Recent posts on holiday lights brings to mind an item I read in the newspaper. At that time, I found the column amusing, but now I'm not so sure. The Christmas lights do add to the beauty of holiday decorations and displays. However, all the additional light and intense focus on holiday traditions doesn't always bring happy results.
Any smooth surface around these lights will give off reflections. There's no escape from the image of the gray haired woman staring back at you when you pass a store window or mirror. At first you think the image resembles your deceased mother. Perhaps you turn quickly to get a better glimpse of someone passing on the street behind you, but see no one familiar. You may dust a table or glance at a framed photo and see a reflection of the stranger again. She looks familiar, and yet she doesn't. But she is always there, peeping over your shoulder when you pass a light reflecting surface. When you can't find a favorite book or misplace your keys, you recall how your mother once did the same things.
The impression gets worse when you attempt to pass on family traditions. Recipes can't be found, or attempts to cook your family favorites go awry. You're desperate to recreate memories from the past, yet your attempts fall short of your expectations.
All the while, that older woman appears behind you like a shadow, and you're certain she is always frowning. You're disappointed at what you consider your failure to rekindle traditions. Yet guests compliment your decorations. Others love the refreshments or ask your secret of creating such a wonderful holiday scent in your home.
But you can be certain not everyone likes the same thing, and that is true of writers and readers. Even the best of friends aren't going to like the same movies, music or books, and that is good news. Each person will notice something different. You may love the extra hint of sage in the holiday stuffing, while your family may love the moist/dry consistency. And you can bet that shadowy image is going to be there, and she will always forget some detail...
The good news is that all readers don't read your book to look for mistakes. Most people read purely for pleasure, and even that reflection in the mirror smiles some of the time.Now...about those other reflections, the ones you assumed this post was about... Do you look back on the past year and make New Years' Resolutions?