So I'm cogitating a Christmas story. It won't be one from the archives, but one I'll write speshully.
It got me to thinking about other 'religious holiday' stories. They're usually about the meaning of Christmas, ie, good will to all men, love, peace and the giving; not the overt commercialism. This time of year, you think about a lot of other things, too. Here in Australia, it's the beach, the heat, the flies, the barbeque, the cheeriness of everyone. In the northern hemisphere, I suppose it's all about the snow, the warmth of a fire, roasting chestnuts (blech), the cosiness. Around the world, Christmas - or the season - means different things.
But stories about the season revolve around Christendom. I've never seen, for example, a story about for Ramadan or Hannukah or any of the great religious festivals. Pagans celebrate the Solstice a few days beforehand, but here, there are no crops to go Wassailing around during Summer and I've not seen a story regarding the Solstice.
Is it simply a case of Western readers not being interested unless it deals with Christmas? Or do writers not write them because they're about a religion not their own and it's not profitable? Is there market for non-Christian stories?
For me, Christmas stories haven't been about the day; they've always been about the surrounding emotions, but Christmas is the catalyst.
This story is going to be a challenge. Not because I'm Pagan and still pissy at the Church taking over sacred days - a whole other argument - but how to engender the feelings these stories evoke in a reader without mentioning Christmas. Can I do that because the story will be posted close to Christmas Day? Can you have a Christmas story without the word?
Guess I'm gonna find out.