Wednesday afternoon a friend and her husband braved our dirt road to deliver a huge bag of Christmas goodies to my family. They do this every year. Seriously, they're crazy!
They give each of us something and there are always lots of cookies and other treats. We've just learned to accept the gifts with gratitude.
But this year, my friend went overboard. Besides a couple of cute Texas ornaments, she gave me a ticket to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in February! I'm pretty sure she has one for herself and that two other friends received them, as well, because last year she treated us to a Harry Connick Jr. concert!
Crazy friends are the best, aren't they?
(I really have to figure out a way to repay her. Any ideas? She's nuts about Matthew McConaughey and Josh Groban.)
I was able to be on the other side of a Christmas surprise this year, too. A friend's kids wanted to surprise their parents with portraits of themselves, and approached me about taking the photos.
So last month we spent a few hours at a beautiful wedding venue near my house snapping photos. (Thank you, Lynn, at Villa Antonia!) This friend always coordinates our annual Port Aransas trips - no easy feat! So I was happy for the chance to do something for her.
Now that the surprise is over, I can reveal the photos. I'll post the rest on my photography blog, but here's one of them...
Aren't these kids gorgeous? They are so photogenic, it was an easy job!
Here are some other sweet!s from the past week...
Monday: nurses who are proactive about treating your mom's cough; seeing one of the 'kids' you've watched grow up and meeting her husband; one of your son's student loans being forgiven; a gorgeous sunset when you leave the grocery store
Tuesday: prayers for your mom when she's diagnosed with pneumonia; Christmas partying with your mom at her nursing home, including a visit from Santa and gifts from the staff to the residents
Wednesday: children performing the Christmas pageant; watching "It's a Wonderful Life" while baking cookies; Mucinex, so you can sleep without coughing when the cedar pollen count tops 3000
Thursday: sleeping in; breakfast, courtesy of your son; Shirley Temple movies; a phone visit with your mother-in-law, goddaughter, and other friends and relatives; celebrating Christmas with your mom, husband, and kids; a ticket from a friend to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in February; watching a movie with all of your kids for the first time in ages
Friday: introducing your mom and her roommate to the movie "Elf"; time to catch up with friends on Facebook; yellow wildflowers still blooming in December
Saturday: sleeping in three days in a row; finally straightening up your laundry room, like you've been wanting to do for months; physical therapists who are willing to give your mom a second chance
Sunday: a cousin who visits your mom, bearing Christmas gifts, and getting to see her when you visit your mom; making someone's day by finding their lost glasses; helping yourself and someone else by weeding out stuff to give to Goodwill; sunlight-woven gold on a late afternoon walk through the woods
Even when there are plenty of sweet! moments, the holidays aren't protected from sadness. A classmate's mother passed away earlier this week and a dear friend's sister lost her battle with cancer today. Please keep them and others who are suffering in your prayers, that they may still find something sweet in these days.
Christmas — that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance — a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.
~Augusta E. Rundel