1.) Pick the Holiday.
Don't think that a seasonal story has to be Christmas. There are other holidays: Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine's and Halloween for some. Pick the holiday that speaks to you. A friend of mine, a starting author, R.T. Drake loves Samhain (sow-wen) so much that he wrote a short story, Guardian of the Banshee, that takes place in the days leading up to it.
2.) Have the Correct Setting.
Each holiday has it's own settings. Halloween is typically spooky and paranormal. Thanksgiving is more about forgiveness and being grateful for the little things. Christmas is about celebrating others, good will towards everyone and letting people into your life and heart. Easter tends to be paired with the celebration of life.
3.) Include symbolism.
Of course each holiday has it's own symbolism, but also think out of the box. Just because Christmas is usually linked with the baby Jesus, a barn and a mother and child doesn't mean those have to be the symbols you use. Choose ones that speak to you as a person. For me Christmas is about the pure (innocent) or the people standing alone outside the "normal" world and finding their place in such a chaotic world.
4.) The best tip of all... Make it Your Own.
No one can tell the story the way you can and only you can infuse your personality and love of the holidays like you. The greatest thing about writing a holiday theme story is you get to share your love of that holiday with others. For me, as a historical author I get to bring to the modern reader some of the values and the glitz from an era relegated to the past.
I hope you'll visit our sister site, Free Reads from the Generistas, to view our holiday stories. R.T. Drake will be premiering Guardian of the Banshee Dec. 13th. I'll be premiering my latest short and the start to a new series, Copper Consecration, A Book of the Copper Dagger Sisterhood on November 29th.
What are some of your favorite holiday reads? What makes them so special to you?