images_271This is the season of holiday music, bright lights, and bottled memories. I do not know why the Holiday Season brings out recollections of great times of the past, but it does. We are in a more festive mood, a few days off from work, and watch crowds of people running in and out of stores. Advertisements for “THE” holiday dinner and preparations made for a whole generation or maybe just a few.

Of course, we hear the tinkle of bells and see the big kettle waiting for a few spare coins to share with the unlucky people and children. Coat drives collect warm clothing for the unprepared, and Toys for Tots give children a gift they never suspected. This is the season for sharing and includes memories.

This takes me back to Florida and my bottled memories. I remember when we picked out our TREE early to get a good one, and then had to keep it outside until the last-minute for decorating or all the needles would be on the floor. Sometimes, we even strung lights on the wall behind the tree as it could be a fire danger. But one thing I remember with a big smile, were the ‘bubble lights.’ I even found them again for my own tree to share the joy with my son.

I remember going to services at our church on Christmas Eve, a tradition not to be ignored. Playing a part in the story or singing, I waved at my parents. Then the same thing happened when my son had parts to play and I received the wave. Today, I prefer the early service with the kids in sheep costumes and the ‘baahing,’ the Wise men stumbling over their long outfits and songs sung by children of all ages. And yes, the kids still wave without embarrassment to their parents and friends.

As a child, there were grandparents, parents, friends to share the festivities. Then, when I had a child of my own, we spent the ‘night before’ at my parents so we could be home and wait for the big man in the red suit. No chimney, but the back door was left unlocked, just in case.

I remember water-skiing on a lake by our house on Christmas Day. Why? No snow in Florida. I remember when we ate the Big Dinner, on the porch as it was to hot in the house to enjoy all the trimmings.

This is YOUR time to let the memories from your bottled jar out and have your own ‘I Remember When.’ How about a short story or the plot for a new novel on some of these memories for your characters? Excitement occurs when you least expect it, and who knows, love is just around the corner for the character who never thought it could happen.