This Christmas was a little different in several ways. First, Daddy had to work Christmas Eve night so he didn't get home until around 8:45 Christmas morning--way late into the day as far as kids are concerned. I needed a stalling tactic to keep them happy until they could open gifts. We set the table and had a nice sit down breakfast. You know sitting down anywhere other than by the tree is forbidden on most Christmases, lol. The kids did as well as can be expected and I was only asked 42 times when Daddy would be home.
Shane arrived just in the nick of time. He'd just heard about the pilots who send the kids who've lost a parent in the war to Disney World. He was so moved by this reminder of the sacrifices made for our freedom that he decided to lead us in prayer for those kiddos & families who were missing someone Christmas morning. I was touched by his sensitivity.
Okay so we opened, stuffed trash, opened, stuffed trash and opened some more. Everyone only had about 5-6 gifts under our tree, but there are a lot of us, you know!
Off to Mom & Dad's for a short gift exchange then off to my aunt's across town for the Jones Christmas (my family).
This is where the best Christmas ever part comes in-hang with me!
Meet my little brother Scott & sister in law Mary (they're holding my Audrey here):
Mary was diagnosed with colon cancer this year. She & I were in the hospital at the same time (different hospitals)-me having a baby and Mary having her tumor removed. This after months of chemo & radiation treatments to shrink it. She had complications and had to go back in for surgery a few days after her initial surgery. They had to drive back & forth to Dallas, a good ways from our humble little rural town and Scott used all of his paid leave. They were in financial stress, to say the least-especially since Mary hasn't been able to work most of the year.
Meet the gift box:
The family started cooking up a conspiracy to skip the Chinese Christmas this year and instead put the money toward Scott & Mary, without breathing a word to them. Throughout the day, people slipped cash into this innoculous decoration...
Meet one of the crafters:
Each of the kiddos in the entire family brought a homemade item to auction off. Hope is making a bird house, Ashlyn painted note cards with sweet greetings, Bethany painted a purple polka dot picture frame, and cousins made book marks, sculptures, a collage, and even a book! We all thought the items would go for a few bucks a piece, with the point being just to let the kids feel involved but they raised over a hundred dollars!
Scott & Mary didn't know what was going on :)
Then we presented the gift box to them, explaining that they are more important than gifts and we felt they needed the help this year. They were speechless, but not necessarily tearless.
I've never been more proud of our family. We didn't leave the celebration with as many gifts (our Chinese gifts are usually pretty good, especially for the girls-I have aunts that know how to shop!), but with a special memory that exceeds any joy from opening gifts. Scott and Mary left with almost $700 to help pay for medical expenses or whatever else they need.
Be blessed-I know I am today!
PS-Happy 30th Birthday Scott!