One of my annual holiday traditions is reading the latest novels by my favorite authors, one of whom is Richard Paul Evans. Evans masterfully draws you into the main characters’ lives and makes you want to turn each page to find out what will happen next.
And that’s exactly what happened to me Wednesday when I started reading “The Mistletoe Secret” on an AirChoice One flight from Chicago to Mason City. Since I didn’t have enough time to finish the book before the plane landed, I couldn’t wait to do a little bedtime that night!
One reason I was drawn into the book is because one of the main characters, who identifies herself online as “LBH,” starts a blog and wonders if anyone is reading it. She writes:
Dear Universe, Is anyone out there?
She continues to post about her overwhelming loneliness, striking a chord on the lonely heartstrings of a young gentleman who lives more than 2,000 miles away. He feels such a strong connection with this woman that he takes vacation from his sales job and boards a plane bound for Salt Lake City to find her.
Without ruining the storyline, I will share with you that Alex Bartlett’s adventure takes him to places off the beaten path. Along the way, this Florida native creates new memories that will probably become new holiday traditions like snow skiing and chopping down his own Christmas tree.
Experiences make memories.
When I think of the holidays I enjoyed as I kid, I remember time spent making ornaments or baking cookies with my mom. I remember only a few of the presents I received, but those that I remember are really the gifts that provided an experience like roller skates and a bicycle. (Oh, how I wish Santa would bring me a lift ticket this year! It’s been nearly 18 years since I last skied down on Colorado mountain. It’s been four years since I’ve skied in Minnesota.)
Experiences don’t have to lavish nor complex. One mom I know has her children unwrap a new book (or used book that’s “new to them”) each night as a way to countdown to Christmas. Another mom lets her little ones help make Christmas goodies and shares her kid-tested recipes online. For years, I’ve wanted to take my kids ice skating at Brenton Plaza… maybe this will be the year!