‘Tis the season for Peppermint Mochas and Christmas music and lights everywhere. Hooray for the holidays – especially Christmas! I love everything about it, but I’m especially partial to Christmas stories – movies, television shows, and books.
My favorite holiday movies are The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Elf, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and White Christmas. Oddly I can’t stand It’s a Wonderful Life and I adore the bittersweet Love Actually. And then there’s Die Hard, which doesn’t seem to be a Christmas movie at all at first glance. Oh, but it is!
Must-watch TV shows are A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon, not the abominable movie version).
And, books, of course. A Christmas Carol is THE Christmas story for me, but every year I end up buying a number of holiday-set romances, mysteries, fantasy, and science fiction, because I can’t seem to resist them.
My second-most favorite Christmas story ever is by science fiction author Connie Willis. She’s written a number of Christmas stories collected in a couple of volumes, but my favorite is All Seated on the Ground. If you haven’t read it, go spend $2.99 for the Kindle edition here (http://www.amazon.com/All-Seated-Ground-Connie-Willis/dp/1596061618). Read and enjoy. It’s not only amazingly imaginative, it’s hilarious as well. You’re welcome.
And if you like that one, read Spice Pogrom as well. It’s included in the anthology, Impossible Things. Don’t read it in a public place, though. Your uncontrollable laughter will have people looking at you sideways and avoiding close contact. As a bonus, you get several other of her marvelous stories to enjoy as well.
Since I’m generally not a particularly sentimental type, I’ve tried to figure out why most Christmas stories appeal to me so much. They’re generally pretty high on the mush scale, though clearly I gravitate to the stories with more magic and less mush. And I think that’s the key. I’m all about the magic, the sense that extraordinary things can happen, and extraordinary changes are really possible
That sense informs my own writing, including my two, very different Christmas stories. Blue December is a sweet, romantic mystery that shows how justice and love can both win out in the face of long odds, with a bit of Christmas spirit.
Security is focusing on her, since the losses are happening on her watch. Her efforts to track down the source of the disappearances have produced no results, and her career appears to be headed for oblivion. When the store’s new security officer starts showing unusual attention to her, Meg isn’t sure what to think. He’s attractive in any number of ways, but she can’t be sure if his interest is personal or professional.
Order information: http://www.kmccullough.com/Blue_December.php
In an effort to hold onto his soul, Michael has resisted the urge to drink human blood for almost a century. Now he hovers between human and vampire. If he doesn’t drink from a human before the night ends, he’ll die. He’s desperately thirsty, but Michael has seen the soulless monsters vampires are and he prefers death. Carol is pure temptation to him, the Christmas present from hell…or is it from heaven?
Order information: http://www.kmccullough.com/Christmas_Moon.php
I’d love to hear about your favorite Christmas stories, especially some lesser-known ones.
Karen McCullough is the author of more than a dozen published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. She’s also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, three grandchildren and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.