Christmas is a magical time of year. As Christians, we know that Christ is the reason Christmas is special. There is a joy in the anticipation because in our spirits we’re looking forwards to the Saviour’s birth and the wonders His arrival means for the world. The Incarnation is the real reason people are happier at Christmas. (It isn’t the department store sales—although, they don’t hurt. :) ) The Incarnation is also why people are profoundly more depressed if life’s circumstances are not ideal during this season—not because the coming of Christ is depressing, but because deep down, we sense the reality that this time should be a joyous one; so when joy isn’t apparent for us, we feel the lack more acutely. For Pelican Book Group, this is where our Christmas Extravaganza enters.
If you notice, Christmas is a time of light-hearted, joy-filled entertainment. Christmas-themed music fills the air, Christmas-themed movies dominate television, happily-ever-after entertainment is in abundant supply. “Abundance” was what came to mind when I first developed the idea for the Christmas Extravaganza. I thought to overload people (in a good way!) with…well, goodness. Overwhelming joy. A plethora of smiles. Unending possibilities for happiness. Undeniable romance…Christmas is the time for all these things. It isn’t really surprising, though, is it? Christ’s life is the greatest romance ever told, right? A God that “becomes lower than the angels” in order that He might experience humanity and overcome suffering, sin and death solely for love of us—and in the process offer us life more “abundantly”.
Each Christmas Extravaganza title had to leave readers with a feel-good experience. This was especially important for the reader who might be experiencing that lack which I mentioned earlier. Each story had to be relatively short—because people are busy during the holidays—but also long enough to leave readers satisfied with a tale that packed an emotional punch. And, of course (and most importantly) like all Pelican Book Group titles, each story had to contain a Christian message.
When we put out the initial call for submissions, I was overwhelmed at the response. We received so many wonderful stories. It was difficult to narrow down the ones we would publish. That’s an awesome problem to have! And then, when the first Christmas Extravaganza set released, reader response was phenomenal! I’m not exaggerating, either. :)
Each year we continue the tradition. On average, the Christmas Extravaganza includes a dozen stories. During the entire month of December, all are available for just 99¢ each. I know money doesn’t stretch quite as far during the holidays, so I want to make the Extravaganza “abundantly” affordable.
Now, several years removed from that initial launch, we have over seventy Christmas Extravaganza titles in e-print, and I expect that will continue to grow annually for as long as we receive appropriate submissions and readers keep responding positively. (That’s the way abundance works!) The Christmas Extravaganza is one of my favourite sets, and it is my ongoing prayer that each story continues to bring a warmth to the reader, a respite from the bustle of life, and a deeper appreciation for the real reason for the season: Christ Jesus, who came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Merry Christmas!
Link to Christmas Extravaganza on Amazon:
Link to Christmas Extravaganza on PBG: