December, Tinseled Traitor Month


Just like that, it’s December. You remember him, looking like a page of artwork out of Dickens. The Ghost of Christmas Past. Big and bearded and jolly in his sumptuous and colorful robes as he overlooks scenes of joy and fellowship. This would be old (and impossibly green) tannenbaums , plum puddings, heartfelt carols and (wait for it!) gifts.

Silver. And sold (as in “out to capitalism”).

Writing prompt: Write about December. Free verse (though nothing’s for free in December, not even stocking stuffers). Write about the holiday, the anticipation, the tidings of comfort and joy. Write about 24/7 Christmas carols on radio stations driving carols into the clichéd ground. Write about lists a mile long, money a mile spent, stress a month hiked.

Write on this: “Christmas Magic: Strong as Ever or Hiding Out in Amazonian Jungles with the Dodo Bird?”

C. Clement Moore made his mark writing about Christmas, as did many song writers. For writers of poetry and prose, this means there’s money in them there hills. Lots. You just have to go out, 49er-like, and mine it.

The financial opportunities are even greater in the once united States this year. With a president-elect who scares the bejesus out of the majority of voters who chose his opponent, the numbers are legion among those seeking succor. Christmas as comfort food, then. In the key of ka-ching. If you write it, they will read.

Or you can be an Eeyore, a downer, a Christmas curmudgeon. Rail against it or write your dirges to it. “On the twelfth day of depression, my not-so-true love gave to me…” and so forth.

Any way you look at it, Christmas and the much-dreaded new year are sources of inspiration for writers. And whether you cheerlead or satirize the beast, writing about it will be therapeutic. So think of your screen or notepad as a much cheaper therapist. And stop eating so much sugar, else you begin to look like a well-rounded plum with no dancing skills (or a right jolly old elf with no Weight Watchers chapter in his town).

31 days. We can do this. Just don’t take a leave from writing, whatever you do. To be left to the mercies of the holidays is against the Geneva Convention, I’m more than sure.

Page 489, column 2, footnote 3b.