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A small town "Hallmark" Christmas

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Fireflys Critters Can KnitI found out this weekend the critters I have been making are able to knit. I was not aware of their having that particular talent, but I came downstairs early this morning and found three of them sitting around in a little circle knitting away and having a wee chat by candle light. Somehow or other they had managed to get ahold of some little finishing nails to use as knitting needles, and they had bits of my yarn. It was all very sweet, and this one was kind enough to sit for a photo. (I could be wrong, but I believe their intention is to contribute squres to my Gracious Parcels project.) Recently my husband and I have watched two or three made for TV Christmas movies. You know, the type that is set in a sterotypical small town where someone from a city somewhere for some reason ends up in a charming small town. Inevitably they meet someone and fall in love over the Christmas holiday, and there is snow, and there are kind faced folks, and Christmas music magically dances on the air. My husband pointed out there stories often include a barn with horses and a fire, and the horses have to be saved. We have mused over the fantasy people seem to have, or that movie makers seem to have, about that kind of scenario. What is it about small towns, anyway? Why is that picked as the setting for the perfect Christmas? Who are these Hollywood people trying to fool anyway? Fireflys Critters Can Sing and Play the BanjoAnother steryotypical element I have noticed in television shows and movies alike is that so many main characters work for ad agencies, or marketing firms, or they are writers of some kind or another. I've been commenting to my husband about that, and wondering why it is that Hollywood writers seem to think everybody has that kind of a job? What is up with that, anyway? Can't they imagine a different kind of job? One day last week I drove to one of the nearby villages to pick up more Gracious Parcels packages. While I was there I had to stop in at the one little general store in town to pick up a loaf of bread. As I was walking back to the pickup truck, on this charming little small town street, with the charming little small town storefronts, crunching through the snow and enjoying the Christmas music that was playing on the street in the town I looked around quizzically and a bit in wonder. "Wow", I thought to myself, "I am in one of those movies." A couple of nights later, my husband and I went to another small town about twenty five miles from here for a Christmas tour of a restored Victorian era home, complete with costumed carolers and mulled cider. The house is situated on a handsome street among other beautiful homes from an earlier time. Fresh snow carpeted the neighborhood, and we walked along hand-in-hand on the snowy sidewalk toward the house. There was a very distinct feeling of Christmas in the air, and there I was hand-in-hand with a great guy who I just recently married. And I had that strange feeling again. I said outloud to him in a whisper, "Honey, I am in one of those movies. It feels like I am a character in one of those movies." We both chuckled. Friday of last week I spent most of the day working for one particular client ... my favorite client in fact. I have been working on a copy re-write for his website and had come up with what I thought was a quoteable slogan for his homepage. I was working on a graphic mockup to make a presentation to him. It was a very productive day, and I felt very good with what I came up with. So, I emailed it to him and pitched the idea. He phoned me later to say he loved the concept and the mock-up. It is a wonderful feeling when you pull something off and make a client that happy. A Detail Shot of One of Fireflys CrittersLater, as my husband and I drove along on a little country road to go into town to buy ingredients for the Christmas cookies we would be baking over the weekend at his sister's house, I was telling him what a great day I had and how things went with my client. I told him how strange it is that I don't have specific educational credentials or training that led me into the field I am in and yet here I am writing marketing copy all the time, writing website content, writing my blog, and even at times designing ads and ad campaigns. As I was saying that to him I said, "Oh my gosh ... I am a character in one of those movies! Here I am, newly arrived in a rural area, met a great guy, married him, I work freelance on a farm as a writer and do some marketing and advertising work, and we have a barn, and there's snow, and its Christmas!" No horses though, so I think our barn is safe. And, add to it the whole thing of going to that fair back at the end of September and entering pies and biscuits in their competition and winning blue ribbons. I mean, what is this anway? What is going on? Okay, now I might be arriving very late to the ball, but honestly, it is all just now dawning on me. Is that what some of you have meant when you have made comments that I'm living a fairy tale life? This is so strange, so weird. My life has become a Hallmark movie ... or something. I am living one of those movies. I am dazed. Perhaps you all got this before I did. Perhaps I have been too caught up in the living of my new life to take a viewpoint exterior to it and see how much it resembles certain movies I have seen in the past. It is very, very weird to suddenly feel as if you are a character in a story. Is someone writing me and all of this? Am I real, or am I a figment of your imagination, or my imagination ... or worse, am I a figment of the imagination of some Hollywood playwright? I think I need to go have a strong cup of coffee. If I go down there and find that several of you have magically appeared around my fireplace with cups of coffee and knitting projects in hand, I think I might not be too awfully surprised the way things are going just about now. Fireflys Christmas Story Book CoverOn another subject, I am now offering paid downloads of the eBook of my story, "A Christmas Story". At least fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to our local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate. The story is one I wrote, with illustrations by my sister, and self published back in the eighties when my children were little. A that time, as a young mother I wanted to write a Christmas story that would inspire my children to look at Christmas not so much as a time when they were receiving gifts from others, but instead as a time to be giving of themselves to others, whether it be by gifts or by actions. My sister works at a private school in Soutern California, and many years ago she began reading my story aloud to various classes in the school. The children of the school loved the story so much, it became an annual tradition she continues to this day. I hope you will consider downloading a copy of this book ... and more importantly, if you do download it I hope you will read it aloud to a child in your life and pass the message of love and goodwill along. Meanwhile, I wish you a beautiful day. ~firefly


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