Thursday, October 11, 2012

Confessions of a Kitchen Table Writer

I am a kitchen table writer. There is an area in my home that I could make into an office—a nice quiet room, with a door I could shut and a desk I could write at—but I prefer to write at my kitchen table, thus my monthly PHS column, Confessions of a Kitchen Table Writer. 

October Confession -- Christmas is coming and I will not be ready.

Halloween will soon be here and then Thanksgiving is the next day, right? And, if memory serves me, a week later it’s Christmas. At least that’s how it works for me.

Around Halloween I tell myself that this is the year that I will be prepared for the holidays. I will send out the Christmas cards the day after Thanksgiving. I will get the garland wound around the metal gates. There will be mistletoe and wassail and lots of Christmas paraphernalia scattered about. I will get the shopping done by December 1st so that I can get those packages to their proper destinations without paying overnight fees. I will have a successful holiday season!

I haven’t yet, but this is the year!

I love Christmas, by the way. I love traditions, even if I fail at some of them. There’s nothing wrong with St. Patrick’s Day cards instead of Christmas cards. I love being around family and choosing gifts and feeling the warmth of the season.

One of my best Christmases ever occurred the year I got married. My husband and I spent all of our extra money on two boxes of ornaments and an $8 Christmas tree that we stuck in a coffee can filled with gravel because we didn’t have a stand. Yes, the tree was that small and we were that broke. We had no money for presents or decorations, so, for the first time ever, I simply enjoyed the feeling of the season. It was very freeing.

Ironically, just before Christmas, I landed a job and my husband got a bonus and we did have money for presents, but I’ve never forgotten what a lovely time I had concentrating on something other than the perfect gift. It was a successful holiday season. Maybe my most successful ever.

And maybe I need to think about that. 

Harlequin SuperRomance author Jeannie Watt lives in rural Nevada and writes past-paced, character-driven stories set in the western United States. To find out more about Jeannie and her books, visit her website.

Jeannie's next book comes out close to Christmas!


  1. I always tell myself to get the Christmas cards ready, but then when I get around to it, Christmas is a week away. I end up not sending them because who wants to get a card a day before the holiday? There's no time to enjoy the card. My opinion anyway.

    I wish you the best of luck being prepared!


    1. Thank you, Marcie, and may I say that your experiences sound eerily familiar!

  2. I either do Christmas cards insanely early or not at all. I try and look at how my year is going and be honest about how much I can handle.
    I have an acquaintance that does New Year's cards instead of Christmas cards.
    I thought that was really smart. It's very inclusive to different faith traditions, but even more importantly:
    You can send one to that person that sent you a surprise Christmas card and you never would have thought to put on your list
    (yes, I have done this!)
    You can celebrate the New Year for a long, long time, at least until Valentine's Day ;-)

    1. Jill--I love the idea of New Year's cards--especially the part about it lasting a long time and being able to reciprocate when you get that surprise card. Christmas is not supposed to be a time for going nuts over all the stuff we're "supposed" to do, so tweaking it a little is an excellent idea!