Charlie Laidlaw is an author and tutor at Creating Writers

Christmas is a time for fun and frivolity.  A time for family gatherings and celebrating what’s really important.

For many authors, it’s about creating books that will give their readers a nice warm feeling.  At this time of year, bookshops are, inevitably, filled with Christmas books.

In Iceland, they have a Christmas tradition called Jólabókaflóð, which roughly translates as ‘Christmas book flood’.

On Christmas Eve, people exchange gifts of books.  That’s something we should all do – support an author!

But you don’t have to write a cosy Christmas book if that’s not your style.  For example, there are more fires at Christmas than at any other time of the year.

Blame faulty Christmas tree lights and candles put too near flammable materials.


Also, lots of people have falls at Christmas, often tumbling down stairs because of clutter.  Others fall from chairs while putting up Christmas decorations.

In other words, Christmas can be a catalyst for a different kind of story.  Uncle Joe, for example, with a broken leg, hating every minute of Christmas Day.

Charles Dickens helped to make Christmas what it is.  His A Christmas Carole remains an iconic bestseller.  It reminds us that we can change our lives for the better.

My own book, Everyday Magic, published earlier this year, is a nod towards that great book.

Christmas can also be a source of fun for authors.  Families getting together and doing stupid things.

Auntie Mabel having too many sherries and letting slip a family secret.  Or a long-lost present suddenly discovered that reveals a mystery.

But one Christmas experience may not have occurred to any of us.


Recently, a 49-year-old UK woman required hospital treatment after putting her Christmas pudding in the microwave where it blew up.

The combination of fruit, sugar and water can react violently.  “People must realise that they are dealing with a potential explosive when they put puddings in the microwave,” said the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

In other words, you can either write a cosy Christmas story or use Christmas as a hook for something else, even exploding puddings!

At Creating Writers we recognise how hard it can be to get started.  Harder still to finish a book.

If you need help getting started, Creating Writers has two creative writing courses, an introductory course and our flagship Diploma course – with a real qualification at the end of it.

That could also help you with your career.

They’re intended to give you the confidence and skills to understand what makes great writing.  As part of our Diploma course we’ll also get you started on your novel.

For more information, you can contact us here.

Photo by Andreea Radu on Unsplash