Generally speaking, I have nothing against Xmas, but I'm not religious, and I'm not a kid (and I don't have kids). If it's your thing, that's cool. Right this moment, there's a lot of noise in my street, a bunch of people having some Night Before Xmas thing, but me, I'm listening to the Snog track, 'Slide into Extinction', because I'm that kind of emo. You do what you can, as they say.
Sometimes, however, this impartial view of mine in relation to Xmas is challenged. Not often, mind, but sometimes. The last time it happened was a few years back when, after the day with the family, I logged on and checked my email, and found that I had been sent a rejection.
Seriously: a rejection.
A rejection on Christmas Day.
On Christmas-Fucking-Day! You see how I've changed the spelling there? That's because it was fucking Christmas. Who sends rejections to you on Christmas Day? It wasn't even an editor from a different part of the world, so I could give them the benefit of the doubt, and say, "Well, Christmas Eve..." like I wouldn't have done the exact same thing I did on that day. (Which, in case you're wondering, was bitch to my friends, and not this editor, for I retain the golden rule: never bitch to editors who reject you.) Anyhow, I just couldn't picture it on any level. On any. Had this editor sat on the story for a couple of weeks, thinking, What day would be best to reject? I'm so close to the holiday. I can just wait it out. Or were they just such a lonely, empty soul that they couldn't even get into the spirit of Christmas? Were they just sitting round, listening to their anti-corporate music, and thinking, Fuck everybody. Just fuck 'em. It's just another day in my empty, childless, relationship barren life?
No, I couldn't picture it. Especially not the anti-corporate music bit. Even now.
I've been rejected in some fairly impressive ways. Drunk editors. Nice rejections that, a week later, are followed by ones that refer to you The-Author-of-this-Cliched-Drivel. Rejections that are really editors just rewriting your work, in red pen, on a manuscript they printed out and mailed back to you, no less. Rejections that blame the public school systems for you. Rejections that have your name spelt wrong. Rejections with an entirely different story title. Rejections that have been made from your manuscript, and fashioned into a tiny effigy that, that same night, bursts into flames, jumps up on your bed, and says in a dark, dark voice that sounds like a thousand tortured souls, "Never write, never again." So many ways have I been rejected. I've forgotten most of them, now, and the editors involved, and I have crawl through files to make these jokes. I've forgotten them all, you see. They're unimportant. I've forgotten every one, except for that rejection I got on Christmas Day, and that I remember, word for word, and editor for editor.
Because that's the magic of Christmas.
Anyhow, you all be cool now. Have a nice day and night, in any which way that you pass the moment.