word" before they finish their Christmas shopping. Will I find time to do it? Probably not. Sigh!
That's the down side to the holidays -- that feeling that you'll never, ever, get everything done. But there's a brighter side, too. I keep reminding myself that everyone is similarly busy. No one is going to mind a haphazard dinner now and then. Friends will understand the quick wave rather than the extended visit, since they don't have time to chat, either. And along the way, in these crazy, wonderful days, there will be times when the world slows down -- when the turkey is in the oven, and there's nothing to do but wait -- when an unexpected snowfall causes a cancellation of the usual activities and allows for time to curl up with a good book in front of the fire -- when we finally let go of the rat race and stop to look -- really look -- at the beautiful scenes of the season.
So I'm wishing you a season of delightful moments -- and if you can fill some of them with a book, all the better. You know where to find mine -- just visit the other pages on this website.. And if you're looking for a different kind of read, here's a list of some of the best books of the year.