Published authors: If you are being published in the year 2010. Join the 10ers. You can help promote each others books in your hometowns. Help at signings. Its like having PR reps all over the country. You can sync up signings with events, combine marketing, and sell books as a group. Unpublished authors - join a critique group. You get the same support. If I meet or come across an agent that may like my group members book, I try to look out for all of us. For example: if I meet an editor looking for a picture book, I write YA. I would try to get them to meet someone in my group that writes PBs. As your friends, get published, they can continue giving you guidance in writing, agent access, and editor excellence.
O Christmas Tree! (BEWARE: This is a mushy Holiday Post!)
What is it about Christmas trees?
The smell. The feel of the prickly branches.
The memories of Christmas' Past full of magic and love (and don't forget goodies :)
For the record, if there was a way to avoid cutting down ANY trees, I would be first in line to agree. In fact, I belong to "BeGreenNow.org" an organization that actually plants trees to offset my family's carbon. So I am definitely a tree/animal hugger (OK, kisser according to my picture.)
So although I hate to see trees cut down, something even more sad to me is seeing these trees, that are grown and cut down for a holiday, passed over and still sitting on the lot Christmas Day, alone. Unfulfilled.
Probably corny, I am one to believe that everything in life has its own unique purpose. I'm not saying we have to cut down trees to serve materialistic holidays. But, these trees are grown in a farm for that purpose (at least the tree farm I go to) and all the money goes to the local school.
The whole purpose for these gorgeous trees is to be specially chosen by someone so it can brighten a home for the holidays.
Who am I to stand in the way of something's purpose?
So how to choose the one? Ahhhh, that is the question.
As my daughter would say, "They all look the same." But don't let looks deceive you. They are all different and unique. With their own patterns and smells and shapes and sizes.
First - for some reason, I tend to naturally gravitate toward the Charlie Brown trees. The twiggy ones. So my family and I always meet somewhere in the middle. Maybe a nice one from the front, but a big hole in the back. Maybe a full but thin one. Maybe one that has more limbs missing on one side than the other.
It cant be the perfect one b/c that one will always get chosen by someone. It has to be the one that may not be. Something that'll be passed over. It's probably dumb, I admit, but I've always been one to go for underdog.
When I was little I was always the one picking up strays, keeping broken toys, saving lost toys, and buying the new, but dirty or ripped one. It's true. I still do it today.
No matter the reason, in the end, it is not necessarily its shape or size (though once - in an overexcited state - we found out a 10 ft tree doesn't do well under an 8 foot ceiling).
It's more about the feeling, a certain connection.
That something special nature gives you when you take time to listen.
Sometimes, this can take us a long time. And sometimes, like today - it just happens. And lucky too b/c the 18 month old was not as thrilled as my 4.917 year old. (Yes, I still can't say 5 years old!).
When we finally picked one - or should I say I picked one (the kids lost their attention span and hubby doesn't really care), I felt so happy, so hopeful.
Don't really know why exactly.
When I squealed in the car watching the tree limbs bounce along the roof as we drove home, my hubby asked me this question.
I said something really corny like: "I don't know. I guess it represents life. You know having roots and growing towards a specific purpose."
He laughed. I meant it to an extent. But it does sound a little corny. (though if you never me - it would not surprise you. Corny is my middle name. Shelli Corny Wells.)
Maybe its the nostalgia that comes with it. Remembering my days as a child, picking out a tree (btw I was always the "tree-chooser" then too. I would take so long, my parents would eventually have to cut me off and force me to choose one - so you see - some things never change :) Luckily.
Maybe it is the magic Christmas brings back when you have kids of your own. The light in their eye. The squeals. The wonderment. The wishes. The innocence. The gratitude for your life.
Maybe its the overall joy of just spending time with family and friends eating, laughing and yes even bickering - just being happy and content with everything you have been lucky enough to have, keep, and love.
I'm not sure.
I just know it feels special to me.
Now, if you do have some guilt or remorse about the Christmas Tree process but LOVE Christmas trees as much as I do, I thought I would include some ideas on how to feel better about the process (its always best to give than receive - right).
- Read up on easy ways to go green- http://www.thedailygreen.com/
- Plant a tree - offset your carbon print - http://www.begreennow.com/
- Stop your junk Mail - http://www.41pounds.org/impact/ OR http://www.greendimes.com/
- Do Not Mail List - https://www.directmail.com/directory/mail_preference/
- Stop the catalogs - http://www.catalogchoice.org/
- do electronic billing, file taxes online, join your local recycling program
Now here's a little song to play you out. Courtesy of the amazing Aretha Franklin.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Thank you for being apart of this special holiday and year!