For the first time, I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! The concept is simple: Each day in April I’ll be blogging on a topic starting with the letter of the day, beginning with A and progressing to Z by the end of the month. Posts will be short and will relate to my chosen theme: my new coming of age story, Rightfully Ours, released April 1.
X is for Xmas
Is it cheating if I’m technically using the Greek letter Chi for my X-themed post? At this point, I’m not looking to get bumped from the A to Z Challenge, but I’m sticking with my Xmas post.
I’ve heard of some people taking offense to the use of “Xmas” as short hand for Christmas. Not sure where that originated, but it is, in fact, the use of chi, which is the first letter of “Christ” in Greek, so, unless someone is using “Xmas” with the specific intention of Xing out Christ (is that thing?), there’s no room for offense. It’s just a timesaver when writing “Christmas” longhand.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I love writing about holidays, most especially Christmas. I’ve got a couple of Christmas scenes in Rightfully Ours, and three Christmases in Ornamental Graces. While many people have difficulty with holidays due to losses, there is a lot of lovely nostalgia tied to these celebrations, which often take place within the family.
Here’s one of my favorite passages in Rightfully Ours:
The minty freshness tantalized her nose, but only for a second. The dominant fragrance in the room remained the sweet and savory aroma of the ham Mom had served for Christmas dinner. When the heat kicked on, a gust of fresh pine momentarily wafted beyond the Christmas tree’s limbs, causing Rachel to inhale deeply and savor its woodsy scent.
Paul sat next to her, his hand interlocked with hers, and if he shifted in his seat or leaned in to whisper something to her, his cologne would join the panoply of fragrances that from now on would be uniquely “Christmas” to her.
The mini multi-colored lights from the Christmas tree cast a soft glow on the otherwise dark room. Here and there a red or yellow bulb lit a hidden alcove in the tree where an ornament hung. An eclectic mishmash of ornaments bedecked the large, fine-needled evergreen Dad and Paul had hand-cut for their celebration. Garish ornaments fashioned by little hands hung next to antique balls, ceramic snowflakes, vacation mementos and pop culture touchstones. As Paul had joked while he fastened hooks to the ornaments, “Nothing says ‘let’s celebrate the Savior’s birth’ like an eerie, talking Death Star.”
Name your favorite holiday!