So far, I’ve had two servings of Eggnog in the last week. Which means that I’m officially in the Christmas mood. Unfortunately, one glass was later at night than it should have been, which offset my mood with a middle-of-the-night heartburn that wasn’t jolly and certainly not from the North Pole. But the Christmas spirit shall not be dampened.
Other than a handful of Scrooges out there, most of us perk up a little bit once the Christmas Season rolls into town. I mean, with a constant supply of Lifetime and Hallmark slurpy sweet movies, it’s a wonder we’re not all slouched on the couch in a diabetic coma by now.
Pretty Blonde Girl is a successful big city lawyer. Ten years ago, she couldn’t wait to get out of Hooterville and make her mark on the world in Manhattan. She hasn’t been home for Christmas since Rudolph was just a pup of a reindeer. And she has no intentions of ever going back. Bah! Humbug!
But alas, the family bakery is in peril. Her Mom called just the other day.
“Honey? Do you think you’ll make it home this year? Your Uncle Fred is coming in from Montana. You haven’t seen him in years. And, by the way, Mean Old Corporate Real Estate Guy and Ugly Banker Guy are threatening to tear down the bakery your Grandpa built with his own two hands unless we can come up with 40 bazillion dollars by Christmas Eve.”
PBG begrudgingly gets on a plane. She can go do her lawyer thing, save the day, and get out of that simpleton little hovel by the end of the week. She tells Slick Looking Boyfriend Guy not to worry. She’ll be back in no time. Slick shocks her with, “Not a problem, we’re done anyway. The romance is gone.”
PBG is now glad to be going home for a visit. Giving Real Estate Guy and Banker Guy a ‘what for’ will at least occupy her mind and help her get over SLBG. What she doesn’t expect happens next.
Her plan is to visit Ugly Bank Guy. While walking through the lobby, she bumps into, and I mean literally bumps into, Hunky Old Boyfriend Guy. Right there in the middle of the Hooterville Savings and Loan. Carolers by the front door. Enough Poinsettias and garland to decorate the Titanic. She hasn’t seen or even thought about HOBG since high school.
“PBG, is that you?”
“HOBG, is that you?”
You see, HOBG stayed in Hooterville all these years. Now, he runs the Lumber Yard that has been in the family for 8, no 17 generations. She’s taken back by his good looks but acts like she could care less. He smiles with18 rows of perfect white teeth but remembers the pain of how she left him standing out front of the old Theater with two bags of popcorn when they were in love.
Enter Miss Grandma Looking Lady. She’s the Christmas Hostess for the annual Hooterville Christmas Reindeer Rodeo. She happens to be in the bank with a plate of fresh baked cookies, which she offers to PBG and HOBG. “Sure is good to see you two together again after all these years.” Small towns never forget old romances.
PBG works all week on legal stuff to put Real Estate Guy and Banker Guy under the jail. HOB Guy donates a gob of lumber to the Reindeer Rodeo to rebuild after the fire burned the barn to the ground. Everyone attends the annual Christmas Tree lighting. Gingerbread houses are decorated. The kids’ Christmas Play down at the All Saints Church is a big success.
Gruff Old Friendly Guy down at the Reindeer Rodeo offers PBG some fatherly advice about love and the spirit of Christmas. He’s a cross between Ed Asner and Uncle Joe down at Petticoat Junction. Round, jolly and beaming with wisdom. “Follow your heart, dear. It’s Christmas.”
The week passes quickly. Manhattan girlfriend calls PBG to check in. “No”, says PBG. “I think I’ll stick around to see this through. Things have gotten interesting.”
Christmas Eve comes. PBG and HOB Guy have looked longingly at each other at least 14 times and almost kissed 3 times in the last week. A court order comes through at the last possible minute. Federal Agents show up to cart off Mean Old Real Estate Guy and Ugly Old Banker Guy for bank fraud and illegal real estate schemes. They both have outstanding warrants back in New York.
All the Hoos in Hooterville cheer. PBG has saved the family bakery. Hunky Old Boyfriend Guy pulls her in close. Lights twinkling. Fake snow falling. He’s thinking, “Christmas miracles really do happen.” She’s thinking, “This could the most predictable corny movie I’ve ever played in.”
They kiss. THE END
I don’t know where all that came from. I got lost in the moment. All I really wanted to say is that the Christmas Season is the best. I know it’s lonely for those who have lost loved ones. It can be depressing for those who are struggling to find enough money to pay the bills, much less buy presents. But despite that, there is still nothing quite like Christmas.
A lot goes into Christmas. Ancient miracles. The real kind that matter most. People doing incredibly good things for those who cannot do for themselves. Carols being sung in nursing homes. Presents being wrapped for children who are convinced they will get nothing. Families gathering. Strangers saying, “Merry Christmas” to one another. Chickens making eggnog by the tank full.
Christmas does change, though. The older generation disappears. The homeplace where Christmas was held forever is silent. Children grow up. Grandchildren believe. The Christmas tree by the corner has fewer presents underneath than it used to. Will the kids come home, or will we go there? New traditions are born. New experiences mark the changing season of Christmas and how we celebrate together.
Yet Christmas remains the same. Love wins. Hugs make the world right. Kindness is found in unexpected places. Joy warms the weary soul. Sorrow is overcome. Hurt is forgiven. Grace reaches out to the lonely. And cookies flow out of the kitchen like an avalanche of raisins and oatmeal and chocolate chips and powdered sugar and pecans and sprinkles and icing.
I’ll take Christmas pretty much any way it comes. It really is the best season of all.