So I thought I'd appeal to the holiday spirit of everyone on my flist, because we mostly have the same agenda as far as fandom things go, don't we.
In just a day, a number of holiday fic'n'art fests will begin posting their offerings. You know which ones these are. These are the ones you've all been working on since September, the ones that have meant October and November are kind of a dry spell of fic postin's before the deluge of December.
You're probably excited. You may even be a little intimidated by the prospective glut.
So here's my suggestion for the holidays: Give feedback.
If you read, and you like what you read, tell the author so. If an illustration makes you say "wow!", tell the artist. Doesn't have to be long. Doesn't mean you have to read everything. By all means, stick to fandoms and pairings and ratings that please you. Because, yeah, there's going to be a lot of stuff out there.
Stuff that everyone's been designing and working on for months, in some cases. There are novels and comics and shorter pieces and one-shots and they're all going to be debuting at a remarkable rate, and while you may not get to everything you want, it'd be great if you dashed off a bit of feel-good for those pieces you do look at and like. It'd be a pity if feedback got lost in all the volume, because these fanworks have been what a lot of folk have been producing instead of other, quick fix fic that they could have cross-posted everywhere under their own names.
I'm not doing this for me--seriously, I'm not. I've only got two pieces out there myself and I couldn't be this baldly self-agenda'ed; that's just not me. And I have a fondness for the occasional anonymous fic post; lets me see what people aren't afraid to say to me when they don't know it's me. (Assuming they don't guess the author in two seconds flat. I'm so bad at guessing, myself, plus I don't go into these things with a "let me see if I can disguise my style!" plan.) But there are people out there with four, five, more. And some of them are YOU. Think about how feedback makes you feel and how nice it'd be to have someone say, "My fandom world is better because this story was written and I got to read it."
So, give feedback for the holidays. And if you want to relieve some of that post-holiday downer biz, go back after the reveals and look for authors' names that you like but whose stories you skipped on the first go-round because the pairing or premise didn't get your attention.
It's better than fruitcake, and it's always the right size. ^_^