Well, I'd argue that we do have choices. We don't have to be swept along by the Christmas greed-feast that is promised in the media. We can stand back and notice the hype and select the aspects of the whole performance that matters to us as individuals.
On top of all the seasonal mayhem, I'm working hard to get After the Earthquake (my little ebook about my last trip, to raise money for the house) ready for the off - I've never written anything quite so quickly. I knew the story, of course - I've not had to make anything up. Even so, it's been a challenge to make sure I unpicked the drivel from my notebooks and found the core of what I really needed to say.
It's been through readers and an editor, and is now with a copy editor who is nit-picking anything that still doesn't make sense. I'm stocking up on coffee for the day I have to play with the Kindle site and get it on Amazon.
At the same time, of course, I'm still in touch with friends in Nepal who struggle with the impact of the blockade. They survive from day to day. But what else can they do?
Plus - early in the New Year - I'm off to Ecuador. (Did you really think I might spend the winter in front of my own fire?) So there are the unavoidable hours curled up with guidebooks working out where I might go, and how I might get there. And trying to learn Spanish so I don't get into the pickles that I landed myself in in Cuba.
It's almost too busy. I feel as if I'm wearing too many hats - the writing hats, the travelling hats, the getting-ready-for-Christmas hats (which involves the annual pondering about what the season actually means to me and to those I love.)
I feel a bit like a duck - appearing to swim with the tide but paddling like mad under the water. And you? You sailing serenely into the Christmas mayhem?