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Test Your Holiday Style: Waterford Crystal or Pre-Paid Bail Money?

Thanksgiving has whizzed past and Christmas looms ahead. If you’re anything like me, you make this super stupid promise to yourself roughly December 24th that you will buy gifts throughout the year, so you aren’t pressed and stressed and ready to stand on a roof with a shotgun holding the entire dish of rum balls hostage…and ALL the rum.

No, this year will be different. I will be PREPARED.

*clutches sides laughing*

Yeah….

Sort of reminds me of finals back in college. Next time I am going to read all my chapters AHEAD of time.

The holidays are a magical time of year, but all of us handle the season differently. So what is your Holiday Style? Here’s a helpful little quiz:

1) When cleaning before the holidays, you:

a) Might give the mantel a light dusting just so you don’t look like a show-off. The gleam from your spotless fixtures could cause retinal damage. When someone mentions Ask Heloise, you can’t help but think, ‘Ptht, amateur.’

b) Make a plan to go room by room and whip your house into shape. Once this baby is clean, you KNOW it will stay that way for good.

In fact, you’ve vowed to stab your husband if he leaves his towel on the bathroom floor, and have threatened your children with a tell-all e-mail to Santa if they don’t put their clean clothes away properly.

c) Get a little excited because you haven’t seen your floors, counters or pretty much any of your home’s flat surfaces since the party last New Years. In fact, you are pretty sure the Christmas tree is still up under one of the piles of laundry and unopened mail.

Hey, why take down decorations you know you will need every year?

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 8.19.39 PM

Yes, this is um…ME *hangs head*

2) When it comes to holiday shopping, you:

a) Are already finished. You made a long, detailed list last January and have spent the year buying the perfect gift for all your loved ones. All that’s left is to enjoy the season while those ill-prepared dopes fight over the last Holiday Barbie.

b) Wait until Black Friday. Technically, you start three days before Black Friday. What better way to use all that camping equipment you got last year for Christmas, than to stake out the front of Apple, Ikea or Best Buy?

c) Dig through your closet for all the unopened crappy gifts you got at the office Secret Santa party last year and then re-gift them to your distant relatives. Sure, Aunt Edna doesn’t know who Justin Bieber is, but who wouldn’t want a singing toothbrush?

Well, other than you, of course.

Kill it with FIRE.

Tomorrow, I will do the wrapping….

3) When it comes to gifts, you:

a) Spare no expense. The holiday season is a season of generosity. All your gifts are thoughtful, beautiful, lavish…and better than everyone else’s.

b) Believe it’s the thought that counts, and most people will think you are cheap if they see the Clearance sticker on their present, which is why you LOVE black Sharpies. They can be counted on to fully black out the $4.99 on the bottom of that seashell vase from Anthropologie.

Hey, we don’t have to pay retail to still give an awesome gift. You just make sure the gift recipient can see part of the original price of $89 so they feel like you ‘shelled’ out a lot of cash.

c)  Make one trip. Dollar General has everything you need for Christmas gifts. What could be a better Christmas gift than cans of Lite Vienna Sausages (Now Made with REAL Meat!) or Low-Sodium Spam?

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 10.06.29 AM

4) When it comes to holiday memories, you:

a) Love capturing every moment on video, then editing the clips to music using your MacBook Pro. Then, of course you order prints on-line so you can scrapbook together all the holiday magic.

You have the cutest little snowman stickers that will add the perfect touch to the family newsletter you send out early morning December 26th.

b) Have them all in a big box that you will organize one day…once you locate the box.

c) Save gas, time and bail money by staying home instead of visiting those who happen to share DNA (though you did do an Ancestry DNA test because you don’t want to accept you really ARE blood related).

No, all you need is to binge watch a season of Maury Povich reruns. The experience is pretty much the same.

5) Of all the Christmas carols, you:

a) Know Handel’s Messiah is your all-time favorite, and you know all the words. Why wouldn’t you? You sing in the choir every year.

b) Can’t get enough Silver and Gold, sung by Burl Ives. It reminds you of being a kid and waiting all year to see Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

c) Think Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is the funniest carol EVER, next to the Three Kings who tried to smoke a rubber cigar. In fact, you can’t even sing Deck the Walls with the correct lyrics.

6) As far as wrapping Christmas presents, you:

a) Use the tips you saved on Pinterest and from Martha Stewart Magazine. You bought the heavy duty paper and lavish bows last year at the Container Store’s ‘After Christmas Sale’ and expensive ornaments 85% off at the Neiman Marcus ‘After Christmas Sale.’

All your gifts look so beautiful, they might as well be considered Christmas decorations. No one ever wants to open your gifts until they’ve taken a picture of the wrapping.

b) Thought you were saving money when you bought the wrapping paper from Walmart. Of course, you didn’t foresee that it was as thin as rice-paper on a crash diet. After tearing the corners on every box you wrapped, you had to wrap everything AGAIN.

This means ten gifts took 42 rolls of paper. You lost the tape, only to later find it stuck to your butt. The dog ate all the ribbon and is now pooping tinsel, and your husband has found it HYSTERICAL to put tape on all the cat’s paws instead of helping.

c) The gifts you bought came pre-wrapped. It’s called a Dollar Store bag. DUH. You love the environment, so why cut down more trees when THIS Christmas wrapping paper can later be used to pick up the tinsley dog poop?

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 10.49.02 AM

7) When it comes to dressing for holiday parties you:

a) Buy smashing outfit ahead of time so you have time to find the perfect accessories and shoes to match. Then you make sure to get an appointment with a hairdresser and makeup artist in October before the slots fill. Why trust those holiday pictures to anyone but a professional?

b) Buy an outfit ahead of time, but completely forget about shoes and earrings…and eating less. You bought the dress even though it was too small, because it was supposed to make you be ‘good’ this year and not overeat.

Ah, but that was until the dog started pooping tape and Christmas ribbon and you leveled the fudge like a Biblical plague (Moses would have been duly impressed).

So Christmas Eve you find yourself wandering the mall searching for the last pair of Spanks in the free world. Speaking of tinsel, you can’t help but wonder what the tensile-strength of spandex is. In your mind, you imagine a Catastrophic Spanx Failure that takes out three innocent bystanders.

c) Just wear yoga pants and a sweatshirt because Netflix doesn’t judge. Holiday parties are just too…peoplely. Why socialize when there are still so many books you’ve yet to read?

PRO TIP:

8) As far as decorating for the holidays, you:

a) Hire professionals. Can’t be Yard of the Month without a little help. Your Christmas lights can be seen from space. The folks at NASA and the Soviet Space Station are your biggest fans.

b) Were going to avoid it altogether until it became evident that you were the ONLY house on the block without lights, and now you have been shamed into putting out some last-minute effort.

Of course, everything was sold out, so you were forced to decorate with the Halloween lights. Whatever, just repurpose the Grim Reaper into the Ghost of Christmas Future.

If no one gets the literary reference, then maybe they should spend more time READING instead JUDGING.

c) Just plug them in. You left them up all year 😀 .

9) When it comes to your children and Santa, you:

a) Bake cookies for Santa with the kids, and Christmas Eve you take the little ones out into the yard and spread some homemade trail mix, a.k.a. ‘Reindeer Food.’ Your husband dresses in a Santa costume and you ‘sneak’ some iPhone footage of Santa at work in your living room to show the kids the next morning.

Childhood is a magical time and you want to fuel your children’s imaginations and give them too many fond memories to pick a favorite.

b) Take them to Cabela’s. Free photos with Santa, fishing gear is 50% off, and they FINALLY have your husband’s favorite buffalo jerky in stock.

c) Let your relatives take your kids to the mall. They know you don’t do lines, or malls, or shopping, or Santa…or people. Besides, you still have to find the Christmas tree…after you finish this novel.

10) When your kids question how Santa can make it to all the boys’ and girls’ houses in all the world in one night, you:

a) Tell them that Santa is a spiritual manifestation of generosity and love, and that spirits have powers we mortals cannot comprehend.

b) Point the pizza kiosk in the mall and yell, ‘Who wants double pepperoni?’

c) Inform your kids that there was an original Santa, but he couldn’t live forever, so the elves froze him in a glacier until they could invent reliable cloning technology. Because, seriously, with the global explosion in population there really was no other way.

Then rent Invasion of the Body Snatchers for them.

Worst case is your kids might eventually need therapy because of trust issues. But, best case is they might also become best-selling authors…because of trust issues.

11) When sending out holiday cards, you:

a) Pull out all the stops. Professional pictures in a studio like civilized people, made into magnets so your perfect pics are beautiful and functional. You also buy cards for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, and just general holiday cards and then send them to the appropriate recipients.

b) Buy generic reindeer cards, then write it ‘Happy Holi-Chrisma-Kwanzaa-kuh.’ Your friends all know you’re weird and socially challenged anyway. Frankly, they are all shocked you got the cards sent at all.

c) Holiday Cards? *laughs hysterically.* That’s a good one.

12) When someone gives you a dreadful gift, you:

a) Know they meant well, so you make sure they see you wearing that horrendous purple mohair vest at the church bake sale. You would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

b) Send a nice thank you note then return the gift for something you prefer.

c) Stockpile the crappy gifts away for next year, so you don’t have to do as much Christmas shopping. Hey, waste not want not.

Tally Your Scores!!!

Amazing Amy/Awesome Andy

If you answered mostly As, you get an A+++++ in Christmas. You, Amazing Amy/Awesome Andy, are the star of the show with the prettiest EVERYTHING, the one who has everything in order and who pulls out all the stops, which is probably why most of us secretly want to stab you.

Of course that would be AFTER we attended your holiday party because, seriously you give the best gifts and serve the best food, drinks. All top shelf. Love it!

Normal Nancy/Typical Ted

If you answered mostly Bs, relax. You’re normal. While you probably could try a little harder, why bother? Amazing Amy and Awesome Andy are going to outdo you anyway.

Hot Mess Hanna/Apathetic Alex

Hey, life is too short to be organized. There are novels to read, and Instagram needs pictures of your cat.

I hate to say it but I am almost an even mix of Normal Nancy and Hot Mess Hannah. Every year I promise to try harder. ONE DAY I will be an Amazing Amy…yeah, no.

She’s a psychopath anyway.

My Christmas tree is only halfway up (it is now December 14th) and I am WAY too busy mocking poor grammar on holiday memes.

Referencing Image Below…

ME: So, what do you do when you run out of kids? #GrammarMatters

Before I ask for your thoughts, I want to make a little announcement…

Author Holiday Hotline

All the On-Demand bundles are ON SALE. We’ve saved all the best classes for a limited time for ON DEMAND. This means professional author training in your home, no pants required.

I STRONGLY recommend the gift that’s going to keep blessing you all year, all career long. We record all classes to make training accessible and convenient, but these recordings take up A LOT OF STORAGE space. Come the new year, we’re going to have to free up space on the servers and these classes will be gone for good. Some we might not offer again.

We have classes on speculative fiction, plotting, character, blogging, social media, etc. Scroll down and pick out the ones you want, then you’ll have the recording to watch on YOUR schedule.

Also, we have two more classes for December and some listed for January. If you sign up before December 24th, you can get $10 off.

GET $10 OFF ALL LIVE CLASSES. Use the promo code Jolly18.

What Are Your Thoughts?

I won’t ask how y’all scored. But feel free to share 😀 . I never wrap gifts until Christmas Eve because the cats shred all the wrapping. And they eat the FAKE tree because they are masochistic morons…who then puke up fake evergreen needles. I’ve pretty much given up on decorations because though I DO love my pets, they are why I can’t have nice things.

I envy people who set beautiful holiday tables, because I don’t even have enough cutlery for four. Spawn as a toddler threw away most of our forks and I’ve yet to get around to replacing them. So holiday meals come with plastic HOLIDAY SPORKS!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Also, check out the FANTASTIC HOLIDAY DEALS we have!

A lot of our On Demand classes need to be wiped from the server to make room for more training, so if you want professional training AT HOME? While in jammies during December when calories don’t COUNT? Grab you SOME! Gift it to yourself, a friend, YOURSELF!

ALSO, I’m offering my Write Stuff Special for a LOW holiday price. 20 pages of deep edit/critique for $55 and there are only 7 slots left. If you need some outside feedback to get you on the right track? Get a SPOT, TODAY! (You can use when you are ready).

In the meantime, opinions!

What do you WIN? For the month of DECEMBER, for everyone who leaves a comment, I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

LIVE CLASSES! REMEMBER TO USE Holiday18 for $10 off!

The WANANANO Bundle

Instructors: Cait Reynolds, Kristen Lamb
Price: $79.00 USD 
Where: W.A.N.A. Digital Classroom
When: (see below)

  • The Sticky Middle Saturday, December 14, 2018, 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST
  • NANONOWWHAT? Thursday, December 13, 2018, 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST (Just enough time to recover…)

Get two live classes plus all recordings for 30% off! You can also purchase each class individually.


The Publishing Triple Threat Bundle

Instructors: Kristen Lamb, Cait Reynolds
Price: $155.00 USD (buy now and get that last tax deduction in before the end of the year!)
Where: W.A.N.A. Digital Classroom
When: (see below)

Normally, it would be $210 USD for these three classes.

With the Triple Threat Bundle ALL THREE CLASSES (10 HOURS LIVE and RECORDINGS) for ONLY $155 USD. (Three classes for the price of TWO!)

You can also purchase each class individually.

***Registration is open until an hour before the final class. If, however, you want to attend ALL THREE CLASSES LIVE, MAKE SURE TO SIGN UP BEFORE THE FIRST CLASS ON JANUARY 10th.


ON DEMAND CLASSES!

ON DEMAND BUNDLE – Author Branding TKO

New Year New YOU! As they say, fail to plan and plan to fail. 2019 is almost here and the Author Branding T.K.O. delivers the training you need to make 2019 a success.

In this bundle, we’re going to take on then tame the three most terrifying topics. By the end? Easy peasy! You’ll wonder why this stuff ever had you so freaked out in the first place.

Normally all three classes would be $155…as well as spread across the entire year. But now, with the T.K.O. BUNDLE, all three classes in one place (your place) for only $99.

***Get your bundle TODAY. Only available for purchase through 12/24/18. Get your bundle before these classes go away with 2018. Gotta free up space on servers for 2019….


ON DEMAND BUNDLE – The Author’s Toolkit: Go PRO in 2019

Maybe have a New Year’s Resolution to write that novel? Have you started far too many promising stories, only to get stuck and never finish? Perhaps you just want to learn how to write FASTER without compromising quality? This bundle is the training you need to be a lean mean writing machine.

The Author’s Toolkit Bundle is six hours of intensive training that will help you write at a professional pace while minimizing revisions.

SIX HOURS of PROFESSIONAL TRAINING all at the same time, delivered to your computer. $165 when purchased separately, but in The Author’s Toolkit Bundle ONLY $99.

***Only available for purchase through 12/24/18. Get your bundle before these classes go away with 2018…


Blinding them with Science: The “X” Factor Classes

Tired of writing Soylent Green? Too many unfinished books trapped in the Twilight Zone? Ready to get weird…but way faster and at a professional level of weird? You came to the RIGHT PLACE! Cait and I are professional weirdos….(that sounded way more awesome in my head).

Anyway, the Blinding Them with Science Bundle is SIX HOURS of professional level training in speculative fiction at your fingertips.

***Just promise us that when you enslave the human race, we get cookies.

Three mind-bending classes for one low mind-blowing price. $165 in classes for only $99. ON DEMAND. Meaning enjoy at home in jammies.

***Only available for purchase through 12/24/18. Get your bundle before these classes go away with 2018…


ON DEMAND BUNDLE – Dangerous Dames: Creating Strong Female Characters

DOUBLE TROUBLE WITH KRISTEN & CAIT! Get the One-Two BAM! Two Power Classes with ONE T.K.O. PRICE!

Dangerous Dames BUNDLE. Regardless of time, place, or planet, these classes will train you to craft legendary bad@$$ females audiences can’t get enough of.

Normally $90 for both classes. With Double Trouble Bundle, enjoy BOTH classes for ONLY $75.

These classes are pre-recorded and won’t be offered again. This is the last chance to enjoy these classes before we free up space on the servers.


About the Instructors:

Cait Reynolds is a USA Today Bestselling Author and lives in Boston with her husband and neurotic dog. She discovered her passion for writing early and has bugged her family and friends with it ever since. She likes history, science, Jack Daniels, jewelry, pasta, and solitude. Not all at the same time. When she isn’t enjoying the rooftop deck that brings her closer to the stars, she writes.

 

Kristen Lamb is the author of the definitive guide to social media and branding for authors, Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World. She’s also the author of #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. She’s just released her highly acclaimed debut mystery-thriller The Devil’s Dance.

Kristen has written over twelve hundred blogs and her site was recognized by Writer’s Digest Magazine as one of the Top 101 Websites for Writers. Her branding methods are responsible for selling millions of books and used by authors of every level, from emerging writers to mega authors.

4 comments

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    • Sara Thompson on December 14, 2018 at 4:21 pm
    • Reply

    After a very disastrous Christmas, we’ve become the celebrate as we want when we want people. No formal Christmas anything. Some years we decorate, some years we don’t (this is a don’t year). We don’t do gifts unless we are inspired to. No one is disappointed either. We do make cookies and hot drinks and watch tv as a family and just have a nice break while winter rages on.

    • Charlayne Elizabeth Denney on December 14, 2018 at 6:34 pm
    • Reply

    With the kids all grown and the grandkids graduating high school (the youngest is now in 4th grade), we really don’t have anything going on to be worried about trees, ornaments, or even presents. Gran Gran and Grampa got smart after demonstrating they had no idea that Minecraft wasn’t a “teach your kids to lay mine fields” kit and bought a lame legos for toddlers set instead, we came to the conclusion that the kids would appreciate a nice gift card they could spend on whatever they wanted (or part of it anyway, kids “toys” are approaching the cost of a boy/man’s toy).

    So yeah, we are getting the gift cards again. Hey, they have pretty Christmas scenes on them.

    And I read the column to my husband and he said that you missed an answer on the wrapping question. His offer? Staple the brown paper bag shut and write their name in crayon. Extra points if you can draw Santa, otherwise +2 for the tree picture and +1 for holly.

    Yeah, he’s probably a “c” answer on most of it.

    • Carlene Brown on December 14, 2018 at 10:04 pm
    • Reply

    Hi, I absolutely loved the post. It was hilarious. I especially liked the ‘throw the box in the fireplace when they misbehaved’ one.

    I don’t have a blog so can’t have my name twice.

    Carlene

  1. Hilarious! Sharing on my facebook page.

I LOVE hearing your thoughts!

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