Monday Meditations

Christmas Moment(s)

Part of what is overwhelming during the holidays is spending 24-plus days planning for a single day event. Or if you are one of the lucky people to start Christmas the night before, two days.

It’s similar when you plan a novel. The characters, plot, editing, theme, formatting, reviews, marketing… There’s so much to mange that you might freeze instead of start.

Interestingly, both Christmas and new releases have a similar letdown on the day after.

Christmas is intense focus on gifts, meal, food…a perfect minute. And the more expectation you have, the greater the chance of disparity between want and reality.

Instead of trying to see and plan the whole, either in writing or in the holiday, try looking at the moments.

Don’t wait until Christmas

If there’s one thing Thanksgiving teaches, it’s that no one wants three slices of pie after a meal. So, why not have one kind of pie each week for three weeks?

Instead of saving the peppermint cocoa and apple cider for Christmas Eve, take a moment in the middle of the week to sip a mug and stare out the window. Call that Wednesday night cuppa, “Christmas.”

It doesn’t always have to be about calories, but the point is to spread out the celebration. Open a gift when someone hands it to you. Don’t put it all under the tree.

And for a large scope project like a novel, only focus on the next step instead of contemplating the overwhelming-whole.

Celebrate as you go

A Christmas moment could be a phone call with a friend. Reading a Christmas book from your childhood or allowing yourself to make a craft or decoration instead of a chore. Create and listen to a Christmas playlist. Allow what brings you joy as a means of celebration.

Write as you go

If you only have Saturdays to write, there is a buildup of expectation where you want it to be perfect and productive. But in a daydream moment during your commute, you can do the pre-work of writing, editing and problem solving.

Notebooks, note apps or texting yourself can help pin those flitting thoughts for study later on. Blog posts and books can both start with an incomplete thought in a journal or text. If you’re a writer, you can write all the time, whether you are people watching, in conversation, reading, or alone in your head.

Here’s the point where we could say that Christmas can live in your heart all the time… but this isn’t a Christmas movie. Instead, just enjoy a moment.


  • Hilarey Johnson

    Hilarey Johnson grew up hearing that she would be a good student if she could get her head out of the clouds. Her daydreaming still makes it possible to get lost driving anywhere. She loves characters with a hidden or unknown worth who rise up to claim their identity. She writes redemptive stories from Idaho and travels in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Someday Hilarey hopes to time travel. She is the author of Breaking Bonds, and Dance of the Crane fiction series. She has written books and articles for Guideposts, Brio Magazine, Christian Living Magazine, local news papers such as the Times-News, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and others. She blogs weekly about "Intimacy with God for the Over-Churched" at Hilarey Johnson is the current President of ICW.

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