I could use this post to be cynical about the holidays but, instead, I'd prefer to reflect on the more positive sides of the season. I had a wonderful Christmas yesterday with my family and was properly spoiled. My birthday is shortly before Christmas, so the gifts can sometimes pile up and become unappreciated- but I had some great presents this year. Of note was my new Kindle (3/Keyboard) and cover, which I'm very excited about.
Sky News was reporting crazy ebook sales this year, which I'm glad about. While it's a little bit concerning to move away from print books, I'm a digital child in most other aspects of my life so a Kindle is the perfect git for me. The ebook market allows for new writers to find a market without breaking the bank, and amazing projects like Worldreader gets ereaders into the hands of children who would otherwise never be able to afford any books at all. The Kindle is very comfortable, though it gets a bit of getting used to. I still don't know how all of the functions work, which is a novelty for me which I am enjoying. Regular novels display amazingly, but I've yet to attempt a .pdf. I've heard that .pdfs don't work very well, due to the unusual layouts possible and pictures. This is unfortunate, since the portable-ness of the Kindle sounds perfect for my extensive roleplaying rules collections- which are uniformly .pdf files.
Other (fictional) holidays that happen during this time of year:
Winter Veil (Azeroth, World of Warcraft)
Hogswatchnight (Discworld books by Terry Pratchett)
Emperor's Day (Warhammer 40k)
Winter-een-mas (Ctrl+Alt+Del webcomic)
Loads of other fantasy worlds have Midwinter festivals where people have a holiday and exchange presents, and there's usually not a 'Midsummer' festival to balance it. There was definitely Midwinter celebrations in Tamora Pierce's Lioness Quartet, one of my favourite book series of all time. It sounds silly, but acknowledging the many fictional variations on 'winter' holidays made me feel far more tolerant for the real-life ones. TV Tropes, as usual, has something to say on the topic- You Mean Xmas.
I hope that everyone has a safe, happy festive period and is allowed to rest and rejuvenate in preparation for next year. The world's supposed to end, apparently. I'd be pretty sad if the world ended before I could get my PGCE.