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November 14, 2013

The Scandal of Holiday Creep

The holiday creep is back. No, not that guy who hangs out at my local hardware store and offers to carry my bags for spare change (yes, I’m a softie and I always let him), but the slow push to make the purchasing period for the December holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza begin well before the first frost is on the pumpkins, or the hay is in the barn. 

The signs are everywhere: red and green decorations in the local chain stores; advertisements on the television with bright red cars plowing their merry way through the snow; gorgeous magazine layouts with tips for holiday decorating; and stacks and stacks of catalogues jamming my mailbox. And just last week, while empty candy wrappers from Halloween were still blowing across the lawn, the neighbors had a professional company come install their Christmas lights. Me? I haven’t even ordered a Thanksgiving turkey! 

My first reaction to this year’s holiday creep as a mom and harried head of household, was the frostiest of cold shoulders—I’ll get to the holidays when I get to them, and not a minute sooner, thank you very much! I will not be made to feel guilty because I am not out on a buying or decorating spree, instead of sitting at my desk writing the books my readers count on. 

But then I had a terrible revelation—I’m part of the problem! I have a Christmas e-novella, THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS, which became available in mid-October. 

So how do I reconcile my own wish for a quaint merry Christmas that doesn’t start until sometime after Thanksgiving with the need to get out there and sell my books? By reminding myself that the very best thing about e-books is that unlike the flocked Christmas Trees being sold in the hardware store’s parking lot, the holiday e-novellas have no expiration date. 

Any of the wonderful holiday stories we authors have written for you can be downloaded now and be left to wait on your e-reader, like a wrapped present under your metaphorical reading tree, until you are ready to read them. Even if it’s next holiday season that you’re in the mood for a charming historical holiday story, the wonderful set of diverse novellas that St. Martin’s Press is gifting you with this year will still be there waiting, ready to transport you to a snowbound house near Portsmouth in the winter of 1815, or anywhere else you’d like to go. If you’re not a particular fan of my style of historical, there are many other novellas waiting in your e-reader’s stocking to suit your taste—everything from charming contemporaries to dark paranormal, and every genre in between. 

So go ahead and have yourself a merry little Christmas, or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, or Winter’s Solstice, or even Festivus—but not a moment before you’re ready. My novella will be there waiting, ready and able to transport you into a merry little happily ever after.

~To celebrate, I've giving away an electronic copy of THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS to one lucky commenter. Thanks so much for stopping in to chat with me today. Cheers, EE 

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Sylvia said...

Hi Liz,
I have my copy ready to read when I am ready for some holiday cheer. I will probably read it when we're driving to San Angelo or in the airport on our way to Germany. I want to read a Christmas book at Christmas, but as authors we have to get our book out there as soon as possible. I love your "Holiday Creep". Goes along with my Black Friday is out of control.

Unknown said...


I love the idea that my book can go with you on your trip! And I have stocked up on my e-reader, too, giving myself the gift of your Christmas story, THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE. So nice to have so many stories to choose from.

Thanks so much for stopping by to chat this morning!

Cheers, EE

Connie said...

I get really testy when I see Christmas decorations in the stores even before Halloween! When I visited my doctor in mid-October, they had a Christmas tree in the waiting room decorated with pumpkins. Good grief. What next? Turkeys for Thanksgiving and then actual Christmas decorations? What a hoot.

I’m so look forward to reading THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE and would love to win an ARC of it. I would be delighted to post a review on our blog, bookworm2bookworm and promote you there.

Congratulations and all the best!

Unknown said...


I have firm rule about only having the decoration for each specific holiday out at a time, and I wait until the weekend after Thanksgiving to start to put the Christmas decorations up! It really is a rule here, and not just a guideline! ;)

We are big fans of BookWorm2BookWorm here at the PP, and although I'm giving away THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS, I'm sure we can talk Sylvia into sending you her holiday story, THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE. We'll take all the readers we can get!

Thanks so much for stopping by to chat! Cheers, EE

Unknown said...

And Connie,

Email me at elizabeth(at)elizabethessex(dot)com and I'll get you that ARC!

Cheers, EE

Barb Han said...

Love this post. I already bought a few Christmas books that I plan to start reading over Thanksgiving to get me in the holiday spirit. I agree, they are like wrapped presents waiting for me. I can't wait.

Kathy Ivan said...

You're joking right? It can't be time for the holidays yet, I'm not ready!!! All kidding aside, Ms. Essex's Christmas novella is a wonderful holiday read and I devoured the entire thing in one sitting. I have Ms. Sylvia's coming up (soon I hope) when I finish the edits and revisions on my current book--which seem to be never-ending. Great post, Ms. Essex!

Unknown said...

That's the spirit, Barb.

I am quite determined to take the holidays at my own pace this year, no matter how many demands are made on my time and creativity.

And I also firmly believe that reading helps fill the creative well from which we need to draw.

Happy reading! And thanks for stopping by to chat. Cheers, EE

Unknown said...


I've decided that the "Holidays" start with Halloween, and I just slide my way into the rest of them on a surge of candy. And the occasional sip of eggnog—real adult, professional eggnog, mind you—always helps to ease away the craziness.

Here's to eggnog, and happy reading. Thanks so much for stopping by. Cheers, EE

Linda said...

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Christmas decorations up in the Mall a few days ago. Seems a tad bit early to me.

I'm happy to read & re-read books anytime regardless of the season.

Denise said...

I agree with you, too. Except for the years I lived in Germany, I have never shopped for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I don't go out on Black Friday either - it's a nice day to sit at home and read - or write.

Unknown said...

I share your abhorance of premature holiday brouhaha. Christmas has its own season of preparation, it's called Advent, and it starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas, not a minute before.

I'm a traditionalist, and a procrastinator, so starting early is not my persoanl issue, ending the celebration is where I have a hard time. Here in the northeast US, I feel a need for Christmas sparkle and light well into February, so leave things up way longer than the Type A/Martha Stewarts of the world are happy with. Oh well, I guess it takes all kinds to make up this world and I am one of them.

I look forward to reading your Christmas novella, and am trying to think who would do best justice in reading it aloud, not in the Beale Garden, but certainly in the Green Drawing Room, decorated appropriately.

And in defense of holiday creep is year, Hannukah is crazy early (November 27 - December 5), starting before Thanksgiving. And if you've got eight nights of presents to give, you need aome lead time shopping. But not before Halloween. There is no excuse for any of this before Halloween. Never, not even in 70,043 years.

Here's to Happy, especially Happy Scandalous endings!

Unknown said...


I'm so glad you're happy to read Christmas stories no matter what season. But I think the arrival of colder weather here in the south helps to put us in a proper frame of mind of the holiday season.

I don't think I'm ready for Christmas unless I'm wearing a sweater. :)

Thanks for stopping by today to chat. Cheers, EE

Unknown said...


You are PERFECTLY right - Black Friday is the day that should be spent curled up in a comfortable chair, reading a good book—whatever good book you need at that moment to keep you happy and sane!

I'm going to have twelve family members over for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Wish me luck—and sanity!

Thanks so much for stopping by to chat today! Cheers, EE

Unknown said...


I too wait to begin my Christmas until the first Sunday in Advent, but I will say that I am an unabashed fan of the whole "holiday seasonality." The perfect example of that is that Hanukkah does come really early this year, and I do think that the 'season' of hope and charity and joy should be extended as long as possible. The world can always use a little more hope and joy and charity.
And I will tell you right now, that I am stealing your "Happy Scandalous Endings!" I'm even going to use that for book signings!

Thank so much for visiting with me today! Cheers, EE

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Liz,
There is a lot of holiday creep in my neighborhood too. Holiday lights mixed with fall decorations. Congrats on your newest release! I'm looking forward to reading it!

Unknown said...


The Christmas lights were very much the tipping point for me, especially as the neighbors had a service to put up their lights!

But they haven't turned them on yet, so I think they just had to take whatever day was open on the light-hanging schedule!

Thanks for your kind words, and thanks for stopping by to chat. Cheers, EE

AquarianDancer said...

While I completely agree with this, I work in retail. It is really hard to keep the seasons/holidays straight when I'm putting out Christmas/Holiday stock in early October. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so when we put out Christmas before Halloween is over I go crazy. :-D

Unknown said...

Aquarian Dancer:

I sympathize! Back when I used to work in retail (I worked at Liberty of London in Chicago for extra $ when I was a student) there was a timetable for putting out the decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving. That seems like ancient history now. :)

Here's hoping that now that the decorations are up, you can relax and take some reading time to help put you, and your customers, int he holiday mood. Cheers, EE

Michelle Miles said...

I've threatened to cancel Christmas this year. LOL

Read your book and loved it. It's a wonderful Christmas story :)