Friday, December 26, 2008

Really, I have the sweetest husband. I watch him walk outside to our car and he sometimes pauses, turns toward our trees with the feeders, and then he'll talk to the birds. You know, in that voice you use for cats or dogs or babies. And I stand there in our big bay window and smile, heart all warm.

Well, he wanted to give small Christmas gifts to our two neighbors who've helped us--the new, clueless kids--with our yard work, first with tractors, then snow blowers. He kept saying , "We should get them something," and I kept saying, "I am getting everybody else on our list something, so you take care of it since it's on your heart. Personally, I think a simple card would suffice."

So, after pondering and procrastinating and making things wildly complicated, Tom drove to our little Rite Aid here (the only place in our town to shop, not counting True Value.... I'm so not kidding), and bought a box of Christmas cards, two tins of cookies and two glass jar candles, different scents.

He spent an hour wrapping the candles and composing messages on the cards and then on Christmas Eve, in the rain and in the dark, we got in the car and drove to each neighbor's house where I got out and went up to the door, handed out the gifts, chatted a bit and wished all a merry Christmas. Each time I got back into the car and reported to Tom what was said and we smiled and laughed and drove down to the center of our one-traffic-light town then out to the country roads to look at peoples' light-decorated houses. We both felt pretty happy.

And then it happened (no, we didn't get into a wreck...heh...). No, what happened was this: while I gazed through splattered windows at the lights in yards, I realized I was humming my favorite Christmas carol, the one which sneaks up on me while Christmas shopping amongst the crowds and brings me remembered joy. Except this year I'd not yet hummed it, not even once, and here it was already Christmas Eve--

"Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o'er the plain...."

...But there it was upon my breath, that dear old hymn which always brings Christmas to me. It found me, finally, that night because my sweet husband cared that our neighbors realize we appreciate them, their help, so very much... and in the darkened car out on country roads the joy of simple giving caught up with me only hours before Christmas Day.

This print was a gift from Naomi yesterday. Tom and I have always loved this one and others like it and it looks perfect in this corner (much better in-person, since our camera loves to ruin all my indoor photos--darn the ol' automatic flash anyway!) :)


Tracy said...

A touching post, Debra! I'm so glad you found your joy of giving at last. :)

nancyr said...

I'm sure the neighbors appreciated the tokens of appreciation. It is wonderful to have good neighbors.

I have always admired the print your daughter gave you for Christmas, too.
That corner looks very cozy and inviting.

Happy New Year!

Anvilcloud said...

Hi Old Friend. Just saw your comment on Judy's post and thought I'd stop by to say "hello and merry, merry."

Saija said...

that made me smile ...
in the days when leo felt a wee bit better - he used to make peanut brittle for our neighbours ... the neighbours who helped us out tremendously ...

Happy in-between Christmas and New year days!

... Paige said...

What a blessing to have such neighbors

Joy and Phil said...


Love that picture. It looks great when you click on it and enlarge it.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I have a dear friend who has the same barn print hanging in her home. It was passed down from her parents. I love the photo too because it reminds me of my childhood days playing in our big barn....not a red one but loads of fun just the same.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story!
I love it!
I actually got teary.

PS Beautiful print!

Kay @ The Rustic Cottage said...

I just adore your blog!! You have such a talent for writing. It makes me smile. What a sweet thing to write about your husband. You are blessed! Thanks for blessing me.