It's November, our next holiday is Thanksgiving, and for some people, that makes this the toughest time of year.
Cold keeps us indoors, shorter periods of sunlight can affect mood and energy. Most of us are making less Vitamin D, and that has all manner of metabolic implications. Flu season is upon us, driving can become perilous, and soon we'll be expected to come up with clever, insightful, tasteful, but not too expensive gifts for half the people we know or work with.
I recently figured out that I sleep better in the colder weather, and thus I have more energy than when it's warm--despite the lack of sunlight. I also have more time to myself, and being a Warp Nine introvert, time to myself is another place I find more energy. Because of snow days and holidays, I have more time to stay home and marathon-write, and that's another source of energy and joy for me. When the leaves come off the big maple trees surrounding my little log cabin, my house has more natural light, and it's that sharp, contrasty winter light that seems to pierce all gloom.
I love this time of year, but not for the usual reasons. Not the getting together, not the holiday meals, not the time off from "work." The depths of winter are Grace Holidays--solitude, big word counts, good sleep.
Often in our romance novels, the hero or heroine has to re-examine what is working for them, and what isn't. My heroines come to the realization that they loathe the shallowness and exhaustion of a London season. The heroes might have to admit they're not keen on hanging out in smelly, smokey, clubs; they aren't fond of brandy; and they like loud waistcoats.
We should all have permission to assess what about social assumptions works for us, and what doesn't, and to readjust accordingly. I've more or less backed into my ideal winter season, with lots of "writing holidays," time to myself, and cozy reading in the late evenings. Many other people thrive on the holiday shopping, the frequent socializing, and the hordes of house guests.
Where do you fall on the continuum between people who thrive in winter, and those who simply endure it? What's your ideal winter holiday, and is there a way you could have some of that, despite all the expectations you might have fulfill to the contrary?
To one commenter, I'll send a $25 Amex gift card, which I hope she'll use FOR HERSELF. To two other commenters, I'll send a signed copy of What A Lady Needs for Christmas.