It’s that time of year again, when the days get short and the weather turns colder. I don’t like winters in general. I’d much rather be soaking up the sun on some beach somewhere. There is, however, one thing I do like about wintertime. To me, it means more time to read. There’s nothing better on a frigid winter day than curling up in my armchair with a cup of hot tea, some tea biscuits, and a good book. Although I have a huge pile of books next to my bed, waiting to be read, and another virtual pile on my tablet, I reach for holiday romances first at this time of year. To me, it feels strange to read a Christmas romance in July.
I love Christmas romances, and it appears I’m not alone. A quick check of Goodreads returned a list of nearly eleven hundred popular Christmas romances. When I searched Barnes and Noble, and the number was over six thousand romances available for purchase, while Amazon returned a whopping forty-thousand titles. Which is great for those of us who celebrate Christmas, and love a good Christmas love story.
Curious, I did another search for “Hanukkah Romance”. I’m happy to say, there were quite a few, although these were mostly in e-book format. However, there were nowhere near as many as there were for Christmas…only eighteen hundred titles. This is still enough to provide the average reader with Hanukkah romances to last a lifetime, though, so who am I to complain?
A search on Kwanzaa romances yielded more distressing results. Exactly two books came up in this search. I can’t help but wonder why. I have to believe that African-Americans read romance as much as any other ethnic group. I suppose the discrepancy could be chalked up to the fact that Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday, only officially celebrated since 1966. Yet if we were using that reasoning, there should be more Hanukkah romances than Christmas ones, since Judaism has been around longer. If you say that Kwanzaa is actually a cultural holiday, rather than a religious one, I’m not sure that matters. Religion is a part of culture, isn’t it? Kwanzaa, at least in the northeast, is part of the conversation now.
Is it that the majority of editors and publishers are white Christians? Well, I don’t know the answer to that for sure, but I do know one thing. Romance publishers aren’t vampires, shape-shifters, Highland warriors or sheikhs, but they’re publishing tons of books about them. So why aren’t there more Hanukkah and Kwanzaa romances out there? I say, if you’re looking for a new angle, these would be good stories to write and pitch. There, you have your new idea, and I promise I won’t take any credit for it.
I’m getting ready to re-read a favorite Christmas romance, What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander. It’s a Victorian historical, and I particularly like it because it plays to the thespian in me. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.
Do you have a favorite holiday romance? Why do you think there are so many Christmas romances, and so few Kwanzaa ones? I’d love to hear your theories on that, so please, sound off!
Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanzaa!