Saturday, December 03, 2016

A Little Something for the Weekend - Weekend Wind-Down

Today Pink Heart Columnist Kate Walker takes a look at the countdown to Christmas - and starts making resolutions early!

It’s Saturday –  and there are – what  - 3 more Saturdays until Christmas. Three weeks from today will be Christmas Eve! 

  That’s when everything is supposed to be done all the presents bought and wrapped, food organised, bought and prepared, guest lists planned, visits arranged. .  . The fourth Saturday before Christmas. I’m supposed to write about the ‘weekend wind-down’. Wind-down? Now tell me, which of us women – because the majority of us in category romance are women – will have a chance to ‘wind-down’ this weekend? Or next one for that matter.

Look at the To Do lists, the shopping still to do.
(OK –I admit it – I’ve got all my presents. But compared to my sister who buys almost all of hers in the sales in July , that’s nothing . . )
There’s the wrapping – every year I vow I will not be still wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve. And every year . . . No, this year’s going to be different!  I have the gifts, the wrapping paper, the labels . . .
Actually, I do have some gifts bought and sent on the way but then with family in Australia and friends in America, I do need to be  organised and send them on their way as early as possible. I have one special trick that always works with my lovely sister who lives in Australia. Luckily, like me, she’s a bookaholic and so  I  get a list from her of ‘Books I Want to Read’  and then I head for the Book Depository.   They have a wonderful scheme where they  will deliver the books you’ve bought anywhere in the world  for free!  My sister and I have agreed we’re not fussed about fancy paper and wrapping and ribbons. It’s the book inside we’re most interested in. And the truth is that I can actually send my sister an extra book for the price of the postage I would have had to pay otherwise.

There are the cards, the decorations. You know that thing about wrapping on Christmas Eve? Well I also always vow that I’ll have the tree and the decorations up and making the house look festive well before the day before Christmas Eve. But somehow . . .

There are the friends to visit and the visitors coming to stay. We’re away this weekend -  have family to visit the  week before Christmas, friends after Christmas, we hope to visit more family around New Year   – it’s wonderful, but is it winding down?

Then there’s the food to prepare, the tablecloths to wash and iron, the crackers, the cats’ stockings . . . What? Of course the cats have stockings? Do you think I would dare not to give them special treats at Christmas too? After all  Charlie the Maine Coon  is more of an internet personality than I am and black and white  Ruby looks set to be going the same way, she may be a lot smaller than Charlie but she still has big ambitions in the treats department.

And not just from me.  A couple of years back, the first Christmas
parcel to arrive at this house  was addressed  to the cats we had then. It came from their favourite LATP (Lady Across the Pond) Anne McAllister.  And it contained  a Cat Advent Calendar.  A Cat Advent Calendar with pockets  - to be filled with a little treat for each day leading up to Christmas.  And guess who has to fill those pockets with treats?

But, busy or not, I had to write a post for the PHS. I was thinking about writing a Writer's Wish List -  but  the I realised just what I really wished for .

And that was when I thought of the ‘official’ title of the weekend posts – a weekend ‘wind-down’ and I realised that that was what I really wanted for Christmas  . . .a weekend  - or more – to ‘wind-down’.  Too often the holiday season becomes a time when we’re rushing around planning, organising, buying, wrapping  talking, cooking . . .  and before we have time to realise it, it’s New Year and time for resolutions and renewing and  . . .well, back to work!   I already have a course planned for February (Writers’ Holiday) another for April (Relax and Write) , visitors from  America in March . . .another book contracted to write and deliver . . .

What happened to that ‘holiday’ time?  So my DH and I have started this run up to Christmas with our ‘Christmas Resolution’  - and it has nothing to do with eating less or exercising more or turning our lives around. No, it’s a resolution to do more of what we really enjoy and for us, that means actually sitting down and reading the books we have now, the books we might get for Christmas (I don’t think there’s any ‘might about that’!) and anything we  find on our travels this weekend and later.  We’ve even put  some reading evenings (and reading afternoons) in the diaries to make sure we do it!    I have a TBR pile that’s  growing more mountainous by the minute. Well, it isn’t a TBR pile it’s a TBR shelf – and bookshelf – and if I don’t make a start on that , when I add any Christmas books to the pile, I don’t think I’ll get through then till this time next year-  if then.

So that’s what I’m determined to do this Christmas – to make it a real holiday and to find time to relax and enjoy  some peace and quiet  - and some reading.  My special present to myself and to the Babe Magnet is time to read.  And the cats will enjoy that too as they can spend a long, cosy time curled up on  a lap each, knowing  we’re not likely to move for a while . Anyone want to join us? We’re starting this weekend . . .

Well,  that is after I come back from our trip tomorrow and Sunday  and when I’ve written and posted all the cards , and wrapped the remaining presents  (I’m still determined not to be doing that on Christmas Eve!). 

Well - Christmas is a time for fantasy and for wishes coming true so I thought I'd aim for what I’d  really enjoy!

Whatever you're dreaming of for Christmas I hope you have a truly wonderful time with lots of love and joy and maybe something really special under the tree just waiting for you. And I’ll look  forward to joining you all again in 2017  - it’s only (eeek!) 28 days away now!

My latest title Indebted to Moreno  was published in October, but it’s still around.  I’m also delighted to say that a  couple of backlist titles  that have been missing  - The Sicilian’s Wife and A Sicilian Husband –  have  been  issued as separate ebooks   in November  (though they've been in the collection Claimed By The Sicilian if you wanted a 3 in 1) .  And if you’re in Australia then there’s a special 3 in 1 Collection of my books  Surrender to The Sheikh out now - with a fabulous cover! 

And all  the most up to date news can be found on my web site  on my blog    or my Facebook page

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