07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Holiday Reading List

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!


Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Courtney. You got me thinking. i guess what attracts me to a holiday romance is kids and miracles. Maybe the stories I pick bring back the wonder and excitement of my own childhood holidays. And I'm a sucker for Divine Intervention at any time of the year! :)

Paty Jager said...

The first Christmas romance I picked up was because of the cover and I was looking for something different to read. It was Nora Robert's The MacGregor's. I went on to read every book she wrote about that family. Now I pick up Holiday stories from writers I know. My reading time is so limited I try to support my friends.

Diana Mcc. said...

Sometimes it's the title that catches my eye, but most of the time it is the Christmas cover. I've never been disappointed in any Christmas story I've read. I do like romances the best. Happy Holidays!!

Judith Ashley said...

I'll pick up a holiday romance if it is by an author I like, there is something about the title or cover that attracts my attention (and I'm not particularly drawn to half-naked men with their hands all over half-dressed women).

This year another prompt was Romancing The Genre's November theme "Review a Holiday-themed Romance".

Check back on 12/02/2011 for my December post when I talk about the 5 other holiday themed books I read for this task. Bet, when you finish reading my post, you'll have a good idea about what kind of holiday romance I like best.

Tam Linsey said...

What a concise summation of what a holiday themed romance is about! And your are right, sometimes in the middle of the year, we might need a little reminder of the Christmas spirit, so a good holiday romance can be a good way to get a "fix."
I'll have to keep that in mind next August when I'm so run down with chores, I can't remember why I'm doing it all.