Squawk Radio

Thursday, December 15, 2005

On the FOURTH day of Christmas the Squawkers Give to Thee ...


I love the holidays. I love the smell and look of a Frasier fir, adore getting out the ornaments I’ve collected over the years, take pleasure in arranging my little village on the mantel, revel in having time with my family and friends. Once upon a time I was even one of those annoying people who had all her Christmas shopping done by October 1st.

Those days are gone forever.

Okay, I’m still annoying, but presents aren’t even a consideration, never mind purchased, if temperatures are holding above fifty —and remember we’re talking the Pacific Northwest. It was mostly a way to avoid the crowds and the lousy parking of the post-Thanksgiving rush anyway, but catalogs and the Internet take care of that. I simply wait to see what everyone wants (Lists! Gimme lists!) then spend a little time finding the best price online and have those babies delivered right to my door. You gotta luv it.

What I don’t love is my feast-or-famine social life in December. What is there, a law somewhere that says every event has to be scheduled for the same week? I’m guessing so, since that’s the way it always works for me. We held our annual Christmas Tree Slaughter early this year. The CTS consists of a group whose size fluctuates but this year was me and my guys plus my son’s girl, my oldest brother, his wife and their triplet granddaughters, our best friends Doug and Mimi, and my friend Martha and her new husband and her oldest daughter and granddaughter. We meet in the wilds of Snowshoe Tree Farm where we select and fell our trees, then descend en mass on some poor, unsuspecting local restaurant. And early turned out to be great, since we beat some of the rush. But then, instead of a nice staggered engagement calendar for the rest of the month, which the introvert in me would really, really appreciate, I have. . .

Nothing. Not a thing for the next week except my mammogram, which I’m thinking doesn’t count since we’re talking enjoyable stuff. But, oh, mama, the week after that? We have five parties scheduled. FIVE. What’s wrong with these hosts and hostesses? Don’t they know I can only be nice for so long before I implode? You can’t expect me to smile and make small talk night after night. I need downtime here, I need breathing room to recoup. I need. . .

A paper bag to slap over my mouth and nose. A mental image of that mammogram to pull me back from the ragged edge.

Whew. All righty, then. Sorry about that--I’m fine now. So where was I?

Oh, yeah. I love the holidays. I love (damn near) everything about them.

What have your schedules been like for the season?

Susan Andersen writes contemporary romance with a touch of suspense and comedy to keep things interesting. Her books have spent many weeks on the USA Today bestseller list, the New York Times Extended list, and have twice been included in RWA's Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year. She's a native of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and kitty-boys Boo and Mojo. You can visit her website at www.susanandersen.com.
Christina Dodd, 8:13 AM