1. Kimi-chan
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    Kimi-chan Member

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    How would you describe Christmas to someone who has never experienced it?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Kimi-chan, Nov 24, 2011.

    This is something I keep asking myself when I write my story. Everyone always says its a time of giving and being with the ones you love but what if you were describing it to someone who has never had christmas and never had anyone they loved to spend it with? What if that person never got anything for Christmas because they were abused and never had a family?

    In my story, there is a boy twin and girl twin who are like this. They were abused by their family and everyone around them had no idea. Not a lot of people in their family liked them because who would want to have differently-gendered twins as children? The only holiday they ever had was Thanksgiving and they were punished for every manner they missed or mistake they made.

    I want to grasp the idea of their first Christmas with a family friend that adopts them later on after their parents have died. Does anyone have any ideas? I need to spark up some new chapter ideas to develop my plot. I know, I know... its better to do it on my own but I've tried and haven't really had much success... that's why I'm asking for some opinions.

    I want it to be non-religious since I don't like including religion in my stories. My friends read them and they have varying religions and different ways of celebrating the holidays.
     
  2. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    what is ''differently gendered twins''?
    my brother and sister are twins and I do not refer to them as'differently gendered' but more like perfect twins as in natural twins, but any way that is another story.

    how to decribe Christmas is a good question.
    you could say
    1) it is around winter, when it usually snows and everything is looking white almost magical because of the snow.
    2) is a time for people, friends and family to have a big party and give each other presents to say thank you for being nice and being there for each other.
    3)it is a special time in the year where people like to feel they can have time off work, like a little holiday to have a rest and enjoy winter time ,like playing outside in the snow and have lots of hot drinks and eat nice cakes.
    4) It is an opportunity people to go and visit each other,cook nice big meals and enjoy each other's company whilts eating and chatting and looking smart .
    5)Christmas is a special time for people ,friends and family, to express their sorrows if they have been say, bad towards each or they were problems and they stopped talking to each other.
    Or it is a time for them to say thank you to each other, forget and forgive in order to feel better.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'gendered' refers to their sex, cacian... so your siblings would also be 'different-gendered' since one is a male and the other female...
    'same-gendered twins' would be two boys or two girls... and those could be either 'identical' [= from a single egg] or 'fraternal' [= from two eggs] twins...
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I see.
    I never thought of it that way because we just refer to them as twins only.
     
  5. Steve89
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    "Not a lot of people in their family liked them because who would want to have differently-gendered twins as children?" - Kimi-Chan's original post.

    I don't quite understand what you mean by this. Is your story set in a place where this is not acceptable?

    If they never experience christmas, but other people celebrate christmas, then they may have a slither of knowledge about it. The only thing I can think they may not know about is the feeling of christmas, which I'm sure they will find out when they are aloud to celebrate it.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm very confused by this - is there a large part of the background that you've left out? I can't think of even one reason why "differently-gendered twins" would be a bad thing. I can imagine why it would be hard to adopt a child, and why it would be harder to adopt two children than one, but I don't see why it would matter whether those two children were siblings, same-gender twins, or differently-gendered twins.

    This may have nothing to do with your question, but your question seems to be related to the abuse, and the abuse seems to be related to the children's twin status, so I have trouble understanding the question without explanation. Can you explain?

    ChickenFreak
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't get that, either... or did you mean they were neither male nor female, but something else?
     
  8. Show
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    What aspects of Christmas do you want to emphasize? The presents? The religious aspects? The cultural aspects?
     
  9. Kimi-chan
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    Kimi-chan Member

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    I don't know... I mean I enver put much thought into it but I thought that since they were gendered differently, their parents didn't like that about having twins. It's one of those things where say... most cultures like China prefer having boy children than girl children... so if they have a female child, then the female child tends to get frowned upon and such.

    So for the twins being opposite gender, their parents didn't like that about them, especially since they expected to either have boy twins or girl twins but not opposite gender. The thing is that most of their family that has had twins, has always had either two boys or two girls. It's basically just saying that because of having twins of the opposite gender, its frowned upon because the Kuroneko (their last name) family were the only ones that had opposite gendered twins... thus having their family looked down upon.

    It's almost like a clan... the Kuroneko family has strict rules about the way they live. If something isn't done correctly then they will look down on each other. That is why... the twins get looked down upon for being the only set of twins in the family to be of opposite gender. Because in the strict Kuroneko household, this is something that is frowned upon... so to speak.

    I was just looking for a basic meaning of christmas that is kind of non-religious. Religion and cutural aspects is something they wouldn't be very interested in because of their history.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure, that sounds reasonable, if it's part of the characters. However, since most of your readers won't identify with this at all, you'll probably either have to explain why they dislike the twins, or understand, when you're writing, that the dislike will be a mystery to your readers. Either would be fine, it's just important to understand that your readers will not understand, on their own, why mixed-gender twins would be a bad thing. In fact, it occurred to me after I wrote my post that they might be seen by many people as a good thing - many people wish to have one boy and one girl, and producing them both at once could be seen as perfect.

    As a sort of side note, there are girl-and-boy twins in Shakespeare, and they're clearly not seen as negative in any way. I'm not saying that Shakespeare rules all of literature, I'm just saying this would be one very large literary precedent of a positive view of girl-and-boy twins.

    ChickenFreak
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    Sure, that sounds reasonable, if it's part of the characters. However, since most of your readers won't identify with this at all, you'll probably either have to explain why they dislike the twins, or understand, when you're writing, that the dislike will be a mystery to your readers. Either would be fine, it's just important to understand that your readers will not understand, on their own, why mixed-gender twins would be a bad thing. In fact, it occurred to me after I wrote my post that they might be seen by many people as a good thing - many people wish to have one boy and one girl, and producing them both at once could be seen as perfect.

    As a sort of side note, there are girl-and-boy twins in Shakespeare, and they're clearly not seen as negative in any way. I'm not saying that Shakespeare rules all of literature, I'm just saying this would be one very large literary precedent of a positive view of girl-and-boy twins.

    ChickenFreak
     
  12. Kimi-chan
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    At some point, the one that takes care of them, a family friend that was the only one who's really supported them when they were young, explains it to others since a lot of the abuse and trauma has caused them to get things like PTSD and whatever. Sayuri, the female twin, has PTSD and a Serious Emotional Disturbance (google it as is if you don't know) as well as a panic disorder while Sasuke, the make twin, is diagnosed with Selective/Reactive Mutism and Social Anxiety Disorder. (First it's Selective Mutism but as he gets better at overcome it... then it just becomes severe Social Anxiety.)
     
  13. Show
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    I think the question you need to ask yourself is how would your character describe Christmas. How any of us would describe Christmas is heavily influenced by our cultural and religious backgrounds, or lack thereof. Your character likely won't match all of ours. So I think really only you can answer this question. There are so many ways to describe Christmas to somebody who has never heard of it, but each person WOULD do it somewhat differently. Therefore, it has to be a character-based thing.

    For example, extremely technical characters would likely give a text-book definition of Christmas. (quick example: "Christmas is a holiday celebrated on December 25th in which the exchange of gifts is commonplace as well as the decoration of buildings with various adornments associated with the holiday such as colored lights and garland. While viewed by many as a holiday with religious significance, it has been adopted in a secular form by the modern culture and currently is observed by many who pay no attention to the religious connotations of many of the holiday's traditions." (Again, totally ad libbed and flawed example)

    So yeah, there can be a technical definition, or there can be personal definitions. If the people being told never received gifts, that may not be much of a factor because the person giving the description may not be able to separate their own experience from their words. The fact that you are struggling to find a suitable definition could itself serve as something you could include. Maybe your character is stumped on how to best explain it as well.
     
  14. JPGriffin
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    As I've seen it so far, Christmas has two major non-religious meanings (no definite rule, so feel free to disagree).

    1) The gift-exchanging. Pretty self-explanatory, where the entire family or close friends of family exchange presents of varying sizes amongst one another. Not meaning to stereotype, but from what I've experienced this is the most commonly-used meaning for those families that can afford the massive amounts of gifts they need.

    -or-

    2) The family-joining. The true "Spirit of Christmas," according to most, if not all, Christmas stories. Again, apologizing if I'm stereotyping, but this is probably the most significant amongst smaller, (and/or) poorer families. The spirit of togetherness, welcoming one another with open arms and kind spirits. This would probably be what you'll want to incorporate, from the sound of your story so far. This would have the most impact, because it's basically the complete polar-opposite of the twins' past experiences. (By the way, I can see how that different-sex thing would work. I'd advise you just to be sure to explain it!)
     
  15. madhoca
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    Christmas is pretty much built into a person's culture from early childhood. It doesn't have quite the same meaning to someone coming across it later in life, no matter how carefully it's explained. The 'Christmas' experience itself can be very different, and is celebrated to a much lesser degree in many other 'Christian' countries when compared to the US or England, for example. The whole concept of Christmas can even seem distasteful, or at best deluded, for people of some religions or athiests--the idea of personalising a deity to such an extent, the commercialisation of a religious festival, all the tacky schmalz etc.
    If you mean just the warm fuzzy feeling (which relies a lot on nostalgia and childhood memories for its effect) that movies depict about Christmas, it's best to explain it by relating it to some other celebration they know about. However, if the kids hadn't experienced any love or warmth in their family before then anyway, then I'd have thought the Christmas experience would seem nice to them--any kind of love, present-giving and celebration would, surely?
     

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