Unless your soul is in need of a quick overnight fix, complete with ghosts, time travel, and spirits, there is still time to prepare for the holidays. Yes, pull out that diary that you will write in for two weeks in January, coinciding with your New Year's resolution, and start now. Capture the essence of the holiday spirit while you are within it. You know you will only keep that resolution for a short while anyway. Who'll look back with awe at your new observations in January over weight loss, new friends, digging up old friends who barely remember you, digging up old friends who'd rather still be unfound, musings over the 20 minutes' walk per day you started on January 2nd that dwindled to every other day by mid-January and that was a mythic adventure by time you watch Groundhog's Day on February 2nd.
Write about what is happening right now. Like my wife popping out of bed at 6 a.m. after going to bed at 1 a.m. so she can start the preparations for the Christmas Eve meal. A meal that we could cook in our sleep. A meal that we could start at 3 p.m. and still be ready for the horde at 6 p.m. Write about the 7:12 a.m. call, after rolling over in bed and trying to go back to sleep from Afghanistan. Taliban? Karzai? Nope. Skippy! And it's his birthday. But I already sent him an online message 12 hours before December 24th, because I knew he was that far ahead. So, not being a big telephone talker, I greet him for a few minutes, and then turn him over to wifey who loves talking on the phone. And yes, I get a few more minutes of sleep until Sydney decides it is time for me to arise and start cooking the rice for fried rice. But I know the real reason. Sydney, a 20-y-o cockatiel, awoke and saw the rice cooker. His motivation is simple. Wake daddy. He makes rice. I eat rice. It must be a special day for me. Cockatiels are so egocentric. So the tapping on my forehead forces me to rise. I hear organ music in the kitchen. My wifey was an organist. I get every Christmas choral with the ambiance of the phantom of the opera as a backdrop.
The fire has died. The house is cool, not cold. Wifey stops the nonstop chatter to Afghanistan. "The fire's out. The house is cold." I can take a hint. And so the holidays begins in earnest.
And so should your preparations for the 2013 holiday season. Capture these moments so that in July you can write a 67 page holiday story and self-publish it on Amazon in November for $1.99 and annoy everyone with your emails, tweets, Facebook postings, Linked-In announcements, Pinned pictures portraying and praising your prose, so you too can be declared a best-selling author at capturing the spirit of the holiday. It is about giving, giving back what you experienced so that we can all benefit from the rising spirit, and as George Costanzo would say, "Happy Festivus for the rest of us." Now let's arm wrestle. I know I can take Sydney two out of three times.