Friday, December 20, 2013

What's So Special About Christmas Stories?

Have you ever thought about the favorite Christmas stories, ones that people read over and over again? What is so appealing that they have lasted for years and years? Same thing with those Christmas movies that were either adapted from books or written solely as a screenplay. And also the poems. Here are just a few that come to mind. You can probably add others to this list.

1. A Christmas Carol

2. Miracle on 34th Street

3. It's A wonderful Life

4. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

5. A Cup of Christmas Tea (Narrative Poem)

6. The Bells of  Christmas (Poem)

7. Twas The Night Before Christmas (Poem)

8. White Christmas

9. Polar Express

10. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

11. The Littlest Angel

12. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

For one thing, Christmas is a holiday that touches the heart, the original Christmas story in the bible is filled with emotion as are the books, poem, and films with a Christmas theme. Some are happy, some are sad but all bring out emotion in some way.

Christmas memories are often very special and these books and more trigger those memories we hold dear. Only yesterday, a friend whose early childhood years were in an occupied European country told me about the Christmases when she had no gift and how hard it was to go to school and not be able to tell her friends what she got for Christmas. Some were like here, others had families that managed to find gifts somehow. But even though it was a sad memory, her face lit up with that memory and maybe others that went along with it. Perhaps she remembered the little things her mother did at home to make it look like Christmas. It doesn't matter whether our Christmas memories sparkle with joyous moments to be savored over and over or are of hard times when perhaps the gifts became less important than the meaning of Christmas and the family being together.

Almost all Christmas stories have happy endings, even those who tell of difficult times but brought a treasured lesson. And don't we all love a happy ending? They also let us reach deeper into the meaning of Christmas and the many aspects of the holiday--beyond the gift giving and receiving.

I've written several Christmas memory stories but never a fiction piece. I think it is better to write the story during the holiday season as you are so tuned in, but marketing a Christmas story must be done in the spring or early summer. Try to write a Christmas story when it is high summer and you may not be able to achieve the same emotions as you might when you write it in December.

Have you ever written a Christmas story? Whether fiction or memoir, poem or lyrics for a song, it is probably special to you in your list of works. If you don't celebrate Christmas, but some other winter holiday instead, have you written a story that fits the theme? Holiday stories are fun to write, wonderful to read, and make memories if they are good enough.

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