Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Most Wonderful (and magical) Time of the Year

I recently relocated my "office" (which is basically just the location of my computer). Now, whenever I write, I have a lovely stack of inspiration in the corner next to me. That inspiration comes in the form of Department 56 Christmas figurine boxes. You know the brand right? All those awesome little intricately detailed villages that pop up in all the decorative stores around Christmas, and now even Halloween. I LOVE those things. In the last couple years, I've started a collection of them, and it brings me joy each time they come out of the box. They also tend to come out of the box a little earlier each year, because I just can't wait for freaking Christmas season. The date that I crack out my Christmas CDs also inches up every year, and the last couple years it's been hovering right around mid-September. Once the weather starts changing a little bit, I just get so darned excited for the holidays.

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year, which is why that Johnny Mathis song (of which this post is titled) is one my favorites. I don't care about all the shopping; I tend to avoid the stores at all the peak hours so that I can enjoy the season for what it should be. I love everything else that goes with it: Cruising past neighborhoods covered in lights, and searching out that one super-decorated house; that wintery smell of fireplaces that fills the night air; the crisp, fresh mornings; the festive music; the natural inclination to giving that people feel in all the canned-food drives and silver bells ringing outside of malls and grocery stores; DISNEYLAND AT CHRISTMASTIME; snow (although I don't live in it, so I can't say whether or not that's a positive); gingerbread houses; frosted and shaped sugar cookies; families travelling from all parts of the country/globe just to be together for one day; did I mention the music and decorations?

I think a lot of the reasons I love Christmas correspond with my affinity for Disney, and even further, why I want to be a writer so badly. Basically, during Christmas, or while you're caught up in a Disney movie or taking in the fireworks at the castle in Disneyland, you can just let yourself get swallowed by the magic of the moment. And when you do, it's glorious. I think that's part of our goal as children's writers is to "imagineer" (to use Disneyspeak) our own little version of the magic so that kids can get lost in each of our own awesome and unique worldviews. Because if kids were a bank, they would be the one I would sign up for. The interest on your account would be phenomenal! You deposit some knowledge into their brains, and their developing minds have the capacity to turn it into years of inspiration and innovation, if they can just keep that angle of curiosity in the world. If we don't bring that little touch of wide-eyed wonder to our stories, kids won't think it is necessary to dream, and then we'll be stuck in a world of hot, sticky, humid summers, where there is no Christmas, and you don't want to go to Disneyland because it's too hot, sticky, and humid. And where's the fun in that?


Katie said...

Tyler - you got me excited for Christmas in August!!!

And excited to read your obviously imaginative book :-)

Disco Mermaids said...

Each year, my wife and I head to Disneyland during the Christmas season. The Merriest Place on Earth is the easiest way to slip into the holiday spirit.

That, and Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation!

- Jay

Disco Mermaids said...

I totally feel you on this, Tyler! My entire family is made up of Christmas freaks. We start earlier and earlier each year, and my parents' house is like a mini Disneyland.

Funny, I never connected my love of Christmas with my love of children's books, but I think you nailed it.

We kid-lit writers, basically perpetual kids ourselves, have the luxury of using our imaginations to spread joy to children, so that they can keep a magical sense of wonder about the world for a while longer.

What a great and important job we have!

Keep blogging, T. You have a lot of great stuff to say!


Disco Mermaids said...

Oh, and...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!