Never in my life have a sold a personal essay so quickly. I sent “Confessions Of A Stealth Holiday Decorator” to The Boston Globe Magazine on a lark, hoping they’d take an interest. Within a week, the magazine bought it. Two weeks later it was in print and online.
The timing could not have been better, either, for I had been in a bit of a dry spell, unable to get nibbles on my creative writing. The submission process always has a lot of ebb and flow, of course, but 2015 had a heckuva lot of ebb.
Long story short, Boston gave me the most wicked awesome Christmas present ever.
Read the story here!
84 Replies to “Confessions of a Stealth Holiday Decorator”
Nicely done. I’m the only one who decorates and now that the progeny have flapped out of the nest decorating is not done at all unless they threaten, I mean hint about coming home for Christmas. My concession is leaving up lights all year: my bargain Ikea star lights in the entry room window, the twinkle lights in kitchen, and the string of lights on the garage. A flip of the switch and we are in “holly jolly Christmas” because it’s Christmas all year for me not when ad-land says so. Carolers? A nice Dickensen touch, I’d say.
Oh, so you’re one of THOSE decorators! My son and I are comin’ to getcha:
No Cookie Monsters were hurt in the process of decorating.
Yes, but I would certainly hurt an Elmo.
Absolutely. He’s a self-centered, overbearing pest.
He makes great slippers.
Congratulations! I enjoyed the read. The ending wasn’t what I expected. Thanks for the Christmas smile.
I didn’t expect that ending either!
Woot! Cheering for you from this wocked awesome city! And remember – fluff monkeys.
Frankly, I prefer “wocked.”
Heh, heh. Who puts all those durn vowels right in a row anyway? :-p
And how could I ever forget Fluff Monkeys?
Adorable, Mike! I wish my husband would follow your lead! Decorating can definitely be a chore, but it’s always so worth it when you’re finished and can enjoy the festive feeling it brings. We bought a real tree this year, but cheaped out on the stand… so guess what I woke up to this morning? It’s leaning in the corner as I write this, with ornaments all over the floor! In my house, stuff like that is typical, though, so I just laugh. Happy holidays to you and your family! 🙂
I hope you took a picture of your drunken tree. It would make a heckuva Christmas card.
Caption: Do whatever you need to do to get through the holiday season!
Great idea! I will do that! Usually I can’t get cards out in time, so I do New Year’s greetings instead. When my kids were younger, they wore their Halloween costumes for the photos – I just hope I didn’t permanently mess them up with our non-traditional ways… probably hear about it someday with their spouses!
Oh, pish. All kids turn out a little messed up. They’re just messed up in their own unique ways.
That’s the truth! And unique is good in my book 🙂
This is great Mike! Woohoo, well done! It’s familiar though – did you tell us this tale on here before? If not, then I’ve been having predictive dreams about you.
I’ve talked about holiday decorating on this blog before but, nope, this one is new.
So stop dreaming about me. I know I’m irresistible, but it’s not proper.
Oh…well this is awkward. Gulp.
Great story! It was certainly entertaining and full of heartland (family). Great writing and congratulations on just sending it the the Globe. What a teaching moment for all writers. Thanks for sharing.
Glad you liked it, Patricia. And thanks!
YAH!!!!! Good for you Mike!! That is so awesome!!! Congrats! and Merry Christmas! 😉
Isn’t “Yah” Minnesotan?
Uhm…..not that I am aware, since I be from Texas (originally from KY) but either way, we use it down heres. LOL!
But if you prefer.. YAY!? I dunno
And Texans say “Down heres” as well?
Love, love, love this!!!
I, too, have done something solo that was supposed to be a together activity and then thought afterwards, uh oh… My favorite love was when your thoughts came out of your mouth about not arguing where the carolers go. You’re a funny guy, Mike.
Thanks, Jude! And, yeah, my brain has a habit of spewing unfiltered thoughts. When I do this, Ellen says my inner traffic cop has gone out for donuts.
The above reply was not supposed to go here. It goes along with the rest of my day though. What was supposed to go here was that yah or ya is a Norwegian thing as in “Ya,you betcha!” Minnesotans were heavy on the Norwegian. Sven and Ole ( Olee) jokes also come to ya from there.
Thought so. I’ve been watching a lot of the TV show “Fargo” lately.
Well yeah… ain’t you never heard of that word??? It means more than one place nearby… heres! LOL!!! 😉
It’s like you Texas people live in another country.
Well yeah… 😉
Love love love the story and the illustration! Hehe Just right for putting you in the mood and making you think about that pesky Chistmas Spirit! 😉
Yep. Pesky Christmas spirit just about covers it.
What an amazing story! Plus the outcome is filled with Christmas spirit. Wow.. Thank you so much for sharing! Cheers
And thank you M.E., for reblogging!
You are welcome
Reblogged this on Travels with Mary and commented:
Heartfelt and Warming!
Flow, Mike. Forget those ebbs.
Next year, the carolers stay in the garage.
The carolers won’t be in the garage if my wife has anything to say about it (and she will). 😉
Congratulations!! A publication is always exciting 😀
Thanks! And I concur.
A big Christmas Congratulations, Mike! I loved the story. Another Christmas “miracle” for you to share with your wife. (Not that it is a miracle, considering how well you write.) Decorating is something I no longer do, being that it is now only me. But I still enjoy a well-placed Santa. 🙂
Thank you kindly, Sue. It’s a Christmas miracle for sure.
Congratulations! A wonderful Christmas present for sure!
I think you meant “wicked” present.
Boston Globe! That sounds pretty swanky, Mike. Congrats on the “flow.” A great story – I should make my husband read it…maybe he’ll surprise me. Um…Not!
Merry Christmas to you, Ellen, and Alex.
I am indeed swankified.
And do let Mr. Peach give this a read. Maybe he will surprise you!
Hmmm. Not a decorator, but he’s a good cook. That comes in handy all year round!
How is he re: gingerbread?
Nothing so fancy pants, Mike. He handles the essentials. I’m in charge of the sweets 🙂
Whatever. Just let me know if you need help eating it.
Yay!! Congratulations to you. I’m calling you next year when it comes time to decorate!!
Sure! But it’ll cost you.
You have the nicest, lightest tough with humor. I love how the whole family is brought in, and especially how you end it, giving the last line to Ellen (the mark of an experienced married man, lol). Mad props for the speedy and well-deserved publication, Writer Fellow!
Thank you kindly, my friend.
And, yes, I am an experienced married man. I’ll stop talking now.
LOL, nicely unsaid!
My roommate and I are currently in the process of putting together door decorations for our apartment’s competition. There’s $200 in rent money at stake here, which just makes our bickering all the more heated, lol. But ultimately it’s going to turn out great, if only because it’s Pixar themed.
Good luck! And be sure to emphasize Sully. He’s the best.
Article made me smile – great job!
Glad you liked it, Blue Books. My primary goal as a writer is to make people smile.
Fab news, congratulations! Off to read the story now!
I am so excited for you! I remember your post on this – last year? You inspire us, to see how a well-written post can be transformed into a piece for an established newspaper. Yay!! And congrats.
It got me giddy, that’s for sure. Copies of the magazine arrived in the mail yesterday, which made me giddier. Just goes to show that you should submit everywhere; ya just never know.
As a Boston Globe reader, I’m wondering if it will be in the Sunday BG magazine tomorrow?!
Nope. It was in last week’s issue.
Sweet story, Mike! I recall a slightly different version of this, and I love it! Going back to my hole again. I’m exhausted with all the exercise I’ve gotten in the past couple of minutes…..
Jiminy! You’re like a little Christmas mouse.
Fun story! I remember this one from last year – but with different words – love this version!
Thanks, Erik! Now if only I could get in the newspaper as often as your do…
Congratulations, Mike. Great story. No wonder The Boston Globe snapped it up. I love following your career AND reading your wonderful stories. Happy holidays.
And a happy holidays to you too, my friend!
Well done, Mike! You’re a terrific writer…not surprised they scooped you up. 😉
Oh, you! Thanks, my friend.