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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALEKSANDR VOINOV
I was going to write something long an interesting and historical, but instead I’m posting up some random musings about Christmas and the way the past keeps coming back to put the present into perspective. The last couple of weeks I’ve been wonderinG what Christmas means to me, as a a non-religious, non-childrearing writer.
It’s not the gifts. In fact, finding gifts is an agony of rushed running around and guilt. My partner and me are an instant gratification couple. Either of us want something, we get it. Leaving an empty wish list. And the last thing we need is more tat (I say that after having recently moved house).
I guess it’s the holiday. The free time. The unplanned stretch of no-man’s-land going from Christmas to January 4. Nobody’s making any demands, no family to visit, no travel arrangements. Just empty time.
I could edit a novel in that time, or start another one.
It’s a change of pace from my frantic job in business media. No deadline, no demands from the sales team, no PR person calling me whether I got their press release, want to interview their client, want to come to a press party… or whatever else. No frantic chasing of events a day after they happened. Almost two weeks of nothing.
Is that prosaic? Christmas is about paid holidays? I don’t think so. What resonates here with me is the famous story of Christmas in the trenches in 1914. We all know the story – four months into the way, both sides are suffering from cold, mutual shelling. Then the Germans are beginning to sing Christmas carols. The Brits join. They sing, they meet, shake hands.
Here’s an eye witness account:
A break to sing and shake hands – beyond all the so-called ‘Christian’ trappings, much of which are pagan, beyond the gift-giving, family demands and the need to make everything “perfect” – does recharge the soul. We find a moment to pause. To rest. To think and anticipate the next year. What have I achieved? Is that what I wanted? What do I want to do with the next year?
Not prosaic at all. When else do we really pause like that and are being human?
Merry Reborn Sun Day.
Aleksandr Voinov is an emigrant German author living near London where he makes his living as a financial journalist, freelance editor, and creative writing teacher. He has published five novels and many short stories in his native language. His genres range from horror, science fiction, cyberpunk, and fantasy to contemporary, thriller, and historical erotic gay novels.
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The BONUS BUMPER PRIZE QUESTION (don’t answer this - just save them up for Christmas Eve.)
9. Where was it always winter and never Christmas?