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Christmas stuff and a writing update
Hello readers,

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.
I periodically glance at my watch and wonder how many Star Wars/Trek movies I've missed and how many more are left before time runs out and they switch over to something else. At least I refrain from sighing or staring longingly at the door, because (a) that wouldn't be nice, and (b) I'm fortunate to possess a mostly-functional set of social skills.

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?

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I hope your Christmas is delightfully forced-social-interaction-free and filled with exploding spacecraft! I'm right there with you on not being that much into the day itself and preferring nerdier pursuits (I actually spent last Christmas Day having a Lord of the Rings extended edition marathon).

Also: new Justice chapter! Woohoo! XD

A fellow Christmas nerd! Your LOTR extend-a-thon sounds wonderful. Actually, it sounds like something I would someday like to do. But I doubt I could get the TV for that long unless I watched it some of the time on the computer. Hmmm. *starts plotting and scheming*

Yeah, new Justice chapter! I'm so excited about it. I was hoping I could spend half an hour working on it at work today, but work has been super busy and I couldn't swing it. But I bet I can bang off another thousand words tomorrow night when my husband goes to work!

I am so, so sorry. I am usually horridly busy over Christmas, and I can't say I wouldn't mind sitting down for a little me time myself. :\

I expect you're going to be way busier than me because you'll probably have a houseful of people, some of whom will show up bearing stinky cheese! (They know who they are)

Hopefully the tryptophan in the turkey will make everyone sleepy and they'll all go to bed at a reasonable time, leaving you a little you-time at the closing of the day. I looked up tryptophan on Wikipedia and apparently dried egg whites have the highest concentration of it. But the chart didn't say how many dried egg whites you would have to feed your guests, nor how on earth a person could reasonably be expected to serve dried egg whites. I'm thinking something meringue-y...

Finally getting through my long email-inbox list of LJ updates (my gods they just accumulate...), so I hope you had a nice quiet evening, even if it wasn't on the dreaded day itself.

Personally, my family has two sides (3-4, if I want to be the run-around socialite) but with Mom always working Xmas day if she can (Double Rate! More likely need for pet-sitters!) it's guaranteed that our actual family get-togethers are only on the weekends before, or after, the actual event. Like this year's isn't until the 7th of Jan!
As for step-dad's side, we don't always go. Especially if we didn't participate in their Secret Santa gift exchange.
Dad's side? Well, I'd have to track him down to his latest abode and hope he's not working or drained!tired.

So if me and mom and step-dad are all quietly at home that Eve, that's when we'll usually do our little 'here's your presents!' with each other Almost always in our PJs, too!. Then curl up with a movie or two.

Anyway, hope you had your preferred celebratory holiday method. <3

Well, I like the idea of "here's your presents" while wearing PJs. I don't like Christmas to be complicated. I think there should also be a rule that no one is allowed to be bad tempered and take out their grumpiness on others (who cannot escape because EVERYTHING is closed and the weather is usually too crappy even for a walk. I think that's the thing that stresses me out the most about Christmas-- the trappedness. Oh, LJ doesn't like that word.

I ended up having my Christmas pizza on Christmas Eve, with the usual remarks from hubby re quantity of slices and wine, but he's always been like that, so I'm sort of able to tune him out. There was no Star Wars/Trek, but he consented to watch a movie chosen by me, so in keeping with my Roman mood, I chose the Eagle of the Ninth. It had no female characters and major slash potential.

Christmas day itself was quite a trial, but hey at least it's over and I won't have to think about it again for a year.

So glad the world is almost back to normal!

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