Character Christmas Presents

Fellow author, Sue Moorcroft raised the question of Christmas presents but in a slightly unusual way. As she so rightly says, it’s bad enough trying to think of what to buy friends and family but how about the characters in your books? Great inspiration for a blog post. Thanks, Sue.

Initial thoughts are the narrator in ‘Spirit of Technology’ would be an easy choice.

As a computer literate, single woman she should realise accepting an email from an unknown stranger is not the wisest of decisions. Even if she is attracted to him, the fact he was supposedly born in the 19th century and is able to track her every move should be a cause for concern. Malware for her computer would be a good choice, but then the story would have to have a different ending. Or would it?

A present for TJ from ‘Story of a Country Boy’ proves more difficult.

Does he actually deserve anything? His ‘look after number one’ attitude and domineering nature seem to bring him everything he desires. Good looks and sexy dancing moves have women falling at his feet, and even Lady Luck favours him when he develops a gambling habit. The streets of Soho are a far cry from his humble village birthplace but he seems to have it made. Perhaps what he needs can’t be bought in shops.

Delphine from ‘ABC Destiny’ is a totally different character and deserves something special.

Fighting her way up from a difficult childhood she works non-stop to make something of her life. It seems all her Christmases have come together when she meets a very special man, even if he is at odds with the dubious character who at first is her employer but develops into a surrogate father. Deserted by her lover and losing her baby, the older man’s support sustains her through the difficult, lonely years.
My gift to her is a little miracle, and a first-class ticket to Paris.

What to buy Zoe from ‘Summer Changes, Winter Tears’?

At first glance her life is perfect and there’s nothing she needs.
Losing her job is the catalyst for a new life, new persona and the ideal home on the island of Malta. Money in her pocket, an intriguing man as a love interest, new friends and regular contact with her sister in Australia make buying a present difficult.
My gift to her is a crystal ball.

There are so many characters in ‘Listen to Love’ it would be impossible to buy for them all.

The short stories inspired by song titles make each one unique. As much of the music is from the 60s and 70s, perhaps an old-fashioned record or CD player might be useful. Who needs to download to a smart phone when a forgotten memory from your (or your parent’s/grandparent’s) childhood can evoke nostalgia?
My gift to them is the ability to embrace the new without forgetting the heritage which brought you into existence.

Another compilation which means double trouble for gift buying as there are two authors involved in ‘Weird and Peculiar Tales.’

An understanding carer, an efficient SatNav, an exorcist and a good imagination would all make suitable gifts for the characters in this one.

Delving into what would be appropriate gifts has made me realise the best presents are not the most expensive, but those which invoke our emotions. These are the ones which are remembered long after the wrapping paper has gone to recycling.

I can’t wait until restrictions are lifted and I can produce my passport at the airport, complete with the Elvis cover which always starts a conversation at border control. As I write, a Christmas gift from a few years ago looks over my shoulder to make sure he gets a mention.

Many, many years ago, when seat belts were first introduced, a ‘tree’ present from my father was what we called a ‘clunk-click.’ Someone asked me what it was and I explained it was a gadget for a seat belt which gave you more room, but released in the case of an accident. Every time I’ve changed my car it’s come with me, and although I haven’t been able to ‘buckle-up’ for some time, I look forward to using it again.

Usually, I’m not in favour of starting Christmas too early as reindeer in September destroy the magic of the special time. This year has been a strange one, and I’ve noticed many people are using the enforced incarceration to organise their trees, lights and decorations to brighten their spirits. Go for it!

We need some positivity to lighten our dark and gloomy days, so my gift to all my readers is peace, joy, friendships, good health, love, books to read and happy memories.

© Val Portelli November 2020


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