I have long thought that merriness was an essential element of happiness. After all, happiness has been one of my main goals since I first saw this comic decades ago. I still have the original newspaper clipping somewhere and a long succession of photocopies has hung close by my desk ever since.
And this time of year I am now reminded that merriness is an essential element of happiness. It was not always so. Our family Christmas' when I was a kid are best left unremembered (with Dad stressed about traveling half across the nation each year for us to visit his parents, Mom stressed by the season in general, and my sister and I hunkered down together...yeah, leave that in the past). Then some dear friends slowly taught me that Christmas could be a pleasant time with good food and thoughtful gifts.
Ultimately I met the lady who I can only hope to share the rest of my life with (at 18 years, we're off to a good start). She's the one that put the Merry in Christmas.
Merriness was my six-year-old daughter to be, magically mystified by the old sleigh bells that were rattled above the roof of her room late in the night. It was the giggles of excitement as we all three inspected what wonders Santa had wrought for us. And it was a sense of completeness and family that I had never imagined possible in my wildest imaginings of how I would achieve Linus' "Outrageously Happy!" (Note even the exclamation point because he is so excited by it and sure that it is possible.)
Curiously, for someone initially raised to believe that Christmas was a danger zone best to be avoided at any cost, I have come to love the season. The friends, the good food, and the thoughtful gifts were a great beginning. But it was the family that taught me so much about merriness! (With the exclamation point!)
This has now lead me to write so many Christmas tales and my latest Christmas novel will launch on Christmas Day because I just couldn't help myself...I wrote one this year, Christmas at Peleliu Cove, and felt so merry about it that I just plunged in and wrote another, Zachary's Christmas, -a Night Stalkers White House Christmas romance.
Look for it on Christmas Day and I wish you IMMENSE MERRINESS this season!