Entertainingly Evil

The Odd Joys of Holiday Traditions by Josh Vogt

When I was two years old, my dad and I made a tree-topper for our Christmas tree. That is to say, I mostly watched while he constructed a star out of cardboard and tinfoil. Then he put me on his shoulders so I could reach the top and actually place it there.

JoshOver the years, that became a tradition. The same tinfoil star, sometimes patched up with a little tape, with him lifting me to set it in place once the rest of the tree was decorated. Funny thing is, my family still has that original star. Thirty years later, it remains a Christmas decorating tradition. It’s gotten passed down a little bit, with my sisters (including my youngest sister in high school) having their chances to set the star atop the tree. Now I have two nieces, and I’m sure they’ll get the opportunity to be lifted with star in hand to keep the tradition alive. One year, my parents even gifted me with a miniature replica of the star as an ornament for my own trees, for times when I might not make it home for the holidays.

Such a simple thing, really, but it connects our family all the way back to the earliest years. It was a way to experience a bit of extra joy during the holidays.

We have other traditions, too. Some are odder than others, such as Christmas Eve dinners comprised almost entirely of different types of bread. My youngest sister, Christa, was also born on Christmas Eve, so we ensure she’s never forgotten even in the craziness of the holidays. All ways to share wonderful and fun experiences.

On a related note, as a writer, I’ve also enjoyed seeing the growing tradition of speculative holiday anthologies out each year, especially since so many of them are devoted to raising charity for amazing causes. They’re ways we can enjoy sharing inspiration and imagination, along with the joy of reading. Case in point, the recently released Naughty or Nice anthology:

NaughtOrNice_final-400x600With a little bit of nice, a sprinkle of dark, a handful of sexy, and a whole lot of naughty, this adult-oriented anthology is filled with blushes, laughs, and gasps. This is not your average holiday reading. From the story behind Marley’s fate, to a little elf who makes the perfect “toy” to the holiday rituals that keep the world going, Naughty or Nice: A Holiday Anthology, keeps the pages turning.

Not only is it a great collection of stories (yes, I’m admittedly biased since there’s an original Cleaners short in there), but it’s also for an excellent cause.

Twitter_Banner_updatedFor the first two months of its release, all anthology profits will go directly to Cystic Fibrosis research!

Want to share in the effort with us? I sure hope you do, and you’ll get to enjoy some marvelous stories along the way. It’s not your typical way to celebrate the holidays, I know.

But hey. Neither is a tinfoil star.

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