Merry Christmas to All Who Recognize it!

It’s been a while, too long, since I’ve posted. Life has been busy! So how is it that I find time on Christmas Eve of all times?

Simple, I drove 8 hours to be with my family, but having a 70-pound puppy who chews on walls when she’d alone, I’m dog-watching in the far room while some of the family works and some are looking for things to watch.

Puppy is currently napping, but would quickly awaken should I leave, so I’ve been ruminating on an interesting thought. You see, this year is the last for our youngest daughter; she’s getting married in a 10 days, so my wife, two daughters, and son have been sharing my daughter’s house to plan for the wedding while taking a nod toward Christmas. It’s close quarters, and everyone’s character is on high display.

The interesting thought is how rarely I see holidays in novels that aren’t centered on holidays. Sure, you expect Christmas to be in “Here Comes Christmas” but not in “The Skipping Dead.”

Yet holidays often find us under pressure, a perfect way to reveal character.

Olaf lost some weight. Frosty is looking more trim. Must be stress from the holidays!

If your story takes place in summer, maybe include a chapter or two on the 4th of July. Valentines Day heats up some hearts and stills others. How does your Irish character respond to St. Patrick’s Day? Your Latina to Cinco de Mayo? How does your alcoholic character respond to holidays?

I don’t read a lot of romances, but I suspect they will often showcase a holiday or two to give their characters insight into each other.

If only as a character study that doesn’t make it into the novel, how do your paper friends and foes respond to holidays?

Ah, a wet nose and red tongue are interrupting me. I best sign off with a Merry Christmas (or winter holiday of your choice) and Happy New Year!