Thursday, December 24, 2009


I can't believe I'm so late posting. But it's been a hectic month. As I write this, my daughter is flying in to spend Christmas with me. I find myself thinking about traditions and how they reflect our priorities.

What are your traditions? Or, if you're a writer, what are the traditions your characters have for major holidays? Do they change over time and if so how?

I know that for me, Christmas traditions changed after my divorce. Now I have an artificial tree instead of a real one and it goes up beginning of December instead of 10 days or so before Christmas. I have a few ornaments from when I was married but most are new.

Now that I have my dog, presents go under the tree right before we're ready to open them because otherwise she's likely to decide they must be for her.

I've gone from some holidays that used to be big family affairs to quiet times for just me. Others are now more than they were before. As my life has changed, so have some of my traditions.

With our characters, their traditions help to define them too. What matters most to them? Lots of presents? Time with family--or do they not have family to be with? Is their tradition to go and volunteer somewhere or do they celebrate at home? Do they always go to movies on Christmas day? Or is it important to them to play sports outdoors?

How do two people coming together in a relationship adapt so that what matters most for each in terms of tradition is honored but they also forge some new ones of their own?

For a writer like me, it's impossible not to ponder these things.

Whatever your traditions are, I hope they bring you some joy and comfort at this holiday season.