Holiday Frenzy

Yep … we’re entering that time of year.  The time that makes most people nuts.  Add a deadline and you’ve got manic.  Do not go near an author with a looming deadline during this time of year.  You’d probably be taking your life into your own hands.

Speaking of taking your life into your own hands … I actually ventured into the shopping mall yesterday.  Much to my surprise, it wasn’t the wild and crazy madhouse I anticipated.  Sure it was busy, but nothing like I thought it would be.  I wonder if that’s because the internet makes shopping so much more convenient.  Hell, all you gotta do is a search, click on an item you like, arrange to have it wrapped and shipped and voila … gift accomplished.

Hmm.  Just doesn’t seem the same to me.  I guess I’m one of those people who like to browse, get ideas, find that perfect gift for a certain person.

I’m also one of those people who enjoy sending out Christmas cards.  I’ve noticed in the past few years that this practice seems to be falling off more and more.  I wonder if cards are one of those holiday chores that just seem like too much trouble.  Personally, I love receiving Christmas cards.  It makes me feel more connected with people that I may not hear from otherwise.  And those chatty holiday letters?  Love ‘em.  At least it gives one the opportunity to catch up on the busy lives of old friends and family.

Decorating may be a chore and often a pain in the butt, but the end result is always worth it.  Three years ago we finally broke down and went with the artificial tree.  I got to the point where stringing the couple thousand lights that I insist upon was just getting to be too much.  At least this way, the lights are already one the tree … although I do have trouble getting them all lit from time to time.  Every time I take a decoration out of a box I’m reminded of when and where I purchased it … or if I received it as a gift.  And every year I tell my daughter of their origins until I’m sure she’s sick of it.  But I want her to know the history of these items and their importance to me.  I’m hoping that someday she’ll be the one looking at a certain ornament or decoration and remember what I told her about it.

I guess I’m sorta envisioning a world where one day the Christmas tree will consist of a huge flat screen monitor rather than an actual tree.  Where rather than visiting family and friends, everything is skyped in and called a holiday gathering.  Where the holiday will become impersonal.

What do you think?  Are there holiday traditions that you feel are important to hang on to?  Whether it’s the personal shopping, the decorating, cards or whatever?  Is there something you and your family do that you’re hoping will continue from generation to generation?

About Liz Kreger

Liz Kreger writes science fiction/romances and to date, has two books published by Samhain Publishing ... FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW and PROMISE FOR TOMORROW. Liz is presently branching out to contemporary paranormals and is experimenting with urban fantasy.
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18 Responses to Holiday Frenzy

  1. Amy Remus says:

    Hi Liz – I am a little mixed about some of the traditions of this time of year. I used to love getting Christmas cards and sending them out, yet I don’t anymore. I think so much of it has to do with social media like Facebook. Now we see what everyone is up to all the time and see pictures year round so sending someone a Christmas photo isn’t the same as it used to be. So, I guess that is one area that I don’t miss, but I do feel all warm and happy when I receive one, so go figure. I am with you on hoping that a Christmas tree doesn’t end up being a flat screen TV with a tree on it. My kids and I love putting up the decorations and the tree and looking at all the ornaments – especially the ones that kids made throughout school and have pictures of them. Hopefully we’ll be able to hold onto those traditions, but I think it starts with me! I need to be the one to keep up those traditions so that my kids keep them up when they get older. I should start some new ones, too! I never did the Elf on the Shelf thing but my daughter has asked me about it so perhaps I need to look into that for fun.

    • Liz Kreger says:

      I’m with you, Amy. I gotta keep up the traditions that we have because I know that hubby wouldn’t. Sure, he likes the end results of the decorating, etc., but I know damn well he wouldn’t do half of what I do. Gotta admit, though, he does a nice job with the outside decorating.

      As far as using FB as a way to keep up with people, I guess I’m not all that big with social networking via internet. I do check it daily (almost daily) but I just don’t feel the same sort of connection.

      And speaking of cards, I gotta run off the address labels and get those ready to roll.

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    For a few years, I didn’t send cards, but that was when my life was really crazy. It’s still crazy but slightly less. I’m a non-Christian who married an atheist who loves to decorate, and I enjoy it, too. It’s just fun and everything looks pretty and joyous.

  3. We’ve definitely pared down as far as decorating in recent years, Liz, but we still do some things…the tree, certain favorite ornaments and Christmas items that remind us of holidays from years’ past. And then there’s always the cookie baking!! :)

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Cookies! I forgot all about that. Thanx for the reminder. Gotta fit that in somehow. We used to do a lot of cookie baking, but that too just got to be a bit much. Now, the little darlin’ and I will bake some sugar cookies for “Santa”. We always enjoy punching out the designs and decorating them. Hmm. Maybe I’ll ask my sister if she’s interested in doing that this year. It’s been awhile.

  4. Lori says:

    I’m ashamed to admit I’ve always been bad about cards. It’s just pure laziness. But I think we’ll always have a real tree.

    • Liz Kreger says:

      I really hated giving up the real tree, Lori, but like I said, it got to be too much work. My health is on a downslide, so I have to cut corners where I can. And I really do like the fake tree. I plunked down the dough to get a really good one. I figure if I’m gonna give up real trees, its gonna be for something worthwhile.

  5. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Liz,

    I’m one of the first to drop Christmas cards! Hated writing them and couldn’t wait to get rid of them. lol. As for the other typical traditions, as long as I have kids at home (or coming back home for Christmas) I’ll be busy doing the tree and traditional events I always have.

    Dale

    • Liz Kreger says:

      I’ll admit to paring down our card list this year. There were people on it that I hadn’t heard from in ages, so it was time to trim it. For a couple of years my daughter and I actually made our own cards. Granted those “special” cards went to close family and friends, but in a way it was sorta fun doing them. I think it was mostly because we were doing it together. Glitter and glue flew everywhere! :lol:

  6. Cynthia Eden says:

    I have the frenzy, Liz! Gah! Two deadlines, a crazy million things that I agreed to do as my son’s room mom at school, and all the shopping…just waiting. Taunting me. I feel like curling into a Christmas ball and whimpering.

    • Liz Kreger says:

      I know what you mean, Cyn. Sometimes it just feels like too much … yet somehow it always gets done. I gotta remember to get my international gifts into the mail. Tonight the little darlin’ and I will be working on the personalized calendars that we’ve been giving to grandparents and godparents for the last 13 years. Kinkos does a great job creating them. We always leave a two inch border and then decorate each month with appropriate stickers. Always enjoyed doing that but its time consuming.

      Good luck with getting everything done … one top of two deadlines. Ach! You’re a wild woman.

  7. Liz, I bitch and complain every year about decorating, shopping, blah blah blah, but every year I am so grateful that I did it. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually love the holiday season. :)

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Saw some of the photos of your tree on FB, Karin. Gorgeous. I love flocked trees, yet we can’t do that with a fake one. My grandma always had an awesome tree. She used to get it so flocked that it was pure white, and then decorate with all pink ornaments. She’d then make pink candy ornaments that we get to nibble on once the gifts are opened. Love those memories.

      In the end, you gotta love this time of year. It just feels so magical. I love sitting in the unlit room with only the tree lights and whatever other lit decorations I have on. So peaceful.

  8. Misty Evans says:

    Some years, I enjoy the holidays, others, not so much. As the kids get older, there’s less magic in the air in some ways, and that’s whay I love so much. The anticipation and wonder of the season. The potential for miracles. I still believe in Santa Claus and I enjoy buying/making/baking those small, unexpected gifts to give others. ;-)

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Sometimes it does feel like Christmas is strictly for kids, Misty. Yet, I enjoy it in and of itself. Like I mentioned above, it may be a crazy frenzy, but I still find a sense of peace during this time of year.

      My daughter is 13 and is fast outgrowing being momma’s little helper. Plus, this is the first year that she didn’t help my SIL with her decorating. She would scamper next door and have a ball with the decorating. This year? Meh. Was apparently too tired to help out. Granted it was the same day we participated in a fund raiser … but still.

  9. Liz, don’t worry, you’re getting a card from me ;)

    I love decorating the tree with the kids, making marzipan fruit cake and mince pies, and I always get strong-armed into making duck and cherry pie.

    I love the festive season.

    • Liz Kreger says:

      Oh yum … that all sounds so good. I guess I’m fortunate that I’m not expected to cook. Mom always puts on a spread when we go over there on Christmas day. Ham and Keilbasa.

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