[Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket] said people are attracted to dark and subversive stories this time of year, in part because of the dark and cold outside.
“In real life, I prefer miracles and goodness. In a work of art, I prefer the opposite. I think people often get confused over what they like in one versus the other,” he said.
“When you’re travelling on an ocean liner, you would prefer it to be iceberg-free. If you’re watching a movie about an ocean liner, you would prefer it to run into the iceberg as soon as possible, drowning whatever good-looking actors are aboard.”
… “I think holiday stories don’t necessarily need to provide lessons and stories and reassurances, but should be entertaining and engaging,” Handler said.
“If you set out to teach a moral lesson, you’ll probably make a tedious story. If you make a good story, it will probably end up to have a moral lesson.”
— From the cbc.ca story Lemony Snicket has lump of coal for holiday reading.