We’re past the halfway mark in 2013. Can you believe it? How is it possible for time to pass as quickly as it does?
When my holiday romance novel, The Christmas Dare, was released in early December ’12, one of the tag lines in the promotional materials was ”Romance is never out of season.” I didn’t want people to think that this was strictly a Christmas read, simply because that word was in the title. And I have been pleasantly surprised that I see units sold every single month. I’m glad other people feel the same way I do about holiday romances. I can read them any time of the year and get completely swept away in the stories. In fact, I have been indulging in one of my guilty pleasures this past week…watching the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. I log a lot of hours every December sitting on my couch and tuning into see whatever romance movie they have scheduled every night during that month.
So when I was watching Love Begins (based on Janette Oke’s book) last weekend, I was thrilled to see advertisements for their upcoming programs as they celebrated Christmas in July. My only problem was that there were too many great titles to choose from, and I couldn’t possibly watch them all! Christmas Song. The Christmas Card. Hitched for the Holidays. A Bride for Christmas. And, of course, all of Debbie Macomber’s wonderful holiday movies. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The choices have seemed nearly limitless this week. Thankfully, I can Tivo them and watch them as I have spare time. But my DVR is down to only 33% available space.
In thinking about what a delight it is to have the opportunity to watch Christmas movies in the middle of the year, I was reminded of that tagline for my book. Romance is never out of season. We don’t want to be treated special only on birthdays or anniversaries or on Valentine’s Day. We like to know we’re appreciated and loved all year long. Similarly, the Christmas spirit shouldn’t be confined only to a few weeks at the close of the calendar year. We should strive to find ways to give to others all during the year.
I thought about my husband and how he cuts the grass at a vacant house my parents own. The house has been for sale for ages. The yard is HUGE – way bigger than our own yard. But my husband mows the grass, weed eats and edges the lawn faithfully without accepting a dime for all the hours of work that he does. He considers it a gift to them.
My oldest sister often offers to pick up my mother’s prescriptions at the pharmacy every month. And if she picks them up, she pays for them. And never asks to be reimbursed. My other sister will give her manicures and pedicures. It’s a way they can give back to Mom.
My colleague’s nine-year-old daughter has a friend whose parents are in the midst of one of the worst custody hearings I’ve ever personally known about. It all comes to a head this coming week in court. My friend had a trip to Disney World planned to celebrate her daughter’s birthday. Even though it wasn’t something she initially intended to do, she included this little girl in her trip to give her a positive diversion in the midst of what could be a life-changing event, depending on the outcome of the hearings. She told me she felt like it was just something she really needed to do, and even though adding a non-relative to the mix totally changes the dynamics (and adds a lot of expense), she feels like she is doing something very important and worthwhile. It’s a way she can give something special to this child at a time when it is needed most.
We should all look around us and find ways we can bless others. Whether you call it giving back, doing a good deed, or paying it forward, it doesn’t really matter. In the end, regardless of what you’ve done for someone else, you’ll probably be the one who finds the experience most rewarding.