I have reached the point of "hey, tomorrow's Christmas Eve, when did that happen?" in which I realize that anything I had planned to do this holiday season and haven't done probably isn't going to happen. But that's okay. I've done enough.
I had yet another failure on the holiday-set book front. There was some buildup to it being the Christmas season, then Christmas itself was skipped over, then there was a nice New Year's Eve scene, and that was the middle of the book, with the rest going on to span the first half of the year. It's tricky finding a book that's set around Christmas and has enough imagery to get me in the mood but that isn't so specifically a Christmas book. Really, the only objection I have to the specifically "Christmas" books is that most of them are very genre romances (you don't see a lot of "Christmas" books in other genres). I'm looking for more of a book that happens to be set around Christmas. I just lucked out the first time I did this because I hadn't even planned it to be Christmas-themed reading. I was just giving myself time out with a book, and it was a bonus that it turned out to be very Christmassy (there was nothing on the cover to indicate the seasonal setting). That was so nice that I've tried to do it again, without much success.
I am thinking that I need to novelize that Christmas movie screenplay I wrote last year and put it out as an e-book next year.
Instead of some of my other traditions, I've started taking walks around the neighborhood in the late afternoon, when it's not dark yet but it's not full-on sun and some of the Christmas lights have come on. I'm killing multiple birds with one stone. I'm exploring parts of the neighborhood as part of my preliminary house hunting, deciding what areas I like, checking out indications like what cars are parked outside, where there are noisy dogs, where people are out and friendly, etc., plus getting a better look at houses than I can while driving by. I'm getting exercise. And I'm looking at Christmas decorations. I think I've now wandered through all the places where I've seen listings online.
Looking at these listings is fun. I've been focusing on my neighborhood, where I really want to stay, but just out of curiosity, the other day I checked out the nearby town where my church is. The houses there in my price range are much older, but it was the way the listings were presented that was very different. For the houses in my neighborhood, the photos are very staged -- there may be furniture in the rooms, but all other signs of human habitation are out of sight. In this other town, there were listing photos where it looked like the Realtor just showed up out of the blue and started snapping photos -- there were toys on the floor, piles of laundry, stuff all over the countertops.
I'll have to do a lot of decluttering and cleaning to even get to the point where you could take a photo where it looks like a showroom, even if all the clutter is just temporarily hidden for photo-taking purposes.