’Tis the Season

Christmas-gift-ideas“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” as the song goes. And it’s my pleasure to announce that Christmas has come early for the two winners of Gene Luen Yang’s two-volume masterpiece Boxers & Saints. Ho ho ho!


So, without further ado (or should I say much ado to work in a Shakespeare title), the two winners are . . . first . . .

First . . .

First . . .

First . . .

First . . .

Charles Yallowitz . . . and second . . .

Second . . .

Second . . .

Second . . .

Second . . .

Ellar Cooper!!!!

Congrats to you both. Please email me (lmarie7b(at)gmail(dot)com) to provide your snail mail address. Please also provide your phone number. (Sorry. That’s Amazon’s requirement for package delivery.) Merry Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas, what is it about the holidays that makes you willing to put up with more cheese than usual? Okay. I’ll speak for myself. I’m willing to put up with a great deal of cheese. I’m hooked on the Christmas movies on Hallmark and Lifetime. They’re the perfect vehicles for washed-up ’80s TV stars or sisters of ex-Disney Channel stars. The plot is usually a variation on the following: a recently fired, high-powered career woman/broke single mom needs to turn over a new leaf/sell toys or trees/experience a miracle/pay a mortgage before the bank forecloses/get back her self-respect/mojo. Though she’s as broke as a busted window, she usually has a designer wardrobe with killer shoes and a condo or house large enough for a family of six. Or, she lives with her parents who run their own Christmas-oriented business and cheerfully meddle in her love life.


Nothing says Christmas like these shoes.

Of course she’ll find true wuv before the holidays. A hot guy will walk up to her and ask her out, even if she’s in the ladies room. But she’ll get dumped or dump him five minutes before the end due to a horrible misunderstanding. Thankfully, her adorable child/wacky best friend/loyal dog/nagging mom/conscience/belief in Santa Claus/circumstances will work to give her the happy ending the movie requires. Before that happens, there will be lots of holiday moments: ice skating, tree trimming, hot chocolate sipping, tinkling the ivories while singing Christmas carols, Christmas cookie baking, kisses under the mistletoe, and walks around Manhattan. She’ll help him be less cynical/love tree decorating/regain his Christmas spirit/learn to ice skate. He’ll teach her to love again/take a risk/ice skate/see the beauty within/work with disadvantaged kids. Good times. Note that zombies never figure into the scenario. Sigh.


This . . . but never . . . this.

But I don’t mind the predictability. Movies like this are comfort food for the eyes, thanks to the guaranteed happy ending. After all, it’s Christmas, right?

Sigh. As much as I love a happy ending, for some reason, I can’t wrap things up so cheerfully in my novel. I’ve tried. So I wrote an ending that seems more realistic. Yet I feel like the Grinch who stole Christmas as I steal the joy from my characters. I wish some adorable child/loyal dog/wacky best friend would come and make things all warm and fuzzy. But given the events of the story—heartache, unrequited love, death, chaos—warm fuzzies at the end are an uneasy fit, even with a bit of wuv woven into the narrative.

So, I watch these holiday-cheer movies as I work up the courage to end my characters’ hopes for now. Blue Christmas? They’ll probably have one, even if the characters in the movies I watch don’t.

How about you? Is a happy ending a requirement for you? If not, what is the most satisfying ending you’ve read recently, even if it was sad?

Gift image from vizfact.com. Tree from wallpaperchristmas.net. Shoes from shoes.lovetoknow.com. Zombie from plantsvszombies.wikia.com.


21 thoughts on “’Tis the Season

    • I don’t either, Jill. I’m hoping not to depress readers. I’ve written the ending two ways, so I’ll see which one the beta readers go for. But one ending is definitely somber.

  1. It does seem acceptable and preferable for a movie to have a happy ending but with a book, you expect “real” and want to relate to the characters more. That’s how I personally feel! 🙂 I’ve been watching ABC family back to back Xmas movies with my daughter. They are fun and you don’t have to think much – just sit back and enjoy. ps. I’ve never been asked out by a hot guy while in the ladies room either.

  2. In Millie’s games, as you know, zombies always feature!
    A couple of years ago, for my 40th, the wife banished me to my favourite place-a cold, December stricken Orkney. One of the local churches there was holding a ‘Blue Christmas’ service for those not looking forward to Christmas this year. I don’t know what the service entailed-I just saw the poster.
    As for film endings-a bit back we watched the film The Mist, based on a Stephen King short story. Jen was enjoying it until the end (which was not in accord with the book). “What did they have to make it like that for?” she maybe not unreasonably asked. It put her on a downer all day!
    Merry Christmas.

    • Yes. And if I were Millie’s age, they would be a major part of my games too!
      I didn’t see The Mist. But I’ve seen other adaptations of Stephen King’s books. They’re not always good. I don’t know why.
      My church has a Blue Christmas service also. I went one year.

  3. I’m glad I get an opportunity to share this — the most satisfying (in the sense of being hilarious) ending I’ve seen recently was the ending of an independent film in which, after discovering a body that has been eaten by the monstrous, Bigfoot-like antagonist in the film, one of the characters vomits. There is an intentional, total absence of resolution as to what happens to Bigfoot or our heroes. I laughed for several minutes.

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