Deck the Halls with everything

A reader’s perspective on what more this holiday season can bring.

I’m not really big on birthdays. I’m not sure why but the birthday song makes me really uncomfortable. It could be that it is sung so incredibly out of tune or the fact that all the attention is turned on me. But then I’m not really crazy about singing it either. And then the other aspect of birthdays- the presents. I mean what do you do if you get something that you don’t necessarily dislike but aren’t super excited about? There’s that awkward trying to pull off the happy/ecstatic look when you are internally kind of puzzling over what exactly it is or what you are supposed to do with it.

For me Christmas is kind of the same way. But with the added awkwardness of giving gifts that might be triggering the same thing- what the heck was Erin thinking to give me this gift? Can I blame the fact that growing up my sister and I always got a package of underwear, a toothbrush, a tangerine and box of LifeSavers in our stockings? How does that lead to an adulthood of creative gift giving? It’s more along the lines of Christmas being an excellent time to give those practical gifts. Like underwear. Or socks. I mean how practical can a flat screen TV be?

I think books fulfill that practical aspect. I remember one year my wife found my Amazon wish list and gave me a stack of books (she knows me so well!). But as I started thinking about practical gifts, which of course included books, I started wondering about books that included a winter holiday. I mean I have my favorite movies that I watch every holiday season (and to show my immaturity I will say that elf and Christmas Vacation are must watches for the season!) what about a favorite book with a holiday theme or scene?

And after straining my brain for over two evenings in this quest I came up with the amazing story Under a Falling Star by Jae. What an awesome story that can definitely be a re-read and a must read holiday story. The whole thing starts with decorating a Christmas tree and how dangerous that task can be- especially if you have a perfectionist personality and everything must be just right. But the story between Austen and Dee is so incredibly sweet and has the perfect holiday warm fuzzy feel to it that it would top my list.

Another story that eventually came upon a holiday with a warm fuzzy was RJ Nolan’s L.A. Metro. Sharing a holiday, especially the first time, can be such a special experience and that is what Nolan is able to capture with Jess and Kim. So much so, that this gets to be a re-read warm holiday fuzzy book. I mean what can be better than buying a Christmas tree and then spending the time decorating it together? That is such the Christmas thing to do! The undressing of the tree is the yucky part but we don’t have to see Jess and Kim putting it all away.

I want more though. I love to ask other readers what types of characters they would like to see more of in LesFic and the answers are wonderful. They range from not wanting anything different because the characters offer an escape into that fairy tale setting of young, rich and single to wanting more characters with physical challenges, different body types, older ages, hobbies, and all things that make us unique. Religion doesn’t seem to be a big topic though. I’m not sure if it’s sort of overlooked but wouldn’t it be wonderful to be exposed to different holidays, different philosophies, and different cultures through a religious perspective? So what about stories that help us readers explore different holidays of different religions? Are there any LesFic books that do that and I’ve totally missed them? Over the years I’ve learned a lot through stories and different ideas have stimulated my curiosity to find out more but I can’t think of any LesFic stories that celebrate Hanukah or Kwanza. Wouldn’t that be cool though, to see our amazing community represented in this way as well? Maybe it already is and I just haven’t found the titles yet. So help me out, give me some titles of LesFic that have Hanukah or Kwanza or some other holiday that isn’t Christian oriented?

Oh, and have fun with the Hootenany and regardless of what you celebrate have a wonderful season!

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8 thoughts on “Deck the Halls with everything

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning Under a Falling Star, Erin!

    I couldn’t agree more: I’d love more diversity in lesbian fiction, including different cultural and religious backgrounds. Actually, you might remember that in my novel “Heart Trouble” Laleh celebrates Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, with her family, and in the lasts scene, she and Hope go on a Sizdah Bedar picnic to celebrate the arrival of spring.

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  2. I enjoyed this blog thank you.
    I have read a LOT of Christmas stories (lesfic) as I love to curl up at this time of yr to read about others enjoying winter. One of my favourites is Season’s Meetings by Amy Dunne. I read this last Christmas and the Christmas before…and can’t wait to read it again this Christmas.

    There is also
    ~ Gingerbread Hearts (five Christmas stories) by Ylva authors Inc Jae.
    ~ Mistletoe by Lyn Gardner
    ~ Christmas Crush by Kate McLachlan
    ~ Chasing a Brighter Blue by Gerri Hill
    ~ All I want for Christmas by Clare Lydon
    ~ Christmas at Winterborne by Jen Silver
    ~ A Christmas Kiss by Jade Winter’s

    There are many others too. I’ve also read quite a few where they celebrate Thanksgiving (I’m British so obviously don’t celebrate this) which I always enjoy.

    As for different religions and holidays, I really really enjoyed Heart Trouble by Jae. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy a book JUST for the parts about the characters religion and holidays etc. I would certainly enjoy reading more stories in this area.

    From what you said above where people asked for more stories with older people, people with disabilities etc. these are broader ideas and effect people of all religions. I think when authors ask what we readers what to see more of in our fav genre, we try to give idea’s that cover a range of people. It’s then up to the writer to come up with the character’s background.

    I personally don’t want to be too specific as I’m not a writer. If you tell a writer exactly what you want to read and they write the story, then the chances are it won’t be as good as if the writer wrote about a story she wants to write and connects too. I’d rather read a great book where the author totally pulls me into the story, no matter what the genre/storyline, than read a book that is just ok about a specific story i want to read. Hope that makes sense.

    Thanks.

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    1. Sarah thank you for such for a wonderful list! I”ll add those to my wish list. In regards to the question I ask other readers, I totally understand what you are getting at but in my opinion it can be a natural aspect of a character. I don’t mean to imply that readers should force our amazing authors to write specific stories, but I find it such a wonderful change when new things are introduced with characters. Religion can be one of those aspects. It may not be a daily part of your or my life but it is for others and seeing how that important faith plays on their daily life, their relationships with others, and just overall aspects that others might not be aware of is fascinating for me. Sort of like what Jae was talking about in her story that she mentioned, Heart Trouble. One of her characters is Iranian! How cool is that!! In addition, through research she presented the reader with what felt like a very authentic cultural experience when they celebrated Sizdah Bedar to celebrate the arrival of spring. I’d never even heard of that before reading the story and I love that a story introduced me to such an event, a different culture AND they were lesbians. That is what I was getting at with adding religion as something that could be presented more in LesFic stories.
      Thanks for reading Sarah and I can’t wait to discover some more great stories through your list!

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    1. Ok first, I’m doing a little fan-girl thing here and can’t believe THE Lee Lynch read this blog!! Second, thank you for the recommendations- I will definitely be adding those to my wish list!!

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  3. Really appreciate the mention of L.A. Metro. Thank you.

    I personally feel sharing the holidays together for the first time can be a chance to bond in a special way. So glad that came through to you in L.A. Metro ☺

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