A Memorable Holiday by Donna

I'm fortunate to have wonderful memories of Christmas.  It was my mom's favorite holiday and she always made sure it was special.  I'm not sure I even remember one specific Christmas.  By  now, they have all blurred together in my adult mind into a fantastic array of food, traditions, decorations, and presents that was my childhood holiday season.

When I started to think back on holiday memories, however, there was one Christmas that came to mind.

It was the Christmas my new father-in-law invited me to Hawaii for Christmas.  I had always spent the holidays with my parents in Texas, even as an adult, so there was some angst to accepting the invitation.  But I was newly wed and anxious to impress.  Besides it was Hawaii!

We left the snowy, freezing cold of Colorado and arrived in Hawaii after dark.  The next morning, Christmas Eve, we woke before sunrise still on Colorado time.  Quickly putting on bathing suits, we headed down to Kailua Beach while it was still dark and kept walking right out into the ocean.  I still remember the wonder of watching the sunrise on Christmas Eve from  the warm waves.  Later that night, I attended Christmas Eve services in a tiny island church opened wide to the tropical breezes.  Seeing Christmas trees and palm trees together seemed strange.  Hearing Christmas carols while eating shaved ice was different. The setting combined the expected with the new--the familiar with a surprise.  The juxtaposition of my past lived experiences with this new world created such a unique experience, that it became totally memorable.

Why is this the Christmas I chose to tell you about when I had so many wonderful memories to pick from?   It's because I see some connections to my writing life.  Today, while sitting in my favorite coffee shop, I'm striving to create characters to connect as deeply to readers as the memories of my childhood holidays, but I also want to surprise like the tropical Christmas I experienced in Hawaii. I hope to take a familiar characteristic or setting and give it a twist to make it new and memorable.  

So happy holidays and good writing to all!  No matter where you might be spending it.


Christmas in Hawaii? Oh yeah, that must have been a beautiful experience.

Hawaii sounds awesome right now. How I'd love to be warm... (although I don't think I can complain with temperatures in the 50s). I love the writing connection you made at the end--it's a good aim to have.

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