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Wednesday, December 02, 2009


So, it’s December. Those of you who have been around these parts for a while know that I AM FAN OF THE HOLIDAYS. I can barely contain myself through the year, so eager am I to put up my tree, hang the shiny things, and let loose the hamsters of joy. Christmas carols, holiday stories, cookies, stockings, general merriment . . . I am there, 100%!

For the past three years, I have done a holiday card giveaway. For the first two, I made each card myself, until I reduced myself to such a broken condition that I had to get the cards printed. Then last year, I got double or triple the requests. I spent six weeks singing and addressing the cards—working right through Christmas Eve—until I was once again a broken (but CHEERFUL!) wreck.

This year, I am faced with a big deadline, and I have finally admitted to myself that the card thing has gotten away from me. I do not have the time or the muscle power in my freakishly small hands to write out the hundreds of cards again.

“Fie!” I said, when I realized this. “How will I spread CHEER?”

How could I be CHEERFUL under these circumstances?

And then, it hit me . . . I could TWITTER my Cheer.

Let's start December off right with the 13 Days of Cheer! Here’s how this works: every day, I will pick someone at random on Twitter who replies or otherwise writes to or mentions me and that person wins a book! (One of mine, of course. And by “mine,” I mean, written by me, not just a book I own.) There is a wide selection on offer, including two copies of the as-yet-unreleased Scarlett Fever! It could be any time of the day. You will never know when the CHEER ATTACK is coming.

Now, of course, this isn’t the ONLY way I am going to spread Cheer. This is like a warm-up exercise for the first half of the month, before I get the BIG CHEER on. And, as is my custom, I will answer your Cheer-related questions. If there is something you need to know about the holidays, I am here to help.

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Blogger Kris said...

While I am saddened that I won't be receiving another card this year, I voted for you both times and do so hope that I win a book!

(will it be signed?)

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Very cool! Around my house, there is barely any cheer, just stress. In fact, we're not putting up a tree this year because last year we didn't get the tree down until after Easter. I'm not even kidding. This is actually a huge relief, to me. We're not going to be home for Christmas, anyway. However, I will glady help you in your quest for the OWA. =)

1:15 AM  
Blogger Angieanything said...

No worries. You have my votes!

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Eddysparklebear said...

Bring on the CHEER!!!!!! In honor of the start of December I wore my Cheeriest outfit today! I think that it really helped to get people in the holiday spirit. I also skipped down the halls singing carols, pure Joy! Good Luck with the Twitter awards!

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that the Capitol Building?

Maureen, I shall now dedicate my LIFE to obtaining US citizenship (very, very quickly) so that I can vote for you. What district are you running in? Do you need me to bring lawn signs with hamsters on? I will be RIGHT there to help you campaign. I've watched the West Wing, I know how these things work *nods*.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Ms. E said...

I am so happy you posted. I was thinking about you earlier today, as I was spreading CHEER about my workplace. I thought, "I'm following Maureen's lovely example."

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe, Maureen, that you were astonished when you became a finalist on account of how you asked us to vote for you about every six hours.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Shawn Marie said...

I'm moving in 2 weeks, which means I'll barely get to celebrate Christmas, let alone put up any decorations. I'm feeling very low on CHEER right now. Any suggestions?

2:16 AM  
Anonymous AubreyMo said...

I'm new to your blog and your twitter but I find you absolutely, endearingly hilarious. And I LOVE following your Twitter. Anyone who doesn't understand the addiction that is Twitter must not have an account!

Your giveaway is such a good idea, I hope it goes well and that you have a great holiday season! See you around.


2:24 AM  
Anonymous Caillie said...

I'm commenting while I decorate and spred *CHRISTMAS JOY*,

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Josie said...

YAY! I love winning stuff! Good luck with the mashables! I vote for you EVERYDAY!
PS I just started reading 13 LBE (yes I know I am a little late on that boat) and it's every kind of fabulous! LOVE IT!

2:27 AM  
Blogger Spixdon said...

Aww, man. I was so hoping to get a card this year. I have been looking forward to Christmas-Cheer-giving cards all year! Why must you hurt me in this way, MJ? Why?

2:27 AM  
Anonymous ekindy said...

I'm glad to know that you think we're classy.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous izzy said...

yay for cheer!

2:37 AM  
Blogger hallieclaire96 said...

MJ YOU RULE! kudos to your holiday cheer!

2:43 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

I'm super excited!

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now the contest is just mentioning you on twitter at all, not voting for you (which I have done anyway :P)?

2:49 AM  
Anonymous lyssa said...

skillz today is tuesday not wednesday but i love cheer season it makes me happy

3:16 AM  
Blogger The Vagabond said...

Yay, a Christmas blog!! I love Christmas blogs. I've written two already! I will definitely be stalking your twitter for those cheer tweets. So excited! I love it when people share my enthusiasm for Christmas.

: )

3:53 AM  
Blogger The Vagabond said...

Yay, a Christmas blog!! I love Christmas blogs. I've written two already! I will definitely be stalking your twitter for those cheer tweets. So excited! I love it when people share my enthusiasm for Christmas.

: )

3:53 AM  
Blogger lalibrarylady86 said...

I love your tags! And I'm glad you clarified that it would be one of the books you have written. I would hate to be expecting Scarlett Fever and receive The Lost Symbol.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous tess said...

Ah... I love MJ style cheer.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Sara Vaadia said...

Hey Maureen,
Here's a cheer-related question for you. I'm an Atheist, and I was raised Jewish. How do I join in on the christmas cheer other than watching Doctor Who Christmas Specials and reading Let It Snow alone in my room like I did last christmas?
Thanks for your help!

7:19 AM  
Anonymous SarahE said...

Hurrah! Cheer cometh!

7:30 AM  
Anonymous PaperFiend said...

MJ, it is finals season for me and I just can't seem to find the cheer in December anymore... By the time finals are over, I only have a week of Cheer left. :( What can I do???

7:39 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Maureen, I am no longer filled with Holiday Cheer. Since I've grown up, I have better things to do with my holidays, such as work (double time on holidays!) or hang out with friends.

How can I get some cheer back into my life?

12:03 PM  
Blogger kalimagination said...

At first, I thought the title of this blog was "13 Days of Cher!" and I got really excited. Then I was let down when I saw it was "Cheer," but then I got excited again because I love Christmas Cheer/Maureen Johnson's blog posts.

3:25 AM  
Blogger Kimberly Franklin said...

Cheer attack--resourceful and a time saver--love it!

6:31 AM  
Anonymous snottlebie said...

I like that one of your labels was "shiny things".
Also - did you finish NaNoWriMo?

8:48 AM  
Blogger kira902k said...

Cheer is cheerful. #wisewords

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Amber said...

Aw, but I have done my best to avoid joining Twitter! Aw well, I shall enjoy what cheer you have here instead.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Summer said...

This post has no comments, so I'm cheering it up with one.


that's supposed to be a christmas tree.

11:21 PM  
Blogger M.L. said...

Hi Maureen,
How can college kids remain cheerful and part of the holiday preparation when faced with awful final exams?

I LOVE this time of year--the holiday season is AWESOME, but I have so much work, and there is no snow, and I won't see my family until much later this month!

Any thoughts for keeping festive and full of Cheer?

Thanks and Sincerely,

12:06 AM  
Anonymous hayley said...

YESS. I will have to dust off my twitter account just for this! I still need tons of my own copies of your books!

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Tina C. said...

With all due respect, what is it with you and hamsters?! They seem to be everywhere in your blog.
...is there something you would like to tell us?

7:59 PM  
Anonymous acciofun said...

Way to SPREAD CHEER, even through your stressful deadline days! *applauds*

7:28 AM  
Blogger Nadia Murti said...

Yay! I'm going to twitter ALL THE TIME to get one of those books. You'll get sick of it.

Question: I've decided to try about a million different recipes until I get the BEST cup of hot cocoa ever. Do you have any advice that would help me make this best cup of cocoa, like to enlist the help of a magic cocoa-making panda?

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Amanda R. said...

Dear MJ:

I am writing an important essay for my English class entitled "Why my Fear of Jellyfish Prevents me from Living a Normal Life."



12:30 AM  
Anonymous ClareSnow said...

I'm guessing the reason there are no comments is cause everyone is commenting on Twitter, but seeing "0 Comments" nxt to a post from two weeks ago really confused me, so i had to comment.

I don't have any questions about cheer, because last week i discovered the answer to every cheer-related question i ever had. The answer being:
Submit your thesis before the holidays and your holidays will be so cheer-filled, you won't know what to do with yourself.

Even tho i have no more room for cheer, I'm looking forward to the second cheer half, or are you still having too much fun with the warm up cheer?

12:15 PM  

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