My kids and I have broken out our collection of Christmas music and listen to it whenever we are in the car in December. I have a firm rule that we don’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving and we quit after New Year’s Day. So we need to cram in a lot of music in five weeks.
My kids have very different tastes in music. My oldest likes instrumental pieces almost to the exclusion of songs. My youngest finds music without lyrics boring. They agree on a few musical items. Slow tempo = bad. Fast tempo = usually good. Both of them like songs that tell a story, and they both like instrumental pieces by the Trans Siberian Orchestra.
When I drive my oldest to school, and we listen to orchestral arrangements, my imagination thinks of the music as a soundtrack and tries to create a scene that suits it. One of our favorites is the piece by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12/24“. I always imagine some kind of fight scene to go with it. Another favorite is a fast-paced version of “God Read Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Mannheim Steamroller.
Songs also ignite my creative fire. The short story, “Mary, Did You Know”in Christmas fiction off the beaten path reminded me of this. This song inspired author Patricia Meredith to write a story about Mary’s first years as a parent of Jesus. She isn’t the only writer to find inspirations in Christmas songs.
Flipping through The Christmas Encyclopedia by William D. Crump, I find movies or TV shows inspired by “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, and “Good King Wenceslas”, which is a movie depicting a fictional version of the life of Vaclav the Good, who ruled Bohemia from 922-929.
I’ve always wanted to write a speculative fiction story, set in modern times, based on the verses of “Good King Wencelas”. I tried to write it as a flash fiction piece but couldn’t make it short enough and still produce a satisfying narrative. Maybe I should just write it out as long as I need to and then see if I can cut it down.
How does Christmas music as writing inspiration spark your imagination?