Relax this week and enjoy the food, family and friends for the holidays. Have fun making snow angels if you live in a winter wonderland. Show your appreciation for the thoughtful gifts. Help grandma with the kitchen duties if she has been working hard to prepare all day. But if you get bored or need to escape the chaos, you can always take a moment to write, as the season is filled with so many delicious thoughts.
You walk into a house full of noise; every member of the family talking over each other. You already miss the silence. Take it as a cue to go admire the decorations inside or get some fresh air amidst nature. Compare the sounds you are trying to escape with pleasant ones from outside or the soft music in the background. Match up a few family members to the ornaments on a Christmas tree. Oh what fun it will be to write a few whimsical poems of what your twisted mind sees.
The food was a delight and you stuffed yourself with turkey, ham, green beans and a few extra bites. You had to unbuckle your belt to breathe. You escape to a room where you can lay down for a short while. But you are still thinking about the dessert table you might attack in a few; except for that heavy fruit cake! The way it looks is how you feel right about now. Write a poem from the fruitcake’s perspective. Perhaps it feels lonely and unwanted like so many single people you know. And those cookies; why are they always the first to go? They are the popular kids. Write if you were one of them or the outcast.
When the gift giving is in session, take advantage of your observation skills. Look at the faces people make as they open each present. Pay attention to the way each one is wrapped and who it was from. How does the choice of color and pattern compare to their personality? How do the children react and play with the toys they get? What are the pets in the house doing as the festivities are occurring? There can be so much literature that can read like a Dr. Seuss book in these moments.
Engage in your family traditions. It may seem uninteresting to you, having done it year after year, but to write about some of the unusual ways you celebrate can be intriguing to someone else. What distinct foods are cooked for the holidays? Describe the process of the day and maybe play around with what the outcome would be if it was out of order. What kind of theme is used on the Christmas tree at each house you have been to every year? Indulge in how each tradition came about.
Do you spend time catching up with the people you don’t see often during the holidays? Who are the outcasts in the family…maybe engage in a conversation and learn something you didn’t know about their lives. Go clown around at the kids table and write about the funny things they say. If a nephew has decided to invite his new girlfriend to the festivities, try to figure out her personality by the way she is dressed and observing her body language. Then get to know her a little better and compare the before and after thoughts to create a poem.
Not everyone is able to enjoy the holidays. Put yourself in their shoes and write about what they might be going through. There are still millions of homeless who may not have a hot meal. There are those who distance themselves from society during this time of year, so they don’t feel even more depressed. There are soldiers still fighting, and those who have to refrain from noise and bright lights because of PTSD. While we stuff our faces and cozy up next to a fire, feel for those who have been burdened with unfortunate circumstances.
The season is filled with so much to write about. It may get a little hectic with all the shopping, cooking and decorating, but take some time in between to write about the experiences. They are memories after all; so why not immortalize them with words?
Written by: Donna J. Sanders
Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of Ataraxia – a poetry collection about the struggles we face, the state of the world and how to see beauty in the simplest things, and Cardboard Signs – poems to bring awareness about homelessness, mental illness, self-esteem and the injustices many face.
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Photo Credit: © Donna J. Sanders
Categories: Writing Tips