Then he texted that he and Anna had gotten gifts, which was so very kind of their host family, but somehow, it didn't surprise me at all with this family.
Then came the text:
"People love you."
Me? He and Anna had been the one who had gotten gifts.
"You got gifts, too."
What? But I wasn't there. I was sure the gifts were think-ahead-just-in-case gifts, sort of generic so no one would be without gifts, especially the kids.
I was wrong.
The gifts were thought-filled gifts picked out just for us by people who have never met us, only know us through their parents. They were personal, and if crying wouldn't have made my sinus pain worse, I would have been a mess.
Instead, the kids came home with a box of gifts and yummies, and we sat them on our undecorated table to open Christmas morning.
Except, I cheated.
I peaked into the bag that held mine and saw the envelope, so I pulled out the card and read it.
"We want you to know that you are cared about and love and not forgotten. Keep the faith and keep hanging on. If you ever need anything or just want to talk, we are here. (phone number included)"
If there had been nothing else in that bag, the words of someone who understood would have been gift enough. Kayla had been a single mom after her husband died. Ravi had been a single dad. They know. And they know the perfect gifts.
Painting canvasses and art kits for the kids and a spa-in-a-bag for me. Chocolate, hot chocolate to drink, shower gel, fabulous smelling plug in fragrance, and other goodies. Perfect gifts. Personal gifts.
And there we sat, on the couch, with our perfect personal gifts, with the yummy goodies, and phone numbers from folks who are available to sit at the dentist's office while I have work done or take the kids to a fun place while I sleep or who think about us, understand, and will listen just whenever.
Then the kids made lunch while I gave a few pointers.
My brother came, not because he was getting gifts but to eat lunch and play games.
I took a few naps.
A few friends called and talked to me since I couldn't talk to them.
Pop, Rob's dad, called, which is always a joy. I didn't get to talk to him, but I love that he called, nonetheless.
WonderBoy made the comment to me last week that he thought maybe this Christmas--the low-key, stress free, enjoying the wonder of it--is more what God had in mind than what we normally do. Well, let's see.
A hurting lump that has nothing to offer, whose plans have gone awry, who can't get out to anyone but needs someone to come in to her, who is just...here. Throw in some love, perfect gifts from someone we didn't know, invitation to a feast, new experiences, new relationships. Family.
Craziness. But then, God is the King of crazy Christmases. In fact, this whole craziness of gifts to people with nothing to give but having a lot of needs was His idea. So, yeah, I think this is His idea of what Christmas should be.
And it happened right here on my couch.