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Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Inspiration Part 8 - Christmas decorations


Welcome back!


    With Christmas vacation just around the corner, this month’s inspiration post on will focus on the holiday season!


Fun in the snow!


    There are many different aspects to the holidays and not everyone celebrates this time of the year the same way. As I mentioned before, I am working with limited number of photographs after having lost most of them due to my laptop crashing. So instead of trying to cover every aspect of Christmas I could think of, I decided to focus on a few areas.


    To begin, I want to cover one of the tastier holiday traditions: gingerbread houses. This is a somewhat new custom for me, as I had never made any gingerbread anything before meeting my wife and her children (Linda would say this was due to my severely lacking cooking skills). Granted, we buy some of those ready-made gingerbread house sets where you only need to assemble the pieces, but this has become a yearly bonding exercise at our house that we greatly enjoy (not to mention the houses never survive till Christmas, LOL).





    As you can see, my family tends to not hold back with the frosting. Another thing we like to do is use whatever is leftover from Halloween candy to use as decoration supplies. The end result is usually a diabetics worst nightmare.


Each family member has their own decorating styles; Linda is more traditional, making her house actually look like something out of a magazine. Kayla is heavy on the decorations, trying to cover every square inch with candy. Shawn will go all “Walking Dead” on his house, breaking down doors, adding red bits of candy everywhere and placing zombified gummy bears. As for me, I usually end up with a sloppy looking house, adding a ton of frosting in a vain attempt to prevent the house from falling apart.  


Next is what can be considered a key element in many households that celebrate Christmas: a Tannenbaum. I remember spending entire evenings as a child just staring at the family Christmas tree, both in amazement and excitement.


    There is something I have learned in the recent years, and that is to simply stand back and let Linda decorate the tree (HAHAHA!). My wife has a very specific manner of putting on the decorations, which border on military style precision. Some ornaments go in the front, others go in the back, and there is only enough lights once the tree is visible from space.


    One thing that might not be obvious by simply looking at these pictures, is how much of a symbol the tree has become in our household. It represents family, both from my side of the family and Linda’s, as the tree holds baubles and doodads from holidays past, uniting them all into one giant center piece.


    The final holiday tradition I want to cover is one that was made famous by “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation”. Of course I’m talking about Christmas lights. My family hasn’t set up lights (mostly to save on hydro bills), but every year we like to drive around the neighborhood and look at other people’s set-ups. One block in particular likes to have competitions, seeing who can out do the rest.





We can see how all of this could be useful for authors working on stories taking place during the Christmas holidays. These images can be used to help describe everything from the setting (food, decorations, etc.), to characters (family, friends, etc.), to motivations (traditions, celebration, etc.).


    Writing this makes me realise just how far I’ve come over the recent years. I hope it has served as inspiration to some of you as well.


    Until next time. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


    Cheers,


    Patrick Osborne.