I love this time of year as do most people I know. I think many of us long for the magic, joy and wonderment we experienced as children. I know I do.
Once my parents died it was very hard to find that again. The first year my mom was gone was the hardest ever. Being divorced always became more real on the eve of Christmas as I attempted to put toy after toy together on my own. You see, I am not mechanically inclined. If my mom hadn’t been there encouraging me every step of the way, I would have been a puddle of tears and disappointed my children greatly.
Whenever my mom arrived for Christmas, no matter who’s home it was, she came toting a mountain of gifts and paper bags filled with unknown “goodies.” She was the queen of bringing just the right thing to bring the magic with her. She was always decked out, from head to toe, in a very tasteful (pre- ugly sweater phenomenon) Christmas sweater or outfit with jewelry to match! My mom always had the sparkle of a child’s eyes in hers. I think (hope) she passed on some of that to me.
Over the years, I have attempted to give some of the magic to my children. It’s not easy being single at this time of year but I think they have some good memories. From little 12 days of Christmas gifts to Elf on the Shelf, I’ve tried it all. If they didn’t enjoy it, I certainly did! Through it all, I have taught them the true meaning of Christmas.
It’s the only time of year that I wish I were a millionaire. I would love to be able to give until I could give no more. Since I am not, I try to do what I can and demonstrate for my children the joy of giving. We don’t pass by a red kettle without putting some change or a dollar or two in. We even rang one year and hope to do it again. The year of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we purchased Caribou gifts cards and left them on the windshields of cars in parking lots with a note stating it was in remembrance of the people that lost their lives that fateful day. The food shelf is another must. This year, many of the above were done but the most delightful part was closer to home.
For the past few days, we played Santa’s elves to three little boys that live near us. Small and simple little goodies left on their door step while no one was looking (I hope) elicited some delightful screams that I occasionally heard from inside the quite of my home. The parents expressed their gratitude but they needn’t have. The joy I received in doing it was immeasurable. The girl got in the action too and was just as happy to play “Santa” as I am. For that, I am thankful! Perhaps it’s the grandma that never will be coming out in me but I have loved every single moment and will be sad to see the season end. Well, I will think of some way to keep the “magic” going. 🙂
It’s funny how things get repaid when one doesn’t want anything in return. Last Friday, I was shopping at a big box store and used the self checkout as a friend encouraged me to do so. It’s really not my preferred way of checking out. I always feel like I’m encouraging someone’s job to be taken away. Once I got home, I realized I had forgotten a bag there (another reason I don’t like them as at this age, I do that and appreciate it when a clerk reminds me to take ALL of my bags)! I was not in the mood to return that night so I asked them to put my bag away and to note that I would pick it up Sunday evening. Upon my arrival, the clerk began searching for my bag. She found it in a little used cabinet and as she pulled it out she gasped and said “Your ID is in here!” I had no idea I had even lost it. It must have flown out of my wallet as I was getting a card to pay for my purchase. Someone (and I know who) was looking out for me. I shared the story with the girl when I got home and we both knew it was a bit of a Christmas miracle. It could have ended so poorly. It was a good lesson for us both to try to be better people.
It’s so easy to become jaded in this world of ours. I truly believe it’s up to us not to give in to that feeling. There are days we have to make our own sunshine or make our own magic. It’s the best way to carry on in HIS image.
So from our house to yours, We wish you the merriest, most joyful Christmas ever. Let 2019 be healthy and joyful for each and every one of you. We love you.
Jill and The Girl