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December 6 – Andrea Tyler

I never really took the time to notice Christmas carols growing up. I mean, I knew when they were playing, but I had no real loyalty to one above another. And I almost answered this by saying I didn’t have a favorite because they’re all equal in terms of, of… well, crap. I never really got into the schmaltzy sentiment of it all. But then I thought about it for a moment and I realized that there was one song I liked above all the others.

 

I lusted after Kelsey Quinn for a long time. A lot longer than I would care to admit. When we ended up together, it seemed magical. Like if I fell asleep I would wake up and realize it had all been a dream or a fantasy. But we managed to get through to Christmas, and I escorted her to an adult’s-only ball. No, nothing like that. This is small-town Montana, for Pete’s sake. It was just a nice quiet evening with friends, and I arrived with Kelsey as my date.

 

When we arrived, the doors were open and I could see fairy lights twinkling inside. Loud laughter, lots of people, nowhere near my comfort zone. Kelsey noticed when I tensed, and guided me to the side of the building. We stood in the shadows and she said we didn’t have to go in until I was comfortable.

 

While we were there, a man came out with an acoustic guitar. He sat on the curb and very quietly began strumming God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Kelsey and I danced a little bit in the shadows before I told her we could go in. She took my hand, we wished the musician a merry Christmas, and joined the festivities.

 

So without contest, that song will always have a special place in my heart. I know when I hear it this year, I’ll think of that man, that night, and dancing in the shadows with the love of my life.

 

– Andrea Tyler appears in short stories Alive Day and A Little Gossip as well as the forthcoming novel Only Flame and Air.



December 4 – Jill Colby

 

This is a little embarrassing, but what the heck? Christmas carols are about embarrassing, right? No one can make fun of you for being sentimental or overly nostalgic because these are Christmas songs! My favorite Christmas song ever is Christmas Time is Here. You might not recognize the name, but you know the tune. It’s the music used in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Every time I hear it, I immediately think of little kids skating in circles on a little frozen pond. I tend to play it during quiet moments in class, and the kids really seem to respond to it.

 

The second that piano music starts, you might as well throw in the towel. The Christmas season has begun. I don’t care if snow has fallen yet, I don’t care if it’s still seventy degrees outside, I don’t care if it’s still a week until Thanksgiving. That song means the holiday season has begun.

 

This won’t be my first Christmas with Patricia, but it will be our first Christmas as domestic partners. I think we’ll get up early on Christmas morning, cuddle in bed for a while, and play our favorite carols until Michael forced us to join the real world. I hope your Christmas is as peaceful and full of love as I know mine will be.

 

Jill Colby appears in short stories Doing Laundry on Valentine’s Day, Rounding Home, Patricia’s Portrait, Fairytales of Squire’s Isle, Too Many Once Upon a Times, Separation Anxiety, and Eating Out in Squire’s Isle.



December 2 – Nadine Butler

When I was a little girl, my favorite Christmas carols tended to involve merchandise-related songs. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and of course the fantastic Chipmunk Song. I never did get a hula hoop, by the way, in case anyone… no, never mind. But once I had grown up a little, I decided I was too old for those little kid songs and started listening to the new standards.

 

If I have to pick a favorite, I still don’t consider it Christmas until I’ve heard John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War is Over). It’s almost like a prayer set to music. So that’s why I make it a point to play it every year on the first of December, to get the holiday season off right. I probably play it on my show more than any other Christmas song.

 

One of the perks of dating my station manager is that she never yells at me if I play it too much. Or, well… when she does yell, it’s never too bad. Usually. Whatever reprimand I might get from Miranda, Happy Xmas is worth it. I get such an optimistic feeling from it, the harmony and the sentiment of a world deciding they’ve had enough of war and violence.

 

To everyone out there, as Mr. Lennon said, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

 

Nadine Butler appears in On the Air, as well as featuring in the short stories The Christmas Boat, Fairytales of Squire’s Isle and Eating Out in Squire’s Isle.