We were expecting a rather quiet, but blessed Christmas season, with our youngest daughter who teaches at a Bible School, flying in from Australia. It would be her first Christmas at home in three years.
We learned months prior to December we would be blessed for four days the week before Christmas, by our daughter’s bestie, whom we endearingly refer to as ‘number four’. She was flying in from Toronto, where she studies dance. Accompanying her would be her fiance, whom we had met the year before at Christmas time. He was flying in from Florida.
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Monday night I left work in the dark and walked home along the snowless sidewalk, excited to see who would be gathered around the fire at home. The air was crisp, but unusually warm for the week before Christmas.
I rounded the final block and a car came out of no where, and drove up beside me and stopped. The window went down and I heard a voice say “can we help you with your bags?” I bent down to see a familiar face smiling at me. It was our son’s girlfriend. I looked behind the wheel and there he was – our son. But how I wondered? They were in Europe skating. We had just Face-timed them the day before.
Still in shock, I hopped in the back seat. Seconds later their rental car was parked in our driveway. They had flown all the way from Utrecht (Netherlands) to surprise us. Although they were given five days off, much of that would be travel time. I was overjoyed at their adventurous spirits and their huge sacrifice to be with us for a few short days. Due to the nature of our son’s work, it was his first Christmas at home in seven years.
Although our eldest daughter and son-n-law and two precious grand-children would not be able to join us, I cherished our time together in October and November.
As if things couldn’t get better, I looked out the window Monday night and saw the snow begin to fall. Every bed in our house was full and so was my heart.
The fullness would continue with a spur of the moment family dinner planned for the next evening, Mom and Grandma, and other dear friends travelling up the next day.
I knew in a few short days our circumstances would be quite different. Our full house would not remain full, but the memories made, our conversations and warm embraces would be more than enough to keep a smile on my face all year long.