By H. JEAN SHIELD
Special to The Breeze
This is it. All procrastinators beware, you are really out of time. It is one thing to plant your garden late, trim your bushes late or even water everything late, celebrating Christmas late is only excusable for late, or lost loved ones. Example, airline breakdowns, blizzard conditions or servicemen and women who cannot come home, yet.
Wrapping Christmas presents late, and going to bed late on Christmas Eve is OK. Even dashing out late Christmas Eve to get one more box of candy, or one more poinsettia can work. Otherwise just be brave and smile in that secret way that means you do have everything for Christmas, but just cannot seem to find it all.
Been there, done that. I spent lots of years coming up with secret gifts from a closet, or the garage.
Over the years the holiday season changes, little ones grow up, older ones are gone forever, the holiday purse is not as bountiful and large family gatherings are just not happening with so many families moving around in the world today.
We never give up. There is always hope that the kids and grandkids will somehow make it. That rattling the purse strings will enable us to give more to others, and that there will be snow for Christmas - somewhere!
I actually enjoyed some snow in December, about 50 years ago. It was in the Florida Panhandle, Fort Walton Beach, to be specific. It was just one about a week before Christmas and, of course, the beautiful flakes melted as they hit the ground, but it was snow in Florida.
Funny how an experience like that lingers on and comes to mind with a smile. never mind the Michigan towering snows I was raised with and the New Jersey snows when our kids spent time sledding down the steep slopes of the local state park. It's the little things that count as much, or even more, than the big events in our lives.
The holiday season brings hope that the world will be more peaceful, people will be more happy and that we can somehow all learn to live together in love and harmony.
A tall order, and one we will be struggling with for some time to come, but the thoughts are there, that it is not too late. We must always find a time to think of better things to come, better ways to live and grow and prosper with one another.
This hope for a better world and life for us all is somehow ingrained in the human being and it is at its best during the holiday season when we are reminded of its need. Don't let it be too late. Now is the time to spread cheer, friendliness, tolerance and hope to each other as we celebrate this holiday season, each in our own way.
The holiday season will pass soon enough. It is up to us all to do any good that we may do, throughout this time.
People who cannot get out and about to greet and shake hands or join in any social events use the phone. There are plenty of people who will appreciate a friendly phone call, or a happy message left, just for them.
I notice more young people out there in the world sharing and caring, that is going to be a tremendous boost as they grow and start running our world.
Not everyone in the world has to think exactly alike; there's plenty of room for a variety of shakers and movers.
We have a choice, do something good, do something bad, or do nothing at all.
This holiday season, make the first choice work for all of us.
Gardeners, don't think this time of the year lets you off the hook, you have the same choices, however, taking a couple of days off won't hurt anything.
H. Jean Shields is past president of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.