I spent a good part of today pondering today’s topic. Let’s see… what’s a popular topic that starts with C?
I am not going to write about the Microbe That Must Not Be Named. That damn thing already has me wearing a mask in public when it isn’t Halloween and disinfecting my 12-packs of Diet Coke before I drink them. It’s not getting any PR from me.
So, fellow quarantinos, let’s talk about something slightly more fun, shall we? How about… Christmas! No, I’m not one of those bizarre creatures who starts listening to Christmas music before Labor Day. I’m actually the local Grinch that gripes about the fact that Christmas crap shows up in stores before Thanksgiving. I didn’t even put up a tree this year.
So why the heck am I writing about Christmas? Because it starts with C and isn’t a) one of George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say on television (Google it – and note that most of them are now said on television every 1.3 seconds–except the ones that start with C), or b) that unmentionable microbe. Oh, yeah, and c) because I want an excuse to promote the oldest post on my blog. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
I’ve been thinking about Christmas more than usual, because I’ve been reading the 2019 Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas collection. Yes, you read that right. Your friendly neighborhood writer of stories about psycho killers is reading a sappy Christmas book. In April. Someone tell Satan to take off the ice skates before he hurts himself.
I bought the book a couple of months ago (yes, after Christmas), because I’d decided to submit a piece for next year’s collection and wanted to see some examples of the kinds of stories they publish. The first draft of that piece is the oldest post on this blog, Christmas With Mom. It’s the most painful piece I’ve ever written and one of the ones I’m most proud of. And this whole post is really just an excuse to sucker you into reading it. So go do that. And I’ll know if you didn’t, because I have nothing better to do than refresh my blog stats every 1.3 minutes.
But seriously, I’ve found the Chicken Soup Christmas collection to be a wonderful escape from the current reality. I can dip into it and spend a few minutes–or even an hour–lost in a world of snowy evenings, simple faith, and children who still believe in Santa Claus. It’s a series of glimpses into a simpler time, a time when people could meet without Zoom and hug without fear.
You know, the old days.
In yesterday’s post, I said that one of the themes of my A to Z Challenge would be discovery. And that Christmas book, something I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to read, has been a delightful discovery. I might have to buy next year’s volume. Unless my piece is accepted–then I’ll get a copy for free.
What bright spots have you discovered in these last few weeks? What bits of unexpected joy? Please share them in the comments. We all need ’em.