NaNo, Christmas, and a Talking Cat


November is over. And with it, NaNoWriMo.

This NaNo, I added 15,150 words to LASER.

That is the smallest amount I’ve ever written during NaNo.

But this year, it seems a lot of us took away something better than a 50k novel. We have learned that there is little point in writing 50k in one month that we have to edit every word of. While it is fun to write so much so quickly, it is also very stressful sometimes. We chose to not stress out, to take our time enjoying the writing process (whatever that means for each of us).

And for that, we are all winners.

Now. If I may back away from such cheesiness…



I better not be the only one who recognizes those lyrics…

I love Christmas. Not just the holiday itself, but the whole season. I love music and movies and the absolute, inexplicable happiness each Christmas brings (I think that’s called Christmas spirit). I love baking cookies and decorating the tree and doing Christmas-y things with my family. I love giving gifts (and getting them, too). The entire Christmas season is just all around fun.

It’s like a giant festival, all ultimately celebrating the birth of Christ.

Of course, not all of it directly celebrates Jesus’s birth.

Which brings me to a somewhat controversial topic.

I mentioned above that I love Christmas movies. Let’s face it, not many Christmas movies touch on what Christmas is really about. And the ones that do… they aren’t always all that good.

Three of my favorite Christmas movies:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Garfield Christmas

Christmas With the Kranks


The Grinch… I have loved this story since I was really little. And while it doesn’t specifically say what Christmas is about, it does say: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

Garfield Christmas (I’m not sure what the real title of that is). It’s a 20-ish minute special about the lasagna-loving, orange cat spending Christmas with his owner’s family. As far as true meaning of Christmas goes, this one is absolutely awful. But you know what? I know what Christmas is really about, so I’m not watching this for a message. I am watching this purely for the humor. Some of the humor is kind of stupid, but for the most part, this is absolutely hilarious (and quotable!).

Christmas with the Kranks. This is the only “grown-up” Christmas movie I like. And honestly, it’s not even really that inappropriate for children (they probably won’t watch it, though) (There’s a scene at a tanning salon and then like one instance of swearing. Other than that, it’s pretty clean.). It’s based on a book by John Grisham and it’s about a couple whose only child won’t be home for Christmas for the first time ever. So they plan to “skip” Christmas and go on a cruise instead. They don’t hang up decorations, buy a tree, aren’t having a party– they basically upset the whole neighborhood with this. This movie is also hilarious. As far as “true meaning of Christmas”,  it isn’t touched on. No one was really having a “what’s Christmas about?” crisis, so… I’m not sure the movie actually needs it. The main character’s arc might have been better with it, but since no one else in the movie really cared about that either, it would be kind of odd for that one character.

Anyway. That’s somewhat my take on those Christmas movies. And honestly, here’s my take on Christmas movies in general (and it’s the same as my take on books, oddly enough):

If it’s Christian, great. But I want a good story, too. If it’s a good story, but not Christian, that’s okay, too. God gave us these things to enjoy. As long as they aren’t Satanic, we are allowed to like and dislike according to our own views and personalities.

So, yes, maybe we are too consumed with commercialism and Santa in our Christmas shows and movies. But do you realize just how hard and really impossible it is to talk about Jesus (our Savior) in a children’s show when there are sentient animals (and animals don’t have souls)? (Honestly, though, Blue’s Clues pulled it off several years ago– they still weren’t very specific, though.)

And this post turned out much different from what I planned… I have to go do Christmas cleaning (cleaning the kitchen so we can bake cookies this Friday). Maybe I’ll “review” more Christmas movies later this month because that was honestly fun.

So, how was NaNoWriMo for you guys? And are you looking forward to Christmas? Do you have any favorite Christmas movies? Anything else to add to this post?



19 thoughts on “NaNo, Christmas, and a Talking Cat

  1. Great post! If that 15k was awesome, it sure beats my 100k of awfulness. (Although even if you wrote as much as I did, your quality of writing would sure to be much better as well.) This November, I also had a different take on NaNo. My goal was 80k, but I managed 100k. But you know what? It all has to be rewritten completely, (oh, and I didn’t even finish the story because it was way too stretched out. Another important thing I learnt that I didn’t know before.) and when I was writing it, I already knew how I was going to do it. But, heh, I didn’t write it the way it could have ended up better, instead I wrote it the way that would for one, take less time, and for two, become the most words.

    So pretty much I’ve come to the conclusion that my this year’s NaNo novel is just a great big horrible outline that’s way too detailed. I still had fun though, so that was good.

    I haven’t really seen many Christmas movies, to be honest… *muses* I know I’ve watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but I can hardly remember anything. Hehe, oops. Yes, do review some Christmas movies, I’ll appreciate that. 😛

    Mm, I also agree, but we actually don’t celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birth- as it doesn’t record it in the Bible. Nevertheless, it’s still an awesome festival.

    Is that Dr. Seuss I see? From How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Or not? Hmm…

  2. 1. How was NaNoWriMo? I wrote about 35,000 words. Not too bad. 🙂

    2. I guess. I’m still having issues believing it’s December. It doesn’t feel like it should be Christmas yet.

    3. Uh…no? I’ve watched a lot of sappy, cheesy Christmas movies (like last night’s Silver Bells. Not the old one. A new one about some competitive guy who takes things too far, gets landed with community service as a Salvation Army bell ringer, and learns a few lessons), but none particularly stand out as favorites. When the kids were little, we used to watch some version of The Little Drummer Boy every year and some animated movie about St. Nicolas. That’s about it. My mom loves Christmas Shoes.

    Also, I thought by the “talking cat” you were going to say something about Tempest…he’s probably feeling a little jealous now that you’re talking about Garfield. 😉 There, there, Tempest. I haven’t forgotten you.

  3. I only wrote 8034 words for NaNoWriMo… but it was fun. I love Christmas! We got our tree the other day and now the house smells all nice!
    (BTW, it’s snowing on your blog. Just to let you know. Don’t know if it was intentional or what, but it’s cool. 🙂 )

  4. Thanks for the post!
    i only got like 38k, but it’s mostly usable stuff. I have a lot of editing to do, and C&P before my novel is officially complete.
    My family loves Christmas with the Kranks! My siblings and I all think it’s hilarious.
    One of my personal favorites is the Little Drummer Boy, Arthur’s Perfect Christmas, Charlie Brown Christmas, and The polar express, among others.
    We have this cassette tape marked “Kids Christmas Video” and it has all of our favorite TV Christmas specials recorded from like early 2000s. We watch it every year, usually just before Christmas. 🙂

  5. Ahh, the idea of Christmas feels so weird still. I’m listening to Christmas music as I type this, though, because I do want to get into that mood… I love the feel of the holidays every year. I guess it’s that “Christmas spirit” stuff, but I love it, especially with the cold weather.

    I honestly don’t think I have a favorite Christmas movie. I really can’t think of a whole lot of them that I’ve watched, though. I know I’ve seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but it’s been years since then, so I don’t really remember it much.

    Anyway, NaNoWriMo went well for me. My biggest goal for the month was to finish a novel—since it’s been a year and a half since I’ve finished a novel, and that was getting frustrating—and I more or less accomplished that. Assuming you forget about the random scenes here and there that I didn’t really write (I did write a “such and such happened here”, that could technically be part of the novel, but they really do need to be fleshed out truly) and just skipped, that is. Hehe.

    *has fun playing with the snowflakes*

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