Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Kay Butzin
I might add a present to my Amazon.com order in October to qualify for free shipping. But Christmas decorations alongside Halloween costumes on Wal-Mart's shelves don't tempt me. I prefer to ease into the season after the Thanksgiving leftovers are cleared. I'll watch Miracle on 34th Street, get out the CDs and sing with the altos on Adeste Fideles and Silent Night. And while neighbors string the trunks of their live oaks with white lights and my sister transforms her house into a Winter Wonderland, I debate whether to decorate at all.
Though I'm not in the spirit, I decide to act as if. I address holiday greetings, buy a peace wreath for the front door, and cover the round table with Aunt Barb's 60s-vintage Christmas cloth. The objective: minimize recovery time so I can tackle my writing goals come January.
Twelve shopping days left, I rush to wrap and mail my son and daughter-in-law's packages. I still have no gifts and no ideas for either my mother or sister. Balmy South Texas used to get the blame for that absent "something in the air" one feels on a snowy day. But it isn't about snow or no snow—I was a Scrooge up north, too.
"Eat a piece of Aunt Helen's peanut butter fudge," I tell myself. "Light the candle."
Star and snowflake images flicker on the walls and ceiling through cutouts in my metal Christmas tree, and my inner child can no longer resist. I raise my egg nog in a toast to the spirit of innocence and joy.
Retired from a career in business administration, Michigan native Kay Butzin now resides in Rockport, Texas. Past president of the Rockport Writers Group, she also contributes to her biannual high school newsletter. Her family and friends look forward each year to the personal essay she writes instead of Christmas cards.
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