“Share some of your family Christmas traditions and did those influence your story line for Write Christmas at all?”
Christmas has always been an incredibly important part of my life. For as long as I can remember it was more than just family and friends, cooking, caroling, waiting for Santa, and opening presents. It was also about being kind to everyone around you, helping others in need, sharing, and thinking of others. Of course, those continue to be the rules of thumb for me at Christmas. Still, it had me thinking: what if something happened along the way that made Christmas feel like a reminder of something I had hoped to forget? If the holiday full of love and joy had whittled itself into feelings of regret as opposed to reverie.
Those were the thoughts, the ideas, so at odds with the way I remember each of my Christmases, that fueled this story. It wasn’t so much the things and traditions that are so a part of my life that carried through into the novel as it was what happens when we forget them, or cast them aside?
Crafting the story, and really looking at the side of someone who used to view Christmas through glasses rosier than Rudolph’s nose so bright, but has purposefully tried to move on, was an interesting process. On one hand, tapping into all of the things that I know and love about the holiday was a joy. There is a lot of me, a lot of my own feelings and memories in this book. But to explore and explain the notion of a world where Christmas wasn’t just something one didn’t care about, but simply vanished and never was, pushed my creative thought process to the limit. Trying to think of what I knew and experienced and turn it upside down. To examine and illustrate what that does to a person and everyone and everything around them.
We all have Christmas wishes. Things we think we want or need, but in this story I was fascinated with looking at how the things we want aren’t always the things we need. And, once we really embrace that, we understand more of who we are, and how we can be there for each other.
So, Christmas traditions are a part of this—the things we hold dear year after year—
and a part of why it was important to explore what happens when we eschew those memories. The holiday is a time of magic and wonder and it’s important, I think, to hold on to that for as long as we can. Doing so will always keep a little holiday in our hearts.
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