It’s official, Figs: the weather is getting frightful, the mistletoe has been hung, the lights are twinkling–the holidays are upon us! To celebrate, we’ve asked some of our favorite authors to share holiday memories with us. Tune in all through December to get in the holiday spirit!
Heather Brewer is a horror writer–she’s the author of the bestselling Vladimir Todd series, about a teenage vampire struggling to fit in while attending junior high–but she celebrates the holiday season in the sweetest of ways. Heather’s newest book, Bloodbound, is about a healer who longs to be a warrior and hits shelves in Spring 2012.
Ahh . . . the holidays at Auntie Heather’s house . . . what an event! There’s the tree, decorated with black feather boas and lots of skull ornaments. The fireplace is lit, the kitties are tearing through the house on a rampage, and everyone’s gathered around, sipping eggnog, playing whatever hot video game came out this year that involves way too much violence for the average human mind to comprehend. It’s a beautiful thing, and though it might not be how a typical family envisions their holidays to be, it’s pretty much considered the perfect day at Auntie Heather’s house. In fact, the only thing that could make this day, this moment better, is being surrounded by even more people whom I care about.
It’s awesome. But it’s not my favorite part of the holidays. In fact, my favorite part has absolutely nothing to do with trees, or family, or egg nog, or horrific gore. My favorite part of the holidays involves hitting the stores and giving to those in need.
You see, Minions, I grew up in a very poor family. We didn’t have a lot of food or clothing, and the holiday season was definitely a time of stress for us. I never complained about getting stuff like socks or hats as gifts, because I knew that I was lucky to get them. I can remember holidays where I wouldn’t have received any toys at all if it weren’t for Toys for Tots—an amazing charitable organization run by the U.S. Marine Corps. So yeah. The holidays were difficult for me as a kid. They were a time of need.
So now that I can afford to, my favorite thing to do during the holidays is to buy toys and food and clothing to donate to charities that help those in need. And it never fails—each time I go to the store to buy charitable gifts, I overhear at least one person complaining that they don’t have the new iPhone, or a better video game console. While there are people—many of them children—who’ll go to bed hungry over the holidays. So whenever I hear someone complain about not getting this or that, I count my blessings, and I give back as much as I can.
There are lots of ways to help out, Minions, and you should! Volunteer at your local food pantry, at a shelter. Gather up gently used coats from your neighbors to donate. Get involved. It’s your world, after all, Minions. It’s up to you to make it a better place in which to live.
Now move over, and hand me that Santa hat, would ya? Auntie Heather has some zombies to kill.