By Heather Long
This is a little bit of a different blog about the holidays, because I've talked about my favorite songs, my holiday rituals, and personal traditions. I wrote about why I picked the particular holidays I did, and which was the most difficult to write. I even shared a letter I wrote to Santa. But none of these address what I learned about me when I wrote these five stories.
- The holiday spirit really can last all year long. I wrote Charlie and Jana's Thanksgiving tale in March, Isaac and Zehava in April, and Rowan and Kaiden's Yule in May. In August and September with temperatures soaring above 100, I wrote Have Yourself a Marine Christmas
- Every day is a good day for holiday and Christmas music, but you get some seriously funny looks when you're in shorts, tank tops, and the sidewalk is sizzling while you're singing I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.
- I make people cry even when I don't mean to. A Candle for a Marine was a very emotional story, and journey, but I didn't expect it to stomp on me so hard while I wrote it
- Writing about cracker crack was bad for my diet because it made me want to make it!
- Every holiday story I wrote, made me want to write another one, and there are not enough holidays in the year.
- Because I felt like I've been celebrating since March, it didn't bother me when the stores started slipping out their holiday and Christmas decorations in September.
- And there is such a thing as too much holiday. I'm beginning to feel a little Grinchy now as we're five days away from Christmas
- Holidays are about festivities, presents, decorations, and oh my God, the food...it's almost like writing a foodie and they made me hungry.
- Sometimes, I was actually disappointed when I came out of the writing cave and it WASN'T Christmas
- About the time I finished the last book of the holiday Marines, I was all whew, glad that's done, and about the time, the last holiday Marine released, I was all huh, I should do this again!
- Any time I felt burnt out or exhausted or overly challenged, I remembered why I was doing it and raising money for Toys for Tots made this an exceptional journey.