Gratitude Overcomes Again!
The pity party, fortunately, didn’t last long. All the months trying to be grateful and to stop worrying and focus on the positive had, indeed, become a habit. I blew my nose and picked up one of the cookie tins we had just made that night. Sharon had made big curling ribbon bows for each one, and the name tags were carefully lettered in her childish scrawl. She had added a smilie face to each one.
I sighed and took a cup of the now lukewarm cocoa. There really was no cause for worry. For Sharon, making the cookies was an exciting project, and she was sure people would like them. She had decorated each cookie with a particular person in mind: cats for Uncle Ted, dogs for Uncle Larry, the old-fashioned rocking horse for Grandmommy, and dogs for Granddaddy.
(By the way, here is are some great templates for name tags to print on your computer http://bit.ly/1OCe6jE
While mixing the other batches of cookie dough, I had watched as she carefully, lovingly put the finished cookies into the tins, making sure each person’s tin had their specially decorated cookies and that Uncle Larry and Uncle Ted got plenty of their mutual favorite – chocolate chip cookies. She thought the cookies made fine gifts. I was the one looking at them with critical eyes.
We did not have a Currier and Ives Christmas but our little home was warm and inviting and filled with love.
When Christmas morning finally came and Sharon finally opened the presents, I reminded myself that the same principle applied to the gifts I gave her. I alone found fault with their price, their quality, and their quantity. She thought them charming and beautiful, from the one present I always let her open on Christmas Eve (the shower cap this year) down to the last big package she opened, the red and green wrapped mirror lying on its side behind the tree.
She was so excited that she came over and hugged me after opening each one. Later that morning, before we left to eat Christmas dinner with the relatives, I helped her decide where to keep her shower cap, how to set up a ramp for her matchbox cars out of books and a yard stick, and how to rearrange her what-not shelves to make room for her new ceramics.
As I observed her during those blessed two weeks we had the whole day together for Christmas holidays, I began to understand that she felt, to the bottom of her heart, that she was well cared for. She knew she was dearly loved, and she thought we had a good life together. And that understanding was the best gift ever for me.