Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jennifer Gracen: Christmas in New York

When my three friends and I geared up to write our novellas for the Christmas in New York anthology, we were all excited. None of us had ever written a Christmas story before, and it was also our first time writing for Tule Publishing. And there we were, writing about Christmas, winter, snow... in July. Yup, we wrote our holiday tales during the sweltering summer months. It was strange to get my mindset into cold, snowy days when I had the windows open, the heat and humidity floating into my room along with the sounds of crickets chirping.

But what it cemented for me was how much I really love winter. I had to conjure up all the things I love about it, since they weren’t around me, and it wasn’t hard. My friends who love warm weather—which is the majority of them!—think I’m crazy, but I do love winter. I hate sweating, so right there, winter wins. I love the cold, brisk air (when it’s not subzero polar vortex kind of temperatures, mind you). Winter air wakes me up and makes me feel alive. The air feels clearer, sharper, and pulls me into focus. I love burrowing into cozy clothes—soft fleeces and flannels, thick wools, heavier cottons. Layering in them, then wrapping an extra blanket around myself for ultra-coziness, preferably in front of a fireplace. I love enjoying hot cocoa or tea and comfort foods like soup and other warm, delicious things. Most of all, I love watching snow fall. It softly turns the landscape into a magical realm of pristine, sparkling whiteness. Beneath newly fallen snow, the world is transformed into a breathtakingly beautiful place.

And of course, I love the holidays! December has a vibrant energy all its own. I tried to describe it in my novella, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, but I don’t know if I did it justice. Think about it... how everyone you see seems to be revitalized, a little bouncier, a little brighter. The decorations everywhere, the lights and colors... the music! Songs that everyone has heard so many times they know all the words and still sing along. The holidays end the calendar year with a wonderfully festive feeling, the year’s grand finale. And for me, growing up on Long Island, there really is something unique about Christmastime in New York. I was thrilled to be able to write a story in that setting. Now that the holidays are here, I’m so enjoying all the things I mentioned, instead of only having to daydream about them. I hope you all are too.

Jennifer Gracen

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

There's something special about Christmastime in NY!