There's something wonderfully comforting about the way some things don't change around the holidays. Or maybe I just force things to stay the same: I've been known to change the channel when modern pop stars sing their versions of old Christmas carols. Give me Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, and Burl Ives over the latest stars anyday.
What would Christmas be without watching Charlie Brown's Christmas? It came on past my bedtime when I was a kid, so watching it was a big deal. I love everything about the production: Charlie Brown's rant against commercialism, the funny dances the kids do when they're supposed to be practicing the play, Snoopy freaking out Lucy by kissing her, Linus' retelling of Luke's Christmas story, and the pitiful Christmas tree that transforms with love. I even enjoy the faulty animation (watch the kids' faces change color while the characters speak).
Another great thing about Christmas is watching my children's reactions to the Christmas lights everywhere. The tackier, the better, as far as they're concerned. We usually try to go out one night before Christmas with some popcorn and some hot chocolate and drive around to see all the decorations.
The only thing left to really enjoy myself this holiday is to find a good Christmas mystery. I think I'm in the mood for a locked-room mystery or at least something set on an island or a snowbound village. And if it can have a Christmas theme of some kind, all the better. Thanks to Grave Matters for providing a reference list for me to use at the bookstore.
Blogs and News:
Agent Rachelle Gardner's post on the necessity of writers having a "holiday plan."
Bleak House Books publishers (and their Intrigue Press imprint) will be offering most of their line for free (you just pay shipping and handling.)
An interesting post on the Mysterious Matters blog on how mystery writers should refrain from relying on "hunches" in their books.
An Urban Muse article on ways for writers to earn extra income.
Great book suggestions from Editorial Ass.