Cozy Sweater Smile

Finding that perfect sweater for the holidays can sometimes be harder than biting into a peppermint candy cane. It’s sticky, but once you find that perfect sweater giddiness spreads joy in the eyes like that of candy in a child’s hand. And who says you can’t get one in all your favorite colors. That’s what I did…

A new sweater brings hope for the holidays and renews me in a way I’m grateful for. The softness of its cotton reminds me of pure, white snowflakes and the beautiful wonderland they create when millions come together. I love snuggling up with creamy coffee and a Nicholas Sparks novel only to read a snowy afternoon away. Word after word comforts me, yet frustrates me on the concept of gushy love stories.

Why do we read and then watch these gushy movies filled with the ideal, yet seemingly unrealistic train of events? Nicholas Sparks, the ruler of love stories, does not let his characters off easy. At least one will find love and one will die. I just don’t understand why I love, love, love these kinds of stories.

I do know, however, after I’ve seen a Nicholas Sparks movie (just recently seen Best of Me) I have this overwhelming experience that makes me question everything. Everything except this…

Love stories are life. It’s real life whether we want to believe it or not. There are no happy endings because it’s an ending. What’s exciting is a beginning. If you want a good love story, there is no ending. It lives on forever, much like the Christmas Spirit.

There is something magical in reading my favorite novel in a cozy sweater. Its plushy knit wraps around me like a million tiny marshmallows that should be in hot chocolate and inevitably makes a cozy-sweater-smile appear on my face.

Red, glitter gold, and green bulbs hang off branches on my Christmas tree as my tortoiseshell kitten paws them to the ground where she hides them under her belly. She too is soft, and smells like a pillow. The stockings are put up near lit-up garland and colorful sugar is sprinkled onto Christmas cookies. All while wearing my cozy-sweater-smile. This is me, this is real life. And this is what a genuine smile looks like.

Joy to the world is really how I feel. Joy for life, joy for every living thing on earth. This is why I love Christmas. To get this comfort feeling of love and kindness and actually see it and live it throughout the holidays. Now that my spirit is up high in Christmas joys, I need to start my Christmas shopping. Black Friday? No way. Everyone deserves to have off on Thanksgiving and Christmas. So what will I do instead? Wrap myself in my cozy sweater and shop from my laptop. This way I’m not just grabbing gifts and running to the register. I’m able to actually think of each person and show them how much joy they bring me.

Happy Birthday to a Special Friend! (Get Her Book For FREE!)

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When I transferred to a four-year college I had very few people that I knew, but then there was Jenna, who also transferred. She was an English major and I was a psychology major. My senior year I took an Outdoor Writing course with Jenna (my senior year being the best). She was working on writings that I as well enjoy. We became close and soon I was walking all over the University city to get fresh air with this petite and friendly blonde named Jenna. During winter breaks we would meet up for Starbucks and walk to a close by Reserve. And when the weather was hot, we’d walk downtown for soft-served ice cream! College was easier with someone who had the same career interests. She inspired me to create my own blog because of the amazing blog she has, The Jenna Devin Blog. With her inspiration and the help of my intuition, I wrote my first novel and learned what I truly love to do.

Today is Jenna’s birthday, and I would like to thank her for the great college experience. She is a true sweetheart that deserves the best. Today, I wish her a happy birthday! In honor of her birthday, Jenna is giving away her book, Reflections on Life From an Optimistic Romantic, for free in the Kindle version. She writes short stories, poems, and does photography. She is currently writing and searching for a career in editing. She is one true friend and I’m thankful to have had her in my college life.

Happy Birthday Jenna!

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