This past weekend, I happened to catch Elf on television. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, it’s about a human elf (I know, right?)named Buddy who was raised by elves at the North Pole (aka Santa’s workshop). He goes in search of his family; mischief and mayhem ensue, not limited to Santa’s sleigh being powered by holiday spirit.
The movie made me realize how much of our holiday lore is a work of speculative fiction. I’m not including religious works (even if some people consider them spec), but here are a few of my holiday favorites:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Huffman
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
All of those, it should be noted, have been made into motion pictures or performed in some theatric venue.
Why is there so much speculative fiction surrounding the holidays?
Because even the most doubtful of us will suspend our disbelief just long enough to hear Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, if it means we can gain a few moments of hope that miracles can happen, that there are better times ahead, and that goodwill toward all man is possible.
My favorite holiday specfic has been and always will be A Christmas Carol. I love the whole time traveling aspect, the visitation by the ghosts (especially Marley…*shudder*), and, on the realistic side, knowing that people can always change.
Sound off…what’s your favorite holiday spec fic and why?