How To Find Your Holiday To Don’t List

Santa Claus

Yep, it’s the hap-hap-happiest time of the year.

But instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, you’re fantasizing about a swift kick in the shins to dear old Saint Nick.

Oh, dear. Could it be all those tasks on your Holiday To Do List have you a wee bit overwhelmed?

I’ve been there, friends, and know your frustration. But I can help you bring the joy back to Christmas (and save Santa’s shins) with one simple exercise (and here’s where the writing comes in):

Make a list of what you remember that filled you with joy from your childhood holidays. I’ll go first:

*My mom would buy a case of Cokes and Sprites. This was a big deal because we weren’t allowed soft drinks when I was a kid. (Yes, kiddies, it’s true!) There was no baking, no Christmas cookie exchange; Mom just brought those Cokes in the house and wheeeeee! Christmas was here, baby!

*Gong out with Dad to find the “perfect tree.” We’d run and play tag in the Christmas tree lot while Dad tramped back and forth, looking for the tree. I suppose we decorated the tree and enjoyed looking at it, but yeah, it was the trip to the tree lot that I remember fondly.

*We’d do our Christmas shopping at a drugstore, like a Walgreen’s, and we’d buy gifts for everyone. Since we were all together, we had to develop ninja stealth skills to keep our gifts a secret. We also probably learned a lot about budgeting, because Dad did not give us much money. And since we had to get something extra special for Mom and Dad, that left gum or Lifesavers for everybody else.

As for my wish list…I don’t remember ever going to see Santa, telling him what I wanted for Christmas.  And I can’t remember many of the gifts I ever received. My Easy-Bake Oven and …well, that’s about it from my kiddie days.

I think you can see where I’m going here. What made my Christmas wonderful wasn’t a four-star decorated house. It wasn’t chef-inspired goodies or toys stacked to the ceiling. How about you?

Try the exercise and see if you don’t gain a new perspective on that Holiday To Do List. You might be surprised to find that no one will notice what you don’t do this Christmas, except maybe you.

As for my Christmas, as long as I have Chex Mix for the Junior Halls, it’s pretty holly-jolly. (Hope yours is holy-jolly, too!)



Speaking of Zombies

ImageWe were, weren’t we? Or maybe that was just me.

This weekend, over at The Muffin, I used zombies and other creepy things that go bump in the night to demonstrate a writing exercise I created from a sports show.

I know it sounds crazy, but as friend and fellow writer, Margo Dill, said, “This is a great guide for people planning their NANOWRIMO novels.”

And you’re starting to plan your NaNoWriMo novel, right? So why not give it a go?

(P.S. The writing exercise works for just about any form, short or long. But even if you’re between writing projects, there’s always the zombies and a couple good movie recommendations.)