Hallmark Hometown Happy

By Michele Savannah Zirkle - Contributing Columnist

Jolly jingle bells and Ho, Ho, Ho indeed! Wow is Santa’s sleigh on lightning speed or what! If your life is anything like mine, you’re in a kaleidoscope of activity, some holiday-related and some not. Most days, I’m buzzing along the outer belt of Columbus with all the other Wazers—drivers using the Waze app to avoid congested traffic, road hazards and police with radars.

As I’m zooming forward, the universe is screaming, “Slow down, girl,” and I’ve decided to listen! The crystalline glory of a snow-drenched hillside escapes the nervous driver hurrying to work, but the unexpected detour along the Blue Ridge Parkway can be a spectacular day trip rather than an arduous journey depending on, and I want to relish my ride.

So, Ho, Ho, Ho and let it snow, I say, needing the fluffy, white encouragement to tap the brakes a bit more amid what seems an unusually hectic holiday season. Bitter cold nights and hot honey tea have lured me into deeper bubble baths and longer blanket-cuddle time than I permitted myself even in the sand-surfing, lazy days of summer. It only took a nail in my tire, losing my cellphone, a possible retinal detachment and my hip “going out” on me—all in a week—to get me to slide into the slower lane of traffic in Hallmark Channel’s “Hometown Christmas Town” where I recently purchased a home—Portsmouth, Ohio.

Getting my key stuck inside the lock at my house and my shock at the business I now call “Two Men and No Truck” showing up at my storage unit with no truck in which to transport my belongings, added chaos to my challenging week, but hey, chaos in cosmos talk is perfection! So, as I peruse the messy sales racks at the mall, I hum the mantra, “Everything is perfectly imperfect.”

Charlie Brown heralds this message by choosing the tiniest tree in the classic holiday show, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” What we think we see is what we see. Nothing is barren and ugly unless we imagine it so. Our optimism, like Charlie’s, is contagious, our thoughts as vital in determining what we see as is our occipital lobe.

Lucy, Linus and the crew shower what they perceive to be a raggedy tree with strands of lights and boughs full of love until the tree transforms into a glistening symbol of love and celebration.

Like my favorite holiday gang, I choose love. I choose to see my life as a tree dripping with homemade ornaments, some sacredly scratched, some fondly faded from the enjoyment found within each miraculous moment, but all an integral element of my journey from my deepest root to the star above my head.

Most importantly, I choose to slow down long enough to step into the Popsicle stick picture frames of possibilities like Alice steps into her Looking Glass. I see myself big. I see myself small. I see that it doesn’t really matter at all. The realities in each are different and unique to me.

A nail on a cross. A nail in my tire. A hope sprung eternal. A sigh in the tub. All of it is perfectly balanced to create harmony—that Peace on Earth that Linus so cheerfully shares.

As I inch toward the holidays, a special thanks to whoever invented the “Gift bag” that makes wrapping as easy as kissing my grandbaby, Kalmin. Yes, baby, it is cold outside and warm in my heart. May you all be hometown happy wherever you are!


By Michele Savannah Zirkle

Contributing Columnist