Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are You Good at Christmas?

I don't know about all the other writers on this blog, but I'm rather fond of attributing many of my worst qualities to "being a writer." It's the perfect excuse for being scatterbrained, insensitive, overly sensitive, self-conscious, self-involved, melodramatic, too forthcoming, and nosy.

And at no other time of the year are my worst qualities more painfully on display than Christmas. Frankly, I'm just not good at Christmas. I'm not a grinch or anything. I love the festive holiday spirit, the decorations, the lights, the eggnog -- especially if it's spiked. It's just that I'm horrible at making Christmas happen.

This year we only have a gorgeous Christmas tree (pictured) is because I'm married to a wonderful man who procured it from a car commercial, for which he did the lighting design. He's also the one who made sure that all the ornaments from Christmas trees past were neatly stored in one place. And long after my attention span for the project had petered out, he kept on hanging and stringing various things until the Christmas tree was "done."

If you are one of the very few people who received a Christmas gift from me this year, it's probably because my husband picked it, bought it, and even mailed or delivered it -- though I was kind enough to take care of wrapping the gift and writing the card. At the very last minute before saying, "Honey, can you do me the biggest favor?", but still...

He also bought (and spiked) the eggnog, strung the lights, and streamed the ridiculous amounts of Christmas music he's downloaded throughout the years through our television. You see, he's great at Christmas. I'm just terrible at it. I blame this on being a writer.

Being good at Christmas requires a lot of forethought and organizational skills. However, I tend to keep those skills in reserve for things like story and plot mechanics. While other people rush around trying to find the perfect gift for their loved ones, I'm rushing through a draft, trying to get to a good stopping point on my project before I'm forced to stop writing and you know, actually spend a large amount of time with my loved ones as opposed to the characters I've made up in my head.

Other people love making Christmas happen. I just love writing about it. I rarely buy gifts, but adore writing gift guides for And my main excuse for being even worse at Christmas this year than in years past (I didn't even send out cards -- the one thing writers kind of excel at) is that I'm hard at work on my third novel, which rather ironically, takes place during the holidays.

But now I'm wondering if being terrible at Christmas is actually one bad quality I really can't blame on "being a writer." Show of hands (in the comments). Who's great a Christmas? And who else is just terrible at it like me?

In any case, have a fantastic new year. Like most writers, I'm actually awesome at New Year's. Written resolutions and copious amounts of drinking -- now that's a great writer's holiday.


  1. I'm not good at Christmas either. (We have a tabletop tree that I dust off every year.) Sadly my husband's no help since he's Jewish. Happy New Year!

  2. Oh, I'm so relieved to read I'm not alone in being Christmas-disabled. Every February I find the stack of Christmas cards I meant to mail. Were it not for my brother and his partner, this would have been year 12 without a tree.

    I'm all for blaming it on writing; otherwise, what excuse would I want to own?!

    Happy 2012!

  3. LOL, Ernessa!! Loved your fun post ;). I'm WAY behind on many Christmas tasks... Wishing you a wonderful one, and I'll raise my glass to you and all our GBC friends when I write my resolutions on New Year's to be more organized for the holidays in 2012!

  4. Ernessa, if it involves cooking for anybody, I am bad at the holidays. On the other hand, if you need someone to open that wine bottle, I'm your Holiday Girl.

  5. Your hub sounds like a gem! keep on writing Ernessa and have a Merry Christmas!

  6. Ernessa, I've always loved to entertain, but I know my limits. I hosted two holiday dinners, (eve eve and eve), but I knew to make dinners I could handle since I'm not a gourmet chef. (Pork tenderloin one night and brisket and baked potato bar the next). I don't like to spend all day in the kitchen a la Pioneer Woman. I'd rather be writing. I'm also a terrible wrapper. I'd rather stick it in a bag or just stick a bow on it. :)

  7. I loved this post! You've articulated my holiday shortcomings, complete with nuances. It's hard to get out of my head for such an extended period of time! So glad to know I'm in good company.

  8. @Karin Look to the bright side. At least your husband isn't out-Christmasing you. Jealous!

    @Christa I love that you went for over a decade w/o a tree to the point where your brother had to step in. We just took ours down and it was a relief to get our living room back. Might campaign for skipping one next year.

    @Marilyn Somehow I can get organized about everything save Christmas! Good luck with that rezzie.

    @Lauren My BFF and her family visited us for the holidays and we're kind of taken aback by our lovely and well-stocked liquor cabinets, our electric wine bottle opener, and our nightly laced eggnog offer. They were like, "Wow, you take your booze seriously." I'm pretty proud of that dubious compliment.

    @Lucy He really is. I hope you had a great Christmas, too.

    @Malena I technically love to entertain. I just hate doing anything involved with entertaining. I actually went to two parties at my now-husband's house before he asked me out on a date. I was so excited. I think I might have sensed back then that I needed to marry someone who could actually do the stuff beyond sending out invitations (which is pretty much all I'm good at).