The thing with writing a Christmas-themed story is that the actual writing usually has to be done over the summer – just like all those actors and presenters who have to record the Christmas Special wearing wooly pullies and tinsel in a sweltering studio in the middle of August. And it can be surprisingly difficult to pitch yourself into a mindset that’s totally at odds with what you can see through the window; in my younger, unpublished days I remember more than once arbitrarily relocating a half-finished bit of work to a completely different time of year, simply because I had started it with descriptions of autumn leaves or whatever and now couldn’t think of anything but mild spring days. Either that or I would realise that the chronological duration of the story meant that Easter or Halloween or something was going to land on my characters and potentially stuff up a crucial plot point
I certainly found that a glorious seaside holiday in blazing temperatures wasn’t at all conducive to working out the knots in a chapter full of icy rain and November gloom, so I took the other option, put the novella to one side and got stuck into a tale of seaside shenanigans which involved some creative use of ice cream cones. I might even finish that one when the weather warms up.