Since I've already admitted to being a Christmas ornament snob, I might as well come clean on a few other topics. I'm also a Christmas music snob, a Christmas movie snob, and a Christmas book snob. I don't like just anything. I need to be convinced that something is worth my attention.
Which is why I am happy to recommend to you the novella* "Blue Christmas," by our friend Mary Kay Andrews, because it meets several of my key criteria:
1. It is not heartwarming. I hate heartwarming. Which is not to say it's mean-spirited, or depressing. It's delightful. Happy but not sugary. I hate sugary, too.
2. It has interesting characters, humor, intrigue, romance and a window-decorating contest.
3. Oh, and it also has recipes at the end. That's always a good thing, especially when the recipes have funny introductions. I'm not going to disclose too much, but there's a punch recipe that hints at scandal.
4. There's a Christmas music playlist that even a Christmas music snob can endorse.
5. This is the most important thing, at least to me: great descriptions of vintage Christmas objects. Really great. Like "I've been at that same auction" great. Like "I got exactly the same box lot for seven dollars" great. Like even if you were someone who didn't like a good plot and charming characters you would keep reading in hopes of another mention of Shiny Brites - that kind of great.
(*novella, for those of you who may not have majored in English, is a short novel, otherwise known as "a book I may actually finish.")
Anyway, here's the good part: I have a copy of "Blue Christmas" to give away. Here's the other good part: To that book I will add a small but tasteful box of vintage Christmas decorations that would make Weezie Foley (the main character in the book) squeal with delight. And all you have to do is write a 500-word essay in which you ... no, no, no. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post sometime before Thursday morning. One winner will be chosen at random. And then I'll let you know who that is.