Holiday romances are, well, seasonal. Right? I've always thought of them as things that are only read in the wintertime, which is why up to this past summer I'd only read two holiday romances in my entire life. But recently I started wondering if my "seasonal" assumption was wrong, altogether.
I had a conversation with Jodi Thomas in September about a short story she wrote back in the early nineties. As Jodi explained the process she went through in plotting her holiday masterpiece called, "A Husband for Holly," I was absolutely intrigued and bought the book "out-of season." Based on what I encountered in the anthology Jodi's short story was published in, A Country Christmas, I realized that holiday romance isn't necessarily limited to just the holidays.
It's a type of fiction that a reader can always return to when they simply want to be uplifted. If a person is looking to get a boost of optimism and have a feel-good experience, they have the option of going and getting a holiday romance. Sometimes the themes can get a little exhausted, especially if you make it a habit of reading and watching the Hallmark Channel simultaneously. There are only so many winter blizzards heroes can save pregnant heroines from before a reader/viewer gets tired of the "character," Snow. There are only so many charities that antagonists can steal from just before Christmas, too.
But the more I look into it, the more I realize that there can be as many varying themes in holiday romances as there are in the romance genre. Holiday historicals, westerns, contemporaries, military family, etc., etc., etc. What differentiates them from normal everyday love stories is the seasonal setting--one that people generally associate with generosity, family and the time of year to help their fellow man.
So, while I didn't go over the actual storyline of Jodi's short story in this particular entry (which is now my favorite holiday romance!), some of us can appreciate holiday romances at all times of the year--including September. It's just one more way for an audience to get exactly what they're looking for, if they're looking for: Hope.
If you have picked up a holiday romance before, what prompted you to do so? Have you figured out what kind of holiday romance you like the most? Share with us!