61. Christmas Potpourri

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Welcome to my favorite season.

But first, a word from our sponsor. My upcoming novel Cyan has been delayed. It will be out in April or May, not in January as originally announced. Because of this, about a dozen Cyan related posts had to be replaced with new, season appropriate material. All that is done now, and things are back to calm.

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When I was a child, I enjoyed Christmas without having the full joy of it. That came later, with marriage to the right person. On our first Christmas together, we decorated the tree on my early December birthday, and that tradition has continued unbroken since.

The season of our second Christmas the musical Scrooge came to theaters. Even though I had no VCR, I bought the tape while I had the chance. Who knew it would be around forever.

Seeing Scrooge led to reading A Christmas Carol, and that led to reading the four other Christmas stories Dickens wrote in subsequent years.

I was vaguely aware that our Christmas was an amalgam of Christian and pagan practices and, being historically minded, I sought out the details. That led me through a forest of books, which I will share tomorrow.

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One of the difficulties of being an underpubished writer is all the novels bubbling in your head that you fear will never come to be written. One of these is a novel of lives lost and reclaimed in and around Philadelphia in 1789, set during the Christmas season and giving a picture of Christmas before Santa was invented. As an early Christmas present this year I gave myself permission to write the Christmas Eve chapter of that unwritten novel and present it here. Unfortunately, time came too short. Maybe next year.

Instead I am presenting the Christmas section of a completed novel Symphony in a Minor Key. It tells the story of Neil McCrae, a teacher, during the Christmas season of 1989. Symphony in a complex novel, and the excerpt given only touches on surface events. Nevertheless, Neil and his girlfriend Carmen are nice people, and I think you will enjoy spending the holidays with them. Pop on over to Serial where the story starts today and runs through Christmas day.

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