Christmas Eve Eve. So many directions I needed to run today, but I found myself doing a work errand with my husband. That was two hours of quality time that we would not have had otherwise. As we said our goodbyes and I dropped him back at his store, my head trying to manage my time and list… I decided, since I would be out of pocket for my friend, “Bernice” at the nursing center, for a couple of days, I would run by Panera Bread and surprise her with her favorite soup and bread. But not before running into the grocery store next door and buying a cupcake for Lenora, who reminded me last week that today was her birthday. And that she loved chocolate. Smile. As I stood in the back of the line at Panera, glancing at the clock and scrolling through my phone, I heard a little voice, “Ma’am. Ma’am.” I continued to scroll and then the little voice became a bit louder. “MA’AM!” I turned around to see a little blond headed girl, maybe three or four years old, leaning over the booth with her hand extended towards me. “This is for you! Merry Christmas!” I glanced at her parents on either side, then I reached out to the little hand, still reaching towards mine, and took the tiny little candy cane in my hand. I thanked her and wished her a Merry Christmas.
As my day continued, I didn’t get half of my to do’s done. There will be no cowboy cookies traveling in our car tomorrow. No strawberry cake. The “wrapped” with care gifts are mostly stuffed bags. But that’s okay. The little one with the beautiful smile reminded me what it’s really all about. It’s not the wrapping or the gift. It’s the joy from the heart that makes the difference.
Bless the child. Bless her parents. Merry Christmas!