What are you doing on Christmas Day? Avoiding Christmas, yes, that’s the right answer. But, while it’s unusual of me to suggest a different approach, this year I recommend that you embrace the Yuletide festivities in a small way by waking up on Christmas morning and — after you’ve paused to mournfully wonder why you’re no longer eight years old and thus excited that the big day has finally arrived — going online to donate a modest sum for the pleasure of downloading a seasonal charity e-book, the cover of which you can see to the right (click for a bigger picture).
Put together by Frank Hinton at Metazen, it contains a fantastic selection of Christmas-related fiction and poetry by too many excellent writers to mention here, a number of whom I have openly drooled over in the past. In a literary rather than salivary sense, I disappointedly hasten to add. Oh, and there’s something by me in there, too — though if my presence puts you off and makes you think of that Christmas gift you got from your grandparents in 1989 which you didn’t want and found hideously embarrassing to even be seen with, remember that this is all for charity and there are plenty of other pieces to read.
So don’t forget. Christmas Day. Bring your mistletoe, your Santa hat and your Paypal login. I promise it’ll be better than standing in a corner of the kitchen and sweating profusely while you’re fisting the bird. (Fisting? Did I say fisting? I meant stuffing. Stuffing the turkey. Obviously. And a turkey is a bird, isn’t it? Oh God, this is all going horribly wrong and very, very politically incorrect. The baby Jesus is going to fire his laser eyes at me again. No baby Jesus, please no. Not the eyes. I’m having traumatic school Nativity play flashbacks now. Why are Billy and Jane making slurping and groaning noises in that donkey costume, Miss? Why is Brian playing an angel when he’s got an ASBO, Miss? Miss? WHY CAN’T I BE THE ANGEL GABRIEL, MISS? IT’S NOT FAIR. I MADE MY OWN HALO AND EVERYTHING. I HATE YOU.)