I complain about the inordinate amount of Christmas decorations we have saying it looks like the Walgreen's Christmas sale aisle. This is just one wall of our living room. I feel like the walls are closing in on me.
In short, I am a joy.
And then, every year, when I least expect it, something happens to make me smile and fills me with the Holiday Spirit. This year is happened on December 20. A little later than most years, but still in plenty of time.
Every morning we rush to get Maggie onto the bus. The morning driver, Jerry, is a nice enough guy, but we haven't really connected personally. Before the election he would grumble about things and we carefully avoided any conversation that might get him started. That kept things very superficial. Still he shows up on time every day and takes care of Maggie. I appreciate his work ethic and know Maggie is safe, and that's really what I need from a bus driver. I always have a little something to give each driver at Christmas to say thank you but I wait until the last day (today) to give it to them.
Yesterday we were outside BEFORE the bus, which is very rare. Generally the garage door opens and Jerry is already sitting out there going through whatever routine he does before he opens the lift door for Maggie's chair. Yesterday we were out there before he arrived. I was proud of myself and felt a little smug. No one was waiting for us and I thought "I ROCK at this crazy morning madness."
Nurse Janice was walking down the street from her car and Jerry arrived within about a minute. Jerry opened the door and handed Maggie a little gift bag. He was giving Maggie a gift! I was surprised. That doesn't generally happen because.. it just doesn't. And even if the drivers were so inclined, they have so many kids assigned to them that it's not possible. And this was Jerry, not someone with whom we had a particularly close relationship. Inside the bag was a sparkly ornament. Maggie smiled and reached out to touch it.
I was touched at the kind gesture and thanked him on her behalf.
I stood there as he loaded her onto the bus and felt quite a bit less smug than I had a few minutes earlier. It dawned on me very slowly that this was the moment. The smallest gesture can do it. I came back into the house and showed the gift to Steve and said, "Ok, now it feels like Christmas."
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought "doesn't come form a store.
Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more."
And what happened then...?
Well...in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
I wish you all a small gesture that fills you with the Holiday Spirit
(but some of these decorations are still going to be retired. )