It can't believe it's Christmas time again. I'm not ready. Maybe I've been procrastinating because I generally dread all the hoop-la involved. Don't get me wrong, the best news in this world is the birth of our Savior, but almost everyone agrees the commercialization of the holiday is the worst. Each time I tug the newspaper out of the mailbox and a stack of heavy ads fall onto the ground, I find it irritating. Or when we put on the television or radio and we're bombarded with a parade of annoying and repetitious commercials. If I had a dollar for every must have or die, electronics commercial I've seen, I'd be a millionaire. And don't forget about that person who finds a new car with a giant bow on it in their driveway. We don't know if the couple later argued about the payments, but we do know for sure, it got everyone in the neighborhood talking.
I do love Christmas and believe in giving gifts and don't want to be labeled Grinch or Scrooge. So I asked myself what was it about Christmas that made it so magical when I was a child? So, I decided to compose a list with a few of those things.
The smell of: The Christmas tree, cookies baking, oyster stew on Christmas Eve, the house when the family gathered for Christmas dinner, a new doll, cakes baking in an Easy Bake oven, and of course Christmas candy and chocolate.
The feel of: Tearing wrapping paper, the velvet on a Christmas dress, a hug from Grandma.
The sight of: The Christmas tree before and after Santa came, colored lights reflecting on the snow, relatives you hadn't seen for a while, the anticipation in the faces of my brothers and sisters, cookie crumbs left from Santa on a plate.
The sound of: The squeal of excitement, caroling, Christmas Eve mass, singing "Silent Night" and thinking about the quiet, wondrous night a bright star lit the sky above Bethlehem and someone was born who changed us all.
There are so many things that fill your senses and make Christmas a glorious time. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, make a list. I hope you can feel some Christmas magic all over again. Merry Christmas to everyone!
Many times I catch my self saying, "I wish something exciting would happen." Something positive and fun, but totally unexpected. A few weeks ago I was walking through the woods behind our house and discovered a surprise—literally—from out of the blue. Huge clusters of ripe blueberries hung everywhere like small grapes—ripening in the green grass. This year's perfect weather conditions of ample rain and no late spring frosts, had left the berries thriving like I'd never seen before. Then while in the boat one day, I enjoyed a whimsical cloud formation that seemed magically painted on the perfect sapphire sky above. It made a striking contrast against the deeper shades of blue water below. Days later, unexpectedly, my book—Sowing Northern Fields placed second in one of RWA's biggest contests—2018-Romance Through The Ages (RTTA) Contest. The contest was sponsored by the Hearts Through History Writers. The recognition is huge in getting someone to seriously look at my book. Take a moment this busy summer and appreciate the unanticipated moments that make life much more fun and interesting. I am so thankful for many of the things in my life that come from—out of the blue.