It’s the time of year that you hear classic and new renditions of Christmas music from bells jingling, chestnuts roasting, to dreaming of snow on Christmas Day. Sounds good, right? But from a young age, one particular song always makes me cry. The lyrics aren’t sad per se but the music tugs at my heart.
I avoid this song like a diet in December. When I hear it on the radio, I change the station. I recently heard the familiar chords while grocery shopping. I froze for a moment, a tad unsure whether or not it was the song, but it was. What to do? I couldn’t run unless I wanted to leave my full cart in the middle of the store (that would’ve really endeared me to store clerks). So, I called my sister who can always be counted on to talk about herself and her day. She saved me, and she had no idea.
Lest you think I jest (cute, huh?) about the effect of this song, I have literally experienced laughter and the next moment dissolved into tears all because of this damn song. Can you imagine becoming the center of attention (and not in a good way) when you interrupt A Charlie Brown Christmas with sniffles, ugly crying, and nose blowing? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am affected by “Christmas Time Is Here” but not just any rendition. It has to be the Vince Guaraldi Trio version.
I used this unusual, albeit slightly dysfunctional, tidbit of my own life as the kernel for my upcoming novella Home, Hearth & Heaven.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, being with family is stressed this time of year. I believe the goal during the holiday season is to keep a smile on your face and gratefulness in your heart. But what if you aren’t blessed to have family to spend time with? (And no, disowning your Uncle Willie because he spiked the tea or made “special” brownies doesn’t count).
If your family isn’t around to provide comedic relief, then you have to be a tad creative to get those gorgeous lips of yours to curve upwards. Here’s my suggestion (if this doesn’t work, you can totally blame me)—crank up your favorite Caribbean or Latin music and shake, shimmy and twirl your way into the next day. If dancing isn’t your thing, enjoy a few belly-aching rounds of laughter with your favorite comedian.
I wish you all a Blessed and Safe Holiday Season! But before you return to shopping, boxing, wrapping, or even cranking up the Vince Guaraldi Trio, please share your favorite Christmas song. I promise I won’t cry.
Home, Hearth & Heaven
Alexa Jordan is no fan of the holiday season—Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—doesn’t matter. She has no use for the celebrations because they stress family and that’s the one thing she doesn’t have. When her brilliant plan to travel on Christmas Day backfires due to a snowstorm in Atlanta, Alexa is in no mood for any more mess. The absolute last person she wants to see is the one man who makes her feel out of control.
When Lucas Massino spies his pretty coworker acting like the last kid selected for a team, he jumps at the opportunity fate provides and offers her a place to stay. He’s had a man-size crush on Alexa since they first met, but no matter how he turns on the charm she keeps him at arms’ length.
Alexa is no fool and spending time with someone she knows is preferable to being in a hotel with strangers. But alone, the two cannot fight their mutual attraction. Alexa chalks their behavior up to one of convenience, but Lucas knows better. He just has to make Alexa realize she’s his heaven and he’s her home.