Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Lights and Hope For A New Year


Christmas and Hanukkah mean so many things to me, as I'm sure they do for you. It is the season of family, new beginnings, and a festival of lights signaling the brightness of hope. This year, the lights in Windsor Town Green were made even more special by the outpouring of thanks for our First Responders.

Many of the grammar school classes chose to honor these heroes, who helped protect many of us and our homes from the devastating fires in Sonoma County. Our heart goes out for the loss of life and property we experienced as a community, and for what's going on in Southern California now.

We know what they're feeling, because we lived through the same. There are families spending the holidays in an apartment, or rented home, instead of the family home they celebrated in for years. For some, it will be truly a new beginning. For others, it chronicles the end of an era, and how some things will never be the same again. Displaced and evacuated peoples are finding all sorts of new ways to celebrate this end of 2017 as we mourn the past and adjust to the future. It's what we do.

I make a pilgrimage to look at favorite house lights and the trees in the Town Green every year, but this year affected me more. My grandkids enjoyed looking at each and every one of the trees -- I think there were over 100 -- all decorated by classrooms, families, businesses and civic groups from all areas of our county. I would say that the overarching theme was that of gratitude, how we are family, all of us, and how we'll all survive.

We ran into a group of carolers strolling down the streets, a gathering of Santas and elves celebrating at a local pub, and a vendor on the square selling bright flashing wands and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. We finished off our meal with ice cream at Powell's, and of course couldn't resist bringing home some peppermint bark, Giants Pez and salt water taffy.

I like it when the windows in local restaurants fog up, when the laughter behind glass as office parties and family get-togethers take place. I found myself missing the family members who will not be with us this year, and it gave me an improved opening scene for a novella I'm trying to finish.

We've had a mild, crisp winter so far, with a cold snap. I harvested a dozen pomegranate fruits, about two dozen new mandarins and some Meyer lemons. I came home to a cracklling fire and turned in early, wearing socks and a flannel nightgown. I considered penning a note to Santa myself.


And I dreamt of what glorious things were in store for me next year -- for all of us. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. May the joys of the season be many for you and your family.

(PS - Blogger is not letting me respond to your lovely responses, but know I've been reading them all one by one. Thank you all!)  -- Sharon

Love is All You Need

Honoring Home Town Heroes serving the military






22 comments:

  1. This is a lovely and loving post, Sharon. Thank you!
    Arletta

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  2. An excellent post just right for this time of the year. Good thoughts and prayers are needed everywhere.

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  3. Awesome post & a great reminder of our limitations against Mother Nature yet our ability to adapt, cope, survive and support one another through crisises but most of all the power of love. Happy Holidays!!!

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  4. What a wonderful post. The perfect time I love how the tree has the pictures of all who serve in the Military. Thank you for sharing this. Happy Holidays.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  5. Heartwarming and perfect for the season. Merry Christmas.

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  6. Thank you for a wonderful post. I came to me at just the right time.

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  7. This is a beautiful post my angel. I'm so very blessed to have you in my life. Wishing you a magical and Merry Christmas along with the greatest new year of your life. xoxoxoxoxox, yp

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  8. Wishing you and family a merry Christmas and happy new year

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  9. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. This was a very touching post.

    Thank you, Adele

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  10. Lovely thoughts to keep in our hearts as we each celebrate with our families. Merry Christmas, Sharon!

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  11. What a wonderful place you live in. I love the pictures of the different trees with the decorations. I wish every township would do something like that to honor our military men, and women. Those who have passed, and those who are still here. I hope everyone out there h a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's to all. Cindy Bowers

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  12. So many of us consider ourselves lucky that we have not suffered these fires, hurricanes, tornados and deaths of much loved people and animals, but it is a time of hope that the new year will help heal our hearts. Thank you to all our military, fire/emt & police who have helped keep us as safe as possible.

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  13. I feel blessed each year when I hear of the devastation throughout the world, to know that my family, though we have had our trials, are safe and sound. And to praise those who look out for our safety. God Bless them and keep, to those who gave their lives, may their families find a peace that a there are people who are grateful for their sacrifice. Merry Christmas and May 2018 bring peace and harmony to all.

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  14. What a wonderful post, so very sorry for the devastation your area of the country is going through, we've been praying for all of you. This year has been rough on so many, God Bless all that serve and protect in all areas. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

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  15. Wishing you smiles, laughter, and whole lot of fun this Christmas season!

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