by Julie, sitting by the lit but undecorated tree in Somerville
This time of year, though festive, is also a challenge. There, I said it. Much as I enjoy eggnog, December is bittersweet. I miss the people who aren’t here, reflect on the year behind me with both joy and ennui, navigate the stress of the season, and dread the winter looming in front of me. I’m hardly a holiday elf. But there are a few things that I find get me in the holiday spirit.
One, connecting with people. For some people that connection may be a phone call, or even a card exchanged. For others, it may be a quick cup of something with a promise of a longer visit. I’ve run across a lobby to give someone a quick hug. Facebook posts may suffice. Often, it requires carving time, and making choices. But for whatever reason, this time of year feels like it is more necessary than others to make sure to connect, and remind people that you are thinking of them.
Two, give up the sugarplum dreams. As we get older, perfect gets in the way of good enough. I’m all about good enough. Wrapping isn’t stunning, but it is done. The niece may get more of a vest than a sweater on Christmas day, with a promise of sleeves in the new year. I’m sending New Year’s cards, because there’s no way Christmas cards are getting done in time, so why pretend? My halls may not be decked until I’m done with work, but they’ll be decked.
Three, as Bing Crosby sings in White Christmas, fall asleep counting your blessings. Every night, I list five things I am grateful for. That is more challenging some days than others, but there is always something. In that spirit, allow me to list five things I am most grateful for in my writing life.
- I am grateful that I write cozy mysteries. In these difficult times, I am thrilled to create puzzles that challenge readers, but only intellectually. They also create communities, characters, familiarity, and comfort.
- I am grateful for my fellow mystery writers. Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, folks I meet at conferences and conventions–I’ve met a lot of writers over the years. I’m here to tell you, they are terrific people. Maybe we all work our an
xiety out on the page?
- I am grateful for my Wicked Cozy blogmates. Regular readers of this blog know that we are all friends as well as blogmates. What you don’t know is how kind every one of these women are, and how much they have added to my life.
- I am grateful to you, our readers. So many of you come by every day, and say hello, or leave a comment. I wish you knew how much your support of this blog and our books means to all of us.
I got a wonderful holiday gift, the cover of Clock and Dagger, which is coming out next August. Isn’t it wonderful?
How about you, dear readers? How are you doing as fall turns into winter, and a new year is almost here? I’m sending you lots of good wishes for a wonderful new year.