I have a guest blogger today! Her name is Kelly Epperson and she’s here as part of her virtual book tour this month, but we’re doing something a little different. With the holidays here and Christmas just…uh, let me count…NINE days away…and since she’s a talented and quite funny columnist and author, I asked her to send me one of her past Christmas columns, the funnier the better.
So, grab a cup of hot toddy, light the fire in the fireplace and enjoy…
Gotta get my jolly on (from December 2007)
Charles Dickens conjured the Ghost of Christmas Past; what I need is the Spirit of Christmas Fast. The holidays sort of snuck up on me this year. Maybe it was the mild weather we had in November. Maybe it was the fact that Christmas decorations hit the stores Labor Day weekend so I learn to ignore them. Maybe I’m just a little too busy. Whatever the reason, it happened. Bam! The holidays are here.
Trying to get my festive frolic kindled, I spent the entire day wandering the mall and in and out of every big box store wearing a hat with mistletoe mounted and dangling over my head. Not one single person kissed me. I’m kidding. Lots of strangers kissed me. Now I’m really kidding!
I don’t have a mistletoe hat, but I tempted to craft one. As an experiment in human behavior, of course, not because that guy at the bookstore is kinda cute.
The truth is that my merry is not as bright this year. We didn’t get Christmas lights put up on the house. We didn’t get a real tree. We didn’t make the roll-em-out, cut-em-out, frost-em-and-eat-em-up cookies.
It is my plan to make those cookies after Christmas. My boys are on school break through January 7 so we’ll have plenty of time after December 25. There’s no rule that states every celebration must culminate on that particular date. If the hype can start months in advance, a few days of holiday food after the deadline certainly is okay.
Since I broke tradition with an artificial, pre-lit tree, it’s also okay to keep my tree up longer. All year long, if I like. Decked in pink and white, it’s sparkly and glittery. Quite lovely and romantic, perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I wrapped all the presents in one whirlwind sprint. In my rush, I did not play my Christmas tunes. I did not go crazy with bows and ribbons. I did not have a coordinating colored paper theme. And it didn’t bother me. I didn’t feel Scroogey, just…normal.
I’m not Bah Humbug, but I wanted to feel a little more HOHOHO.
I had a gal paint quotes on my kitchen walls (Angie-the-Artist is Amazing). Facing the table is the instruction “Eat, Drink & Be Merry.” That’s not just a holiday only entreaty.
Every day is a day to eat, drink and be merry. I don’t have to feel festive because the calendar tells me that I must. I can be pretty darn jolly all year, with or without “seasonal” decorations.
As Christmas Eve hostess for my extended family, I added cage bingo to the mix of games and found some “fabulous” prizes. The mini Thomas Kinkade calendar was bought with my aunt in mind. It was my hope that my college-aged nephew would go back to campus with the Elmo plate that says “Hurray for you!” The armband tattoo would be a hoot for Grandma. Silly and jolly are synonymous for me.
The holidays have been less stressful because I don’t feel obligated to “do it all.” There is no quota for cheer. Or cookies. We can make merry and bright all year long. And to the guy in my neighborhood who keeps the Christmas lights on through March, I won’t say a word this year. Rock on, dude.
Charles Dickens’ famous ghosts have stood the test of time. His quotes have as well. “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
Me too, Charles. Me too.
Kelly Epperson has been dubbed “Everywoman” and “Rare woman” in the same breath. Kelly’s style is uniquely her own, yet she can relate to all of us. Her weekly columns of life, real everyday life as well as travels through Europe, bring a warmth and a wit that we all long for.
Leaving her job at the IRS ten years ago (it was “sucking the life out of her”), she then embarked on a new career, and served as resident court jester, at a local nonprofit agency that taught English and reading to adults.
Kelly’s motto and quote that hangs over her desk is “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?!” After a year in France, Kelly returned to the states and launched a fulltime career of writer, ghostwriter, and speaker. Every day, she does the happy dance in her kitchen.
To maintain connection and spread a little joy with friends, family, and readers, Kelly recently started a weekly “happy mail” – When Life Stinks, Find Your Joy. To check it out, send Kelly an email to email@example.com.
Kelly lives in Loves Park, IL (city with a heart) with The Man of the Place, her two teenage sons, who are brilliant and witty of course, and a sweet dog Starburst who sheds like crazy. FYI-Kelly hates dog hair, hence, the essay, “It’s Not Easy Being Cruella DeVil.”
For more info, please visit www.whenlifestinks.com.
WHEN LIFE STINKS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 will officially begin on December 1 and end on December 23. You can visit Kelly’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in December to find out where she is appearing!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced at the end of every month!