It was an ordinary Wednesday. Nothing special really. A hectic day filled with too much work for too little pay. I was rushing home in the dark, exhausted and hoping to make it in time to see the girls before bedtime, and secretly dreaming of a hot bath. When I turned the corner onto our street I saw my house at the end of the cul-de-sac...shining like Time Square at New Years. Yes!, it was my house strung up with white Christmas lights.
Now that may not seem all that unusual for a Wednesday in December, but take it from me, I was witnessing my very own Christmas miracle.
You see, my girls had always wanted to have Christmas decorations on our house -- sparkling lights and a wreath on the front door just like every other house on our American street. It was never easy telling them we couldn’t afford something but saying those words at Christmastime was especially difficult. Between the money and the time I just could not do it so I just made excuses.
I was stopped dead in my tracks; taken by the moment. Through rivers of tears and sobbing like a child, I glimpsed their joyful faces waiting for me outside. And standing right beside them, with a grin just as big, was Hugh Buck, my next door neighbor. When the girls had told him we wouldn’t be having any lights that year, he decided to buy them and hang them himself. I just could not believe we would be the recipients of such a loving gesture.
The sheer joy my girls felt at that moment was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. My neighbor has since passed away but every year and after Thanksgiving, when I string my Christmas lights, Hugh’s memory lives on. It was the purest form of kindness I’ve ever experienced. It was, in word, Christmas.
Go ahead and enjoy every moment of this season!