As every year, by mid-December I am hardcore entrenched in the holiday spirit. I’m a curmudgeonly grump 11 months of the year, but when December 1st hits I throw on my favorite Christmas albums (John Denver & the Muppets, Vince Guaraldi Trio, Phil Spector, and all of those woven with very frequent repetition of the pop perfection that is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”), throw some lights around the place (my aims tend to outpace my follow through so nothing too many at Chez Lauren), and watch all the best holiday classics, especially the woefully underseen The Christmas Toy, which is basically Toy Story before Toy Story and even better (yeah, I said it). It takes a hardcore assault of holiday cheer to turn that frown upside down, but I am up for the task.
So though we have a full week left of work before it really becomes Christmas, I’m pretty much thinking of nothing else. Thus, here’s what you should feel free to give me for Christmas, if you are so inclined:
- A universal Schedule A. For the uninitiated, by which I mean lucky, Schedule A is shorthand for the list of countries at the back of a US or UK contract that spells out which countries the UK publisher gets exclusively. So US contracts have either exclusive or non-exclusive rights in everything except the Schedule A in their contract, and UK publishers have exclusive rights only in the Schedule A in their contract, which means that if there are separate US and UK publishers, they have to have matching Schedule As (Schedules A?). Which would be a lovely system if I didn’t have to spend so much of every year fighting the same fight about which places should be in that Schedule A. It’s not that hard, and yet…(No, really, guys, I ask for this every year for Christmas and for my birthday, and no one ever gets it for me, but it is my super duper #1 wish and please, please, please.)
- A month off to read my towering piles of pleasure reading and work reading and magazine reading and everything else reading.
- An engrossing, compelling, clever, and mind-blowing popular science proposal. I’ve found some close-but-no-cigars in 2013, but I think 2014 is going to be the year.
- Fiction to represent that is so captivating that it can keep me awake on my pre-coffee morning commute or on my couch later that night after a long day at work. If unputdownable were a word and not a horror show inflicted upon society by sadists, I would want something unputdownable.
- Santa’s elves to come vet any contracts, send any mail, read any queries, and answer any emails that might come in while we’re closed for the holidays, so that the blank slate I will work so hard to achieve next week won’t be completely eradicated by January 2nd.
- Peace on earth, good will towards men, the criminalization of animated GIF making, you know, the biggies we all agree on.
Thanks in advance, you guys! And happiest of all happy holidays to anyone with anything to celebrate this month. If you don’t have a holiday to celebrate, I recommend inventing something. You, too, deserve baked goods, presents, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Ice Cream and Violins Day is You.”