This year has been something else. Well, that’s saying the obvious, but as we are at the end of 2020, I’m noticing one thing. People still have hope. It isn’t easy, but they do. I have a lot of writing ahead of me and my own wedding and event flower business is booking for next year. (I’ll have more wedding stories to share.) Couples are planning their magical days…brides are purchasing dresses, honeymoons are being booked, and we are talking about flowers again. Perhaps it is the warp speed of a vaccine introduced to kill this awful virus, or maybe it’s just the holidays. You can’t suppress hope. It’s like many of us say–you can’t stop Christmas from coming.
If you read my books (you have, haven’t you?) I try to introduce different religious experiences. Lily’s job in Kansas City, Missouri constantly leads her into different churches and venues. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, all the shopping and running around has a deadline. No matter what’s left on the list, Christmas happens. Hanukkah occurs. You open your presents; you light another candle.
For me, Christmas was the biggest day of the year, well, not really. I understood the gravity of the day, but for me, my birthday was that day I marked on the calendar. You see, I came into the world at approximately 9pm on December 24. Our family always celebrated Christmas at mom and dad’s on Christmas Eve, around five o’clock. My birthday lasted approximately nine hours. I’m not complaining; it was just different.
Now, strangely, I relish my Christmas Eve birthday. My first name is shared with the little girl in The Nutcracker. I always have a stockpile of gifts that are warm from sweaters to mufflers. They light up the city for me, as does everywhere in the world. I invented Hanukkah birthday which is a multi-day treat time. Somedays it might be a coffee, others I might just sit down and take the time to read a book. It is a treat for me. I don’t need to spend a dime. I just need to take the time. Pretty cool, huh?
This year, it will be different. There will be no traveling to family in Florida or Maryland. We are doing minimal shipping and gifting. Church may be online, and our menu of meatballs (our family’s recipe) and spaghetti may be changed up since there will only be a gathering of three. Yes, changes will be made. Wait, a minute. I want the meatballs, darn it. Lily would eat the meatballs. Heck, Lily would have garlic bread too, and wine, or maybe chocolate martinis. Yes please, to all of it.
Do what Lily would do. Eat, drink, drive around for endless hours looking at the Christmas lights all over your neighborhood, town, and city. Have her enthusiasm for those same things. One thing about Lily, no matter what, she always has that sense of hope and of faith that God has a plan. Yes, she grumbled when things weren’t looking up. Yes, she thought she was destined to be alone, but just when she was looking down, a tall stranger came into her life. She had to look up to see his face. Keep looking up, everyone! I’ll see you next year. It will be the best year of our lives…so far!