In a mad rush (isn’t everyone these days?) I raced into a stationary store to purchase holiday cards, picked out a box and took it to the cashier –  two seconds before another woman plunked her box of cards on the counter.

“Who’s next?” the cashier asked. I held out my cards. But the woman beside me shouted, ”I was here first!”  I said, “I was!” She called me a few un-Christmas-like names and the volume escalated. In the midst of mutual shouting I glanced down at the cards. Inscribed on both of our selections was the word “P E A C E.”

Yes, the holiday obstacle course is upon us again. Seeing all the tense faces around me, I wonder where the “season to be jolly” is actually taking place. Maybe in some mythical island that Target hasn’t targeted yet.  Certainly  not here in New York.   Friends who are comparatively balanced the rest of the year go to pieces during the holidays, thanks to the frenzied scenes in stores, the demands of hosting or being hosted, plus and plus…   as we frantically dash about.  (Santa’s ”Dasher” reindeer is aptly named!)!

What adds to the pressure for many of us compulsive writers is finding time to write and the inner space to be creative.  Creativity these days seems to revolve more around what paper and ribbons to use on gifts or what ornaments to put on the tree uprooted from the forest. I yearn for my own  “forest primeval” in which to hide and hopefully write. My only solution to this turmoil  is to: a)  imitate Scrooge and “bah” the holiday away; or b) find a hiding place. Because the barometer of my mood depends on how much writing the world allows me to do.

I’m  stealing time to write this belated blog. ”Stealing” because today I’m hosting a holiday  dinner  for ten.  Since cooking isn’t my forte, stress is on the menu. I have still more cooking to do, additional trimmings to prepare, and has the bathroom been cleaned yet?

Yet  I’ve  decided  that for my mental salvation it’s necessary  to make time for a private party,  just me and my computer, The greeting my soul needs isn’t  “Merry…” anything, but the sweet voice of my muse saying, “So you haven’t completely deserted me.”

Happy Holidays and to all a Creative Year!