Christmas magic!

It’s Saturday! You know what that means! It’s guest blog time!

This time, our guest blog comes from the wonderful Darran. I have followed Darran on Twitter for a while now and I recently got to meet him at YAShot and he’s lovely. He’s northern, he likes books and he’s funny – what more would I want from a friend?! If you want to follow Darran, you’ll find him @ShinraAlpha on Twitter, and he’s also one of the editors of the new YA quarterly online magazine @Shift_Zine… follow them too! That’s gonna be awesome!!

I love Christmas.

I just do. For real. I’m not religious in the slightest, but there’s something just… magical about Christmas. It’s woven into human DNA, I think. A need to gather close to friends and family just as the world seems coldest and darkest is innate in us. Or it is in me, at least. It’s a reminder that even though everything seems bleak, the world will keep on turning… And after 2016 I think we might need that more than ever.

For years I worked as a bookseller for Waterstones, and Christmas is a lot different in the retail sphere. If you’re lucky, it’s two days off. If you’re not, it’s just the one (and that ain’t as well as your two usual ones). Never the less, I loved Christmas bookselling. It was manic, and chaotic and I was forever handing books out left right and centre like a literary octopus, each of my tentacles clasped around a favourite. I’d get home and be so tired I was sure my bones were starting to splinter, but I didn’t care. It was the very purest bookselling could ever be – just you, a customer, and the right book.

     That said, I cannot wait until I have an entire week off this year. A WEEK. I plan on drinking and reading (On my pile are Mistletoe & Murder by Robin Stevens, The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett, and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman) and having a proper Christmas holiday. I’ll even be back in the North East so it might EVEN SNOW.

So I do love Christmas. I know it’s cool to hate it. Maybe it is too commercialised. I don’t know. Maybe the Christians ripped off on old Pagan holiday. It’s more than likely. But in the words of Community’s Abed – I just like liking things. This year has been awful and terrifying and filled with a constant stream of bile and hate. I’d like to say that 2017 will be better, but some of this year’s stuff has ripples that will last for decades, I fear. So while it’s dark and cold and bleak, try to be the best human you can be. Be kinder. Love harder. Smile more. Save your energy for what’s ahead, be close to the people who mean the most to you, and celebrate. There’s so much to be done, but there always will be, so take time to appreciate the good things that you’ve got.