It’s Release Day for A Chance This Christmas and I celebrated by working on my Pinterest board. Visit me on Pinterest to see where I got my ideas for Yuletide, the Christmas-themed town that is the backdrop or Rachel and Gavin’s romance.
One of the most fun aspects of writing a holiday romance is the setting. Sometimes authors turn the traditional setting on its ear the way my friend Catherine Mann did with her book RITA-Award winning book Taking Cover. The hero and heroine spend Christmas in the dessert and make a cactus /scrub brush Christmas tree in the crumbling mission church where they’re stuck. But more often, we see snow and evergreens galore. Two years ago for Last Chance Christmas, I dreamed up the ski resort town of Cloud Spin, Vermont. It’s got the skiing and resort appeal of Stowe, but the holiday charm of Grafton and Woodstock combined. So after a day on the slopes, visitors could attend Wassail Weekend and enjoy a very traditional holiday celebration straight out of Dickens. (Read more about Christmas celebrations in Vermont here.)
For A Chance This Christmas, I did something a little different for my fictional Adirondack village of Yuletide. I gave it more of an Alpine appeal, and I made it a community-driven effort. The townspeople of a formerly failing town decided to remake their town into a holiday tourist destination and “Yuletide” was born.
Part of the fun of a Christmas-crazy community is that the townspeople have very different ideas about what their holiday home should look like. Some residents want an over-the-top Christmas resort complete with Christmas carousels, a Tinsel Trolley and theme-named cottages where visitors can shop—like Teeny Elf’s House where the heroine lives. Other residents are ready for a break from their elf costumes so they can simply enjoy the holidays!
But I think that push-pull in the setting reflects a dynamic so many of us feel at Christmas time. Yes, we can get caught up in the commercialism of the day. It’s fun to shop, wrap and decorate. We look forward to it, we jump in with both feet and midway through December, we sometimes wonder, when can I sit back and enjoy my holiday? The hoopla is part of the fun, but it helps to know when to turn down the trappings and enjoy the simple joys of the day.