There have been an endless number of Christmas films based around the competitiveness the season can bring . . . Jingle all the way, starring Arnold Shwarzenegger, The Home Alone series, and there was a great depiction of rivalry in a TV drama Christmas Lights a few years back starring Robson Green and Mark Benton. But what I experienced this week was a slight sense of panic when I realised the time to have bought my secret santa present has now nearly come . . 'What the hell do I get? Will what I chose for the person come up to the mark? Will everybody else manage to get something a bit 'cleverer' than me? . . . in short, while I feel stupid? I can get over this one because it's 'secret' so no one's going to really get embarrassed, but the other thing we had to do . . . woah! - competitive or what!
We were all asked to decorate our classroom doors with the students creating the ultimate piece of 'Christmas art'. Now you are talking. It's been fascinating to observe how with a couple of days left we have all developed the tactics of international espionage, sending out our spies (dressed up as students) to bring back information on how neighbouring doors are developing. . . and it got me thinking . . . what we are all really trying to do is just to be a bit different. We are trying to come up with something a little 'outside the box' - there aren't any plain snowmen or Christmas trees! - that's pretty cool really.
Then there's christmas presents, every year someone in my large family manages to come up with something pretty unique and we are all gobsmacked and full of instant awe at their creativity. But here's the thing . . . there's nothing wrong with plain tradition, but isn't it just great when you can be a little different? and I believe everybody can.
Those who know me know that apart from being a part time author nearly everything I do is a bit different from the next guy. I don't make much money for a start! and I'm constantly 'doubling up' on my business activities, how many authors do you know that also run a printing business in their spare time? We are all capable of being a bit different, a bit special and are certainly capable of surprising others around us.
So, my challenge to you this season is to do something differently from everyone else this Christmas. It might be making your own Christmas card (I received one from a relation today - it was excellent) or a decoration, or invite someone round for a drink - someone new or different. If you have children read them a Christmas story in the lead up to Christmas and make it a tradition to then follow - I did this 30 years ago and am still doing it . . . even as recently as of tonight.
So what did I do? Well I wrote a Christmas ghost story, and yeah . . it's different. I put lots of seeds in there for you to think about, sewed lots of threads together to make what I've been told is quite a cosy tapestry of a tale that will leave you in just the right mood for the season. You can read all about how I did this here
I'd love to know what unusual creations you might now be planning. Please leave a comment, and If you are a fellow writer I'd love to hear about what your writing over Christmas . . . particularly anything really different or unusual! and certainly any other new Christmas ghost stories out there.