Now that most of us are caught up in the madness of the holiday shopping season (why is it that we have to shop on Black Friday instead of, say, two days before Thanksgiving?), I’d like to give a shout-out to an old tradition: writing holiday stories and poems.
Writing holiday stories is a fantastic way to blend heart-felt emotions with personal or family traditions, or new ways of celebrating. As my forthcoming e-book, “Snowflakes of Yuletide,” will show, it can be a mixture of the two — I combine present-day stories with some poems written by my great-grandmother, Helen Welborn Stedman, nearly a century ago. That juxtaposition shows that, while the times and surroundings are completely different, the spirit and meaning of the holiday remains the same.
We all have unique experiences with the holidays — some happy, some depressing, some grateful and life-affirming, some not so much. What’s happening with you this holiday season? What unique moments, feelings or people are you experiencing that you can put into poems, lyrics, essays or short stories? Try it out and see what happens!
The thing I like best about writing holiday stories is that I feel a connection to some depth of meaning, the reasons why these holidays even exist. Step a few blocks away in mind and heart from the nearest crammed mall, and themes like family, gratitude, joy, suffering, giving, receiving, healing and love seem to arise. See if any of those apply to you, and write about them. Create a holiday story that you can tell and re-tell for the rest of your life — and let me know how it goes!