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.

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