Make Yourself A Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich  

The holidays are here. And times are tough. Unemployment, gridlock in Washington, wars, financial chaos and so much uncertainty. Sometimes it just gets hard to take. I yearn for simpler times. When the holidays were strings of cranberries and popcorn on the tree. The lights didn’t blink. And when one went out you just replaced it instead of buying a whole new strand. Stockings were filled with fruit as well as candy and hand knit by mom or grandma, not imported by the dollar store. Christmas carols filled the house sung by Andy Williams and Nat King Cole, not Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. Gifts were personally wrapped not just dropped into gift bags and topped with tissue paper. Christmas trees were live, not plastic and pre-lit. Even Charlie Brown’s tree was better than that. I miss the smell, sweeping needles up after the holidays and giving the tree water like the family pet. I miss sharing my home with a real balsam. We have become pre-shrunk, pre-wrapped, pre-sorted and pre-set in our lives. Maybe we need to re-boot. I recently found something better than Xanax to combat the blues. I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My spirits lifted and the gloom of the day disappeared. I re-connected with my inner child and re-veled in the re-alization that there are many things I need to re-visit. Life is filled with challenges, many brought on by our own actions, or lack of actions. Waiting for a fairy godmother to turn your life around with the wave of a magic wand is just a fairytale. If I want a simpler life, I must simplify. If I want to listen to reason, I must open my ears and if I want to look for answers I must open my eyes. Change is there for the making. Opportunity comes from within. Re-member what you love the most and re-turn to that feeling as often as you can. Visit the Christmas tree lot. Smell the balsam. Let those great memories come alive and re-plenish your soul. They say you can’t go home again. But for most of us, we really never leave. We just wander. Become the engineer of your own toy train this holiday season and get back on track. And when times get tough, make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Re-peat as needed…

Happy Holidays,             J.B. Lester; Publisher