By Kayla King, Editorial Assistant for Harlequin Intrigue
I confess, I’m one of those people who starts listening to Christmas music in September, but now that we’re firmly in December I’m all too happy to lose myself in holly boughs and twinkle lights without a lick of guilt! And what’s the season for but spreading holiday cheer? Here are my top ten reasons you should finally pen that holiday romance that has you humming All I Want for Christmas is You!
1. Baby, it’s cold outside. No, I mean, we’re actually snowed in. Use this weather to your advantage. Maybe a blizzard has hit and two unlikely characters are forced to weather the storm together, or a fresh snow falling just makes your heroine want to pull her new fiancé close…it’s brilliant how cold weather can heat things up.
2. It’s Christmas time in the city. Whether your characters are celebrating the holiday at home in a cozy small town or are walking fast past bright lights in a big snowy city, it’s amazing how the familiar becomes exciting and new when the holiday season hits. This is a chance to get down all the little corporeal details that help make holiday magic.
3. There’s no place like home for the holidays. It’s family time, which means it’s time to flesh out secondary characters. This could be the hero’s extended family all the way down to grandma’s Yorkshire terrier, or this could be the heroine’s motley crew of friends. Either way, holiday time means everyone is meeting everyone. Whew!
4. I’ll be home for Christmas and that’s not always a wonderful thing. Who are you going to spend Christmas Eve with? Why are you still single? Is it just Aunt Greta’s imagination, or is there some tension between you and your husband? Great, now she’s going to blab to your mother about it. There’s pressure around the holidays for singles and couples alike, so holiday romances are rife with emotional conflict!
5. I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. Or with you? What do I really want? While we are firm believers in HEA, the holidays are a stressful time of year and bring out all sorts of tough issues to explore. Not all holiday romances have to be super-sweet, and I’d personally love to see more frank, smart, contemporary holiday romances.
6. Baby please come home. Holidays are the perfect time for forgiveness, so second chance romances make a lot of sense to set during this time of year. This is your chance to write about an old flame or burying the hatchet.
7. Joy to the world, begrudgingly. This is what comes to mind for me when I think about the holidays. Maybe your more taciturn characters are bending to the holiday spirit and perhaps letting themselves feel something for once. Write some scenes that thaw the iciest of hearts.
8. For kids from one to ninety-two… Have you spent time with kids during the holidays? Everything is magic to them, and they have a way of making the adults around them see that magic, too. If you’ve had some kid secondary characters rattling around in your mind for a while, put them in your holiday romance and see how their wonder and belief during this time of year affects your other characters for the better.
9. If only in my dreams… This is the time of year when the impossible becomes possible. People lay down their arms and come together. Someone from the past may return. And maybe Santa Claus will orchestrate a little serendipity.
10. May your days be merry and bright. When it comes down to it, regardless of the tough times that the characters face during this quite exhausting time, holiday happy-ever-afters are extra satisfying. Wrap up your perfect holiday romance evoking the same feeling you get curled up in front of a roaring fire.
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