December is typically a month that horror fans and Halloween enthusiasts bemoan as the glitter encrusted, eggnog soaked, saccharine month of Christmas. I don’t mind the holiday itself, but the commercials, crowds, parties, and overwrought feel goodness that lead up to it in a typical year wears me out.
Which is the funny thing about 2020, because many of the things I dread during the holiday season, expensive travel home, office parties, and generally burning out on social obligations aren’t possible this year. I’m essentially off the hook. Unfortunately, that is leaving a whole other group of people who do look forward to those things disappointed.
Regardless of what group you fall into, you still have things to look forward to this month. There’s Krampusnatch and the winter solstice to celebrate (more on the solstice later this month), the brightest meteor shower of the year, and dark entertainment to enjoy. I’ve even got a list of Christmas horror movies at the bottom of this post.
So muster up some enthusiasm worthy of Gomez Addams, and enjoy December safely.
Deathcember streaming on Amazon Prime.
“A collection of 24 films that take a look at the dark side of the festive season. 24 international directors with the most diverse ideas and styles; linked by short animated segments that deal with the Advent calendar itself.”
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones on shelves.
“Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.”
Not much is known about the origins of the European holiday Krampusnatch, but we do know that it is celebrated the night of December 5th, before the feast of Saint Nicholas. The holiday pays homage to Krampus, the hairy, horned companion of Saint Nicholas who punishes misbehaving children.
Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids are considered by many to be the best shower of the year, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th, the best time to view is after midnight.
Christmas Eve at the Epsom Circle McDonald’s and Other Poems by Maren C. Tirabassi on shelves. “Every year at Advent, we are not the same people we were a year earlier. The coronavirus pandemic and the United States struggle for racial justice in 2020 made that clear. Every December, some of us will have greeted new children, some will have grieved dear friends, and all of us will have experienced hope and sadness. Christmas will come anyway in precious and ordinary ways. This book hopes to tell that story.”
Winter Solstice, the start of winter and the longest night of the year.
Christmas Day. If your plans are a little more low key this year, consider spending some time reading Linda Raedisch’s The Old Magic of Christmas. Her book takes readers through the legends, folklore, and creatures that shaped today’s modern holiday traditions.
New Year’s Eve
Christmas Horror Movies (all streaming on Amazon prime)
A Christmas Horror Story
Anna and the Apocalypse
Better Watch Out
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
The Nightmare Before Christmas (also streaming on Disney+)