For the record, I'm really of two minds about stories using the holidays as plot devices. Actually, I'm not even sure if this actually applies to just holidays or not, but here goes.
If whatever it is - holiday, character type, sex scene, violence...whatever...if it adds to the story, great. If it's just there as a placeholder...then, not so much.
I'm not sure I even explained that right -but let's take that lovely picture up there and see if I can make it more clear. If the story requires, say, Christmas, as a relevant part of the plot, go for it. If it's just there so you can have hotties blowing candy canes...eh. Get my point? (You could replace that candy cane with something else, and it's probably not going to have any impact whatsover on what's going to happen next, I'm guessing.)
So I guess that's what I mean. If you can tell the same story in a different setting, then the holiday doesn't really mean much. (Sorta like those Santa Buddy movies I was ranting about on KAK's post the other day. My kids love those movies. I want to pour salt in my eyes every time a puppy starts talking about its bling. The holiday themes here are just excuses to make a buck on using pretty much the same exact plot - just with different bad guys or whatever. That drives me a little crazy. Although you'd think in that case, I'd hate classics like the Charlie Brown specials too, but maybe it's all about presentation. That can go a long way, I suspect. There's really no comparison between dogs that say "Dawg" and watching the Peanuts gang dance.)
To be honest, I don't usually ever pick up theme books (I guess you see those mostly in contemporary romance though, I think - and I don't read contemporary at all, so I'm not particularly interested in book about secret santa babies and the like.)