When I was a kid, we always had a real Christmas tree, as well as an artificial one. The real one was downstairs with all the fancy ornaments and lights. The tree upstairs was for the kids and had all the handmade decorations on it.

Since I’ve been an adult, when I’ve had space, I’ve gotten myself a real tree. There were years when I didn’t have space, and I had an inflatable tree. I used scotch tape to attach the ornaments. 

This year, I decided to get an artificial tree, even though we have space. There were lots of reasons, but in the end, it’s just so much more convenient to get an artificial one. Blaze and I figure we’re traveling every Christmas for several more years, so it just made sense.

I really like the tree I got. It’s labeled as “more realistic” in terms of appearance. It came pre-lit. But there are lots of spaces for hanging ornaments.

I miss the smell of a real tree. However, I also currently live in a place where I can go walking out my door and visit trees. I’ll survive. (^_^)

I’ve gone to the Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) for years, ever since I arrived in Seattle, since 2006. So we’re keeping that tradition, but changing it slightly. This year, we went to the 2 PM show instead of an evening show, then out to a fancy dinner. We’re going to keep to that timing – it works so much better for us, particularly given where we currently live.

I had a birthday party this year. I haven’t always, and I won’t always have one. It was absolutely lovely and I had a grand time. I’m not sure if that’s a tradition I’ll do every year. But I will do it some years.

I had considered sending out holiday cards this year, but just couldn’t get around to doing it. It’s one thing too many for the holidays, at least for me. Maybe some year I can pick up that tradition again.

And I think that’s it for me. I did plot out the novel series yesterday. I understand now why I needed to. I’m focused on Voice for this series. Each character, even if they only have a single scene and then die horribly (as has already occurred) needs to have a distinct voice. If I already have some clue about the plot, then I don’t have to worry about it so much and I can concentrate on character voice instead.

Plus, the structure is kinda weird. If I think in terms of three act structure, the books are 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3. The first three books naturally fell into two parts.

The outline as it’s currently written is 133 words. I will add to it, as it really only tracks the one main character at this point. I will spend more time adding tracks and characters.

So now – back to the “short” story I’m writing. It’s 9K now, and I’m hoping to bring it in at 14K.

What traditions are you keeping this year? Which ones are you changing, adapting to your current situation?