Friday Fun – Do the holidays improve or deflate creativity?

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: So, the holiday season is pretty much in full swing, and we’re wondering – what does this time of year do to your creativity? Are your creative urges drowned in the flood of holiday to do’s, or does this magical time of year inspire you to new heights? 


headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: My answer is a bit of a mixed bag. There are times when I am absolutely inspired by the extra sparkle and shine of the season. In the course of my holiday shopping (most of which is done through local shops and galleries and online havens of handmade goodness like etsy), I often find myself wanting to get out my own arts and crafts supplies and do a little messing around with paints or clay or wool. I am suddenly aching to create homemade gifts of my own (like the year I made altered books for my family, a project that took so long I couldn’t present them until April). On the other hand, the season is so exhausting and so chock full of social events and obligations that I find I am very short on both time and energy. It’s a catch-22. Mostly, I just try to notice my creative urges, but not feel pressured to act on them until after the chaos of the holidays is behind us. That’s part of why I look forward to January as much as I do.

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon: I agree with Jamie. My creativity is sparked by everything about the holidays, but I don’t necessarily have the time to act on all the (writing) inspiration. I try to take notes here and there, and I definitely look forward to the quiet after the holidays, but I also enjoy doing things like baking new desserts this time of year. I’m going to make apple butter, which I’ve never tried before. My aunts make it and it’s always wonderful, so I’m excited to try it. Hopefully, the results will be good enough to make gifts with. This time of year reminds me of all the goodness and generosity that’s all around me, and it inspires me to count my blessings, which I tend to think allows me to be a little more creative in everything I do.

photo: M. Shafer

photo: M. Shafer

Deborah Lee Luskin: I used to knock myself out crafting gifts, baking cookies and decorating the house. This year, with adult children spending this holiday with their partners, I’m relieved to attend other people’s parties and keep writing.




hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus: This holiday season has crept up on me. My halls are not decked. Not a single cookie has been baked. Not one present has been bought. Cards? Ha! And you know what? I think that’s OK. I sent an edit in last week that wiped me out. I’ve been playing catch up with life ever since. I’m spending Saturday with the nieces, and I have no doubt that will get me in the spirit, and inspire me at the same time. Book 2 needs to get started, so writing wins this season.

wendy-shotWendy Thomas: I am pretty  much dead in the eggnog. I have all of these ideas around the holidays, but the kids and the parties, the baking, and the obligations all suck it out of  me. My goal from Thanksgiving to New Years is to simply hold it together enough to submit what’s been requested. After New Years, I’ll regroup and plan a new creative direction.

10 thoughts on “Friday Fun – Do the holidays improve or deflate creativity?

  1. Well there ya go – I thought I’d be unique in my increased creativity ideas and no time to explore them, but I see I’m in esteemed company with all of you! That makes me feel better.

    My creativity this year consists of making photo/text books for my grandkids using one of the online publisher software sites. It was easy and fun, but time-consuming because I got lost in hours of looking at family photos to pick ones for the books.

    Also I’m making simple bookmarks to put on the wrapped book gifts (I think that’s where my time goes – thumbing through all the books I buy for others instead of wrapping them and proceeding to the next task. Soon I’m sitting in a chair with the books instead of at the wrapping table!)

  2. Hmm! Time is definitely the factor here. The end of the year is one where I always enjoy taking stock and regrouping, and I have a a few things I would like to do…but first of all I need to get Christmas cakes baked, chocolates rolled, home made kahlua bottled, Christmas presents wrapped…and yeah. You know how it is 🙂

  3. You may not want to post this. But I just wanted you to know Jamie in case you didn’t that in the reader feed (when you post something new) it always comes up with your photo which always appears blurry. Perhaps because it’s enlarged there– bigger than the little gravatar icon. But if it was me I would want to know– so I’m passing on that little bit of info. In case you care. 🙂

  4. Oh yes, this is my most creative time of year. It’s probably the darkness coupled with all those gifts to give (which I love to make). But I look forward to this time of year because it motivates me like no other. Now, do the gifts (creative output) arrive on time? That’s a different story.

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