Christmas Short I

Christmas 2014 has been the best Christmas season of my life.  There’s so many reasons why -each reason has it’s own little story, so for the next few days, I’ll be hosting my own sort of Christmas Featurette.  Each day a new short story will be posted, and I hope to record every single one with the detail it deserves because I never, no never, want to forget how precious this Christmas season was to me and my little family.

Disclaimer: the short stories will probably NOT be in time sequenced order.  Because my mind has never gotten along very well with time anything.

Once upon a time, our family saved every last penny found in every last pocket and took a trip to Disneyland in September.


It was the perfect time to take our kids -Lacy was 7, Trenton was almost 6, Alice was a year and a half. Minimal diaper changing, no nursing, most everyone could walk on their own though Mom failed the m{ yn^{}hn ‘;x
v v / /c./a],d/;[ in that area, and best of all: It was COMPLETELY magical. In our family, we still believe in Santa and the tooth fairy. Going to Disneyland was a total blast. The kids’ eyes lit up the minute they saw Main Street. They sported their “1st Visit” pins are were treated like royalty. The rides, the music! The unholy amounts of wishing wells!
We spent FOUR days playing.

Those four days of play (plus one day spent introducing our kids to the beach) will never leave our memory. Never will we again capture the magic as beautifully as we did on that first visit. Never again will Lacy be 7 and throwing quarters into every wishing well. Never again will Trenton be 6 and believe that he met the REAL Captain America. Never again will we have a first time at Disneyland.

It was well worth it.
That said: we were pretty broke for Christmas. I just want to be clear that I’m not complaining. I am 100% at peace with having no money for Christmas because Disneyland was WORTH it.

As we gathered up money from the far pockets of our universe, Danny and I sat together and decided that we could afford (s-a-n-t-a) gifts, some clothes, and some solid, nice bedding. The kids HAVE bedding, but it’s mismatched. It’s always been mismatched. A few sheets there, a few throws there, a blanket here, a comforter there. We decided this year would be THE year.
New, matching sheets and pillowcases!

Their room is decorated colorfully, so I wanted solid comforters for each child. Patterned bedding would be too LOUD.

We went to the store and found the exact kind of bedding we were looking for -on CLEARANCE. The sheets weren’t on clearance, but we carefully picked out coordinating colors and then checked out.
We didn’t tell anyone about this.
I mean, WHO DOES?
Who says, “So, you’ll never guess what I’m getting the kids! SHEETS!”

I didn’t.
Danny didn’t.

But the next day -the NEXT day -I went to work. I parked my ol’ truck outside and went inside the concrete office where I froze for 2 1/2 hours before getting back in my truck to pick up my son from school.
But there was a box in my passenger seat.
A BIG box.
A BIG box with a card on it.

The card told me to open the box, so I took it home.
“Danny,” I whispered, “Look!”
“What’s that?” he raised an eyebrow.
“I have no idea! Let’s go open it!”
We ran to our room, we locked the door and with my car keys in hand, we ripped open the gift.
The note attached revealed that the gift was given by someone who reads this blog. I have NO IDEA who it is, but I do know this: God was in that package.
Because it was sheets. SHEETS! And they matched the bedding we’d bought! The bedding we had told no one about! Danny and I stared at each other in awe, not really knowing what to say.
“Did you say anything about buying bedding?”
“Did YOU?”
“No. At least… DID I?”

After sputtering about it for a few minutes, we both came to the conclusion that we hadn’t breathed a word about it because talking about sheets is boring and neither of us are boring people, right? Right.

There were sheets for each of the older children, mattress pad protectors, and throws! It truly was magic! Our faces lit up much like the children’s on Main Street USA.
How did they know?

There was a book included that felt like it was written just for me to read to children who came FROM me… it’s a book that uses words to make awesome. I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m just happy it exists and that I know about it now.
It’s titled The Book With No Pictures:

Danny and I read it out loud on the spot and giggled, giggled, giggled. The giggling continued as we wrapped the presents and unwrapped the bag of Dove chocolates left by the Secret Santa.
The messages in the chocolates were as uncanny as the gifts themselves, and Danny and I were left with BIGGER hearts that day.


Still we wonder, “WHO?”
It was our second time being Secret Santa’d this year, and we were deeply touched at how specific and perfect it all turned out.

And so I ask in all sincerity without a hint of threat (because it could come out like that):

Who are you and how did you know?
Because of your gift, we were able to return the sheets we bought and give the money to the kids to pick out gifts for each other! It enriched our Christmas, and as a parent, my heart filled to the brim as I watched my kids snuggle up for the first night ever in fully made and outfitted BEDS. They love them and Lacy refused to get out of her bed the next day. I thought she was sick. She was just comfortable.
What’s more: they feel safer. Thank you, dear friend, whoever you are.

We will never forget you -and I want you to know that you did more than you think you did. We were blessed by your temporal gifts, but the emotional and spiritual uplift you sent will long outlast the sheets, the books, the throws, and the mattress pad protectors.
In fact, it already HAS outlasted the chocolate.

Merry Christmas to all.

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