This has been a year of self-discovery. I've learned a good deal about myself as a writer and as a person. Worries that use to trouble me no longer do. Doubts that used to plague me are easily shifted aside. I am more comfortable with myself and the direction I've chosen to take as an author, and with the books I choose to write. With each new book, I become more in tuned with my characters and stories. I've never been someone who cares much about what others think of me; I've just been comfortable with who I am. And yet, this past year, I've come to fully understand and accept that not everyone will love my books, and that's all right.
This year for Christmas, I decided to forgo any major gift-giving. This was met with some resistance and grumbles from family members, but I felt strongly about having Christmas mean something more than what's under the tree. I knitted a few scarves for nieces and nephews, but that's about it. All of the wrapped "presents" under the tree this year are empty boxes, but each one is tagged with . . . let's call them wishes.
Hope. World Peace. Dreams. Goals.
This is what the season and coming new year represent to me. It's not just one day of celebration and opening gifts, but rather a way of living and giving always.
Don't get me wrong, the house is decorated up the wazoo and baking and cooking will be enjoyed, but on a simpler scale this year. Anything extra is going to someone else. We may not know that someone right now--or ever--but this year, what's ours will be theirs.
I hope this catches on with my family and trickles over year after year. It's right for me this year, and no matter how the holiday season is spent, my hope is that we're thinking of someone else and what can be done for them.
“May you be blessed
With the spirit of the season, which is peace,
The gladness of the season, which is hope,
And the heart of the season, which is love.”
Image: This is a picture of the the 2014 town tree in Bigfork Village, Montana. You can view more pictures of the Christmas village at Books & Benches or watch the short video of images below. Bigfork: A Tour of Montana's Christmas Village.