Thanks for lights in the dark afternoons and evenings.
Thanks for people saying “Happy holidays,” because it takes a little more thought and goodwill to say those things than the regular “Have a nice day.”
Thanks for store clerks who are patient and cheerful, despite the near-insanity of so many shoppers and the past-insanity experience of listening to Christmas music for hours on end.
Thanks for Christmas music that I choose, carols and classical and even “Dominick the Italian Donkey.”
Thanks for decorations—red, green, gold, silver, blue. Thanks for sparkles and velvet and satin, a richness of textures and beauty.
Thanks for the layer cake of memories, family Christmases with their ebb and flow of laughter and tension, fake fights over the color of the star on the Christmas tree and who will do the dishes, real fights where my dad yelled and we all dispersed to our quiet places. There was still so much sweetness. We were still lucky.
Thanks for sledding, for speed and exhilaration and cold cheeks.
Thanks for dogs and cats to cuddle with as the wind blows outside.
Thanks for fires in the fireplace and books to read, curled up in an easy chair.
Thanks for the delight of finding a gift that a loved one will really like, and thanks for loved ones who don’t care if the gift is perfect or not.
Thanks for bright red cardinals at the feeder and a yard full of winter birds.
Thanks for pears and petit fours, corn casserole and stuffing, peppermint ice cream and all the kinds of pie.
Thanks for people seeking the goodness in others, and bringing it forth by that seeking.
Thanks for concerts and caroling, for the familiarity of little ceremonies like putting up the tree.
Thanks for the dozens of animal figurines I inherited, the ones my mom put up around a crèche while I was growing up and I still do now.
Thanks for something to look forward to as the days get shorter.
Thanks for the flurry of friends asking for my snail mail address and me asking for theirs in return, and the jumble of cards received and sent—never all finished before Christmas because I have an untidy abundance of friends far and wide.
Thanks for nieces and nephews flying in their sock feet across hardwood floors and playing board games and making bad jokes.
Thanks for friends posting their gratitude all through November, a kind of incantation against the chaos.
Thanks for the end of November, the month my mother died, and the beginning of December, month of colors and lights that she loved most because us kids had time off from school.
Your fan despite your imperfections,