Monday, December 9

'Tis the season.

Good morning! I'm busy writing, because there's a contract and and R & R that have me really excited this month. But my mind wanders a lot. More than usual, I mean, because it' know, the season. I'm reading all kinds of Christmas stories--I love Christmas. My office is a maze of unwrapped gifts and wrapping and gift bags and even some gifts in the corner that  are wrapped. They're all different, even the ones from Lands End that are the same--the colors are different. The sizes. Sleeve length. Stripes. Solids. Sizes.

I have three Christmas trees. Since they range in size from two feet to six and a half and are decorated with different memories and wishes, they don't look much alike.

Though they do. My trees are all traditional, like this. Presents underneath, shiny things all over it, a tree skirt. Green. Lots of lights.
Sometimes I'll see trees that are modern--pink sometimes, or turquoise, more of a suggestion of a tree than the real thing. ("Real" is a relative term here--I haven't used a real tree in more years than I can remember.) Kinda weird-looking to me, but not to everyone. This is where many fans of Christmas trees find their beauty.

And then, maybe my favorite tree of all, the Charlie Brown. That little seedling of hope and love and "yes, I can" that can make for such a happy ending.

Sometimes the season doesn't mean a tree at all; sometimes it has to do with things like a this that are of another faith, another holiday, but no less beautiful, no less heartfelt.

Romance novels are like Christmas trees, aren't they? And menorahs. All different, yet all the same. Naysayers talk of formula, but those of us who write it and read it and love it know better. Romance novels are like this, like snowflakes--another reason for celebration; ask any kid who's on a snow day.

There may be a formula to writing romance, but who cares? Christmas trees, menorahs, snowflakes, gifts you choose with love, and romance novels are all happy things, full of wonder and discovery and extraordinary beauty. Things that make you cry sometimes, laugh others. Things that give you peace. Joy. Remembrance.

Yup, works for me.

Have a great week!


  1. Our tree (this year) is white...with a hot pink, glittery star on top. It's gaudy and I never thought I'd like a white tree, but it really shows off the ornaments well! And, though I think I'll go back to a green tree next year, I like our non-traditional tree this year. :) Great post, Liz, thanks for sharing!

  2. I haven't even put up our tree or that first decoration--well, except for a poinsettia that I bought at the nursery a week or so ago. I'm not in the mood, but I'll get there as soon as we go up attic and pull down the Christmas decorations. My kids won't be here until after New Year's Day...maybe that's it. But I'm imagining your beautiful farm house and all the lovely decorations and it's getting me closer to the mood...thanks!

  3. Super post! Ours is trad--kinda like me!

  4. No matter the formula used - each writer makes the story their own and we are all the better for that diversity.

    Oh, and trees? Two one with butterflies, the other with birds. I kinda like things that fly. Like Santa and reindeer.

  5. I'm in Christmas withdrawal this year. Our new house isn't quite finished and we won't be moving in until January, so all my decorations are still in storage. For the first time IN MY LIFE, I won't have a Christmas tree. We're flying to Chicago to spend the holiday with our daughter, but she doesn't have a tree either because she always come to visit us! I'm already planning to go all out next year - I'll have so much pent-up Christmas spirit!

  6. I haven't set up our tree yet. I hope to this weekend. It's a 4 ft pre-lit tree that we stand on a small chest. It's a huge time saver when putting it up and taking it down unlike the 7 foot tree we used to have that took up half the living room. By the time I put all the strands of lights on it, I was more than done with the decorating and the other family members would put on the ornaments and such.

    I love your comparison of romance novels to Christmas trees, Menorahs, and snowflakes.

  7. Wonderful post, Liz! We have two trees in our household. We have the full size tree the family decorates and then I have a 3 foot tall three that is decorated exclusively with Star Trek ornaments because I'm just that much of a Trekkie! lol

  8. Kristi - I almost bought a white one for the office, but couldn't make myself do it. I'll bet it's so fun!

    Nan - You'll get there, and Christmas happens in the heart, not the calendar. You're going to have so much fun in January!

    D'Ann - Mine, too, and I guess I am, too. I try to adapt to change here in my dotage, but it's not always easy!

    Ashantay - Oh, I'd love to see them. I'll bet they're beautiful!

    Alison - We had a year w/o a tree when we were in the middle of remodeling one year--I cried buckets, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get with it. I wish you and your family happy Christmas anyway.

    Katherine - Two of our trees are pre-lits. I love them! The other one is my little two-footer on the kitchen island, which I cover with a trash bag and put away completely dressed. :-)

    Jim - Thanks for coming. My son-in-law would love your Trekkie tree!

    Thanks to everyone for your comments!

  9. Great post, Liz. I got my tree up this weekend and got my living room decorated yesterday. Such a relief to get it done. My tree is a hodge podge of memories--hallmark ornaments, glass balls that a great-great aunt hand-painted that are probably 75 years old, beaded ornaments that my grandmother made, a popsicle star that Kristen made in grade school, and most recently Pier One ornaments. Love them all!

    1. I think "memories" is the magic word, Margie! Thanks for coming by.

  10. Enjoyed the post! I love the Christmas season and love just sitting and watching the Christmas tree with its beautiful ornaments and twinkling lights. And I love romances!