a Christmas confession

The On Writing post immediately before Christmas* is always tough. I’m not focused primarily on writing today. It’s unlikely you are, either. With the holiday a mere two days way, there’s a decent chance you’re already kicking back with family. It makes for poor timing to pile on the inspiration. Even if I say something brilliant, will you remember it when you’ve recovered from your turkey-induced food comma?

I doubt it.

So instead of going that route, I’m trying something different. What do you really know about Santa Claus? His origins? How the modern version came to be?

Check out this article from National Geographic: “St. Nicholas to Santa: The Surprising Origins of Mr. Claus”.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Dex!” you say. “Look, I put up with the way you prattle on about the writing process each week because, frankly, your fiction is divine, but I don’t come here for history lessons. This is out of the clear blue, buddy.”

First, thank you for your assessment of my fiction. That’s very kind of you. I’ll chalk your charitable assessment up to the Christmas spirit.

As for the article about St. Nick, yes, it’s history, but it’s fascinating. Really. What’s more, it illustrates the power of story. The actual Saint Nicholas wasn’t much like our version of Klaus at all. The shifts in perception happened over a long period of time and had a variety of social influences, but the end result is a shared understanding of Kris Kringle that’s almost universal, even as far as it drifts from his origins.

That’s the power of story, whether verbal or written. The power to shape perception, to weave a tale we kind of believe even though we claim to know the truth. (Admit it. You really want to believe in Santa Claus. It’s okay. Me, too.)

There’s your tie-in to writing, kids. And it’s Christmas-y to boot.

Now, go find yourself a glass of eggnog, follow the link above and learn a little about Mr. Claus. Oh, and have a wonderful holiday, however you choose to celebrate.

* I know it’s not politically correct to reference Christmas these days. The default is meant to be “holiday(s)”. To be candid, I couldn’t care less about political correctness for political correctness’ sake; however, I care a great deal about being sensitive to others.

Please know that I’ve written this from my own point of view, in line with how I celebrate this time of year. If you celebrate differently, I certainly don’t mean to dampen your holiday spirit in any way.

No, I’m not really that arrogant. Like all writers, I struggle a great deal with confidence in my own work. But, I’m also a smart ass.

Yes, I know you’re not literally ‘kids’. Also, now I’m just having fun with footnotes.


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

2 Responses to a Christmas confession

  1. Spoiler alert – Santa’s existence is in question?!

    Great footnotes!

    Liked by 1 person

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