Articles about the soppy, floppy, saccharine sweet nature of Christmas stories always make me laugh (bitterly). I’ve written a lot of holiday themed books. Two novels and three short stories for Christmas, and a novella and a short story for Halloween (although I doubt I’m allowed to count those, since no one ever complains about Halloween romances, because there aren’t any).
But my own personal relationship with Christmas, is problematic, to put it mildly. Actually I think of is as post apocalyptic. It’s the season where the crazies come out, and are hard to escape from, since the rest of the world is totally shut down and you can’t even guarantee a trip to McDonalds won’t end in a sign that says “Our employees are spending the day with their families.” If you haven’t stocked your personal bunker, it’s hard to survive the day.
In going home for Christmas, there was that one memorable year where we had three meals from a gas station… Or perhaps it was the one with the argument, after the ceiling fell in…
And I mean that literally. The ceiling fell. I found it upsetting.
Mostly at Casa de dos Quesos, we phone it in for the family visits, then lock the door, open the cookies, poor the rum in the eggnog and wait for Doctor Who.
Anyway. I write Christmas stories. For the most part, they are happy stories. They at least end happily, because they are romances. It’s not my favorite time of year, but I think of it as being like physics. I believe, wholeheartedly, in the potential energy of Christmas. Peace on Earth, good will towards men, and light shining through darkness are all concepts I am firmly in favor of.
But none of these things occur magically, due to the date on the calendar. They have to be worked for, and they are a group effort. And in most families, not everyone wants to be a team player. My Christmas stories tend to be a little prickly, compared to the totally the warm and fuzzy. There is usually at least one character that would just as soon avoid the whole season. In my latest story,
[To undo a lady]
my hero is Indian, and on the Hindu side of agnostic.
I’m pretty proud of that one. And to anyone who thinks it is a sickly sweet story: Did you read it all the way to the end? If so, I worry about you. Seriously. You have some issues.
And in case you’re wondering, Christmas around here was pretty good, despite some recent troubles. There was that moment where I announced that the Doctor Who Christmas special had better not be as weepy as most of them are, since I wasn’t in the mood to cry. But how could it be? Because the Doctor was getting a new companion. And it wasn’t likely that Steven Moffat would kill her off in the very first episode…
Happy Holidays, everybody.