Gifts for Good Friends: The Christmas Stories 1992-2001
A collection of short stories
During the 1992 Christmas season Emmett Loverde decided to send a short story to everyone he knew. At the time his "friends and associates" list contained about 100 names. He couldn't afford to send gifts to all of them, at least not gifts of any real value. But he could afford to give of his time and write something.
Choosing a subject to write about was easy. The first actual hurdle he faced was convincing himself that anyone would read the story when it arrived. He hoped that an attractively-designed book/card could entice them.
His short story stretched into a medium-length one and its subject matter -- the sad lives of four troubled children -- was not exactly light holiday fare. But he trusted his instincts, hand-made, -folded, and -stapled 100+ booklets of "A Windy Day", and mailed them out.
His friends loved his card/gift. None had ever received such a thing before and many expressed hope that he would do it again. His very own Christmas tradition was born.
As of 2002 Mr. Loverde has published ten Christmas stories and hopes to continue publishing them annually for as long as he lives. He notes that "the act of writing, designing, and actually making the books myself has invigorated all of my work -- screenwriting, playwriting, directing, acting, painting, filmmaking, photography -- in a beautiful and exciting way."
Several of the stories appeared in other forms before or after their yuletide publication. "Teenagers From Outer Space!" and "So Much Snow" began life as treatments for stage musicals (and may take that form again someday, Loverde notes). "Mailmen!" and "Terwilliger Kernagan" were originally written as episodes for television shows. "Santa's Letters" was adapted for the screen, then the stage, then the screen again and in 2002 it became Loverde's feature motion picture writing, directing, and executive producing debut.
Mr. Loverde says that his Christmas stories "have provided me with a laboratory in which to dabble. I am free to flesh out a tale, to try a new direction or genre, and I am free to fail."
While only a few of the stories are actually about Christmas itself, all embody the holiday spirit of giving and friendship. Talking animals, cars, toys, and home appliances live comfortably alongside teenagers from outer space, zany mailmen, pushy salesmen, and even Santa Claus himself in a delightful collection that children and adults will treasure all year long.