Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Dreaded Form Letter

With half the family battling the flu, my Christmas present shopping excursions came to a screeching halt last week.  From my sick bed -- or sick couch, to be more exact -- I did what I could to keep the preparations moving forward.  Basically, all this meant was listing the few things I still need to purchase and sending out the holiday cards.

Last year, despite the fact that I generally don't like them, I wrote my first form letter recapping the year, to include with Christmas cards going to out-of-state family members.  I figured since I'm a writer, I should write something more creative than "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" on the cards, although there's nothing wrong with that simple and elegant greeting.

The year before, I slipped an original short story into a couple cards.  The story was fictional, but the characters were heavily based on me and my grandmother, and the plot taken from what I know about her childhood.  The few family members I sent it to really seemed to like it, and that warm feedback spurred the idea to write something new each year.

I tackled last year's letter like an exercise in creative nonfiction -- in a first person story format, rather than narrative essay format.  I tried not to indulge in accolades for what we considered outstanding accomplishments, but which would surely have bored the rest of the family to death.  And I sprinkled sensory descriptions and (attempted) humor throughout.  I was happy with the way the letter turned out, and I heard back from several aunts, uncles, and cousins who enjoyed it very much.

This year's letter was a little different.  I chose "family" as the theme, and rather than talk about the kids making honor roll or my husband's successes at work, I talked about the times I spent in 2010 with out-of-state family members.  I was fortunate enough to travel between Georgia and New York, where my family is based, five different times this year.  Plus, we spent a month with Christian's family this summer in France.  I enjoyed sharing my memories of those trips and the profound impact reconnecting with my family has made on me.  I hope those that receive the letter enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Do you write a year-in-review form letter at this time of year?  Do you like receiving them, or cringe every time one falls out of the card you're opening?  I've been (...or still am, perhaps) on both sides of this fence.  What's your take on them?

And...if you're at all interested, here is the link to the short story I included in some of my 2008 Christmas cards.  It's very short, perhaps 1000 words.  It's called A Little Drummer Boy.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stretch Arms Wide, Crack Neck, Get Ready...Here We Go Again

Me yesterday, after my second full day in the shopping malls.
Me this morning, after a fitful night of sleep (in which the cat did not wake me repeatedly to "clean" my face), ready to brave the stores for a third day.

So that soon I'll be ready for my favorite part: to lovingly wrap all these wonderful gifts in glittery paper, each adorned with festive curly ribbons and topped with candy canes or foil wrapped chocolates and dangling tags.  Some I'll ship to New York, but most will eventually go under our tree...

...where'll they'll be torn to shreds in five minutes flat. *sigh*

Hope your holiday preparations are going well!!!

And hey, before I dash back into the heinous world of tinny, loop-tracks of piped in Christmas music, I wanted to pass this along:

Jessica Bell @ The Alliterative Allomorph is now offering copy editing services on fictional manuscripts.  If you're interested, read more about what she will do for you by visiting  her blog  and clicking the "Editing Services" tab.   

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Call in the Elves! (Oh, they're busy...? I'm on my OWN??)

I appreciate all the awesome comments I've received from you in the past couple weeks.  I'm trying desperately to make my blog rounds, read your news, and sprinkle some blog love on your sites.
This time of year is so BUSY!

I'm dashing out, budget in one hand, credit cards in another, and my holiday shopping list in the third.
Wait...?  (...Stupid math.)

Know that I'm thinking of you!
*throws fistfuls of blog love confetti*