Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Meeting

This Monday, I'm reminiscing.

When I was a child, my parents got divorced. And split the holidays. So, every other Christmas we would drive from Pennsylvania to the heat of the Florida Keys to celebrate Christmas with my mom's parents, on their house boat. Did I mention my grandparents are Jewish? It was as if we were trying to make Christmas as un-traditionally Christmasy as we could. Those Christmases are etched in sharp contrast to all the Christmases that had come and gone before, when we would drive to New England to spend the holiday with my dad's parents.

But, a strange evolution of Christmas occurred. It became normal to expect Santa to visit on golf cart, driving down the beach. To enjoy the bizarre pastel Key's interpretation of Christmas decorations. To see our gifts under the Hanukkah bush, and play shuffle board and go for a swim Christmas Eve. To sing 'Margaritaville' in Key West and see Hemingway's cats. To wear bathing suits instead of snowsuits. These things became Christmasy to me--even the Hanukkah bush. To this day, I use blue lights on my Christmas tree.

I loved those Christmases.

My point? That a vacation to the Keys would be perfect this time of year? No--well, yes.

But my real point? That Christmas, and any holiday, is about spirit, not about scene, or even traditions. And, that it is more about spending time with those you love than about anything else.

But on to the task at hand:

The Monday meeting.

This week I am going to write. That's my goal. As the pressure of Nano dissolves and the holiday cyclone sucks me in, I just want to get some writing done. I'd love to finish some things up, and have a solid deadline, but my goal is just to find my rhythm and write.

My other goal is to remember my bigger goal--to get this stuff published, and sooner rather than later. This always fires me up, as I think of all the possibilities.

Plus--another big treat (it is the holiday season, after all!)--this week's Friday interview will feature Casey McCormick from Literary Rambles. She is a fantastic person and writer. Stop by to check it out!

So, are you thinking about the holidays? What are you working on this week?


  1. I'm going to write, too. Great story about the Keys. I'll be in Florida this Christmas visiting family. I've never seen Santa on a golf cart!

  2. Paul--I hope you recharge in the sun!

  3. ... and it's about the traditions you make for yourselves and your loved ones, no matter how UNtraditional they might be for others. Absolutely.

    Thanks for posting on my blog today!

  4. My husband is Jewish, which changes how we approach the holidays over here. I like your take on your memories.

    The Monday meeting is a great format(like the Friday interviews!). Do you write at a particular time each day? I need to find rhythm right now myself.

  5. Carrie--I hope you have a happy birthday!

  6. Tina--do you do celebrate multiple holidays, or focus on one?

    I try to do blogs in the morning, and write at night. The problem is when I am too tired...

    I also enjoy writing during the two times a week when all my kids are all at school (it flies by).

  7. Great post, Heather. It's not entirely uncommon to have a 70 degree Christmas here in Cali. Sometimes it feels like we might be missing something, never having snow or the like, but the thought is always lost in our spirit, love, and cheer.

  8. We almost always have snow here in Michigan and I wish we didn't. A Florida Christmas, or a Caribbean Cruise Christmas sounds just fine, thanks.

  9. Heather, I can relate! This is my first Christmas outside of Ohio, so it feels SO weird here in Tucson. I haven't gotten in the spirit yet. Several of the campers have Christmas cacti instead of trees!

    Sometimes certain things trigger the spirit, even though Christmas is not about things. The snow, the Christmas decorations in the front yard, the signing and dancing Santa we always put out in November... I miss teaching this time of year, because it was fun to share in the magic with the kids.

  10. We celebrate multiple holidays. And my son's birthday is right in the middle. By the end everybody is tired of everything. But we get better at it all the time.

    I like the idea of making blog time and writing time so far apart. Thanks!

  11. Casey--I love New England, but I'll talk to you in February about sending a 70 degree day our way. California dreaming...

  12. Paul--I think that it is a bit different as an adult--I am really wistful about those hot holidays now. As a kid, I missed the snow--although in PA, snow at Christmas wasn't a given. Ice was, though.

  13. Natasha--It always felt a bit surreal to be that far out of our habitat at Christmastime.

  14. Tina--my middle son has a birthday on December 14th, and my oldest son's birthday is January 7th (and my daughter and husband had mid-November birthdays).

    I don't have two holidays to juggle (except to wish my extended family a happy Hanukkah), and I'm exhausted by January.

    I'm sending thoughts of energy and peace your way.

  15. I do look forward to a white Christmas, but then after that, I'd love to be in Florida! :) It is true, you make your own traditional or nontraditional customs with the ones you love!

  16. Kelly--I agree! There is something so magical about a white Christmas--I love living in New England and having that possibility. But a vacation someplace warm in February would be heaven.