A New Year

It’s Sunday, January 9th, and my house is still decorated for Christmas.   I got a late start.  When I finally got around to decorating, I scattered seasonal décor with a light hand.  Instead of a 6-foot tree, I set up a table tree in our bay window.  Elsewhere our Christmas stockings, my Jim Shore Santas, two red poinsettias, and a bunch of candles spread holiday cheer in our home.  With the sparkle of the tree lights and glow of the candles, it was enough.

Now, even though Christmas is more than two weeks gone, I’m not ready to put it all away.  Call it the afterglow.  I’ve always loved reading through holiday cards and letters after the holiday.  Just as precious are the late arrivals that season our mailbox between Christmas and the New Year.  I take time to enjoy my new gifts, especially the books and CDs, bath and body products, and assorted kitchen gadgets. I love wearing my Santa socks, and posting new pictures of babies and toddlers on our refrigerator.

Still, there is a time to put it all away and bring in the New Year.  Just not yet.

In the spirit of welcoming 2011 though, as I hung my new calendar I made a few resolutions.  Mostly they pertain to health and writing.  I WILL continue to eat healthy and to lose a few more pounds. I WILL finish my latest book by April 1st.  And I WILL blog weekly.

This last resolution caught me by surprise.  It came in response to a challenge posted on WordPress.com, challenging us to increase our blogging time.  WP suggested we blog daily, or weekly.  I knew I’d never make the daily gig.  It’s enough for me to scribble a few more paragraphs on my book each day.  But a weekly blog?  Still, I have a good friend who’s been doing just that since she set up her blog in 2008 and she’s now published.  It’s about putting commitment and scheduling into one’s mindset.  A good idea.

So, dear reader, watch for a new blog each week.  Come summer, watch for an even healthier me.  And finally this spring, watch for word of a finished book.  My resolutions are lofty ones so could you please send a few positive thoughts my way?  I’ll hold your hand, if you hold mine.

Now, if I hang some hearts from the branches of my small tree, do you think I can keep it up until Valentine’s Day? 


A Simple Christmas

Christmas is coming. To prepare, I hung this year’s evergreen wreath on our door and on my Facebook page.  🙂   Here it is for you to see, along with my greeting for the season.

Merry Christmas to All!

For us, the season will be simple.  Not just because we traveled overseas in October, or because we have repairs scheduled for our aging house.  It will be simple because we believe Christmas shines brightest when celebrated simply.

Oh, we honor our traditions.  Just after Thanksgiving, we drive north to a tree farm in the foothills of the Poconos.  Inside the barn-type shop we share a cup of hot cocoa then examine every wreath displayed before deciding.  Do we want large or small this year?  A gold ribbon?  Plaid?  Brilliant Red?  Pine cones or gold balls?  Silly perhaps, but it’s become a tradition to look, consider, contemplate, and discuss.

The wreath is important.  It’s one of the few outward displays of Christmas in our home.   We keep things simple — the wreath, a fake (but life-like) tree,  stockings hung by the chimney, and some background Christmas music while I bake.  That’s about it.  We do celebrate plenty on Christmas Day, but that’s for a later post.

This year, as I’m again immersed into a daily writing routine, I’m grateful to limit shopping time, and much of that online.  With our children grown, home is quieter than in years past.  (A bittersweet thought.  I do miss the bustle of three young boys.)  I’m limiting what is done to what must be done.  Simple.

My characters’ conversations now buzz in my mind.   For me keeping the season simple gives me more time to write it all down.