The Victorians traditionally read ghost stories at Christmas, hence some of Charles Dickens’ short stories and his most famous work, A Christmas Carol.
As readers of my books probably know, I bounced off that story when I wrote A Christmas Tale, a story about three contemporary young women who hold a seance to try to raise the ghosts from Dickens’ story.
These stories capture the imagination and lend an otherworldly aspect to an otherwise cheerful holiday celebrated with bright lights, good food and rampant consumerism.
Wait, what’s so cheerful about uncontrolled spending? Yes, my friends, we’ve all been duped for years, led into the real horrors of debt and demands from children used to expensive gadgets and the latest toys waiting under the tree on Christmas. What went wrong?
I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m looking forward to this year’s Christmas movie, The Man Who Invented Christmas. As we know, Charles Dickens as much as invented a lot of our current traditions, writing about Christmas in his Victorian setting with a lot of sparkle and magic added, not to mention good will for our fellow humans.
Some readers like to stick to feel good stories at Christmas, yet a lot of us are still attracted to Horror. Why is that? In my Christmas book I try to explore that question in human terms, depicting memories my characters have of Christmas that don’t meet the ideal that the advertising agencies would like us to see.
They explore what matters about the holiday in a world filled with real terrors, yet potential for making the world a better place, even in small ways. I’ve put it on sale this weekend in my own small bid to make the world a better place where books don’t cost an arm and a leg when you’ve already got plenty of things to spend money on. Just 99 cents on Amazon.com or 99p on Amazon UK.
In the spirit of Gremlins, some Christmas stories have to look at the imperfection of the world we live in and acknowledge that things can go wrong. Only then can we really appreciate it when things go right; when the food is good, the presents you wanted are under the tree and nobody in the family ends up in A & E.
That’s what I call a good Christmas!