Right now as I look at the time, it’s 12:25 on Christmas-in-July.
When I was little, I always planned parties in my head. We had this mostly-empty garage behind our house that seemed rife with possibilities for two little girls with lots of imagination and plenty of time, and we talked about holding parties back there—for Halloween and for Christmas, and any number of other holidays, but never for Christmas-in-July. Oh, not that I didn’t want such a party, but anyone who’s familiar with a humid Louisiana summer, full of “waterbugs” and other creepy insects that lurk in dark spaces, knows that hanging out in a garage with no A.C. isn’t the best way to spend an afternoon.
To this day, I often think about holding a Christmas-in-July party at my apartment. You know, drag out the 4 ft. artificial tree, hang some fairy lights, crank the Christmas carols, experiment with home-made eggnog, and invite the people I work with over for the evening. Around the actual holidays, everyone has so many Christmas and New Year’s parties to attend, that they couldn’t possibly fit one more party in, so I never hold a party then. But Christmas-in-July…well, people are around town, and probably not doing a whole lot other than trying to hide from the heat.
But I never remember I want to have such a party until the actual July 25th is upon me, and by then it’s too late to pull anything together. Maybe next year…
Anyway, a few months ago, I saw a submission call for Christmas stories for a Christmas-in-July themed issue of Edify Fiction, a journal that looks for “uplifting” writing. And it happened that last December I had written a little Christmas story in Kathy Fish’s “Fast Flash” writing workshop, and it wasn’t doing anything but gathering dust. And lo and behold, Edify Fiction liked the story, and took it for their fourth issue.
They made some editorial changes which I personally chafe at, including putting a comma in the title, and changing the tenses, but a pub is a pub. (Or so I tell myself.) And I can “always republish it my way in my flash collection” blah blah, if I ever make one.
Anyhow, to cool you off in this hot Atlanta sun, please enjoy my story, “Love, Tinsel.”