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When my sister and I were little girls, we had a tradition of writing and swapping Christmas stories. Mostly, this was a way for us to kill time on early Christmas mornings when we weren’t allowed to run downstairs and clamor under the tree. Over time, though, it became more than that. I came to look forward to those stories as much as I looked forward to anything else dealing with the holiday, including presents, turkey and stuffing, and decorated cookies. As we got older, and our tastes became more particular, the stories became more complicated. We had universes and canonical events and established characters we returned to in one form or another, as we did with other stories throughout the year. Eventually, though, we went our separate ways as young women – and as storytellers – and we stopped swapping stories. It’s one of those little traditions I’ve truly missed over the years.

Last year, over winter break 2013, I flash-wrote my novella “Finding Mister Wright,” about Marshall Wright and his complicated love life. It was a sort-of Christmas story, in that it took place mostly around the winter holidays. I’ve written lots about Marshall and his supporting cast since last winter, but the idea of those characters living in a kind of perpetual Christmastime setting has always stayed with me. It seemed only natural that I revisit them around the same time this year.

I invited folks on social media to join me in a Christmas story swap. Only fellow writer Neeks took me up on the challenge, so you’ll hopefully see a link to another holiday story here, soon, too. For now, here’s my offering for this year:

“Tuxedos and Sugar Plum Fairies”

This particular story is a slight step back in time for the FMW crew, to the early days of Rob, Paige, and Daniel. It’s about 5300 words (19 pages double-spaced), so it’s not short. But, for anyone who chooses to take a look, I hope you enjoy.

Happy holidays, happy reading, and happy writing!