Saturday, December 24, 2022

Holidays: Three Things That Bring Me Joy


Image credit: Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Love it or hate it, the holiday season means a lot of things to a lot of people. As for me—a famously hermit-like writer who abhors the cold—I always focus on what I enjoy about this or any time of year. Below are three things about the holiday season that always bring me joy.


It’s no secret: I love holiday lights! There’s nothing like driving around the neighborhood enjoying the twinkling lights with a nice travel mug of cocoa. My neighbor across the street seems determined to outshine Clark Griswold, though my husband does give him a run for his money. Our local park also does a Dr. Seuss-themed display, and it is gorgeous. We go every year!

Of course, lights aren’t limited to the winter holidays. At my house we put up lights for Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, and for any other occasion we think of. Hmm, maybe I should work on creating a book-themed display.

Image credit: Michelle_Maria from Pixabay


I bake year-round (even in the sweltering hot summer months) but there’s nothing like a holiday for an excuse to go all-out. This year I’m making cinnamon star bread, brioche dinner rolls, and vanilla bean cake with my special chocolate icing—and that’s just for Christmas! For the rest of the week I’ll make a few different types of breads, some for immediate consumption and some for freezing. 

Here’s a writing tip: if you’re stuck on a plot point or a bit of character development, nothing helps you work out the kinks in your story like a solid session of kneading. Just imagine that blob of dough is your unruly characters, and all those frustrations get worked out.

Image credit:  Couleur from Pixabay


I typically take the last ten to fourteen days of the year as down time. This means no writing deadlines, no social media obligations, and definitely no editorial meetings. It gives me a great opportunity to reflect on the past year, relax with my family, and eat all those baked good I’ve been churning out like a madwoman. Which leads me to my bonus fourth favorite thing: planning!

Image credit: Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Planning for the Next Year

What’s that old saying—if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail? I wholeheartedly believe this, and let’ face it, failure is not an option. I make several yearly plans, organized under household goals, writing/publishing goals, and the like. For instance, one of my main household goals for 2023 is to finish painting the porch ceiling; I’d run out of paint, and by the time I got more it was too cold to finish the job. Well, that’s what next spring is for.

As for writing goals, I’ll be releasing two full length novels, a special edition hardcover, and I’ll be attending my first two in-person events since before the 2020 lockdown. Yes, I definitely need to plan for all of those events. I’ve also got a few new books in the works, and by setting aside time in my planner to flesh out and refine each individual story, I am confident I’ll be able to give them the attention they deserve.

Image credit: StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

What about the holidays brings you joy? Tell us in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies, too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library.) An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Get to know Jenn at Jenn’s latest release, Oleander, is available here:

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