Today is a special day because my mom, Marilyn, has agreed to do a guest post for me! She worked a little Christmas magic in our apartment this year and was kind enough to share a little heart-warming Christmas story to celebrate the holidays.
How fun is this – guest blogging? I love this time of year, and as followers of Espresso and Cream, I thought you might enjoy hearing how Madison and Joe’s loft apartment was decorated for their first Christmas as a married couple.
While home over Thanksgiving weekend, Madison mentioned she & Joe would not be decorating for Christmas. As is typical for most newlyweds, they had no Christmas décor and decided they would take advantage of the after-Christmas sales on trees and decorations. Consequently, they would be waiting until next year to decorate for the season. As a parent, I inwardly patted myself on the back thinking the money-management lessons I espoused for years had made an impact after all.
The following week produced the season’s first dusting of snow and during a telephone chat, Madison made a casual mention, “Joe says it doesn’t really feel like Christmas without a tree.”
Such a confession tugged at my heartstrings (i.e. sweet, young couple trying to be fiscally responsible but missing out on some of the excitement of Christmas). And then came an “Ahhh” idea, which would also turn into this year’s Christmas gifts for Madison and Joe.
A trip to Des Moines to attend a special Christmas concert the next weekend was already on my calendar and since I was going to be in the area, I made plans to spend the night with M & J on Friday. So, before I left home, I rummaged through the basement storage room and gathered extra decorations, greenery, and ornaments. (Does anyone besides me have lots of unused Christmas stuff in the basement?) I spray painted branches cut from a backyard hedge and for a brief minute, felt like Martha Stewart. I located a perfect tall, but skinny, Christmas tree; boxed and in three pieces. And after a quick scavenge of the TJMaxx Christmas section, I felt prepared to pull off a surprise.
The weekend arrived and it was great catching up with M & J Friday night, but a pre-planned trip to visit friends in Minneapolis had them heading out the door early Saturday morning. I asked them if it was OK if I lingered over a second cup of coffee before I too hit the road and headed for home. But, the minute their car backed out of the parking space, the ‘elf’ fun began. Boxes from my car were unpacked and with Christmas music playing, the decorating began. Pleased with the festive transformation, I headed home on Sunday.
The phone call came on Sunday evening. With excitement that couldn’t be contained, it was Madison, “Mom, we just walked in the door. It’s magical. The apartment is just magical. Thank you so much, mom.”
I don’t remember giving a gift that felt as meaningful, as perfect, as appreciated and as much fun to give. Like me, I hope the greatest gift you receive this Christmas season is the JOY that comes from giving freely. Blessings to all of you.