Christmas Eve. Blustery and bone-chilling at dusk, the weather was less than enticing as I got ready for a top fave ritual: delivering some Christmas cookies we’d just baked to firefighters in a nearby city and also at a firehouse down the road from us.
In recent years, I’ve usually ridden solo on this run in my “sleigh,” a/k/a minivan. Occasionally, I am lucky enough to have one of my daughters visiting and she will accompany me. Last night, I threw out the invitation to my shy youngest child, who was cozily relaxing and reading on the couch after a busy day. He typically declines this kind of thing, so I barely waited to hear the usual “no, thank you” when he stopped me in my tracks with “yes, sure!”
I tried not to expect too much from my adolescent sidekick. I told myself that if he wanted to bail after the first delivery, fine. But no. Christmas Eve sprinkled some of her inimitable magic on our ride.
Rather than exhibiting embarrassment, boredom, sullenness, my son was visibly committed to our task, excited even. Rather than hanging back, he shook hands with one grateful firefighter and exchanged wishes for a Merry Christmas. As we ran across the busy city street, he laughed with me about our cookie exploits.
When my son got back in the car, he told me he hoped these firefighters, working the holiday shift, would enjoy the cookies we’d brought them, and he thanked me for taking him on this “fun” delivery. I explained that his eager companionship was the best Christmas gift he could ever give me: generosity of spirit.
What my son’s sweet gesture reminded me of is that the magical gift of grace can come from anywhere, anytime. It may appear in surprising form, it may emanate from unexpected places. But if we are open to it, we can find that grace IS all around us. And inside us. Wishing you comfort and joy and Merry Christmas!