In which we have guests, part 26

For the second year in a row, I am turning over the blog to guest posters for the month of December. And for the second year in a row, we’ve had a great response–thirty-three requests for spots! For the next month you’ll be hearing from writers, editors, and other pros on a variety of topics. I always let the guest writers choose their own subject and give them carte blanche while they’re here. There are no limitations on topic or language, and this time we’ve got everything from favorite words to sexsomnia! Since I will be hunkered down doing revisions on the first of my new books for NAL/Penguin, I am turning comments off for the month. Most posters will include links to their own sites if you want to follow up with them. So, I wish you all the best of holiday seasons–peace, prosperity, good health, and a fabulous start to 2015. See you in the new year!

Today we’re welcoming Andrea Nelson.

To know me is to know that I love Christmas. I love absolutely everything about this time of year. From the lights on the trees to the chill in the air, the lines at the mall and the daily emails about holiday specials at the Gap, there is not a single thing that I do not love and adore about the holiday season. In my family, though, I am the Christmas loving minority.


Between the inevitable holiday family drama and the financial stress that comes along with gift giving, it’s easy to see why some members of my family are the modern day embodiment of Ebenezer himself. Despite the ever-present Bah-Humbugs found in my family, however, my love of the holidays goes unfazed.


I have spent a lot of time this year thinking about why, exactly, I love the holiday season so much. I know for a fact that it’s not superficial. Take away the presents, under the tree, and I’d still be merry. Hell, take away the tree itself and my days would be bright. To quote one of the greatest literary geniuses to have ever lived, Dr. Seuss, “’Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’” For me, Christmas is not limited to the physical. It’s a feeling, an aura, an ambiance, and a belief. And, if I’m being truthful, it’s a feeling I harbor year-round.


All my childhood I hoped for there to be more to this world. When I clapped along to save Tinker Bell’s life, I meant it. I did believe in fairies. While I was already past the age of eleven when I first read Harry Potter, I desperately wanted to believe it was only a matter of time before Hagrid tracked me down to hand over my Hogwarts acceptance letter. And, my God, how amazing would it be if there was a workshop full of elves at the North Pole, working diligently to make kids’ dreams come true?


I am now a rational adult. I understand that these things probably do not exist. But the smallest chunk of my heart thinks that maybe they really do. Perhaps not physically in this reality we call Life, but in our spirit. It’s in our drive to be better, to be selfless. To make miracles happen. To make this world more. This is never more apparent than in the holiday season.


Perhaps, then, that is why I love Christmas so much. It is the one time of year when the rest of the world seems to believe as much as I do in the possibility of magic, and the happiness in simply believing.


I leave you this Christmas Eve with lyrics from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas.


Christmas time

And the moment’s just beginning

From last night

When we wished upon a star


If our kindness

This day is just pretending

If we pretend long enough

Never giving up

It just might be who we are

— “Promises to Keep”


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