Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Graphic Narrative for Every Holiday Experience

From the archives of The Commuter, we bring you a smorgasbord of reading material for whatever kind of holiday you're having

Poetry, Flash Fiction, and Graphic Narrative for Every Holiday Experience

This list has everything your holiday season calls for. From sentient Christmas ornaments to grief calendars to tween angels, here’s a piece of short fiction, poetry, or graphic narrative for every holiday experience. 

For people who are trimming a tree: “We Live In a Tree for One Month Every Year” by Reina Hardy 

Ever wonder what your ornaments are thinking? This short story is told from the point of view of Christmas ornaments who get to see the light of day just once a year. 

For people who are traveling for the holidays: “A Failed Romanticism” by Bernadette Geyer

What is vacation except a passage of time? Geyer’s poem meditates on the way our homes change and remain the same when we leave them. 

For people who are going to church on Christmas: “Eugenie is Anointed” by Jackie Thomas-Kennedy 

Eugenie receives her call from God at the same time most people do: while making pork chops. As she eats a TV dinner with her stepmother and fishes a dead mouse out of the pool, Eugenie wonders why God would choose her to be an angel.

For people who are spending the holidays with their grown children: “Taxonomy” by Susan Leslie Moore 

Everything is secretly something else: constellations and condominiums and clocks and children. Moore’s poems look at motherhood, gentrification, and unexpected change.

For people who are spending the holidays without their parents: “Grief Log” by Venita Blackburn, illustrated by Bianca Alejos 

An exercise calendar becomes a grief planner in this illustrated piece. Everyone grieves differently, and some people prefer to chart their catharsis.  

For people who are throwing a holiday party: “Hospitality” by Shane Kowalski 

Hosting is hard work, mostly because you have to interact with other people. The host of this party has particularly difficult guests, but the party must go on!

For people who are throwing a holiday party and want an alternative to smalltalk: “Shitty Boyfriends of Western Literature: The Card Game” by Reina Hardy 

If you’ve always wanted to play parlor games, but you were born in the wrong century and have a healthy sense of irony, here’s the solution for you. A mix between a card game, a parlor game, and an improv exercise, players must successfully woo each other while pretending to be famous men from the western literary canon.

For people who are eating, but not cooking, with their families: “KFC, or the taste of success is—wait for it—tender on the outside, tough on the inside” by Stine An 

The food that means the most to us isn’t always home-cooked or luxurious: sometimes it’s KFC gravy or imitation crab meat. These poems explore the way food is transformed in the presence of family. 

For people receiving kitchen gadgets as presents: “Osterizer Classic Series 10 Cycle Blender” by Emily Everett 

This is a great story for people who read Amazon reviews for their tear-jerking emotional heft. Sometimes things that are blenders are also sad. 

For people who are staying home and looking out the window: “The Weather” by Bennet Bergman 

Are we really expected to get out of bed and leave the house every day? Bergman’s poem spends time indoors, watching the weather through windows. 

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