So I heard on the radio this morning that we have 19 shopping days left until Christmas!! How did this happen?? The year slipped past while I was not watching. I had a, shall we say, challenging year, and have just started to feel pretty much completely normal again, but it does seem to me like it ought to just be time for Halloween. Not Christmas.

But Christmas will come whether we expect it or not. So how have I been getting ready for it? Well, I have to finish two books and a novella by the end of February (one of those books right after Christmas!) so that is the main way I am spending my holiday. Isn’t the Christmas spirit all about yelling at uncooperative characters and beating one’s head against the desk? Luckily there is online shopping for gifts, and also looking at Cake Wrecks and Go Fug Yourself.

I will get out some of my favorite holiday movies to watch (like Love Actually), decorate the tree, burn my new Marshmallow Peppermint and Dark Mint Chocolate candles from Bath & Body Works, and look at my pretty new party dress. I am also going to see The Nutcracker this weekend (haven’t been in years, so I am very excited!)–I love to see the little girls in their velvet dresses, so excited to be at their first ballet. I will get out some of my Christmas anthologies and re-read some novellas. And on Christmas Eve, there will be my family and my dad’s “famous” margaritas, guaranteed to make even the most frazzled writer feel much, much better…

Last weekend my mother and I made Christmas candy to give as gifts, which is time-consuming (and I usually end up sugar-sick) but is totally worth it. It reminds me of holidays when I was a little kid and would sit in the kitchen watching my grandmother do her holiday baking (she would let me stir the bowls and eat the samples). This Christmas especially I am grateful to be here and spending time with people I love, doing things I love. And that includes writing, which I love even when I hate it. 🙂

Here is one of the candy recipes we make. It could not be easier, and it’s very yummy:

Christmas Bonbons
1 stick butter
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 can Angel Flake coconut
Tsp vanilla Chopped pecans
Chopped maraschino cherries

Mix these up, refrigerate until chilled. Then form into little balls.

1/4 pound paraffin
Large package chocolate chips (I use dark!)

Melt in double broiler, and dip coconut balls in. Let them harden, and you’re done! (The pecans and cherries are optional–you can really use anything that sounds yummy to you)

What are you doing to get ready for the holidays? What are you grateful for this winter season?? And what movies do you always get out to watch this time of year?