This holiday I’m setting new traditions. It got me thinking about a time when I didn’t have my usual Christmas.
As the holiday season approached in my second year in England, I knew I was not going to be flying back to the States, as I had the year before. I found out that it is far more difficult to find a family to “adopt” the Christmas “orphan” in the UK than here in the US. It made me all the more grateful to the woman in my French class who offered to have me join her family’s celebration.
Towards the end of the delightful evening, her husband asked, “Now that you have spent the day in a different way than usual, what do you miss?”
I thought about it and replied, “It’s a Wonderful Life and my grandma’s fudge”. [Fudge in the UK is a very different creature from our chocolatey goodness.]
While I kept up appearances (Sorry for that, but I couldn’t resist!), I was deeply saddened by what was missing from my day, even though I no longer called the holiday my own.
I kept it together until I got through my front door, and the sobs poured out.
My flat had thin walls, and I didn’t want to disturb anyone else, so I turned on the telly. It’s a Wonderful Life was on!
I found some Kleenx and cheered up. I then looked at the little gift I’d been given by my generous hostess, which had gone forgotten in my rush of tears. I opened it … and it was American-style fudge! As I bit into the first piece, I discovered it had no nuts – my favorite!
A Christmas Miracle!
In a matter of a couple minutes, my entire outlook changed. The day switched from very bad to one of the best Christmases in recent memory.
I sent my hostess a very heartfelt thank you, for their hospitality, the gift, and for taking away the homesickness. I mentioned all that happened after I got home (except the tears part), and how they played a major role in making my day complete.
What is one of your favorite holiday memories? or What simple act of kindness made the biggest difference to you?