Month of Gratitude: Day 30

Some believe too much is said about gratitude in the month of November. For me, there’s always more that can be written. As we enter December, with the heavy focus on holiday shopping and occasional greed, it never hurts to step back and reflect.

I was reminded of that in the dark of the early morning yesterday as I walked to work. A shivering female beggar asked me for spare change.

And later, another did the same.

But this time, it was a hollow eyed man. His face wore a sad expression.

The man was carrying a simple sign with the message, “Laid off. Need money for diapers.”

His scribbled writing put my holidays into perspective.

Count your blessings.

I can’t ever do that too often.

Snow Princess

One of my part time jobs in high school was as a clerk in a busy florist shop. It was a joy working there at holiday time. Every square foot would be laden with sparkling jewels of red, green, and gold.

Rows of velvet leafed red poinsettias, fresh green wreaths, and shiny gold ornaments greeted me each time I started my shift.

I loved the magical silence before the store opened, and the crowds arrived. I’d find myself transported to my own winter wonderland, with me as Snow Princess.

I’d often take a few minutes and admire the miniature toy village set up in the window on a snow blanket of soft, sparking white fabric. I’d then wind the music boxes behind the counter for a concert.

Lara’s Theme, from the movie Dr. Zhivago, was my favorite.

I’d treat myself to peppermint bon bons in the bowl for the customers by the register. Delicious enough for a Snow Princess too, I figured.

I’d smell the regal perfume of red roses and green pine as I opened the refrigerator case, wishing I could wear the lovely scent.

Then suddenly the gates would be cranked open. The perfume, now replaced by scented pine cones and lit plum pudding candles at the front of the shop to entice the crowds inside.

Smiles would be genuine on the faces of those who quickly entered.

And also for the Snow Princess who worked there.

For the love of turkey

My husband Richard hasn’t known who I am for several years now. But it still should be a joyful experience when I visit him tomorrow while he enjoys his Thanksgiving meal.

I’m so grateful he has a good appetite.

Richard’s always had a love of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. He used to do much of the cooking himself, with my daughter and I as his faithful lieutenants.

Thanksgiving was by far his favorite feast of the year, with its bounty of food and fellowship at the table.

I’d like to believe it still is.

I’ll be watching for a smile on his face as he takes his first bite of the bird at noon.

I hoping I see one.

Month of Gratitude: Day 27

With my husband’s illness and several family members gone, holidays aren’t quite he same anymore. But it doesn’t mean they still aren’t to be celebrated and enjoyed.

I look forward to each holiday now as an opportunity to create new traditions.

And I’m grateful to be creative enough to come up with some new ones.

This weekend I might start a tradition of buying a turquoise poinsettia instead of the traditional red. But I admit I still like the rich velvety appearance of the warmer hues.

And instead of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving tomorrow, I may make a change and opt for a moist, chocolate cake for my annual dessert.

Now there’s an idea for a new tradition definitely worth trying!