Recently, I’ve had a few health issues, which are making me sit down and take stock and think about things to be thankful for—and there really is plenty at this time of year. I love the tree lighting, the scent of pine as I walk city streets past tree sellers, the buoyant mood of people rushing against chill air to join loved ones. I love the food, the games, the being together and the age-old decorations. I’m happy to see Santas on street corners collecting for charity and uniformed Salvation Army members ringing their bells. Displays in shop windows are a fascination, and the extra street lighting makes everything look so much more cheerful.
The holiday season now also unfortunately entails non-stop shopping, continuous ads on television for every sale going and blatant commercialism. Maybe it’s human nature to want the bargains, to hunt the deals, and Life has become so inundated with things, with stuff, any way to get it all at the best price is welcome. So many times I’ve been asked why I write western historical stories and what the appeal is. To me—and I know this is very personal—there is something far more appealing about that life. Their Christmas would have had simple decorations, homemade gifts, a joy in just being together rather than the mad rush to buy, buy, buy. SURELY it was more fun to pop corn and string it up with sour apples than to go out and buy colored balls, tinsel and various other little ornaments to hang on the tree—made in China? Surely, the hand-knit sweater meant more to the receiver than the latest iPad or phone?
Maybe not. Humanity hasn’t really changed; these items were simply not available so folks were happy with what they got. But happiness is still, pretty much, based on the same agenda. We’re happy to have our health, our home, our family and friends who support us. We still gasp at a breath-taking dawn and the beauty of a sunset behind majestic hills. We’re in awe at the variety of wildlife in a setting that stuns us into silence, while the laughter of loved ones and children and those close to us still tugs at our hearts.
At least that’s what I’m thankful for. What are you thankful for and what are you looking forward to in the New Year? Please let me know… I have 3 simple gifts to give away, and a cartload of good cheer.
There are 2 digital copies of my books to give away and 1 surprise gift. The winners are Irene Bennett Brown, Mary M. and Vicki Batman. Thanks to everyone who responded!
BEST WISHES FOR A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!