Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How can it almost be December?

By: Joelle Charbonneau

Every morning my won wakes up and asks, “Is it December, yet?”  Every morning I say, “No.  Not yet.”  But as I look at the date on the calendar, I realize I won’t get to say that for much longer.  December is coming.  There is no stopping it.  Although, I’d like to try!

I have nothing against the month.  In fact, I love snow and the festive holiday fun that comes along with the calendar turning to the final month of the year.  Never does the house look so pretty as when the halls are decked and the scent of freshly baked gingerbread makes the world feel like a happier place.

The problem is, I’m not ready for it to be December, yet!  I’m just not.  Although I already have the tree up and decorated and most of my gift-giving purchases complete, I’m not ready.  And the reason for that is simple.  I love the holidays, but at the moment I don’t have time to enjoy them.  For while I enjoy the shopping and wrapping, the baking and caroling of the holidays, work still has to get done in between.

Today, I start work on a new manuscript.  While there is joy in opening a new document and typing Chapter 1, I find it hard to write during the holidays.  I’ve done it before.  I know I can, and yet, for some reason the idea of sitting in front of my computer instead of toasting marshmallows over a fire (I don’t even have a fireplace!) or sledding down a hill with my son (and freezing my tush off) makes me nuts.   Which is why every year I vow to get so far ahead in my workload that I can take the days before Christmas off.  Sadly, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to make that happen.

So this year, I have vowed to enjoy writing this new book as much as I love listening to holiday music and watching my son’s face light up when the snow begins to fall.  Of course, if you have any suggestions as to how you manage to deal with your every day work while still savoring the delight of the holidays, I hope you will share them.  Past experience tells me that I’m going to need all the help I can get!


  1. Joelle, I so know what you mean. For years, I've had deadlines in December. Grant writing and freelance writing deadlines come heavy then. Many grant deadlines and writers residency deadlines hit on the 15th or the 31st, and in order to meet book deadlines, I can't take time off for Christmas. I have no solutions for either you or me. Only commiseration.

    I've found that others simply don't understand. My husband does, of course, but kids, siblings, and friends really don't understand why I can't make every holiday party and gathering out there. And there are so many! Even people who give no parties the rest of the year have Christmas parties and Hanukkah parties and solstice parties. I could attend more than one a day for the whole month--if I had nothing else to do!

    I think you've got the right idea. Instead of regretting the festivities we can't make, let's remind ourselves that we're living our dreams and that many would love to be in the position we are in. Think of all those years we wanted to be writers and would have killed for these deadlines. And happy holiday season to you, Joelle!

  2. I haven't even put out one decoration yet. Been way to busy. Skipping our Sister's in Crime Christams party this year--excuse, it's supposed to rain really hard. Don't like driving in the rain. California drivers don't know how.


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