But there are upsides to having a complex family as well. We get to celebrate extra holidays! Really, sometimes it feels like we’re celebrating all the holidays, occasionally in mish-mashed sorts of ways. Turkey and latkes? Done. Star of David atop the Christmas tree? Also done.
And this year I’m celebrating multiple holidays in a particularly festive way: with the release of a Hanukkah story and a Christmas story (Kwanzaa, Yule, Eid, New Years and the others will have to wait until 2013). The Hanukkah story, released by Dreamspinner on December 1, is called A Great Miracle Happened There. The Christmas story, released by Silver on December 13, is Joys R Us.
Both stories feature protagonists who are reluctant to celebrate the holidays, albeit for different reasons. Jude Bloch of Miracle is an introvert, estranged from his family and maybe a little obsessed with finishing his dissertation. Reece of Joys is simply a very practical man, the type who thinks college fund contributions make excellent gifts for 8-year-olds. As their stories begin, neither of them is finding much happiness in the holiday season.
But what better month for miracles than December? And both Jude and Reece are about to experience their own miracles. In Jude’s case, a one night stand with a handsome chef just might last eight days… or more. And when Reece is forced into standing in line for the season’s must-have toy—and gets trampled by the crowd in the process—he meets the aptly-named Angel. Angel’s no Marley, but he’s going to do his best to de-Scrooge his new friend.
This time of year a lot of us are schlepping our way through holiday traffic, we’re taking or grading exams, we’re worrying about money or difficult relatives or whether we’ve sent holiday cards to everyone we should have. Maybe we’re stressing at the memories of past disappointments and disasters, worrying whether we can get some time off work—or whether we’ll have a job to return to, trying to find perfect gifts, cooking, cleaning…. Some of us are lonely. Some of us are missing people who live too far away, or who we’ve lost touch with, or who are no longer with us.
Still, I hope every one of us can take a little break. We can curl up with an appropriate beverage, with a story or two, and we can find a little peace as we remember that miracles do happen.
Whichever holidays you celebrate, here’s wishing you joy, serenity, and love.
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A Great Miracle Happened There available at Dreamspinner Press:
This winter, Jude Bloch can't decide what bothers him more—the crowds of people or the holiday revelry. Even meeting handsome chef Mac Appel fails to cheer him up because Jude knows the most he could hope for is a one-night stand. But one night turns into two and then more. Maybe Mac can bring some warmth into Jude's holiday season.
Reece is a practical, orderly man, a financial analyst who considers most holiday events wasteful. But his sister coerces him into standing in line overnight for this year's must-have toy. Supplies of Daredevil Danny prove smaller than expected, and Reece gets trampled in the resulting stampede. Toy store manager Angel tends to Reece's wounds. When Angel discovers Reece's cynical attitude, he invites Reece to spend Christmas Eve with him. Over the course of the day, Angel shows Reece what Christmas means to him. With Angel's guidance, maybe Reece can finally understand the joy of the holiday--and maybe even find love as well.