|"Tidings of Comfort and Joy"|
|Series||The Magic of Christmas|
|Genre(s)||Fantasy short story|
|Published in||The Magic of Christmas|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
"Tidings of Comfort and Joy" is a fantasy short story by Gael Baudino. It concerns Julianna, a Wiccan living in Denver, and her otherworldly encounter with her friend Paul, who is a priest, and her undead ex-husband Bob.
Gael Baudino is a contemporary American fantasy author who also writes under the pseudonyms of Gael Kathryns, Gael A. Kathryns, K.M. Tonso, and G.A. Kathryns. She attended college at the University of Southern California. Sometime before 1994 she converted from Dianic Wicca and became a Quaker. As Gael Kathryns she contributed several instructional articles about harping to the Folk Harp Journal during the 1990s.
Paul contacts Julianna after years of mutual avoidance to tell her that Bob has died, after a fashion. Trauma from intense abuse as a child caused Bob's marriage to Julianna to fall apart, as he needed too much from her. His second wife, however, was able to provide him what he needed. After she dies in a car crash, he gives up on life but is not able to completely abandon living. When his body dies, he remains conscious, stuck in a rotting shell but too afraid to go into the unknown.
Bob being a parishioner of his, Paul is at a loss about what to do, so he contacts Julianna to see if her religion can help. They hatch a plan to dig up his ex-wife and reanimate her corpse so that the two of them can finally die together. Their plan works, and Julianna and Paul have a new, deeper relationship with each other.
God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen is an English traditional Christmas carol. It is in the Roxburghe Collection, and is listed as no. 394 in the Roud Folk Song Index. It is also known as Tidings of Comfort and Joy, and by variant incipits as Come All You Worthy Gentlemen; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; God Rest Ye, Merry Christians; or God Rest You Merry People All.
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