… with all the Christmas music playing and Christmas decorations displayed in the stores. The reminders to post our overseas Christmas cards and gifts early (oops- I already missed the economy mail deadline for Australia – that’s gonna cost me!). And also, all the Christmas romance boxed sets launching!
I love Christmas, though as I’m married to something of a Grinch, I don’t decorate till a few days before the Day, and we tend to keep things simple. A few evergreen branches, and as many twinkling Christmas lights as my Grinch will let me get away with! I love Christmas shopping, not the stress-fueled last-minute rush in the stores grabbing anything that will do, but seeking out what I hope are just the right gifts to bless the people I cherish, all through the year, and tucking them away. I love Christmas stories, both reading them and writing them, especially when the stories include the real meaning of Christmas.
I like to see a bit more than what many Hallmark movies or Christmas books show as the “real meaning of Christmas”. Those books and movies can be wonderful, but usually focus on human love, reconciliation, and forgiveness. The secular world tends to ignore the even more important Love that came into the world at Christmas. God’s Love made flesh in His Son Jesus.
A Love that doesn’t end with a baby in a manger or three wise men. That doesn’t end when the tree is taken down and all the decorations are put back in the attic for another year. A Love that inevitably leads to the cross, and the most important reconciliation and forgiveness of all.
One of my dear readers, Esther, commented this in a Facebook reader group:
The thing that disappoints me about most Christmas Romances (any medium), is the underlining conclusion that: “Relationships, not things, make Christmas Special”. That is really only partially true. It doesn’t go far enough.
Christmas celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ, God’s Gift to mankind. He came as promised, the Messiah, God in human flesh! All the things mankind has attached to the Christmas Holiday, will pass away eventually. But accepting a relationship with Jesus is the only gift that will last forever! That’s the Whole Reason we Celebrate Christmas!
So true! Thankfully, there are plenty of Christian authors writing Christmas romances that emphasize God’s Love, the Love that gives Christmas its meaning, as well as the love between a man and a woman. The Inspy Romance authors have produced quite a few Christmas sets this year! You will have already seen posts about and maybe even already read the sets Ginger Solomons’s writing group put together, The Heart of Christmas, and the Inspy Romance eight-book set organised by Kimberly Rose Johnson, A Christmas to Remember. Some truly wonderful stories in these sets!
Other Inspy Romance authors have released solo sets this Christmas, mosly incuding previously published books. Alexa Verde put together three lovely full-length romances in her In Love by Christmas set. And Marion Uecekermann collected her five Christmas books into the Love is All Around set. And I also did a Christmas set this year, launched two weeks ago!
I wanted to release a set with a book from each of my four main published series, but I had a problem. Sweetapple Falls only had one book so far, set in spring. I really didn’t have time to wite a whole new book, unless it was just a short story. Then God nudged me with a solution. I had a novella that became unpublished earlier this year when Kindle Worlds closed. Another spring story, and set in Texas, not Oregon. Could I really move the story across the country, change the season, change many of the secondary characters, and change the faith message from Easter to Christmas? I’m hoping readers think I managed it! Certainly, an extra four chapters came from somewhere.
It turned out the easiest part to revise was the faith message. The baby King laying in a manger who the wise men came to worship, the King who entered Jerusalem in triumph on Palm Sunday, and the King who died on a cross for us are the same King, no matter what time of year it is. Without the cross, there is no gift in Christmas, no blessing for humanity in Jesus’s birth. In His Healing Touch, currently available only in my Together for Christmas boxed set, that’s a lifechanging realization for my heroine Lainie.
As it was for me.
What’s your favorite theme for Christmas stories? One commenter on this post before November 18 will be randomly chosen to win the choice of my ebooks. And I’m so sorry if I missed other new Christmas sets from any of the authors here. Please feel free to share a link in the comments if I did!