A Christmas Angel

Dear Friend S,

My daughter keeps asking about you, and we do talk and think about you often.  I'm mentally counting down the days until the 12th.  We definitely miss you.

Tonight I felt like a Christmas angel.  One tradition in my family growing up was to read Christmas Stories every night after scriptures.  My parents had several books and collections of heartwarming stories that really embody the spirit of the season.  One of my absolute favorites was always "Aaron's Christmas Tree".  Each story that was in my parent's collection seemed to speak of people who were such examples of self-less love and charity - really the pure love of Christ.

Now, I'm no one special, but tonight I felt like a Christmas angel.  I felt like I had been an instrument in the Lord's hand to minister to specific people on the Lord's behalf.  I almost felt like it could be a story from my parent's collection, except that it was just me and so simple, but that's probably part of the beauty of it.  Simple, not complicated and over thought.

My tale starts a few weeks ago.  I was at the grocery store and saw sprinkles on sale.  They had red and green, so I picked some up thinking that Daughter would like them..she likes sprinkles.  As I was putting them in my cart I thought that they would make a great care package for the (*_____ ) Family.  With their dad deployed I have tried to take them something once a month to let them know that they are thought of and loved.  The idea was born that for December I'd take them cookie decorating supplies.  As the weeks continued on I looked for other items to go along with the original sprinkles.  Well, then I thought of the (*_______ name of different) Family and how their dad was also deployed right now.  I decided to give Daughter's red and green sprinkles to them and make them an identical care package.

Daughter and I ended up with sugar cookie mix, peppermint frosting, red, green, and white writing gels, the red and green sprinkles, and assorted cookie cutters.  I wanted to make sure that they had everything that they needed so that it would be a true delight for the kids, and not a huge hassle for the mom (remember, the dads are on the other side of the world).  The last thing I wanted was to give a half complete project that the mom had to scramble so the kids could finish.  We lovingly wrapped up the items and put them in gift bags for the two families.

This picture shows the assortment of items on the right and how we wrapped them on the left.  Then we just put them in the gift bags.  Daughter helped me with the tissue paper so some of it was pretty ripped before it made it in the bag :), but she was so earnest in helping me pick out the specific tissue papers and loved the curling ribbon.  I love doing service with my daughter.

For Family Home Evening tonight we went to deliver our love.  We went to Family #2 first.  I knew it'd be nice to get to both families in one night, but my goal was just to get one delivered.  We practiced caroling at home much to Daughter's delight, but of course when we got to the door she ran away and hid leaving husband and I to sing a duet.  The kids were excited to see us and informed us that they were getting out their Christmas decorations.  Their mom came down from the attic and I quickly sent Husband up to help haul down the biggest boxes.  What are the odds that we arrived right when they needed man power? (feel good moment #1)  One child exclaimed, "Look 4 presents!!!" as he pulled everything out of the gift bag.  I informed him they were to opened right away and that there were 4 presents because there were 4 kids in their family.  They all opened them to find the cookie decorating supplies and were super excited.

The kids continued to play with loud exclamations (Daughter joining right in) and the mom said she didn't know where the "crazies" were coming from.  I smiled at her and said, "I do.  You must not have people over very often."  She laughed and said, "You're right, we don't." (feel good moment #2)  She kept asking if we had other houses to get to baffled that we would have singled them out (I didn't advertise that it was because her husband was deployed), and I kept saying "No, my goal was one house tonight.  This is it."

We stayed for an hour the moms visiting together, the girls playing dolls, and the boys enjoying showing Husband 3 levels of their favorite video game (they don't get a lot of man-time right now... :) ).  When it was getting late I said we better go.  The kids were all disappointed to have their audience leave.  One thing they showed to me was their advent calendar.  It was a mini-muffin pan with magnets covering each hole.  Each day they took the appropriate number off to reveal the hole which had a typed activity on a piece of paper in it.  I asked if I could peek ahead to see what kinds of activities they were going to do.  Imagine my shock when I saw that the activity for tomorrow was "Bake Cookies".  I felt tingles and heard a choir of angels in my head. (feel good moment #3)  The mom had been explaining to me how they needed to move for financial reasons and that she had a realtor coming to inspect their house in a few days.  She was responsible for all of this without her husband.  She hadn't been looking ahead to the activities in the tin, so I'm sure tomorrow morning as the kids awoke and read the advent activity, she would have had a surprise and had to scramble to complete the cookie baking.  (She had previously told me that she didn't bake very often, so I honestly was surprised to see that was an activity in their advent.)

It felt really good to know that a such a teeny tiny act of service could make her life easier.  I am always so grateful when someone does that for me.  I couldn't imagine my husband being gone for a full 6 months.  Husband's orders were hard enough a few months ago.  I am also amazed by the experience as I hadn't originally planned on taking anything to this family.  Yet, Heavenly Father did prompt me, and put it in my heart that we should go tonight and then we arrived right as they were getting things out of the attic.  Small things I know, but the hand of the Lord, nonetheless.

And that is why I felt like a Christmas angel, a character in one of the many stories that I love.

Miss you.  I have so much to tell you, but we know you're doing good things.



MJ said…
This made me tear up. Thank you. I know its a few months removed, but it was beautiful.

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