Tuesday 31 December 2019


As I write this post, I'm thinking about Christmas celebrations, both the familiar and the almost unexpected changes, and about the New Year ahead.
Each year, here in the UK, the media and the markets suggest a Christmas holiday wreathed in customs and habits, where expected foods are eaten, certain drinks are drunk, shows watched, gifts given and half-known songs sung within that oh-so-festive festive hearth and home. Each year, we recognise the incoming festive clues and note the pattern that, "out there", stays the same.

However, "in there, in here", in our private lives, the ways of celebrating change and have to change.  There are many kinds of families, often in many locations, and what once seemed to be "this is how we do it at Christmas" suddenly doesn't fit the pattern of days anymore.

Sometimes, these changes are because of loss or sorrow, sometimes they come from a happier source and sometimes the change is just because a different pattern might work well this time round. 

For example, our own Christmas celebrations were more altered than usual this year. We did put up a tree, listen to Carols at Kings, eat mince pies. go to midnight Mass and so on and so on.  However, withFamily Visitors not arriving until the twenty-eighth of December, our own Boxing Day was suddenly most suitably named . . .

Book Boxes For Books For Moving House Packing Storage UK

Yes, boxes indeed! Piles of 'em! Stacks of 'em! 

Over Christmas and Boxing Day, we unpacked almost all the cardboard boxes that were stowed or stacked around our house for a too-long while.  As Chief-Librarian, I enjoyed arranging all the many, many books across the five, tall, new bookcases that had just been assembled upstairs by the Chief-Carpenter. Himself enjoyed basking in the glory of his creations, c/o IKEA.

Furthermore, by the end of Boxing Day, the task was done, with the empty cardboard disappearing to the tip the day after.  Phew!

It was an unusual and unexpected way of spending the Christmas break, certainly, but we felt full of a certain mince-pie fuelled satisfaction as well as - joy! - re-discovering plenty of interesting and alluring titles and places to put this year's haul of incoming titles.  

Right now, with Boxing Day accomplished, we have the time and space to enjoy our Visitors over this New Year holiday anyway - andnd no need to shuffle those boxes of books about the house again afterwards!

However, hearing all about other people's changes of festive habit and then working on this post about changes here, I'm starting to ponder about the pattern of my own working days.

Are there are any changes I could make to my own familiar habits and practice that would serve to open up my own creative approaches as well as my own writing for the new year to come?  
There's a few hours of thinking and planning left . . .

Penny Dolan

Sunrise Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year - and with thanks to all the brilliant contributors to Awfully Big Blog Adventure and Awfully Big Reviews during 2019 and onwards into 2020.

Here's to a whole new decade of ABBA!


Sue Bursztynski said...

Sounds like you and your family have been having a great festive season! Always good to have an excuse to finally unpack stuff!

Penny Dolan said...

Thanks,Sue. It will certainly make me feel more orderly and ready to start on all various projects - once the guests have gone. Happy New Year to you!

Anne Booth said...

That's very thought provoking and inspiring!

Penny Dolan said...

Thanks, Anne! I am hoping the spatial clarity helps me to see the way to go with my rather unattended WIP & more this January. Happy New Year to you too!