There is no year mentioned in my Christmas romance novel, A December Knight. However, it definitely didn’t take place in the last five years. I wrote the story in November 2015, so it was contrived from that viewpoint from little ol’ Nova Scotia that is thankfully 20 years behind the rest the world.
Cell phones are in use, and they’re not plugged into a battery pack hooked to a vehicle, so it’s after 1995. The 18-year-old in the story has a cell phone and can text, but the general population is not addicted to their phone. From a quick search, the first text message was sent in 1992, but that was crude from computer to phone and no reply could be issued since phones were incapable of sending texts.
Body piercings, tattoos and unnatural hair colours were rare, so they stood out in public. In some places in Nova Scotia, they still do cause heads to turn.
Digital picture frames were all the rage. I’ve never owned one, but I recall when my mother—who is technology challenged—received one for Christmas from a well-meaning family member.
Photoshops were still shops customers who wanted to make prints from negatives visited to get their roll of film developed and printed. These shops sold digital cameras, but many other stores were also starting to sell cameras on a large scale.
Jan Cooper, the main character in the story, manages a camera shop, so these details are important.
The Sears Christmas Wish Book, the one Emmie searches through to find the doll in question, is still published. This catalogue teased and entertained children from 1933 to 2011. It was resurrected in 2017, but once again returned to the tomb of time. This indicates the story was before 2011.
I recall the many hours pouring over this wish book as a child, dreaming of what I might get. Long before Christmas day arrived, it was tattered with pages torn out and would-be gifts circled with pen or marker. In its golden years, customers knew ordering from Sears meant quality. However, by year 2000, that promise had been broken. Perhaps because things came marked “Made from China” instead of “Made in Canada” or “Made in the USA”.
The Welcome to Cole Harbour – Home of Sydney Crosby sign at the corner of Caldwell Road and Cole Harbour Road stands. It was put up before I moved from the area in 1996.
A December Knight takes place in a simpler time, before politics dominated every conversation and before identity politics divided the landscape. It’s about work, financial security, family and the smell of a real Christmas tree in the house. It’s about realising dreams and having the courage to follow them. It’s about finding love in the chaos of snowstorms, Christmas rush and retail madness leading up to the big day.
If I had to guess, I’d say the story takes place in 2004. It was a time when my kids gathered around the television to watch Frosty the Snowman and The Year Without a Santa and made snowmen in the backyard. It was simpler and better than the social media world of today.
A December Knight arrives just before Christmas.