Obviously there are books written for specific holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day (especially for Romance books). And in my current work in progress I mention, or actually include scenes with several holidays: Halloween (in passing), Thanksgiving (in more detail) and Christmas (before, during, and after). Of all my stories, this one has the most holidays to write about. And each gives me new ways to show more about my characters—including a few things they’d rather not share!
Do you write about traditional holidays, using your own experiences, or do you explore different ways of celebrating based on your character’s personality and circumstances? Does you tough Navy Seal have a soft spot for Christmas because it brings back happy memories? Or maybe he goes all out because his childhood lacked that kind of happiness? Or maybe he ignores it because it doesn’t match his macho image?
Does your heroine hope for a special Valentine’s gift or a romantic night on the town? Holidays can provide a wealth of emotional baggage to explore, not only with what you include, but what you ignore or leave out.
Do you avoid religious aspect of some holidays or include them? What kind of comments do you receive from your readers? Does that influence what and how you write about certain holidays and their traditions?
For me, I look for any opportunity that lets me explore my characters’ childhood experiences, good or bad, and what impact it has on their adult lives. Holidays can be a great way to show some hidden emotions they may not want to talk about—and exactly what I want to expose to and for my heroine or hero.
So whether it’s an Easter egg hunt, a special gift under a Christmas tree, or a New Year’s toast, I’m going to search for those emotions and rescue a few hearts along the way!