by Sandra Hill
These are interesting days in our household. My ten-year-old grandson Max finally got the “There is no Santa Claus” reality check from his parents. On a scale of kid traumatic, this is right up there with “Candy is outlawed,” and “My life is over.”
Max had been taunted at school lately by the little grinches who no longer believe in the jolly old fellow; so, his mother and father sat him down for the talk.
He wasn’t buying it. Not for a minute.
He got angry. He wailed. He refused to believe he could have been such a fool (he’s an especially bright boy). To him, Christmas was over now. Without Santa, there would be no more holiday happiness. Finally, he just curled up in a ball on his bed and wept.
Time for a Nana intervention. (That would be me.)
I explained to him that even at my age, with four grown sons and three grandchildren, I still believe in Christmas. That, even if I lived all alone, I would have a decorated tree and presents and all the goodies. Because Christmas isn’t just about Santa Claus, and not just because it celebrates the birth of the Christ child. No, Santa represents the spirit of the whole season. He is just a symbol for the time of year when we remind ourselves that peace and love are the most important thing, that there is just as much joy in giving as receiving.
And being of Norse descent, I told him how many of our yule celebrations began with Vikings.
Most of all, I wanted Max to understand that it’s okay to believe in things you cannot see, or touch, or taste. Like hope. And love. And faith. If you have those in your heart, anything is possible.
He’s okay now. Of course I had to bribe him by promising to decorate the curved stairway in my front hall into candy canes. Can anyone say National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?
What has all this to do with books?
When I decided to write a Christmas novella for my Deadly Angels series, I was faced with some of the same questions. My vangels are a combination of vampires and angels, with a little Viking blood thrown in. Literally. When Vikar, head VIK of the vangels, is talked into a traditional Christmas at the rundown castle in Transylvania, Pennsylvania, he argues that it’s not appropriate for angels to do secular celebrations around a holy holiday. And the idea of Santas with fangs gives Vikar the shivers (of distaste). But Vikar’s wife and children talk him into the whole shebang. Talk about chaos. Twenty foot tree chopped down with Viking battle axes…a tree that can’t fit through the door. Mistletoe hanging from the cobwebs. Blood in the egg nog. But then the chaos becomes more chaotic when a stranger is brought into their midst. Laughter and tears guaranteed!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. And if you comment within the next two days, until Dec. 12, we’ll pick two names to receive print copies of CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA, just in time for gift giving.
You can read an excerpt on my website at www.sandrahill.net. And don’t forget to stop at my Facebook page at Sandra Hill Author for more news.
Please write and let us know what you do for the Christmas holidays, your family traditions, new things you are trying. It’s all about sharing.
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