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LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: Blue Christmas ... or Bluegrass Christmas

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By Terri Likens, Editor

The heartwrenching songs of Christmas used to really tug at my heart.

You know — the ones with lyrics like, “I’ll be home for Christmas ... if only in my dreams” or “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.”

That’s because I lived those songs for many years. I’ve lost count of the number of Christmases I could not get “home” to my relatives because of my work situation and my distance away from the rest of my family.

That changed nine Christmases ago, after I moved to East Tennessee.

These days, I can almost always count on gathering with my family on the days we treasure togetherness most.

Things were looking iffy this year, though. Sure, Mom lives over in Jefferson County, and we would be able to get together.

But an ice storm was looming in the forecast for the part of Kentucky we planned to travel to so we could gather with the rest of the clan.

I’ll admit it — I have not felt so dismal about Christmas in years. It really was going to be a blue Christmas if I couldn’t get to the Bluegrass State.

Well, I’m happy to report that things are looking up.

The icy holiday forecast for Lexington  has thawed — now it’s simply cloudy with a sparse chance of snow flurries.

It looks like we’ll make the trip.

It’s amazing how my mood has rebounded with the change in forecast. Those soulful Christmas songs that were playing in my head have been replaced with simple ones of sheer joy. (Think “Here Comes Santa Claus.”)

There’s a spring in my step and there’s gladness in my heart.

But my little holiday scare will serve as a reminder that I shouldn’t take my family  — or my time with them — for granted.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

I hope you, too, are able to spend yours with those who warm your heart.