In the card game of life, 13 Christmas miracles beat 12 days of misguided Christmas giving including the golden rings at $1700/gram. Don’t want to say I’m God’s ‘favorite’, but after experiencing a string of miracles longer than any lights wrapped round my tree, it’s pretty clear I’m in the top quintile. And unless others start cataloging their own and taking their rightful place beside me at the top of this heap, I’m just calling it as I see it. Here’s hoping my list helps spur memories of your own.
- Miracle of Time-Management. On December 20, I felt a little blue about skipping my tradition of making and mailing a holiday card. But with one blind and one sick rabbit, I just couldn’t get a decent shot, nor did I want to stress the furries more than necessary. “Too late”, my husband opined, “it’ll never get done.” Oh, he of little faith…It did! Overlapping, double-dose, mini miracle, we like how they came out.
- Miracle of Lost Items. Saint Anthony is known as the Patron Saint of Lost Items http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/st_anthony.htm . And when I was a bit loopy, having lost the scissors for the eight billionth time while wrapping, old Tony was invoked an equal number of times. And while Tony did not find me my Feskers for the last batch, (at some point I am sure he must have been saying, “If you’d put your things away, you’d know where they are”), but being in the Christmas spirit, he did not let me down. Fallen beside my table was a pair of rabbit toe-nail scissors. Now, which ribbons were cut with those will remain a Christmas secret. Saints can have a sense of humor, too!
- Miracle of the Gift – Never try to buy an electronics gadget if you aren’t a techno geek. There can be no surprise, you have to go armed with a verbal, written and photographic representation of what the heck he (in my case, my husband) wants because if you’re off by the slightest portion of a serial number, it’ll be all wrong. At wit’s end, I read an article on gadgets in a gift giving guide that I would typically toss because it’s useless for lining rabbit cages. Found two items that he didn’t know exist, brand new to market, reasonably priced and available at a location near me. UPDATE: Ok 50% miracle on the two items. http://www.solio.com/chargers/solio-bolt/ and http://xshot.com/
- Miracle of Time Pt 1 – My nieces, two of the most social and busy kids known on Earth, had free time to spontaneously share with my family for a Saturday night jaunt of ice cream and Christmas lights. So this is what it feels like to hang out with the cool kids.
- Miracle of Time Pt 2 – On a whim on our way to Market Basket to get the ingredients needed to supply what appeared to be the universe with sweet treats, we went to the Creative Haverhill Shop at 90 Wash. There, Leisa and I met with some artists and art enthusiasts and found an unexpected break in our chaos to work together on an origami ornament with a true master of the craft, who has been showcased worldwide. http://www.haverhillchamber.com/index.php/creativehaverhill
- Miracles of Money in a Year of Cutbacks Pt 1. My Christmas cards scanned at ¼ of the posted cost and CVS photo manager said, I guess that’s what they’re supposed to be, plus there was a coupon, plus they were out of envelopes so I got an additional reduction. (I had extra envelopes at home.)
- Miracles of Money in a Year of Cutbacks Pt 2. Right before Christmas, two cars needed major repairs as did two sick rabbits. Result – holiday budget taking a hit. Jon wins cash for a photo contest and I sell a photo. We squeak by.
- Miracle of Plantation Mint Tea. If you’ve ever had several hours of over indulgence-based tummy turmoil relieved with a cup of tea, you’ll have no problem counting this stuff as a miracle. http://www.bigelowtea.com/Catalog/Product/36/1/24/Plantation+Mint%C2%AE+Tea.aspx
- Miracle of Receiving. I grew up embracing “Love Many, Trust Few, Learn to Paddle Your Own Canoe”. Do for yourself, by yourself, and I still believe that. But this year, I learned there is a lot of grace and reward in asking for and receiving help. Now I’m not saying “go on the dole”. I didn’t and thank God don’t need to, but I opened up my heart to ask for help when I needed it. And such wonderful things have been dropped in my lap – successful business referrals, a chance to work on fabulous and fun projects slightly outside my resume’s line items, a hand-made for me, one-of-a-kind dress, a custom-made clock for the House Rabbit Network Art Auction from a complete stranger met in Wal-Mart, plus art donations from lovely first person and Facebook friends.
- Miracle of Imagination. White Hefty trash bags with red draw string ties can be justified as wrapping because they can pass as Santa sacks in a pinch. Declared this a miracle on Dec 25, but it was before 7am.
- Miracle of Mini Miracles – Just in case you think God is too busy for the little stuff, consider these stories.
- I was discussing the advantages of hard to find B Grade maple syrup with my mom (we drove almost 2 hours out-of-state for our last batch); she subsequently dropped into a Christmas Tree Shop and on one shelf (and found nowhere else in the entire store), a single quart of B Grade Maple Syrup that she purchased for me.
- One desperate call to a stranger at Angles and Art (http://anglesandart.com/) in Haverhill and my crisis of providing the required wrap for photographs my husband and I wanted to enter into our first art show and sale was creatively resolved. Exactly how is a secret. I am so appreciative that Angles & Art’s sense of quality helped this show newcomer with only an hour to spare before drop off deadline look so pulled together. And, I made my first sale.
- On the drive to a carol sing along, I wished out loud to my husband that I had bought three rather than two poinsettias but I was being fiscally responsible. After caroling, the host came up to me, took their one poinsettia off the coffee table and said – ‘Alison, would you like this plant.” I laughed because if logic had prevailed it would have gone to the lovely lady who graciously and patiently accompanied us on piano and flute all night. But it seemed meant to be mine. It ain’t about the presents, it’s the presence, I felt.
- Miracle of Rabbit Nose Bumps. My special treats on Christmas morning were several nose bumps and a toe-nip from Bullwinkle who had withheld these acknowledgements for 10-days while recovering from a mysterious illness.
- Miracle of Less and Lesson. Starting a new business is tough and scary and the financial and time ramifications can stress every aspect of life. This year we did without a lot of things we took for granted the previous year and worried more than usual, and those feelings of dread were compounded by the remembrance of the losses of dear, dear friends and family as Christmas approached. But in the midst of these “days-of-less” in a season typified by more, I experienced an epiphany. Maybe, it’s easier to recognize our blessings, when there are slightly fewer to count. It’s been a good year.
May we all be kinder to one another. Be safer and more confident in our future. Be knowingly loved. And be able to recognize all the blessings in our lives.
Merry Christmas, Alison
©2011 by Alison Colby-Campbell