Monday, 24 December 2012

It's almost...CHRISTMAS!







It's starting to feel a bit like...Christmas!
Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! The season of snow, reindeer and egg nog is upon us. So what writerly post do I have to deliver to you today?

Today, I'd like to talk about how to recapture the spirit of Christmas and how you need to remember to do the same with your writing too!



Rekindling My Christmas Spirit
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I remember sitting in front of the frost-laced window, staring out into the flurrying snow, and wondering whether I would get a glimpse of reindeers sailing through the air, pulling a large sleigh behind them. Of course, I was six years old at the time.
 
I also remember looking out a different window as an adult, with my three-year-old niece on my lap, and pointing up to the crisp, clear moon overhead.
 
‘If you’re lucky…very, very lucky…you might see Santa and his reindeers fly by the moon,’ I whispered to my niece.

She grinned, and I felt a tremor of excitement run up her back. It was then that I realised that perhaps I had forgotten the true meaning of Christmas as an adult.

Since that day, I have never missed an opportunity to glance out of the window on Christmas Eve, wishing to hear the tinkling sound of reindeer bells or see the moonlight reflecting off the runners of Santa’s sleigh.
 
As an adult, I had become so consumed with work, and bills, and responsibilities that magic, wonder, and the unknown were things I simply didn’t have time for. Santa stopped existing for me, and only came to life for the niece that I so dearly love. But even that didn’t make me stop and think. Instead, I ploughed on with my life. Working every hour that I could, scraping together what money I could, and looking at Christmas as one big expense that I could surely do with out.

But on the night I pointed to the moon, and felt the unashamed excitement of a child at Christmas, I realised I was missing something so much more important than money, responsibility, and material things. I was missing the wonder and excitement of the unknown. The thrill of believing in what you can’t see. So, I decided there and then, that Santa, and the spirit of Christmas, would once more be part of my life. Because Santa is love, mystery, laughter, and that special part of your heart that never gives up hope.
 
And for me, at least, that's what keeps my writing flame burning bright. It is wonder and joy and laughter. It is mystery, the unknown, and the forgotten parts of life that you want to relive.  It is the spirit of Christmas...because although Christmas comes only once a year, the thrill of believing lasts all year round.  And as writers, that's what we want our readers to do.  We want them to believe.



6 comments:

  1. Beautifully said Fiona. I "found out" about Santa when I was five because the dear elf left me a note, and my father had extremely distintive handwriting... but even then, I still, somehow, wanted to believe, so strong was my desire to partake of that magic! As my daughter reaches that age where belief starts to wane and questions arise, I have tried to come up with an answer that will leave her not with the dissapointed reality that she has been hoodwinked all these years, but with a deeper understanding that the spirit of the season takes many forms, and self-made magic is just as real as any other found outside of ourselves. Thank you for sharing such a simple, beautiful perspective on such a special day. I'm forty-six and still get that tingle of excitement...

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    1. I feel I must be lucky as my niece and nephew (6 and 7 respectively) both still believe in Santa. My oldest niece at 11 doesn't, but she still helps us keep the dream alive for the others. I think that letting them know that the spirit of Santa always lives on is the key to the transition of explaining the reality of Santa. I hope you have had a very magical Christmas, Jill.

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  2. We still have to "lie the lie" with our kids. There IS a Santa. But how does one "break the news?" One of my colleagues offered some great advice when her son had reached the age of questioning how there could be a Santa at the mall, and then another on the street corner.

    She explained that Santa can be within each of us, and that's why you can see more than one Santa. As you said, the "spirit of Christmas."

    As we sit down to watch The Grinch....

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    1. I hope you had a great Christmas, Michael and thanks for stopping by the blog! What a touching story you posted above. The sentiment is a timeless one!

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