Everything I was planning this past week pretty much went up in smoke when half of our family came down with strep throat or the flu–my husband and myself included. It’s been an interesting week to say the least, and as I’ve been juggling and rearranging items on my list to fit this unexpected and unfortunate timing of events, something else happened that caused me to really reflect on what Christmas means to me.
A few weeks ago I ordered what I planned to be my little boys’ main present, and was excited about getting free shipping, since it was very heavy, and would have been a fortune. It was ground shipping, but guaranteed to get here in plenty of time for Christmas. It arrived when I wasn’t home last Friday, and it was taken to our “super-secret-hiding-place” to wait until Christmas Eve, when Rick and I hold our annual present wrapping party. I didn’t even see the boxes, but assumed since they arrived, we were good to go.
On Sunday night we managed to load all the kids in the car and go look at Christmas lights, because it was something we could do without leaving the car, and we could enjoy a little bit of the season even while we weren’t feeling well. One the way home, the kids had fallen asleep, and so we took the opportunity to talk a little about our plan for wrapping. The topic of the boys’ present came up, and Rick happened to ask me why I bought that particular present for the boys. It was discovered that the completely wrong item was sent to us, and I was just finding this out on the night of December 22nd.
The next morning at 8am EST couldn’t come fast enough, because it meant that I could call in and see how this could be resolved in time for Christmas. Apparently the situation caused quite a ruckus, because the corporate office became involved, trying to make sure that the correct item could arrive at our house in time for Christmas. We weren’t sure what would happen, and all morning long I couldn’t stop thinking about it–the present I ordered wasn’t available in stores, and I couldn’t just go out and buy another one. Since it was their main present, their remaining presents were smaller, and I worried that they wouldn’t have “enough”. As the day went on, and I hadn’t heard anything, the more I thought about it, and sometime that afternoon it was like a little burst of light came over me, and I knew what I had always known before.
If that present didn’t come, the world would not end. We are fortunate enough that they had other gifts that would be under the tree. We have a warm house, and wonderful family and friends. Even though we were sick, it was nothing serious, and we had our health, plus food to eat, clothes to wear, a good job–we are incredibly blessed in so many ways, more than can even be counted. My energies need to be focused on gratitude, and giving help to those that truly needed it.
No, the miracle isn’t that their present is going to arrive in time for Christmas, although I will be absolutely thrilled if it is. The miracle was for me–that my eyes were opened so I could see what I already knew was there–but had forgotten in that one moment. It’s easy to get caught up in all the festivities, presents, planning, and fun that goes along with the holiday season, and all of these things are WONDERFUL and GOOD. But I learned to never forget–even for a moment–what Christmas Day really is, what it means, what it’s for, and and WHO it’s all about.
And the best part of the story? Instead of returning it to the company, we were able to give away the item that was originally sent to us, and somehow, that made everything right.