IT’S HERE. FINALLY. You think I mean winter, or fruitcake baking season, or the run-up to Christmas and Hanukkah, right? I don’t. Maybe I’m referring to prepare-to-get-onto-your skis season? Nope. Not that. Or, more to the point, all that plus this one other altogether totemic annual moment: that sleigh ride during which memoir writers are given ample opportunities to take notes. Get out your notebooks, writers: Your family is on its way to your holiday table.
Just like the first sighting of snow, or the return of the bad gift, this time of year carries with it the anticipation–or dread–of gathering together and seeing one another. So how about we drop the dread this year? How about we assume that all will go well, at least in terms of the writing? It can, you know, if you’re prepared.
Between now and Jan 1 occur an extraordinary number of opportunities for you to observe your family in action. Just like the candied bumble bees in that fruit cake (those are candied bumble bees, yes?), you’ve got material coming your way. The only question is, what are you going to do with it?
First and foremost, you’re going to do these four things.
- You’re going to be hospitable, both with your guests as well as with your material
- You’re not going to serve up your basic fare
- You’re not going to be intimidated by others’ versions of what goes on
Treat these rules like you do your grandmother’s holiday china, and who knows what might happen. You might:
- Learn a little something about the role of humility in memoir
- Come away with a new rule for living your life
- Come away with a new Jell-O recipe
Happy holidays, memoir writers. Enjoy every minute. And take notes.