Waiting until closing time on Christmas Eve to get a present for his Mom certainly wasn’t one of Tim’s better ideas. Especially not since the store only has a self-service wrapping station and Tim is utterly hopeless at gift-wrapping. Lucky for him, the lively and unconventional Shannon is there to lend a hand.
Read an excerpt.
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Some background information:
- Christmas Gifts is a short story of 5700 words. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- The inspiration for Christmas Gifts was a visit to a drugstore shortly before Christmas. This drugstore has a self-service gift-wrapping station, which on this occasion was beleaguered by men who had apparently just bought gifts for the women in their lives and were utterly clueless regarding how to wrap them. I saw this and thought, “If I had the time, I’d just go there and wrap the presents for them.”
- Though the fictional Fragrance Emporium is modeled more after the Douglas chain of perfumeries, probably the world’s least friendly store designed to make you feel uncomfortable, unless you match a very narrow idea of what their typical customer is like.
- Is Shannon a manic pixie dreamgirl? I have no idea, since I really don’t get that trope at all and never have. Though I like to think that she still is a character with 3 dimensions, even though we only ever see her through Tim’s eyes.
- Shannon’s shopaholic aunt who inundates her with cast-off pricey coats, handbags and jewellery is based on my own aunt who does just the same thing. Coincidentally, the pricey hand-me-ons I got from her include a swirly black winter coat, Burberry handbags and glittery rhinestone Christmas brooches.
- Tim buying the not quite suitable Django Unchained on DVD for his Dad was inspired by an elderly couple of my acquaintance who had gone to see Django Unchained at the cinema, because everybody was talking about the film and besides, they’d always liked westerns. Needless to say that they were quite shocked at the violence.
- The cover image is an illustration by Russian artist Ekaterina Kokushkina via Dreamstime. I picked it because it just looked so wonderfully romantic and Christmassy.