Christmas week is here at long last. This is my favorite holiday, and no pandemic is going to change that.

But I won’t pretend it’s not bittersweet. But my husband and I have done our best to make this Christmas amazing for our daughter. We probably overdid it on presents (not probably…), and we’ve been baking together and binge-watching Christmas movies together, and enjoying all of our Christmas decorations.

She’s missing out on so many things, but Christmas morning won’t be one of them. That much, fortunately, I can control.

We have all, hopefully, found our coping mechanisms this year. And for many of you, I suspect, one of those coping mechanisms is reading great fiction.

As part of our WMG Holiday Spectacular 2020 Calendar of Stories, we feature one story from the calendar each week to post for free for all who want to read it.

This week’s story, “The Last Hour of Hogswatch” by Michael Warren Lucas, is a powerful gut-punch of a story that seems to embody so much of what many people are dealing with this year. It was written before the pandemic, but it’s the perfect embodiment of the spirit of Christmas 2020.

You can read it for free here. And if you want to read more, you still have time to sign up for the Calendar of Stories by clicking here.

And you still have time to pick up The Good Cheer Holiday Bundle to really embrace your holiday reading spirit. That StoryBundle includes The Santa Claus Stories by L. Frank Baum (of Oz fame), Dean Wesley Smith’s Through the Jukebox collection of stories set on Christmas Eve, Kristine Grayson’s Tidings of Comfort and Joy from her Santa Series, and Joyous Christmas, a cheerful anthology from the WMG Holiday Spectacular 2019.

You can get the bundle here.

From all of us here at WMG, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season. And we hope, a happy one, as well, even during these challenging times.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.