December. It’s never truly “cold” in San Diego, particularly after you’ve lived with the ice and snow of a Canadian (or even a Chicagoan) winter. But we did have a frost warning yesterday, and the temperatures do get chilly enough to warrant a hoodie and long pants, rather than the southern California uniform of shorts and T-shirts.
Celebrating the Winter Solstice seems all the more odd when you’ve just come off a week of 80-degree weather. But yes, our nights are just as long as yours, despite the lack of white stuff on the ground.
For our “Holiday Hell” issue, we pondered which holidays to include, and have come up with a bit of a stew. While most of the stories here focus on Christmas, with its inevitable corporate whoring and mass merchandising push through the end of the year, a few of the stories we found in our submissions pile took religion to task on other important days of the year. Some critique forced family interactions, more than mall mobs, while others address the more personal kinds of hell we manage to create for ourselves throughout the year.
Surprisingly, no one mentioned fruitcake’s hellish hold on the holiday season. Equally shocking: not one submission took up the torch of Festivus for the rest of us! (Maybe next year?)
In any case, we are thrilled to present our December issue for your entertainment this holiday season. As 2017 winds down, we hope these stories, poems and bite-sized reviews offer you solace in a sea of sameness, a respite from drudgery, and a bit of a twist on the “Happy Holidays” themes being repeated ad nauseam across the Internet.
FULL CONTRIBUTORS LIST
Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Dmitry Blizniuk, translated by Sergey Gerasimov
Linda M. Crate