#Writers, what #storytelling elements go into #ChristmasStories? My #family gives a few clues. Oh, and my #fantasy #novel is #OnSaleNow.

As December days swirl by like snowflakes in winter’s wind, I like taking breaks from life for Christmas stories with my family. Be it watching A Charlie Brown Christmas or reading Santa Clauses: Short  Poems from the North Pole (a haiku collection I highly recommend), I love cozying up with my loved ones by the Christmas tree to laugh with Yukon Cornelius, whisper with Pocket the Rabbit, or sing “Away in the Manger.”

What is it about the stories we save for Christmas time? Why do we pack them up with the ornaments and stockings as another special sparkly for December? This week I talk with my family about their favorite Christmas stories to discover what makes them so special.

First, Biff.

Takeaway: Christmas stories should be fun, and elves are hilarious.

Next, Bash.

Takeaway: Christmas stories require a bit of action, even violence, in order to achieve the “happily ever after.” Also, alien robots.

Wonder what Blondie will add to the mix…

Takeaway: Learning what Christmas is all about is very important, especially when animals are involved.

Kids tucked up in bed, Bo and I pull out one of the many Christmas catalogs we’ve received lately to talk about a unique occurrence with Christmas: the Hallmark Christmas film. What has Hallmark figured out about Christmas stories that gives them the knack to make so many every year?

Takeaway: Pretty people with Christmasy names and/or places facing a little problem and/or a little death in order to achieve love…which basically means that Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie ever. Even the 30th Anniversary trailer that just came out agrees. (For the record, Bo and I recorded our talk before seeing this trailer. Guess this makes us amazing!)

Will I ever write a Christmas story? I’m not sure. Bo and I began dating and even married around Christmas time, so I cannot deny there’s a certain magic to the season. I also know how sharp grief grows at Christmas, making its hope all the more critical to share before it’s too late.

Hmmm. Maybe Hallmark has a point about love…after Charles Dickens made it over 150 years ago:

I have always thought of Christmastime…[as] a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time…the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely…

-Nephew Fred, A Christmas Carol

So yeah, Christmas stories may seem a bit too schmaltzy at times, but know what? That’s okay. This is the season when we’re all just a bit more open to love’s magic. There’s a power in these December days unknown at any other time of the year. Use that power, friends, be it in your storytelling or your life’s story, to share the magic. Use whatever you need, be it dogs, cookies, or flying reindeer.

Also, alien robots.


Oh! Lest I forget, be sure to give some indie books to your fellow readers, and reviews to your fellow writers on Amazon and Goodreads! Nothing’s as awesome as the gift of words.

A most blessed Christmas to you all. Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

48 thoughts on “#Writers, what #storytelling elements go into #ChristmasStories? My #family gives a few clues. Oh, and my #fantasy #novel is #OnSaleNow.

  1. I started enjoying this type of movie after my kids were gone. I liked the nostalgic aspect maybe, of Christmases far gone? Plus a little fantasy, etc. I don’t indulge much in Hallmark, but I like a few of the similar plots with older actors come back from sit-coms.
    Maybe there is a little mind-numbing aspect to it, but I would not say it is as sinister and fodder for mocking as it might be for some. Some of them are just fun. I compare them to movies like Christmas in Connecticut.
    I really enjoyed your conversation and banter, that was fun, and great to hear your voice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! And while I can’t get myself to sit down for a Hallmark movie, I completely see your point–so many of my friends and relatives will have marathons with such movies for that nostalgia and fun. Why else do I sit down to Charlie Brown or the Grinch every year? That’s very much a nostalgia thing as well, only animated and shorter. πŸ˜‰ A blessed holiday season to you! xxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

    • So long as the veg peeler doesn’t clip off one of my fingertips (still dealing with that debacle from last week) it shall be a grand Christmas, indeed. xxxxx And a most blessed Christmas to you and your family, Master Steeden!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m rather lucky on Christmas Day. We each eat our favourite meal and prepare it ourselves. Mine is ripe French cheeses with French bread…authentic…and salad, so that takes but a minute to serve up. Shirl labours over partridge and roast things while G opts for pasta and cheese with mushrooms. Unusual, I know yet it works for us. Do enjoy the event, all of you. Happy Christmas, The Old Fool.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh hey, what matters is you’re together and happy. We’re hosting my relations for a slightly early Christmas on Sunday–all three kids are in the church program. Fingers crossed the church survives them! Bo works Christmas Eve, so I’m carrying on a family tradition from my mom and making chili. All those spices mixing with the smell of Christmas tree…one of my favorite Christmas smells.
        Christmas Day we go to my in-laws. So long as the kids don’t stuff their faces with sweets, we should be able to survive the day. πŸ™‚ A Happy Christmas to you all! xxxxx The New Fool πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      • β€˜The New Fool’. I rather like that. A lot, thinking about it. People who are never foolish never cross boundaries, whereas the self-acclaimed fool, especially so a fool who writes, crosses boundaries those others would never have thought of as a matter of habit. The fool knows no better. The fool will never even realize the walls protecting the boundary of tedious normality has been breached. A bonus; a plus; a novelist’s delight also, methinks. That Ms Lee, β€˜The New Fool’ is why you should treat your new title with the respect it deserves. As The New Fool the world is your surreal oyster. At 117 years of age it is long overdue I hand the β€˜fool’ baton to another, namely your good self. I hereby officially name you β€˜The New Fool’. Happy Christmas ‘The Old ?’

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, Master Old Fool, you’ve brought a grin to my face, for surely we’re fools to continue, yet continue we must, right? A Happy Christmas to you from The New Fool!


  2. Kids are so real🀣🀣 – I like the subtext of how Bash maybe wanted to one-up Bif’s rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and then Blondie comes in being all what-is-it-that-you-want-Mom-I’ll-deliver; meanwhile, brothers are banging on the door!…”….presents do enter the mind…”πŸ˜‚…then here comes Bo…! definitely ready for his moments!….
    The truth of how so much has been mashed into the holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! Oh I know, Bash was ready to sing, but he tells so many fun stories that I couldn’t help but nudge him that route…wasn’t expecting all the bloodshed, but there you go. πŸ™‚ Blondie’s always ready to be the star student despite her brothers–so proud of her focus! It really is amazing just how much we pack into Christmas that really could be shared elsewhere in the year. This season has EVERYthing!


  3. One would think with all the reminders on the street, in the stores, on radio and tv that it is impossible to remove ourselves from the effects of Christmas in our here-and-now. And one would be right. It’s too easy to get caught up in the effluvia of sameness, the homogenization of a major symbol in our lives that the importance of relationships and the deeper touchpoints of special-ness of Christmas with our loved ones gets lost. You’ve hit the nail on the head with this post, Jean.

    I hope you and your family hold tightly to each other this season.



    On Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 3:05 AM Jean Lee’s World wrote:

    > jeanleesworld posted: “As December days swirl by like snowflakes in > winter’s wind, I like taking breaks from life for Christmas stories with my > family. Be it watching A Charlie Brown Christmas or reading Santa Clauses: > Short Poems from the North Pole (a haiku collection I high” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Sir! A morsel or three of sameness year to year never hurts (or else we’d have stopped watching A Charlie Brown Christmas long ago), but it’s important those traditions, those bits of annual sameness, MEAN something, like Bo using the cookie press of a beloved mother long in heaven to make cookies with his daughter. When the moments have a genuine love, then please, repeat them time and again! xxxxxxxxxxx


  4. What a lovely family you have. It’s great to hear your voices for a change, and giving us some nice insights into how festive stories work. It looks like you’re gearing up for a fantastic Christmas, with or without Hallmark films! Hope you have a lovely seasonal break with all the trimmings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks! My family is such a mix of delightful insanity and insane delight that for all the headaches and bloodletting, I cannot imagine the world without them. πŸ™‚ A most blessed Christmas to you and yours! xxxxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The kids are hilarious. How happy will you be to have those recordings in 20 years. Biff has a lovely voice, Bash sounds like he’s going to be a story developer, and Blondie is all that and a bag of chips, eh? Enjoy your children over the holidays, Jean. It is the most wonderful time of the year when they’re young. :0)
    And I LOVE Die Hard. I think I have to watch it again over the holidays. oxo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have been such an amazing mother to these three little darlings, Jean. Well, Blondie sounds so grown up already … πŸ™‚ You have worked out the balance between raising three (!) wonderful humans, staying best friends with your husband, and becoming an author. Isn’t it the best true story ever πŸ™‚ Happy Christmas to you all! xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s lovely to be able to put voices to these people in your life that we already know so well. They all sound adorable – but I love Blondie’s acute awareness of the issues underlying the Christmas story – clearly taking after her mother in not being satisfied with the initial surface appearance, but wishing to drill down and look at what is truly going on… I hope your Christmas was amazing, Jean:)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: #lessonslearned from #AgathaChristie: #Write #ChristmasTraditions with a #Sinister Flair for some Wickedly Fun #Seasonal #Storytelling | Jean Lee's World

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