Friday, December 6, 2019

Christmas Roads Home


Congratulations to "Taurus", the winner in Leslie's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize.

                  Hands down, Christmas is my favorite holiday. With the naivete of a child, I truly believed that the whole world came together in peace to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and that all lands and peoples put aside conflicts and sorrows for the season. To this day, I treasure that belief, because it confirmed hope and invoked comfort—two things I would like the whole world to find, just as I once thought it did every December 25th.
         Christmas then was choosing a pine tree from some secluded spot, and decorating it with glass ornaments, colored lights, and icicles—those silvery strands of fantasy that cascaded down the tree branches and made the lights seem to shine from a distance—the lights became fairy lights, and magic could happen every Christmas Eve.
         On some occasions, there was little under the tree on Christmas Day, and there were times when exaggerated gift giving would catch up with my parents, adding to the inherent problems of raising seven children. Over time, I realized that the magic wasn’t in the presents, or even created by that mystic glow of lights through green pine and silver icicles—the magic was in feeling that family was safe, dependable and perfect. On that particular day, holding family close and believing absolutely in love was just what one did.
         Time changes perception, and there were Christmases I wasn’t home. I was no longer that child soaking in a feeling of peace and perfection in the world. Gone were the stockings with the Roy Rogers coloring books—my first cowboy crush, although to be honest I only cared about Roy Rogers because of his palomino, Trigger. Gone were the hopes that Christmas would pass without bloodshed anywhere in the world, or that forgotten children and suffering families would magically, at least for one day, be provided for. That they would find love.
         Now, a lifetime later, Christmas is still my favorite holiday. Some of the ornaments we put on our plastic tree have been part of my family for the forty odd years I’ve been a mother. My wishes are the same for my family now as they were then. I still play the old Christmas carols—songs of hope, empowerment, and tradition. I still believe that Christmas can give birth to new attitudes, and that it can deepen love for family and for others.
    
     The Cowboy’sChristmas Hand, my second ever Christmas story (I wrote the only other when I was in first grade), captures some of what I want for others at Christmas—a place that is home, full of hope and love. The fact that Church Trenton is a cowboy is just a carryover from my first Christmases, when I always looked for a cowboy kind of man as a force to hold families together and make magic—even for broken families, such as the one that disowned Tyler Olivares and shunned her daughter.
         This Christmas, my sincere wish for everyone is that the roads you travel take you home, whatever or wherever that is—to people who love you, and treasured memories that give joy and fulfillment when you unwrap them.
         Merry Christmas.
Author’s note:
Don’t the years seem to end and begin more quickly than ever now? Thank you for taking the time to visit me here at Just Contemporary Romance. I would love to hear of your travels towards or away from the holidays, or what’s on your mind as another year winds down.

Giveaway:
Leslie is giving away a $20 Amazon egift card to one lucky reader leaving a comment or email entry!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST December 7th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway. 
         

26 comments:

  1. The closer we get to holidays (any kind of holiday be it Christmas or Eid Festival) the ring roads and toll roads always heavily jam. I remember both excited and exhausted got trapped in car for hours on the way to our hometown. I don’t do it anymore, but the custom and habit live on here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an ordeal, Dee. Sometimes we have no choice but to go home in our hearts and minds. I do memories help make us who we become. And yes, that can be true of any occasion or holiday. Thanks for coming by and commenting. Have a wonderful holiday season, and good luck in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As the year winds down which, I can't believe it is December already I like to reflect on things that have happened throughout the year. I think about the goals I have accomplished and the ones that I have not been able to fulfil. I try to figure out what I can do to make this upcoming year better for my family and myself. I think about the good times we have enjoyed and the rough times that have made us stronger. But most of all I am thankful for another year spent with my children, family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  4. One thing I do is figure out my mantra/goal for the upcoming year. In previous years, I have used words like "ruthless" (like when going through old items we don't need), "balance" (because I was focusing too much on everyone else's needs and not my own), "cleanse" (as in rid myself of so-called friends who were really just bringing me down with their negativity every single moment of the day), "Nike (Just Do It)" (to get things off the steps and counters in a faster manner), and last year's "declutter" (which worked really well, as I sorted through lots of drawers and cupboards).

    I think 2020 will be "scrapbook". I volunteered to update our badminton club's 1993-1998 album to include 1987 (when I joined the club and kept copious notes and pictures) to present, and haven't touched it since last summer. Once THAT is done (I already have had people donate over 200 pictures and dozens of newspaper articles), THEN I can return to working on my own scrapbooks (I'm on 1993), as I truly want this done for my kids/grandkids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Laney4. Always good to hear from you, and I LOVE your idea of keeping scrapbooks for family. The badminton club is lucky to have you, too. You will be busy from day one, won't you? I've heard of others who use a word to focus their efforts during a new year, but I never have. Maybe I'll come back in January with one! Thanks for coming, good luck in the drawing, and Happy Holidays.

      Delete
  5. Next year is a very important year for me, which is why I'm kind of dreading it, but I'm also hopeful that everything goes well. Happy Holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, Natalija! Thank you for coming by. It's good to hear from you. I hope everything goes well for you, too. Good luck in the drawing, and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this post. Christmas is my favorite time of year too. It just seems as though people are nicer to each other. Merry Christmas! 🎄🎄

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kim. I think you're right--people are nicer. One of the reasons I love the season. Thanks for commenting. Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  8. getting ready for the holidays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, bn100. Thanks for visiting again. There's always so much to do this time of year, right? Good luck in the drawing, and Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  9. Staying home for the holidays... trying to get things ready... time is flying by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Colleen C. Home is the best place to be, in my opinion. But you can journey back in time if you choose to, in your memories. I'm very happy here in hot south Texas--but those long-needled pines in Georgia were incredibly beautiful and smelled wonderful. So, memory and reality are the best of both worlds. Have a wonderful holiday season, and good luck in the derawing.

      Delete
  10. My parents were introduced to a family that had just arrived in The USA by the nuns in our community thirty five years ago. Since the introduction, we have always celebrated Christmas together - good conversation, laughs and of course, food. We've grown from a party of 11 to a party of 29. I look forward to catching up with everyone .

    ReplyDelete
  11. That touches my heart, Taurus. What a truly beautiful tradition. Have a wonderful time catching up with everyone. Good luck in the drawing, and Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the sounds, scents and sights of the holiday. But as soon as it's over, I'm ready to take the decorations down and begin fresh with a new year. 2019 seemed to go by fast and slow at the same time! Thanks for sharing the book bundle! The price is just right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth, and thank you for checking out A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe. I know what you mean about a new year. Sometimes it's really hard to figure out if it's dragging or flying. Have a great Christmas and New Year, and thanks for coming by. Good luck in the drawing.

      Delete
  13. Even though we don’t celebrate Christmas, we always have our tree up by Thanksgiving! It is just a magical time of the year. People are friendlier and happier, for the most part. For me, it is a period of quiet reflection - a time to assess my accomplishments for the year and make new goals for the coming year. And of course, a chance to hang out with family and make new memories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your visit, Raj. You describe the kind of feeling I have now about Christmas--even if you don't celebrate, there's an atmosphere of being able to come together as a community. There's hope in that. Thanks for visiting, and good luck in the drawing.

      Delete

  14. As the year winds down which, I can't believe it is December already I like to reflect on things that have happened throughout the year. I think about the goals I have accomplished and the ones that I have not been able to fulfil. I try to figure out what I can do to make this upcoming year better for my family and myself. I think about the good times we have enjoyed and the rough times that have made us stronger. But most of all I am thankful for another year spent with my children, family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming over to Just Contemporary Romance, Mary. This year has flown by, hasn't it? I love your closing thought--that's what I'm most thankful for as well. Take care, and good luck in the drawing.

      Delete
  15. Thanks to all of you who dropped by to visit, and to Maureen for hosting me. I hope each of you has a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season, surrounded by family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beautiful and magical words. Christmas the way it should be shared and cherished. Thank you, Les, for this awesome blog.

    ReplyDelete

Sign up for the JCR newsletter!