Christmas writing: The gift that keeps giving


Ah, Christmas. It’s that time of year when there is so much joy to experience and share with others.


(Flickr: Jennifer Donley)

Um, yeah. Maybe not so much. Certainly there are those wonderful moments — brief and fleeting — where you will be uplifted by the magic of the season. Perhaps you will feel this while sitting by a crackling fire, or while basking in the glow of holiday lights. Or maybe you will suddenly be warmed a loved one’s tender embrace or the light in your darling’s eyes to receive a cherished gift.

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But, again, these things are brief and fleeting. The rest is nothing but purely agonizing, beautiful, exquisite chaos. And that’s exactly why you should be writing this Christmas.

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What’s that? You need a break? You just want to sip at your egg nog and call it a day? No way. Not with all the story ideas that can come from such a holiday.

Four great reasons to write this Christmas

Traditions can fuel all kinds of story ideas. Your family may take part in tree lightings and caroling. Or they may put their own zany spin on some holiday fare. Think about your holiday traditions and how they have colored your experiences for good and for bad. Perhaps Santa’s Christmas Eve visits always go awry. Or maybe it’s a white elephant gift exchange that gets crazy competitive. Whatever the tradition, write about it.

Family and loved ones are about the best writing material you can hope for during the holiday season. Rather than participate in the annual argument over when to pull the turkey from the oven, step aside and observe. Soak up the absurd. Zero in on the authentic. Tap into the real emotion that lies underneath the petty annoyances. Does your family have unique qualities? Write about them.

Food is a potent force in any narrative and it’s an especially important part of the holiday season. Take a moment to inhale the aromas and then think on how you can grow your description of a delectable meal for your reader by re-creating its smell. Got good food? Write about it.

Melancholy has a way of creeping into this beloved holiday season, particularly when memories of Christmases past and of loved ones passed on sit in your heart. Look for ways to transfer the sadness to your pages. Bring a compassionate voice to your narrative, one that recognizes melancholy, but resonates with hope. Feeling sad? Write about it.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at


Kerri S. Mabee

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