My Christmas Carol

New Year’s Day is a big deal for those who live near Pasadena, California, all due to the Tournament of Roses Festivities. 

But when January 1st falls on a Sunday, it becomes an “un-holiday.” No New Year’s Eve Parties. No Parade. No Rose Bowl Game. 

I was alone on this bleak, cold New Year’s Eve, slumped on my couch, surfing the television channels. Let’s face it. These have been a miserable couple of years. Bah humbug!

When A Christmas Carol popped on the screen, I paused, even though I’d seen it hundreds of times. Ah yes, good ol’ bitter Scrooge. The longer I watched, the heavier my eyelids got. The last words I heard were from Jacob Marley warning Scrooge he would be awakened by three bells announcing the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

I’m not sure how long I slept, but I was awakened by the bells of my cell phone with a text message from my friend, “Meet us at the Pub to bring in the new year.” 

I was hesitant because it was pouring rain. Why not? I have nothing else to do.

I arrived drenched as a rat. I took off my coat and sat at the table with my friends.

“Leslie Smith? Is that you?” this woman’s voice boomed from the table next to ours. No one has called me by my maiden name in decades. “I’m sure you don’t remember me. We went to high school together. You were the bomb! I can’t believe it’s really you. You are standing there! It’s crazy.” 

“I was?” This news came as a surprise to me.

She turned to her friends, “You guys don’t understand, she was something in high school. Really, the most popular girl in school. I’m so honored to see you. My name is Carol. But I’m sure you don’t remember me.”

She was right. I didn’t remember her. “Thanks so much.” I gave Carol a warm hug. That voice from my past lifted my dreary spirits.

At the stroke of midnight, the Pub erupted, toasting in the new year.

Suddenly, my friend stood up and began loudly singing, “in days of auld lang syne. Cheers, everyone!” We all touched our glasses together. “Every time cocktail glasses clink together – A drunk angel gets a new liver.” She shouted, and everyone laughed.

“I wrote that.” I was thrilled, having never been quoted before.

I felt a bit better when I returned home to my couch, until, “Oh, good golly!” I jumped, “Lucky, how did you get so wet?” I shouted at my soaking golden retriever. 

The two front doors that I had locked were now wide open. How, I wondered?

 I’ve heard that opening your front door on New Year’s Eve will let all the bad luck out, and all the good luck will come into your house. 

Tonight, was I visited by three spirits? Were the events at the Pub my past and present? They are different movies, but they have the same idea. Now, could these opened doors be my future?

I stood stunned. Maybe just maybe, life isn’t so miserable after all. Even with all these challenges, there is much to be grateful for – my wonderful children, friends, and life. 

I ran out through those opened doors and banged pots and pans, “Welcome, 2023! Bring us all good luck this year. We desire it. Happy New Year!”

Live with Waffletude.

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