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The Season of Peace and Goodwill, and Giant Rawhides

December 24, 2013

Some of my family are fortunately easy to please. And there is a satisfaction in making someone happy, even if it’s just the dog.

This is the season for caring about each other, for sharing what we have with those less fortunate, and for doing the little things that make people smile. I’m trying to take a deep breath and remember that. Life has been crazy lately, and until yesterday I had done no Christmas shopping, no baking, no decorating. I woke up with visions of road-kill sugarplums dancing in my head. So I turned to my fall-back position when I have far too much to do. I picked up a book to read.

Yeah, I know, not usually helpful. But for me, it sometimes is. I read a couple of my favorite short Christmas stories, the ones that warm the heart and slow time to a liquid honey-sweet flow. And when I surfaced, I reminded myself that this season is about the people, not the things. (And then I reminded myself that book-vendor egift-cards are instant.)

I enlisted some help from my kid and my brother, and now the lights are up, we have four varieties of cookies, I have gifts for one and all (luckily a short list) and there’s still time to bake cinnamon stars tomorrow. My charity donation envelopes are lined up, with something extra this year from several of my Amazon stories (Thank you, readers). The lasagna went back together okay after half of it landed in the oven. (Five second rule, right?) All is pretty much well.

And tonight, in the easing down aftermath of the day, I’m thinking about everyone who doesn’t have what I have. Imperfect or not, despite family crises and teenage kids and below-zero weather and all the stresses of the year, I have it good. I have a warm house, good food, friends I can talk to, in life and online. There are guys in my head with stories to tell, to give me the joy of writing, and readers who want to hear about them. And I have people I love, some of whom are home for the holidays.

My wishes this holiday are simple, then. Health, for those who don’t have it. (Eric and TJ, we’re thinking of you.) Shelter, for those who are on the street in the bitter night that I shut outside my solid front door. Friends, for everyone whose family is gone, or distant, or cold. May this season bring good things to you all.

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