Wednesday, 27 February 2019


We all know what the word Christmas means – it's the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is 25th December, the twelve days of Christmas run from then until Epiphany, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding are both delicious breakfast foods, a Christmas card is a pretty picture sent to prove both you're not dead yet and that you don't hate the recipient.

A Christmas rose isn't a rose at all – it's a hellebore. They don't usually flower on Christmas Day, but do bloom soon after and are very pretty.

The true meaning of Christmas is far less clear. Mostly it seems to be a festival dedicated to spending money, overeating and getting stressed. Or maybe I'm just cynical and it has a more positive meaning for you?

Whatever your feelings about Christmas, if you can express them in a story you could enter the first of Wordsmag's 2019 short story competitions. These are free to enter and offer cash prizes. (I won the Christmas one last year.) If the festive season really annoys you, maybe you'll prefer the theme of the second competition?


Carolb said...

Thought I'd gone back in time for a moment there, but then I remembered that writing about Christmas can happen any time of the year in writer land. :D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy - I thought Christmas roses were Lenten roses ... the wonder of names. Thankfully we've been having wonderful weather - not sure whether you're in the right place for that too ... but yes - we need to be prepared to write at any time - Christmas down under ... different again - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christmas means the birth of Christ to me, but society has really watered it down over the years.

Susan A Eames said...

Well, there's no way I want to think about Christmas in February, so I guess I won't be attempting this one! :)

Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos

Patsy said...

@ Carol – it's almost a job requirement not to know what time of year it really is!

@ Hilary – the true Christmas rose is helleborous niger (and is always white, despite the latin name meaning black!), Lentern roses are helleborous orientalis. They come in white, purple, pink, red, black, yellow and can have spots, stripes, double flowers and all sorts of fanciness - they're the ones you're most likely to see in gardens now.

I think the one in my photo might be h. lividus.

@ Alex – yes and turned it into big business.

@ Susan – I don't really want to think about it now, but writing fiction out of season doesn't worry me.

New girl on the block said...

Lovely to see your photo of hellebores. I have some in my garden and they inspired me to write a short story. Unfortunately it was rejected by People's Friend, but they gave me useful feedback, so I'm going to do a rewrite and send it off somewhere else. I might wait a while though, as I want it to drop into the editor's mailbox just as they're planning late winter/early spring editions.

Patsy said...

A New girl – that's the perfect response to useful feedback. Good luck when you sub it again.