Friday, 20 December 2013

CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL

By Catherine Hudson

So it’s that time of year! A time of joy, peace on earth, endless shopping lists, supermarkets and highways full of cranky shoppers, children whining for the latest toy…..
Wait a minute? Isn’t Christmas supposed to be about something else?

At this crazy time of year it is so easy to become overwhelmed and lose focus as a writer—as a child of God. Therefore I thought I would offer some light relief and offer you my Christmas survival list. Please chip in with your thoughts as we count down—only five days to go!

  1. Gratitude. Be grateful—write down what you are grateful for. When you focus on what you don’t have you no longer see what you do have.

  1. Smile. Big. All the time—goodness, just fake it till you make it because I’m sure someone will catch that smile and spread it all around. A very affordable form of Christmas cheer.

  1. Breathe. Find some time to breathe deeply—use that diaphragm! When you stop and do this you will notice the special moments going on around you, the reasons you still bother with this holiday.

  1. Eat. Lots. Stop worrying—you can diet later. Or, like me, you can adopt the ‘exercise so I can eat what I want’ philosophy.

  1. Laugh—even more than you eat. It’ll burn off calories and warm your soul in the process.

  1. Pat yourself on the back for every achievement. Really—write them down, brag about them. Honestly, this one’s important, particularly as a writer because you’ll probably have a few moments wondering what you actually achieved this year!

  1. Cuddle someone—a kid, a husband, a dog or a cat. Spread the love people because there’s never too much of it and it never fails. (Also a really nice reminder to us romance writers that there is still romance in our lives and its not just on the page)

  1. Give. Time, money, a listening ear, a talent, a kind word. Don’t wait for a Christmas miracle. Be one.

  1. Write, but only from the heart. No editing allowed over the Christmas break, I say this space is for the freedom of a creative heart.

  1. Read. Because you can, because you love it, because it’s good for you. Whether you’re in the hot Australasian summer hanging in a hammock, or in the middle of a white Christmas, needing to pull on a sweater and your favourite socks — do yourself a favour and disappear into the pages of a book.

What are the things that keep you sane over this Christmas period?

Disclaimer: No guarantees will be made that the author of this post will follow her own advice.







Catherine Hudson writes Historical and Contemporary romance for the CBA market. She was a finalist in the 2013 MARA fiction from the Heartland contest.


16 comments:

  1. Thanks for your entertaining survival techniques, Catherine! One thing that has helped me is to get gift shopping done early ie November. That way, you avoid the crowds and your mind can be at peace and able to focus on what Christmas is really about! By the way, love that phrase 'this space is for the freedom of a creative heart'. Sounds wonderful--I'm looking forward to that space after Christmas.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Jo. I normally get my shopping done throughout the year but this year I've been one of the mad shoppers going to the late night sales. Nearly all done now though and I'm off to my church for Christmas lights tonight.

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  2. I love what you wrote,,,, God bless you
    Please have a beautiful God-filled Christmas

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    1. Bless you too, Chris! Have a love-filled Christmas

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  3. Hooray Catherine. What a joyful post. We should adopt your list for 365 days of the year.

    Wishing you a wonderful Jesus-full Christmas.

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    1. Yes - let's get a whole world in on it!
      Merry Christmas to you Ian

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  4. Great advice Catherine. All really important things. Another for me is to stop often and remember what Christmas is really all about. Have a blessed Christmas

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    1. Yes it's easy to get side-tracked. Have a wonderful Christmas remembering our saviour Carol

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  5. What keeps me sane at Christmas? Lists! (And I've been checking them more than twice, let me give you the tip.)

    Love your survival list Catherine, especially numbers 1,2 and 10. God bless you and yours from me and mine this Christmas xox

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    1. God bless you Andrea!! Better let you go check that list....again x

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    2. I am a list maker too, Andrea,. Perhaps not doing one properly this year is why I have been feeling pressure this last week.

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  6. Cat, great survivial tips! I really like #2. If you work in retail, nothing steals your Christmas cheer faster than a bunch of grumpy customers. Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. My favourite survival tip is READ. This has kept me same most of my life. Not just at Christmas time, but year long. :)

    But there's something extra delicious about reading on the beach or a quiet, cool nest somewhere inside, away from the flies.

    Thanks for the fun post, Cat. xx

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  8. I'm with Dorothy. I read. Books are the escapism I crave and need all year round.

    Your post helpful reminders of how we should keep our attitude sweet. Enjoy the season, Catherine. May you and your family have a blessed time.

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  9. I always relax with a book, including usually after my head full of the day still hits the pillow at night and I need to switch off. However, these days I am thankful for the Kindle so I don't disturb my husband with the beside lamp on - and can read longer too. A great post, Catherine..

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  10. Time with family is a special joy, singing Christmas carols and especially those that don't just leave the baby in the manger but tell more of what Jesus did on the cross, eg What Child is This which goes to the tune of Greensleeves - an absolute favourite for me. Reading yes, and especially re-reading the Christmas story in the Bible. And I'm with you about shopping early-- far less stressful. All the tips are good Catherine but I especially love the first one.

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