Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Appeal of Christmas Stories

by Victoria M. Johnson

The Appeal of Christmas Stories

Are you like me?  Do you devour Christmas books and movies, staying up late at night to get to the end of the story?  I noticed this year that a certain popular cable channel had started showing their holiday classics in November.  So instead of rendering me useless for only the month of December, they were now enticing me to spend an additional month glued in front of the set.  And I admit, the idea was tempting.  That's when I asked, what is it about Christmas stories that make them so appealing?

Christmas is a special time of year.
There's a magical quality surrounding us at Christmastime.  It's when we think of family and loved ones, and even if we are busy in our day-to-day lives, we make time to celebrate our holiday traditions with them.  As we count our blessings we're reminded to help those in need.  It's the season of giving after all, and we're in the mood to spread cheer.  We're also in the mood to decorate.  In our eagerness to create a festive, magical atmosphere we may go overboard with lights, decorations, baking, Christmas carols, and wrapping paper.  All of which contributes to our merry frame of mind.

Christmas stirs our emotions.
It's an emotional time of year.  It's hard keeping up with those family traditions, and who does all the work and who does all the complaining?  Those pleasant family gatherings can become a minefield for unsettled disputes.  Skeletons can break out of closets, old resentments stirred, or new bombshells delivered.  (Good fodder for stories).  But because it's Christmas, we're willing to facilitate closure.  We're open to healing those old wounds.

Christmas makes us believe in miracles.
It's the season for unexpected surprises.  Sure we all like the surprises under the tree, but those aren't the surprises that create Christmas magic.  The magic comes from gifts that have no price tag.  The gift that seems to come right when we need it most: a family doomed to shatter finds the way to stay together, a loved one in a coma miraculously awakes, and even the lost puppy who gets found and returned to his family.  It's that kind of magic that makes us believe peace on earth is possible.  Maybe all our decorating is our way of inviting magic into our homes.

Christmas stories give us hope.
Christmas is also the season of hope.  If we are all thinking warm thoughts about our loved ones, giving and helping others in need, keeping a merry attitude, ready and willing to resolve old wounds, and witnessing divine assistance from someone upstairs, how can we not feel hopeful?  Hope is an essential ingredient to our well-being, and the season encourages hope.

The appeal of Christmas Stories
How does all this relate to the power of Christmas books and movies?  It's through their past and upbringing, emotions, and belief in miracles and hope that lead characters to discover what matters most in their lives.  They learn to share the importance of the season and to make room in their hearts for others.  Those stories hit home.  Maybe we too, need to rediscover these things in our own lives.  Some characters have a tougher transformation than others, but its Christmas remember?  And I think that everyone truly, deep down wants to believe in Christmas magic.

I'm such an admirer of Christmas stories that I've written one of my own. Hot Hawaiian Christmas is my newly released novella.  Check it out here:

Victoria M. Johnson knew by the time she was ten that she wanted to be a writer.  She loves telling stories and she's happiest when creating new characters and new plots.  Avalon Books and Montlake Romance published Victoria's fiction debut, The Doctor’s Dilemma, (A Bookseller’s Best double finalist).  Her other fiction book is a collection of romance short stories titled, The Substitute Bride. She is also the writer and director of four short films and two micro documentaries.   Visit Victoria's website at for inspiration and tips and find her Amazon author page or connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Right on the mark on every point, Victoria. Christmas and the stories about it bring out the best in us. And I'll definitely check out your new novella. A Hot Hawaiian Christmas is exactly what's needed on a cold, grey day in Pennsylvania. Good luck with the book.

  2. Hi Sandy. It's my favorite time of year. Oh, Hot Hawaiian Christmas will definitely heat up your holidays :-)