Well, we made it to the final month of 2020! I know it’s been challenging, difficult, sad, and overall just sucky but hopefully with it being on its way out the door, better times are coming.
I know the holidays are always full of rushing around and chaos. I’m not one who likes to rush things. I feel like Thanksgiving never gets its due. Halloween comes and then all you see is Christmas everywhere or the Christmas music starts playing the day after Halloween. Prior to this year, I would roll my eyes if I saw anyone with their Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving, but this year I kind of felt like if the lights brought them joy, even if it was November 5th, then by all means, put them up. The holidays definitely look different for most of us so we’ve gotta find ways to cope.
For years, I used to drive my grandma, my dad’s mom, up to my dad’s house and back to her place sometimes twice a week. It was a solid twenty minute ride from her apartment to his house, so Nanni and I spent a lot of time in the car together over the years. Nanni was a tough cookie. She liked everything a certain way and she hated being told what to do. If you were on time, you were late. She had no problem telling you EXACTLY what she thought and it took practically a natural disaster to keep her out of church on a Sunday morning. Despite her tough ways, there were certain things that gave her utter joy. She loved flowers, she loved walking around the backyard and just looking at the flowers, she loved a warm, sunny day, she loved potato chips and she loved an icy cold beer every now and again. She also loved Christmas lights.
On our drives, we would chat about various things…the weather, what we were eating for dinner, she would tell me about her lady friends in her building, or she’d tell me a story from the past. When Christmas lights would start to go up, we would look at them on our drive. I would try to point out to her if I knew a house was decorated really nicely and she had no problem telling me if she thought a house did NOT look nice. She would say as much as she didn’t like the winter, she loved when the lights were on and she hated when they went away. I always felt the same way and it was kind of sweet to hear the disappointment in her voice over the Christmas lights going away for the season.
Nanni died in April of 2019 at the age of 96. I will always be grateful that I had 34 years with her. Last year was the first Christmas season without her, and I don’t remember noticing the lights right away. Then, one night, I was driving home from my dad’s and I approached a house not far from mine and they had these big, beautiful white reindeer on their lawn lit up with white lights. I was mesmerized and all I could think was, “Nanni would love this.” I guess that was my nudge to remember to look at the lights.
This year, I find myself looking at them more and more. As silly and as small as it is, looking at the lights makes me happy. I think after everything that has happened this year, Christmas lights represent happiness, hope, peace and we have to take those things wherever we can find them. I don’t feel sad when I look at the lights…I look at them and I think, “Nanni would’ve loved that” or I laugh and say, “Nanni would’ve hated that.” I feel like in a year when so many of us have lost so much, one of the best things we can do is find our joy anywhere and everywhere we can. Don’t skip out on the things that always meant a lot to you…they just might mean more to you now than ever before. I know nothing is as it normally is…what does normal even mean anymore, but there is still plenty of Christmas magic to be had and I plan on soaking up as much of it as I can. I hope you do the same!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year! Thank you so much for all of your support the past two years. I have plans for more books to come…just taking a little longer than I’d like, but fingers crossed, that this new year will bring forth more time for creativity! If you’re still looking for a few last minute gifts or stocking stuffers, head over to Amazon and support indie authors! A bunch of my pals have some great stuff out…check out Hazel Kelly, Mal Cooper, Thia Mackin, Nicky Grant, Annalise Delaney and so many more! Until next time!