Today is the first day of... holiday for me. I think holiday feeling is almost a choice, like love or sobriety. You just sort of look internally and decide to set aside the grimness for a moment at a time... For some people, the right music, the right cookie, or the best holiday lights help a lot. For others, it's just the right book. What's your favorite thing to read during holidays? Do you return to read the same piece again? Unlike most normal people, I grew up absolutely hating O. Henry's classic Christmas tale, and I wasn't all that fond of Dickens' ghostly tale either (although the less familiar Cricket on the Hearth is easier to bear.) But I was -- and am -- and always will be a Grinch fan. (And you know I mean the real book, or Bob Jones' 1966 animation, not the recent vexatious film.)
Theodor Geisel's family maintains that he was not into the "sentimentality" of the holidays, thus his lying, sneaking, thieving hero. I like that the mean guy is the hero, though Little Susie Who was cute... because it's not how you start out that's important; it's how you end up, which was what Dr. Seuss was saying. So my wish for you: may you end up... where you mean to be.
A title is born: Harry Potter and the What?! Play the game with JK and go into a room, click on an eraser... and after quite a few twists and turns you'll find out the title... getting to the title on the website sounds like it's a lot more fun than writing the last book in the series. Poor JK, she's lived with Harry for years. It must feel like breaking up, knowing she's rounding the corner toward the end for the last time. She reports that she's started dreaming about Harry... and the wait staff in the cafe where she writes. Perhaps she should cut back on the coffee.
I've read Hanukkah books that I've really liked before, but after watching the lighting of the National Menorah this year, I kind of cringed. What's UP with that huge blue dreidel guy!? These guys are much better: Bubie & Zadie are way cool. It's a classic tale that's based on the author's memories of living in Alaska, and though it's gone out of print, it's back with better illustration so that more kids can enjoy it. The idea that children are invited to write letters, email or visit their blog and leave messages gives topping up points to Hanukkah. It's just as cool and full of miracles as any other holiday.
Three cheers: My editor has finally emerged from beneath the piles of things that have occupied her to email me and say that January is my month! I am both ebullient and alarmed by this thought. Cheer two: I have two great heaping bags of books next to my bed, and none of the reading is for Cybils! (although the short lists are due to be posted January 1. Eeeek!) Yay! Cheer three: I have four pounds of cranberries and two pounds of satsumas, and I am thinking of a lovely bread to share with the neighbors. And of making some chutney. And maybe some fruitmince. Ah, the sugary smells in the kitchen! And the tasting! Oh, the tasting! And the gym avoidance! Yes! Excesses and avoidance: It is indeed a holiday!
However, the toilet is now leaking, so I must hie me to the hardware store instead.