The Christmas forecast played with us.
No … rain.
Oops … hold that. It’ll be a cloudy, dry Christmas.
Warm (winter warm) temperatures.
I love white Christmases, but with family driving over mountain passes and flying to an airport an hour away from us, I was okay with the final forecast of a mild Christmas day.
We woke up to a dusting of snow.
White, frosted hope … a sprinkling of all things refreshed, made new.
How appropriate for a Christmas day.
A couple of days earlier, at our little church, the pastor asked the kids why they think people like snow so much at Christmas.
After giggled answers of “It’s fun” … “I like sledding” … “Snowmen are awesome”… a second grader piped up.
“Snow reminds us that baby Jesus came so our bad stuff can be white … like what snow does.”
Well said, little boy.
I have to say, the fresh snow felt like a gift from above … a little reminder that in a moment, life can look fresh and hopeful once again.
Since that snow dusted Christmas morning, we’ve slipped into the new year … a whole new decade, even. A heavy snow met us on the last day of 2019, only to be washed away with heavy rain by the bursting of New Year fireworks. At least, I think it was all washed away … our weary bodies didn’t last until midnight to ring in the new year or watch any fireworks on TV.
That doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate the New Year though … well … at least half of us did. We’d been looking forward to pot luck and Bunco Night at the town restaurant. We had joined in last year and had a blast, making new friends, laughing over simple, silly things.
I was smote with a nasty sinus head ache late in the afternoon, so sent My Guy to forage for pot luck food at the little market where he found chips and store-bought cookies, while I sat by the fireplace and waited for the the essential oils and pain reliever to kick in.
As I sat there, looking at the fake flames in my otherwise cozy fire place, I thought of all the small stuff that made this holiday season and the upcoming year feel so rich:
The mystery plate of cookies at the front porch.
Another plate of cookies handed to me at work by a woman I admire but rarely get to interact with. It was such an unexpected, heart-felt gesture. (Not to mention that my family was super pleased since I haven’t taken the time to make cookies the last few years.)
An unexpected text and then exchange of photos and more texts with a friend from childhood. We grew up together just 12 miles away from where I live now, having both travelled parts of the globe, and here we are, still connected at the heart.
The festivity of our small town, including a stunning show of lights across the train trestle that is soon to be converted to a bike and walking trail.
The kindness of the community to put together a Sharing Tree that provided gifts for families needing extra support this year … a long standing tradition in the community.
The joint effort of two churches who come together at Thanksgiving to worship and then take up donations to provide meals for families during Christmas.
Mom “willed” herself to join us on Christmas. It was not one of her easier days, but she came, and we so enjoyed the time.
Visits with our kids. Something I know we can’t take for granted. I was very aware of the huge gift these small moments were as many around us lost family and loved ones of late or just were too far away to be with family.
Well-thought out, simple gifts from family. (We kept our budgets very low this year, and somehow, I think the gifts were far more meaningful.)
Laughter as our son-in-law ventured up a giant tree to rescue My Guy’s brand new (bargain-priced) drone that magnetically drifted to the highest limbs of a 50+ foot tree. (Well, laughter afterwards. I actually was at work, so wasn’t told of the hi-jinks until all were safe on the ground again. Thus … our new family motto: Make memories, not injures. Thankfully, we were successful!)
I saw a lot of kindnesses displayed this Christmas … more than I listed here, as many of the stories are not mine to tell.
I don’t watch news much anymore because I see so much cruelty and unkindness.
But, here, in the small stuff, I’ve seen that kindness and compassion for others is still alive and well.
That’s a good note on which to end one year and start another.
Wishing you a year overflowing with kindness and small-stuff possibilities!