The Christmas season is my favorite time of year. There’s this general excitement in the air, friends and family are quick to share their laughter, and there’s all that good food. Oh, the food. Now, because I’ve never had the pleasure of being a part of the Feast of Seven Fishes, some of you might be thinking, “What is this guy talking about?” But see, I’ve got a mean sweet tooth, and with cookies and chocolate and gingerbread everywhere you look, well, let’s just say it’s a good time to loosen up that belt.
Last year, though, the holidays weren’t going so well for me. The crowds, the dang cold that wouldn’t go away, and the 50+ hours in the office just didn’t add up to anything joyous for me.
“Argh, I hate Christmas,” I shouted one night over drinks with friends. They knew better than to believe me, so instead they laughed it off by talking about their own Christmas disasters. We’ve all got ‘em, and that night we shared some of the worst ones we could remember. Hilarity ensued. And let me tell you, laughter was indeed the best medicine; before that last drink, my Christmas joy was back on track.
Later that night, I picked up Feast again. By now it had become one of my Christmas rituals, just like watching Rudolf and listening to bad renditions of classic Christmas music. This time, however, I wasn’t halfway through the book when I put it down. I had to make a call; it just couldn’t wait.
When Bob answered, I dispensed with the pleasantries. “Bob, do you have any other Christmas stories?” I asked.
“Oh, I’ve got tons,” he said, a hint of mirth and a dash of curiosity on his voice.
“Good, because I want to hear one,” I said. “But not just any Christmas story. I want to hear about a Christmas that didn’t go so well. A true Christmas disaster.”
He chuckled and said, “Oh, I’ve got a few of those, too,”
Oh, does he ever. That night Bob told me a few of his funnier Christmas disaster stories, but probably none that he’d want me repeating to others. Still, an idea was firmly planted in my head. I called around, and it turns out that a bunch of other writers and cartoonists had funny Christmas stories of their own.
And just like that, a book was born—"Dear Santa, Let Me Explain…" One of my favorite Christmas activities is sitting around the tree with my family and retelling the same stories we’ve been told for years. And now, with this book, I hope to be a part of that ritual with other families.
"Dear Santa, Let Me Explain…" Because not every Christmas goes according to plan.
-James Powell, guest blogger