Here’s how to put yourself on your holiday gift list this year. However much or little time you’re taking off, use it to really take off.  christmas berries

Aim to spend as much of the holiday season as possible doing things that inspire you.  And in the company of friends who inspire you — which, of course, includes your cyber, literary, musical, artistic and celluloid friends.

Here’s 10 I’ve lined up for me. You might fancy some of them too:

  1. Watching this Documentary about Patti Smith (showing Wednesday, December 30 at 9:00 PM (EST).  Shot over 11 years by renowned fashion photographer Steven Sebring, Patti Smith: Dream of Life is an intimate portrait of one of my favourite rockers and poets.  This impressionistic journal of a multi-faceted artist, says the blurb, “explores her many art forms and the friends and poets who inspired her — William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Robert Mapplethorpe and Michael Stipe”.  Can’t wait.
  2. Writing some poetry.  If you’re a poetry virgin who fancies a go, a great place to start is Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled.  Or get some cyber help from The Poetry Generator.
  3. Seeing The Nutcracker at the Coliseum, London.  The English National Ballet have danced The Nutcracker every Christmas for 50 years now and the “vibrant and eccentric” production designed by Gerald Scarfe and choreographed by Christopher Hampson that has been wowing audiences for the past seven years.  Turns out my first Christmas in London is the last chance to see it.  Gotta go.
  4. Reading this Free ebook from Seth Godin: What Matters Now.  Oodles of my favourite “big thinkers”, each offering a micro essay on what they think matters most in the world right now.  There’s Elizabeth Gilbert on ease and Daniel Pink on autonomy,  Tom Peters on excellence; Martha Beck on world healers.  Also tech thinker Kevin Kelly, publisher Tim O’Reilly, radio host Dave Ramsey and more than 70 others on topics like dignity, vision, enrichment and sacrifice. And how to know when you have enough.
  5. Visiting Bath.  Am I the only Jane Austen fan who’s never been there?
  6. Taking some pictures and reading more about how.  So far I’ve just about mastered point-and-shoot so I’ll be taking the opportunity to read those excellent emails I’ve been getting from the Digital Photography School and seeing what arises from that.
  7. Extending my cooking repetoire.  Christmas is always a challenge for veggies and my aim is to make something that even my two carnivore kids might go for.  Hoping The Vegetarian Society can help.
  8. Lots of yoga with my new teacher, Elizabeth Grolle. She’s the biz.
  9. Reading Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.  Been waiting for this, Murray’s second novel, ever since I finished his first An Evening of Long Goodbyes, the funniest book since… oh, ever… about contemporary Ireland.  And one of the sharpest, in every sense of that word.  Skippy is a big, fat, three-books-in-one read (my favourite kind) so should keep me going for a leisurely day or two.
  10. Going ice skating again. Went last week and landed flat on my coccyx so will be checking out this video tutorial first:
  1. Handy how to tips on: staying upright on the ice, skating backwards; turns; crossovers; how to stop and tricks!

Staying upright, eh? Sounds good.  Backwards and crossover “tricks” may have to wait until 2010.

If none of that floats your boat then make your own list.  Point is to use the time to create your kind of Christmas.

The Creative Intelligence Blog is back on the 30th Dec with some great Creative Planners to kick off your new year.  And with news of a six-month Countdown Course called Get It Written, for those who are seriously committed to creating a book in 2010.

Until then, Happy Holidays.

And thanks, as always, for being there.


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