This is, of course, the big countdown. The final push to get all of the shopping done before Christmas - both for dinner preparations and the actual gifts themselves. While my own shopping has been done for awhile, there is always a million "little things" that need to be done before the big family celebration.
Over the course of the last several months, there have been very little reasons for celebration - and this Christmas in Springfield is no different. Phillip's murder this fall, and the ensuing investigation have nearly everyone on pins and needles. But I think that Buzz's simple words this week at Cedar's remind us all that it's not the cost of the gift, but the thought and the love behind the simple token.
While you see commercials on television encouraging you to overspend, just remember that a little goes a long way to make the holiday special. Coming from a professional spender from way back, I can tell you now that the gifts I treasure weren't shiny and expensive, just straight from the heart.
Just look at the Cooper clan - without even a roof of their own to have over their heads. Frank has just slapped some interesting matching silver bracelets on his Dad, and Harley (when she surfaces - pardon the pun) might be getting a similar gift. Talk about an interesting holiday! At least the whole family could make their way to the Springfield Police Department to visit the Cooper Clan en masse.
Gus is walking a fine line between two families - the one who shares his genes and the one who holds his heart. My money is on Gus and Harley finding their way back together in 2005 - surely the writers have to gives us a little romance to look forward to!
The Lewis family is another family divided. Billy seems to be a lock for hiring a hit man to "scare Phillip" and his overachieving may land Billy in hot water! Bill is off to rescue his lovely wife - who doesn't know he loves her. And poor Emma might end up learning which fork to use with a salad before she's out of diapers!! Jonathan makes me want to ask Cassie and Edmund if they are SURE they want to have any more of his genes running around in Springfield. And Tammy needs to spend some time in the bunk next to Olivia if she can't see what an adorable catch Sandy is!!
Despite the fact that the show was conceived around the Bauer family, there is little reason to celebrate for poor, lonely Rick - the only Bauer (by birth) in town. Michelle is being held captive in a foreign country, and Ed is MIA. Somehow GL has to rectify this in 2005 (Note to TPTB, do ANYTHING to get Peter Simon back as Ed). And even Mrs. (or should I say Dr.) Bauer is barely speaking to Rick. Without his best friend, this will, no doubt, be a very lonely holiday for the engaging Dr. Bauer.
Dinah's return to town makes the holidays a little less holly and jolly (pardon the pun - and who forgot that Holly's birthday is coming up and she's away?). Ross and Blake are chilly as a Christmas night to each other and with a possible little bun in the oven, Dinah will really drive a wedge between one of my favorite Springfield couples. I can really see Dinah with Jonathan somehow - the two have similar upbringings and quirky personalities, I can see this could be an interesting pair. Which would leave Jeffrey alone - but maybe we can get really lucky and get Mindy Lewis back in town - I could see them making sparks!
Despite the sadness of this season in Springfield, you can sense the underlying love that radiates from the characters and the actors who portray them. One great benefit of having such a veteran cast is that the relationships are very real - which is clearly understood by those who watch the show. The touching scene with Harley and Buzz reading his will was one reason why I hope that Beth Ehlers can win an Emmy in 2005 - her performances are always top notch!
While I don't have a whole lot of faith for a happy holiday in Springfield, I know that our favorite characters will be surrounded by loved ones - which is better than any present I know. I wish the same for each and every one of you - the time to relax, spend quality time with loved ones, and the chance to appreciate all that you already have in your lives. Happy Holidays to each and every one of you from my home to yours
Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!