Merry Fucking Christmas started like that, the title and nothing else.
I had a few ideas, but they all revolved around a rude stocking stuffer. Maybe a few flash fiction (1-3 page) stories about Christmas. Maybe some made-up quotes about Christmas from figures like Abraham Lincoln, Socrates, or a Power Ranger. Maybe hire an illustrator for a few cartoons throughout.
This was 2014.
I lived in Boulder with my wife, Kristy. The book lived on my hard drive with several other ‘active’ projects. Every year I felt inspired around the months of October-January, but it wasn’t easy to spin up a Bublé playlist and get into the Christmas spirit mid-June in shorts and flip-flops.
Several years passed, our family grew, and sometime around Christmas 2018 I had a vision of how fast life was moving along. I had been thinking about myself as a writer, but aside from the 500,000+ words on my hard drive, I hadn’t written anything . . . you know . . . that other people could read.
I had to make a move from sitting at a coffee shop with my laptop several days a month into actually writing books.
As I spent more time with the book, I found that I wanted to speak to those who felt disenfranchised by the holiday. From the consumerism, to the religious meanings, to the personal relationships, to the year-end bookmark Christmas is such a loaded holiday that the word itself brings up a variety of memories and emotions.
And that’s where the breakthrough came. Yes the title is funny and alarming and off-putting. And yes there is a big market for rude stocking stuffer kitsch. But I became aware with the underside of the holiday. How much fun is a holiday about family if you have none, or can’t physically in be in a room with them? Or what about the crazy stuff that goes on when family gets together in this charged environment? It’s the kind of stuff that makes people need therapy, but like most tragedy, it also makes for great comedy.
There was no choice. I knew I had to explore the idea further. I knew it had to be authentic before it was funny. I had to find a common ground with the characters and put my own truth into them. I had to be vulnerable.
That is where I went that I wasn’t expecting to.
I also think Christmas is a great time to simply laugh. And there is no substitute for the joy of watching, or reading, the comical suffering of others. There is a specific holiday stress that experiencing humor provides a quick relief from.
So that’s it.
The book is available in paperback and kindle on amazon. If you do read it please let me know your thoughts.
Merry Fucking Christmas
from Bishop’s Pub on Amazon