Christmas magic fills my home today.
I continue to bask in the happiness of having our daughter home for several days last week. She and I stayed up late into the morning hours watching Christmas movies, sometimes drinking a little wine, sometimes tea. Well, she drank tea.
It doesn't really matter what we drank or even which movies we watched because we drank and watched together. It could have been the third Tuesday in the fifth month of whenever and Christmas magic would still have enveloped us. That's how Christmas should be.
I might say it every year, but every year it's true - I cannot believe how quickly Christmas showed up. Seems like three blinks and a gulp ago I had to decide if I wanted to carve a pumpkin. Where Thanksgiving went is anybody's guess, and now it's two days before the blessed event, the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
With that in your heart, there's no wonder Christmas is so important and why togetherness means so much.
This year I've been lucky enough to have lunch with friends many times, and after each I've felt full. And not just from the meal. Your heart fills with love as much as your insides fill with food when you get together with friends you've not seen in a while.
Makes me wonder, then, why I don't make certain it happens more often. There's nothing in the books that stops me from making play dates during the rest of the year. Getting together with friends shouldn't happen just because of the season; it should happen because, just because.
Think back to those times you've told a story about something that happened to you and an old friend. You might laugh about it or even cry, but you're remembering a bond that gave you pleasure. And it will give you pleasure again if you just pick up a phone and call. The beauty of having lunch with someone from your past is remembering, and that often makes you feel young again.
That's a feeling worth feeling.
I packed away my soapbox for the holidays, so I'm not trying to make you do anything. I just want you to know that getting together with family and friends might be the best thing you can do for yourself. There's no crack in any relationship that can't be mended with a little hard candy and eggnog or the time it takes to plan a family get-together or set up a lunch date with an old friend.
Nothing fills your heart like a long hug.
I always shut my eyes when I hug, so I see more than what's behind us. I see sunshine and laughter and days filled with friendship and tears. Don't be afraid to remember the tears. That's what makes remembering the good times so wonderful.
And please, please, please, don't be afraid to look up high school friends. Reasons for cutting ties are like bad memories - memories you can replace with laughter and hugs.
Take my word for it. And have a merry Christmas.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.