I am working this morning, but then in the afternoon, preparing for the Big Day. I'll tidy the house, make up a few things for tomorrow, put on some carols, and just have fun.
We always have a steak barbeque for Christmas Eve supper and then put the gifts under the tree. Even though my husband no longer works shift work, tonight after the kids are in bed, he'll pop into the airport for a few hours to help the nightshift get done early so they can go home to their families. I don't mind. He worked that shift many times in the past, and others that were not on the schedule often went in to help on Christmas Eve so he and his crewmates could go home early for Christmas morning. In a way it is as much of a tradition as reading The Night Before Christmas.
Tomorrow morning will start EARLY and we will open prezzies, have a special breakfast and then our preparations for dinner.
Christmastime is a natural time to think about those who have come to mean a lot to us, and also about all the good things that have happened during the year. It's been a good year for me. I had 2 books released and was contracted for several more. My debut Romance won an award the same weekend my mum got remarried after nearly 20 years of being a widow. We left the city behind and moved nearly 4000 km to our new home that is within driving distance of family, and the new home is more than I could have imagined last year at this time. We have a new addition to the family - the dog. I have a wonderful supportive husband and great kids who have hardly made a peep about moving from the only home they'd ever known. What more could I possibly ask for? (Besides a new crock pot?)
This fall especially though, one person has really been there, day in and day out and I hope she knows how much she is appreciated.
Several years ago I decided I wanted to make a traditional Christmas pudding for dessert. I had joined e-harlequin and in the interest of researching my fourth manuscript, had popped into a thread for all things British (now the Mouse and Pen). Michelle Styles sent me a recipe.
It was, in the words of Rick Blaine, “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Michelle became my critique partner, and now she’s so much more. I call her my “writing sister”. She is ruthless with my work. She is a shoulder when I need it (and lately that's been a lot) and a voice of reason when I need that too, about writing, about family, about life. I am not sure I could do this without her wisdom and friendship.
I only wish she lived closer so we could share some of this holiday-ness in person!
Wherever you are, and whoever you're with, I wish you all the merriest of Christmases filled with family and friends and lots and lots of cheer.