{december (de)lights}

Lafayette 57

The house down the street (and around the corner) has what appears to be aliens arriving on the lawn around the Holy Family. I suspect they meant to make trees, but somehow, the lines of lights on wire frames look like aliens landing – or taking off – in wedge-shaped streams of coruscating light. It is my yearly giggle, as I drive down the hill: Ecstasy to the Orb – it’s Aliens.

Clearly, it’s too early for me to be taking Christmas lights seriously.

With the exception of our wee creche, we don’t usually decorate for Christmas. In the last few years, it’s been because we’re in the process of moving, thinking about moving, preparing for moving — and now, for the first time, since we’re staying put for more than a single year, it’s …. a little… noticeable. Hey. We don’t have any Christmas decorations, having gotten rid of them, oh, maybe six moves ago. Time to go thrifting.

(What? You buy your ornaments new or make them by hand? And pass them down for years and years, and have MEMORIES attached to them? Yeah, yeah, it must be nice, in Normalsville.)

Nutcracker x4

The weather has finally started to think about what “normal” might be for December. I can no longer run errands in a T-shirt and jeans, as it is at present 29°F/-2°C. Bring on the scarves and gloves! There’s snow in the northern part of the state, and after this weekend’s weather system, we’ll be able to see it on our very own, nearby peaks. Somehow, that makes it Official: it’s the time of the season for joyful freezing and teeth-chattering songs.

I don’t actually blog much, normally, during December, but I’m trying to be better about just getting here and being present in my …churlishness and general cranky moodiness. This year, I’m going to try to be… I don’t know, pleasant through December. Big job, I know, since usually I’m overbooked and übercross and up to my oxters in Good Cheer and it’s usually a very thin veneer over generalized rage. This year, I’m morphing my Thanksgiving thoughts into December delightedness. Taking joy in a month that’s going to come anyway is the best way to chill out with the crazy and stay grounded.

To that end, I thought I’d share that there are Christmas giveaways going on all over. No – I don’t mean the ones hosted by talk show hosts; you won’t find the Mighty O or Ellen here. I mean, in the litosphere and foodie blogosphere — the places where you’re always browsing anyway.

Got Books? Want more? [email protected] in Kidlit are helpfully giving one a day away. If you’re in the UK, Book Bird Fiction Blog has your books. English indie publishers, Alison and Busby are also having a giveaway. If you’re good at book quotations, – hurry over, it’s already started. (Also, if you’re in the UK? DO NOT MISS Tinned Tomatoes’ annual 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. Some SERIOUS swag to be had there for foodies and cooks.)

More books? Suzanne Wardle, a book blogger and book review editor for the Roanoke Times is giving away six holiday-related books just because… reasons. Gotta love that. Drop a comment, and be part of the drawing. A few clicks away, Entangled Teen has 12 Days of Kickass, where twenty-four authors put out deleted scenes, villainous scenes, and give away the books in which they appear (or, you know, don’t). Book Hounds follows up with the 12 Days of New Adult Giveaway, which, if you’re not familiar with the sub-genre, is YA fiction for the post-high school crowd. I’m not yet sure how I feel about it… if you’re not either, this giveaway is for you – read, then make up your mind!

There are probably more giveaways out there, but I hope you check these out. And, hope you’re well on your way to finding the delights of the day today.

Hayford Mills 176

If the sun is shining, it isn’t actually cold. Right?

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