Sunday, January 7, 2024

Last of Christmas

The last piece of kringle sits lonely on a plate on the counter, next to the tins where Kim stored her baked Christmas cookies. I counted four left, three of one, and one of the other. Both my favorites. I saved the last piece of kringle for Kim, but it’s fifty-fifty if she eats it. She might save it for me, but I will hold back for her. It’s how we roll. 

The recyclers took our Christmas tree on Friday, the last fresh tree we will ever purchase. Kim and I decided to go with a nice artificial tree, on sale, for the years to come. Not sure how I feel about that yet. I think Kim is uncertain as well. 

The decorations have been taken down and put away in cupboards or in plastic bins and stored in the closet off the downstairs family room. All the everyday things are back on walls or on counters. All of this took place last week. Sadly, so.

Still waiting on a present each for Emily and Hannah. Should have been here by now, and I’m guessing they might never arrive. All of my other gifts have been tried on and put away. The four books I received will be read this year, and I’ve already begun one and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s a thriller-crime-mystery by Patterson, the same genre my nine books and my soon-to-be-published #10 is in. I enjoy reading in the same genre as what I write.

We went back to school this past week. Me, for one day because I’m part time, while Kim worked two days as called for by her contract. Emily began this past week, too. So did Alex and Q. Hannah starts tomorrow. All back at our jobs, doing what we do.

No more Christmas movies- Hannah’s and Emily’s thing. Kim and I watch them only when the girls are here. A bit too sappy for us, but pleasant enough. No more Christmas music- something I enjoy. I favor the traditional carols with a few newer tunes by some of my favorite artists thrown in here and there. The peaceful, lush harmonies bring back memories of Christmas’s past. At age 70, it doesn’t take much to nudge me back in time, reminiscing. 

Gone is the hustle, the sometimes frantic pace of buying and wrapping presents, of cleaning so the house looks just right for guests. Gone is the family all together with laughter and quiet conversation, the family meals made with love and joy. Neighbors taking down or who have already taken down their outside decorations. And the last to disappear are the Salvation Army volunteers collecting money for those in need. All gone, all of it. 

But it doesn’t have to be. Really it doesn’t. 

Christmas is much more than that. It’s far beyond house decorations and Christmas cookies, kringle and Christmas movies. It is far beyond the deeply rooted feelings we have at this time of year. As my brothers and sisters said to their children and as I said to my children, Christmas will be in our hearts. Should be in our hearts all year, each month, each day. Needs to be in our hearts. 

The peace we feel at Christmas and the hope we have at New Year’s needs to last all year, every year. And why can’t it? We let it slip away and become an afterthought until next year, when all the decorations and baking, all the buying and wrapping, begin again. That’s on us, and it doesn’t, shouldn’t be this way. Can we make a concerted effort to keep the peaceful feelings we had, the gentleness we felt towards family and others all year and for everyone we encounter each day? Imagine what our world- personal and extended- might be like if we did. Just imagine. As always, something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference! 

To My Readers:  

If you like what you’re reading and find a benefit from it, you can check out my other posts at under the Inspirational Blog tab.  

And if you’re curious, you can check out my nine books on the same site. I’ve won nearly twenty awards, and I write in the thriller-crime-mystery genre, but with a coming-of-age thread in each. My latest book, Fan Mail, just won a 2023 Silver Book Award and a Recommended Read Award, and was featured as Author of the Month from Reader’s Favorites. 

There will be some up-coming promotional deals through my publisher, Black Rose Writing, this month and possibly next. I also have a sale and signing event on Feb. 17th at Barnes & Noble in Central Park here in Fredericksburg, Virginia from 2:00 – 7:00 PM. These events are always fun. 

If you are an author or writer, veteran or beginner, check out my Author’s Blog tab on the same site. There you will find tips on writing, interviews with other authors, and excerpts from my own books. If you want to get a hold of me, use the Contact tab. 

I hope you check it out. Again, my writing can be found at 

I can also be found on Facebook at:  

Photo Courtesy of Joseph Lewis.




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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe