Monday, December 22, 2008

What I'm giving for Christmas--ADVICE!

Yes, I'm giving advice for Christmas. Here it is, in handy-dandy list form in case you want to print it out and take it with you.

1. If you're a singer and you feel the need to record a Christmas carol, please remember this: Rarely does a well-known melody benefit from being slowed down (I just heard "Sleigh Ride" sung so slowly it was almost a lullaby--I'm sure the horses pulling that sleigh are sound asleep) or with variations on the rhythms that make the song just silly ("Jinnnnnnngle bells, jinnnnnnnnngle bells, jinnnnnnnngle allllll the way-ay-ay-ay"). If in doubt, ask me. I'll tell you.
2. If you really feel you're smarter than anybody else, keep it to yourself. I've had another encounter with Miss Snip, who's once again been dismissively rude to me. Honey, all God's children are equal! I'll just attribute it to the fact that you're half as old as I am--and half as nice. This time of year, we all ought to have on our Christmas spirit as if it were a sequin-sparkled sweater, right out there where everyone can see it. After Christmas, put the sweater away and keep the spirit out.
3. Think before you speak. Think before you email. Think before you act. Hey, in general, just think! That's actually going back on my own resolution list for the New Year.
4. Shop early. Mail early. Thus says the woman who spent over $60 to send one package out.
5. Write stuff down. This is good if you have a memory as flaky as a fresh-baked croissant (like moi) or if you're a writer (like moi). Those books don't write themselves.
6. Keep your promises. I mean, seriously. Do it. That includes anything from saying I'll be there at 5:00--and showing up at 5:00, not 5:15 (Note to self: Put on resolution list!) to signing book contracts with deadlines (Ditto on the resolution list thing).
7. Compliments should come faster than criticisms.
8. Love your family, your friends, your pets. They are your treasure, your chance at heaven on earth.
9. Laughter and a smile--every day.
10. Say your prayers.
Have a merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baby, it's COLD outside!

I was in Massachusetts this weekend, and everywhere I went, people asked about the weather here. Apparently there was a little matter of a blizzard, and talk of temperatures that bottomed out at 27 below zero, without factoring in the wind chill. I suppose when it's 27 below as the absolute temperature, well, you're already cold.

I've given in and dug out some mittens. I'm like a little kid--I hate mittens and hats and shoes and mufflers and take them off as soon as I can--but there are times when even I have to give in to the weather. Fortunately I got a new scarf in Paris that's keeping me warm. And mittens that make me smile every time I put them on. When I bought them, the sales clerk told me that an old woman in Wisconsin knitted each pair by hand. Got them home, read the tag inside, and gee, you never know what you'll learn by reading the tag in your mittens. I didn't know there was a Nepal, Wisconsin!

But that's what the tag says: Made in Nepal.

Stay warm! And keep your mittens on.