I don't know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with the festive season.
Hailing from a big and very loud family (my mother is one of 8 children, so you can imagine all the aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.), there's nothing that I love more than being amongst them over the festive season.
We're a really close-knit family, so we spend a lot of time together, and by that I mean that the whole 30-odd lot of us (I've lost count) often all go on holiday together.
Much as I love being with the rowdy and loveable bunch, there are times that I just need a time-out to read.
And herein lies the problem.
Just how does one find the time to indulge in a good book (and not come across as being completely antisocial) during:
a) the festive season (and the implied string of social get-togethers that it consists of), and
b) a family get-away where space is limited and the noise level is at an all time high?
More importantly, what do you do if you're a parent with energetic little kiddies running around, constantly demanding your attention? (This doesn't apply to me, but I couldn't help but think of those who have sprogs to consider)
I posed this question to our book club newsletter readers and subscribers, and judging by some of the responses, it turns out that many are very familiar with this scenario.
Here are some of our favourite responses (It should be said that some of you lot are downright devious in your efforts to make time to read):
I make a point of getting up 30 minutes before anybody else in the household (luckily, I am a morning person) I sit quietly and enjoy the next chapter in my book with the first, frothy cup of coffee. I firmly believe that this little ritual keeps me sane all through the festive season.
Excuse yourself saying you need just one hour to recover from an overdose of family LOVE :O)
I can suggest picking up the newspaper every morning and putting the book inside the newspaper - consistently look up and say "I'm checking the weather, I am checking what movies are showing, mmm… these politics!"
We also have HUGE family get togethers - my husband has 5 brothers and a sister, all married with children. It can get a bit loud, especially when you combine it with a holiday.
My survival tip is just to be honest - it's your family and they love you! Just go to your room/bed an hour earlier and say that you need a little time-out to get in touch with… (insert character name here). :)
My holiday survival reading tip, is to claim that I have a runny tummy, so I spend a couple of hours locked in the toilet. I make sure to bring a comfortable blanket which I can put on the floor, and then, start with my reading.
I just keep on flushing the toilet from time to time.
It works because nobody wants to come near a smelly toilet. All that they do is keep on asking if you are okay, and you yell back that you fine, but just need to stay in the toilet to avoid accidents.
How about asking one of the cousins/aunts etc to come lie in the sun and read WITH you?
That always works for me - and my daughter loves doing it too!
We've had such fantastic responses to our newsletter topic, that we've decided to share more of your festive reading tips. Go on and have a look, the suggestions and tips are helpful, funny and highly creative.
Have any of your own tips to share? Post them below.