Wednesday, December 31, 2014


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? 


  1. Very interesting angle on the holidays. Thought provoking.

    And yes, I make resolutions. The one I never keep is staying on my diet. This year, though, I have added motivation with my son's upcoming wedding. Don't want to look like Jabba the Hut in the photos LOL.

    I will try to write at least 3 pages a day, a suggestion made to me by Janet Evanovich on day when a friend dragged me to one of her book signings. 3 pages a day is about 100 pages a month. three months and we have a book! (Haven;t kept that one so far either).

    To all my Avalon colleagues - Happy New Year and may 2015 bring you Mega-sales!!

    1. Good luck with the resolutions, Kathye. Thanks for taking time to make a comment. Three pages a day sounds doable...

  2. Hi there, Carol. Thanks for your thought provoking post. No resolutions for me this year other than to worry less about every 'little' thing! Happy New Year to all. x ms

  3. Hi Margie!
    I intended to worries...disregard the negative and never give up! Guess I
    Happy New Year and good luck in all you attempt.

  4. Thought-provoking post, Carol. The nice thing about that lady looking over your shoulder and showing up in the reflections is that she offers an opportunity to carry on those beloved traditions while she adds her own special touch.

    Do I look back over the past year? Oh yes! Do I make resolutions? Nope. Learned the hard way not to bother.

  5. I'm with you on the resolutions, Sandy. Have a Happy New Year!

  6. Hi Carol--
    A nice post that I can relate to--keeping up with traditions while creating new ones. And of course that woman who can't find her keys or recipes or...

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Victoria!
    Happy New Year!