How's the Christmas shopping going? Are your decorations up? Been pigging out on shortbread and eggnog? That's assuming you celebrate Christmas, either religiously or with other non-religious traditions; for example, participating in Santa pub crawls, or learning the rude versions of popular Christmas songs.
My Christmas shopping is where it usually is at this time of year, the status of which is 'not yet started'. Believe me, it's better that way. If I start early, I just misplace gifts or start having doubts about them. I like the adrenaline rush, not to mention the intellectual challenge of waiting until the last minute. Actually, I'm thinking that this year I may wait until the 26th or 27th, since I plan to duck everyone I know on Christmas day. Wish me luck with that-- it may not happen. My husband revealed to me last night (and believe me it was hard to hide my dismay) that it looks like he will NOT actually be working this Christmas day, unlike pretty much every other Christmas day for the past five years.
So why is this a problem, considering that this is my beloved husband we're talking about here, and not one of the people whom I truly wish to avoid, such as certain perennially broke family members who regard me as a (witting or unwitting) provider of resources? Or a random person who wants to sell me something expensive?
Well, the thing is, despite being a generally social sort of person, I am, conversely, a bit of a grinch on Christmas day. I like to be alone. I like to hide. I do not answer the phone. I barely even check my email. This sort of runs contrary to most people's sense of a fitting Christmas spirit, which seems to be about togetherness, turkey, presents, and family gatherings.
I find my Christmas spirit in my lovely annual Christmas pizza (washed down with red wine), accompanied by the Star Trek or Star Wars Marathon on the Space Channel, whichever they decide to show. These things can only be properly appreciated in glorious solitude, as opposed to the company of someone who frequently interrupts the movie to either change the channel to the news without warning, on the grounds that "It's the top of the hour", or to inquire in reproving tones how many slices of pizza I have thus far consumed, do I realize how much sodium that constitutes, surely I don't intend to have a whole bunch of chocolate as WELL as an entire pizza, and when exactly am I planning to start tidying up the pizza-mess I left in the kitchen?
Yes, you guessed it. I refer to my darling husband.
Needless to say, my husband is not as big a geek as I am re any kind of movie or TV show that begins with the word "Star" and can be found on the Space Channel. He can't understand why a person would be willing to waste time on these things on Christmas day. Not when we could go and-- and-- visit people!
Did I mention that Christmas brings out the grinch in me? I believe I did. Well then, you understand that visiting people means I have to get dressed. *Sigh* If I have a choice, I always prefer not to get dressed until Christmas is all over. But, naturally, visiting people pretty much cancels out that quaint inclination. So we get into the car and go on visits, which require me to...
- magically produce age-appropriate gifts for any children we might encounter, not to mention...
- smile and chat and come up with gentle witticisms in social settings, while trying not to...
- eat every single shortbread cookie/butter tart on the plate.
Anyhow, I want you to know that I have not given up hope. There's still a week left. Well, okay five days. But anything could happen in five days. Hoped-for miracle #1 is that my husband may still score a shift on Christmas day! Then we can have nice conversations on the phone during the commercials, and I will of course be very happy to see him when he comes home. Unless I'm in the middle of a movie and he wants to check the news just when the Enterprise is having a shootout with the Borg or something. Hoped-for miracle #2 is that if having to go out visiting people looks unavoidable, then perhaps my grinchiness can be lifted from me by divine means so that I can enjoy myself.
And now, for you patient souls who really just wanted to know about the writing update, yet nonetheless politely read through all my Christmas eccentricities: my current writing project is Justice, Chapter 18, and it's sort of flying along. I've got about 5000 words written, and I'll do my best to finish it this week. However, I haven't yet broken this news to the betas and I don't know what their availability is like in the next couple of weeks, so I can't yet give you an indication of when I'll actually be able to post it. But when I have a better idea, I'll let you all know.
And by the way, that fabulous Christmas icon I'm using is courtesy of meng_horde! Isn't it great?