This is Christmastide, specifically, the fourth day of Christmas. No, today, I did not receive four Calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, or a partridge in a pear tree. We did have a delivery of heating oil, time to knit a mitten, a new rear suspension in the car, and breakfast made by R. I highly doubt those will repeat daily for the next week. I certainly hope not. For many things, once is nice, more than that is too much.
What I am really grateful for, though, is coming together as a family, and little acts of thoughtfulness. My two oldest girls have moved out into their own homes, and both were able to come back here for Christmas day. C had a 95-mile trip, which usually takes 2 hours. This time, though, the roads out her way were very icy, and she called to ask if the roads closer to us were any better. I could assure her that they were, and after a little over 2 1/2 hours, she was here. By the time she got here, it was almost her usual bedtime and she was exhausted. But she arrived safe and sound, and we all were delighted to have her home again.
On Christmas Eve, when the kids were all pulling out their gifts to each other to place under the tree, E discovered that he had forgotten to get a present for one of his sisters. He felt horrible. With some quick thinking, though, we were able to put together a quick kitchen present for her — cookie mix in a jar. He was disappointed that it was so simple, but she was delighted when she received it the next day. I was so proud of both of them.
Tomorrow we will walk to her friend’s house a half mile away in a blizzard and make cookies. Or at least, that is the plan.
Because our vehicles both had problems (one needs a new transmission, and the other needed a new rear suspension) we were unable to attend the Christmas Eve service at church. I was very sad because I love going to church, and the candlelight services are wonderful. I had also missed the Yule service the week before, so I made sure to attend the Christmas Day service.
Part of the service was sharing of our Christmas joys. E got up (as he likes to share a lot) and A followed him (as she likes to follow) and shared that he was happy for having all his sisters home and for lots of presents. He then sat down again, but A stayed up there. The minister handed the microphone to her and asked what her joy was. She repeated what E had said, but this was a significant moment.
It was the first time she ever spoke into the microphone beyond saying her name. Not only did she speak, but she did it alone up there — no parents or siblings to hold her hand. This same child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for this very shyness and inability to share vital information with people (name, age, etc.). Perhaps it was possible because there were only about 25 people in attendance. Maybe she has simply grown enough to be comfortable. Perhaps E’s example gave her confidence. Whatever it was, it was a milestone for her.
Of course, I am also thankful for the thoughtful gifts my family gave me, and the general merriment that accompanies this season. But it is the people that make it special. Did anything especially wonderful happen in your life this holiday season?