Of course we'll do our very best to be objective and concentrate well--but when we're suddenly committed to 4-5 events a week (we only see some of these people once a year, so all such events feel obligatory) and even the street signs are suddenly sporting red and green--plus, there's gift-shopping, card-sending, travel-planning--it's a pretty frazzled time of year.
I'm sure the average time spent on each manuscript is a little lower, and while we usually have some reading time on weekends, the holidays promise, for many of us, to be a whirlwind.
You've worked on your project for months, maybe years. As I've said many times: you can wait a little longer to make sure everything (including your timing) is perfect. Wait another four weeks and send it out in January. At that point, we'll be looking for any excuse to stay inside and avoid the snow and mess and subway cars that taunt us with images of St. Croix. (New York goes into a sort of mini-hibernation for January and February.) Manuscripts and leftover cocoa sound mighty nice in comparison.
I wouldn't go as far as E. Anonymous and say that extra manuscripts will be thrown into a bonfire (though this is a yearly tradition with old friends: we go to the beach--with a Duraflame log, not manuscripts--and attempt the roasting of sweet sweet marshmallows). Amazing work will, of course, get its due attention.
It's just--like with all of these tips--in case we are on the fence about your work. A manuscript we'd set aside and think about (and then still have a pretty good chance of sending back) the rest of the year may, in the hustle and bustle, simply be sent back.
But we are trying to clear our desks before going home and making cookies like these. And these. And, my very favorite (chocolate butter cookies with almond extract), these.
Give your book its very best shot, and wait, just a little longer.