Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Fiona McGier's Holiday Memories
My favorite part of the holiday season is giving cookies away to people who don't expect to get anything from me. I like to surprise people who are just doing their job, but who go above and beyond just providing customer service. These are the kind of folks who may not like their job (and having worked retail for years, I know it is a difficult job to like, what with crabby customers and the stress of being on your feet for many hours a day); but they don't let that stop them from being friendly and appearing genuinely happy to see their "regulars" who are weekly customers.
I started doing this a few years ago, when my kids had all graduated from grade school to middle school. I wasn't making up cookie dishes for their teachers anymore, but I still made large batches out of habit. Then I thought I might surprise the guys at the local meat market, since they never complain when I need a special cut of meat, but instead they tease me about being a demanding customer and they pretend to pass me off to each other. They chat with me about camping, and they used to buy Girl Scout cookies from me when I was my daughter's troop leader.
I then began to bring little cookie presents to others as well...the guy who always smiles and chats briefly when I buy my soup at Panera...my hair-dresser...the people who advise me about my accounts at the bank...the guy at the Chevy dealer who always checks in my family's various cars when they need work, and who has been known to give excellent advice, including to check things out for no-charge just because I've been a regular for over 20 years.
There are others, different ones every year. But you get the idea. What better way is there to thank someone for being thoughtful year-round, than to surprise them with a sweet little something as a way of showing your appreciation for being treated as a friend, not just a customer, all year long? And you will rediscover for yourself the reality of the truism: Tis better to give than to receive.
Happy holidays. No matter how you celebrate, may it be sweetened with the love of family and close friends, and made memorable with crunchy, sweet, home-made carbs.
Love Therapy, by Fiona McGier
Buy Link: http://www.wingsepress.com/Bookstore/Love%20Therapy.htm
Miguel Reyes is the 4th child in his family, after the oldest, his sister Rosa (her story is in Love By Design), and his two older brothers, Enrique and Pablo. The next in birth order after him is his sister Catalina, whose story is told in Analysis of Love...in which Miguel watched helplessly as his favorite sister, the family's "wild child", learned that love can be both painful, as well as wonderful. And he wondered if he would ever get a chance to experience his own happily-ever-after.
The family lore is that once a Reyes man meets the one meant to be his wife, he will know it. Years ago, Miguel thought he had found her, much earlier than he expected to. But she left town, taking a piece of his heart with her. Recently she has come back to town, carrying a few secrets as her baggage...now what?
After he got another drink, a double this time, Miguel looked around the room for Alicia. At first he didn’t see her anywhere; then a crowd of men laughed, and a few of them moved around, and he caught a glimpse of her, standing in the middle of the group, laughing. She had taken off her jacket, so that now she was wearing only an olive green spaghetti-strapped dress, made of some sort of silky fabric that shimmered when she moved.
It was obvious from the simple lines of the dress that she also took very good care of herself, since she was only slightly curvier than she had been twenty years ago. And the simple gold necklace that she wore around her neck drew attention to her neck and shoulders, which had always been some of her most attractive features. Of course, her cleavage was also eye-catching, especially since the style of the dress did not allow for her to be wearing a bra, and her nipples poked ever so slightly into the fabric.
Miguel felt his mouth go dry…he licked his lips and took another gulp from his drink.
“No!” He sternly told himself, “I will not make this easy for her, not this time…not ever again!”