I should start by saying I have no idea what time or date it is. I think Christmas was a few days ago, and something about this ringing in my ears tells me it was a doozy.
I can tell from stubbed toes that my son made out like a bandit, racking up enough markers to keep his hands dyed green until his wedding day, amassing enough Matchbox cars to film the rest of the 132 Fast & Furious sequels in our modest Tennessee toy room.
I glance around to see what gift gold I’ve struck this most commercial of Christmases and see I’m certainly not empty-handed either.
A giant, gorgeous scarf my mother knit and knatted with for over a year. I call if the Shawl of Superior Love.
Jumbo, terry pajama pants in a subtle shade of neon blue with lime green frogs dancing down the legs from my dark-humored husband.
Quirky little Story People prints to dress my naked walls.
Fancy journals so beautifully blank and ready to be filled.
A pretzel from my uncle, bestowed upon me for my writing, which in some strange, low-budget way makes me an award-winning author.
A box of Swine Flu.
Wait. Which one of you sneaky boogers gave me that? Don’t be so shy. I just like to be thorough with my thank you notes.
I suspected my sister who’s known to dole out soap but followed the trail of massacred tissues and hacking to my guest room to find my one and only brother who shall remain nameless.
Beyond the bows and boxes (of goodies and TheraFlu, alike) I got the unique gift of cooking Christmas Eve dinner and not killing anyone in the process. I got to watch my fresh-brained toddler navigate the tricky road of holidays, at one point stealing a dog’s blanket to chase us around as the Ghost of Halloween, at other times accepting that this was Jesus’s birthday despite the lack of tell-tale cupcakes and back-yard bouncy houses. I got to watch the flurry of small feet chase, a chorus of small mouths scream big throughout our halls as cousins played Run & Scream & Tag & Stuff. I got to learn the special delicious deliriousness of NyQuil infused cranberry sauce. I got to look around the room watch my divorced parents chatting happily all five of their kids with all five of our kids cram and bend to fit into one tiny picture frame. It was the feeling of a brown-haired, snot-nosed Goldilocks scanning the cottage, spotting the purple, sprinkle-covered porridge that reeked of pepper and without hesitation saying “Yes. This crazy, dysfunctional, offensive bowl. This one’s just right“.
And as the holiday dwindled away, ready to surface once again next year, I dragged my congested, coughing face to bed, thanked God for those tacky frog pants that seemed to comfort my sick, sleepy soul, and almost drifted to sleep.
But! There was a gift that I had yet to share. One placed in my lap (inbox) so brilliant and shining before Christmas had come. One that I suspect let me take a Christmas with the flu and still see some miracle material hidden within it. A present that prepared me in just the right way to spot silver lining threaded into those heinous pajama bottoms, to look at their overall ugliness and know there had to be some point to them. It is a blow torch of a tiny spark.
Tomorrow I hope you’ll stop by for a belated holiday gift, a Tiny Spark share worthy of sharing and sharing, cherishing and re-gifting to everyone around you. A post-Christmas miracle packaged neatly in a blog post, this friend’s story is the exact inspiration behind the Tiny Spark Series. This gift I hope you’ll come back to open is THE Hallelujah Hat, THE Reason for The Season Series, THE lesson I hope contaminates your heart and spreads like a Joy virus.
All of this is to say, don’t come by my house without a bucket of bleach and a face mask but DO check in tomorrow for a post-holiday present that will light up your world.
Favorite holiday memories of 2012? Do tell…