One of my favourite Christmas moments this year happened when our power went out. Chris and I were sitting in the dark and I suggested that we head over to the neighbours to hang out for a while.
We have wonderful neighbours – Jim and Dot are a retired couple who welcomed us onto the street from the moment we moved in. I remember that day well because Phoenie was with us at the time. Jim has a big belly and when four year old Phoenie saw him for the first time, he gently put his hand on Jim’s belly and asked, “How much food did you eat?” Jim responded in his good natured way without taking offence – I recall him saying something about looking like Santa Claus.
Chris and I love Jim and Dot. They are giving and loving people whom we respect and enjoy.
Back to the story. Chris and I headed over to Jim and Dot’s house with a plateful of freshly baked shortbread. As always, we were welcomed in with open arms – when you hang out with these people, you never feel like you’re interrupting. The four of us sat in the candle lit back room and started talking about Christmas.
Now, you have to picture this – their entire house is brightly decorated with Christmas music boxes, pulsating Christmas ducks, singing Christmas bears and a big bellied Santa toy, “ho-ho-ho-ing” while he dances. There’s a beautiful Dickens village gingerly set up in the front bay window and a Christmas tree adorned with tinsel, a moving train that has smoke that billows out of its chimney and old, meaningful ornaments, each with a story attached to it. There’s a pile of creatively wrapped presents, hiding under the tree and as I scan the room, I see the presents that we have given them in past years, sitting front and center on one of their side tables. Food is served on festive placemats and Christmas country music is often ringing through the house. It’s a Christmas wonderland over there and I love the magical feeling of it all.
Jim is quite proud of his “snowmobile driving Santa” as well.
As we continued our conversation, I saw Jim getting excited about all his wind up, turn on Christmas gadgets and it just made my heart happy to watch his “little boy” emerge. That’s what Christmas does to us, doesn’t it?
The last toy that Jim showed us was a glass Christmas tree, hanging over a couple of snowmen. Jim explained that some neighbours gave it to him a couple of years ago, to thank him for walking their dog every day. Of course, this tree lit up too… by battery…
As the four of us sat together in that dark room, there was a moment when we all quietly watched the red, blue and green colors swell through the toy.
It moved me. I can’t think of any place I would have rather been than sitting in that room with Jim and Dot, enjoying each other’s company.
Definitely, one of my favourite Christmas moments… because Christmas is about love.
May you celebrate the birth of Christ and the love of others this Christmas.