I recently took my daughter to see the Jones Beach Holiday Light Show, something I try to do with her each year. One night (sometimes more) each holiday season, we jump in the car and head down the Ocean Parkway headed for the beautiful display of lights along the shoreline.
After paying the rather hefty car entrance fee, everyone turns off their headlights and enjoys the illuminated images of polar bears playing hockey, Santa fishing, musical instruments, angels, and so much more.
Halfway through the show, there is a turn-off where one can park and visit Holiday Village. Here, families can enjoy hot chocolate, make s’mores on open fire pits, take a picture with Santa, or just relax and listen to music in the massive heated tent. Everyone is smiling, full of excitement for the upcoming holiday. While under that tent, all the stresses of the holidays seem to melt away under the giant portable heaters.
On the night we visited, I experienced something else truly wonderful in the Holiday Village. Upon entering the tent, hot cocoa in hand, we were met with smiles from perfect strangers. People actually stopped and allowed others to pass, saying “excuse me” if they happened to bump into you, and some even shared wishes for a Merry Christmas. The warmth of the heaters was equally matched by the warmth of the people within that magical tent.
While sitting on one of the many comfy couches, my daughter and I enjoyed the holiday music playing. As each song came on, those sitting nearby sang along and soon, we were all caroling together. The last song that played while we were there was The 12 Days of Christmas.
I’ve always loved to sing this song but this year the words hit me a little differently than in the past. The area we were in was filled mainly with families of children along with both their mothers AND fathers. Now, I’ve been a single parent for around three years, longer if you take into consideration the years I was married and may as well have been single! During the past three years, I’ve had my hands full and the last thing on my mind was the need or desire to get back into the dating scene.
But 2017 was a big year for me. I made many life changes and began focusing on my health and happiness, both of which I had lost sight of for quite some time. As the year went on, I started to feel a shift in my attitude toward dating and soon signed up (hesitantly, mind you) for one of those online dating sites.
Now, who doesn’t know at least one person who met their husband or wife on Match or eHarmony?!?! One of my best friends had met her husband online, so along with her help and the help of other close friends, I signed up, created my profile, uploaded some pictures, and was off. But I soon found that this process was really NOT for me.
I know what you’re thinking…I have to be patient OR my favorite comment, “Sometimes you have to kiss many frogs before you find your prince.” Well, what if I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to the depressing process of swiping through people’s faces?!?! What if I don’t want to kiss any frogs, especially those that are strange frogs that could have ‘warts’ or some other scary disposition?!?!
Needless to say, I have not enjoyed my time in the online dating scene. If there is something positive that has come out of it, I have realized that I would much rather meet someone, as a friend called it, in a more “organic” way. This way does not include online surveys, cyberspace winks, or awkward photos of shirtless men in bed with their rottweiler.
So, getting back to The 12 Days of Christmas…have you ever listened to the lyrics?? “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree…two turtle doves…three french hens…” and so on. Even though the song was written in the 1700’s, it makes you wonder what kind of true love would give you such terrible gifts!
As I sat in that tent singing along, I wondered about my true love and the gifts he would give me…once I finally found him, of course. So, in the spirit of the holiday I decided to write my own version of the song to my future mystery man.
Here goes, starting from 12 and working my way down:
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love should give to me…
12 jokes for laughing,
11 spontaneous moments,
10 simple gestures,
9 bedroom breakfasts,
8 warm embraces,
7 passionate kisses,
6 words of encouragement,
5 hugs for my kid,
4 vows of honesty,
3 love letters,
2 hands to hold,
and a lifetime of loving me.
Whether you are surrounded by your true love or a tent full of caroling strangers, I wish you all a holiday season and upcoming new year filled with love, kindness, and peace.
Love and Peace ♥☺