Thursday, December 4, 2008


For years I baked a fruit cake at Christmas for my father in law. It started when I decided I wanted to try a fruit cake (why I will never know) and he was the only one I knew who liked fruit cake. He used to like a slice with a bowl of canned peaches in the evening. So, every year I would make the cake and mail it, and the kids would say, "Mom made the fruit cake, now it's Christmas." When he died nine years ago, I could no longer make the fruit cake, the very thought of it still brings tears to my eyes. It was a very special part of a relationship he and I had.

So, we needed something that meant the start of Christmas. That something had to be different than the decorations, the cards or the gifts and wrapping. It had to be something that was the "spirit" of Christmas for our family. I never found just that one thing, but every year starting in December, I wait for the thing to happen that means the Christmas spirit is alive and well in our hearts. Something past all the other $$$$ spending crazy, hype stuff that has taken over what I think should be a simple holiday.

One year, it was the gift of a pair of hand crocheted slippers from a lady who lived at my disabled son's apartment complex. I had cleaned out my yarn stash and given it to her in the early fall. She sent me the slippers and a note saying that thanks to my several bags of yarn, she was able to make gifts for her family for Christmas. I shed a few tears over that one. Another time it was a package that my uncle and his wife sent me that held my beloved grandmother's hand written cookbook and several pieces of household linen that she had embroidered. Again, lots of tears at the mailbox. It was a complete surprise and worth it's weight in gold.

Do these things happen because it is Christmas or do they happen because this time of year I am open to finding the joy in something? I am not sure but my family waits for me to find the special thing that says, "It's Christmas." Then we can get on with the crazy stuff.

I am done waiting this year........It is officially CHRISTMAS at our house. Wednesday night DD called and said that they thought they had found Ellie! After a week of daily trips to the pound, constant emails and searching everywhere they knew to search, along with posting a reward and many flyer's in their neighborhood, it turns out that Miss Ellie took a trip to TUCSON! They received a call from a student at the U of A in Tucson who said she had been home in Gilbert for the Thanksgiving weekend. When she was loading her car to go home, Ellie happened along. The girl wanted to find her owners, but her mother said she was NOT going off to Tucson and sticking her with that big old dog. (much as I love Ellie, I understand! LOL) So, in the car went Ellie and off to Tucson with the girl. The mother saw one of the flyer's and called the girl, who then called my DD. She brought her home last night and she was loved and well cared for during her adventure.

It is Christmas officially at our house. The very idea of a young college student loading a big old yellow dog with skin problems in her car and driving off to school is proof that there really is goodness in people's hearts. The mother seeing one of DD's lost dog flyer's......well, that is up to you to interrupt how that happened. Thank you all for your prayer's in that direction.

Ellie is home with her loving family! Oh, darn, here comes those tears AGAIN!!!

What makes it Christmas at your house? Where do you find your Christmas spirit?


Amelia said...

Oh Norma, God does answer prayers even if they are for dogs with a skin problem...God knew that hearts were hurting at this time.

I am so glad of Ellie return.

Carol VR said...


We must be closer to Heaven here in CANADA...LOL and so our prayers were heard in good time.

I'm so glad she's been found.


Tropical Screamer said...

Oh, how wonderful. :)


Sheila in Ohio said...

I am thrilled for the return of Ellie to you!

I have to say that I struggle with Christmas as I am not at all of a religious mindset, but I will use your post to look for an opportunity to do more good works. I am starting with donating quilts in my boss's honor instead of contributing to a $300+ gift for him and his girlfriend. (?!)

jovaliquilts said...

I'm so happy that Ellie made it home and that she had such a wonderful caretaker when she was lost. That really is a spirit of loving kindness on that young woman's part.

QuiltingFitzy said...

Gosh, Ellie AND Beth's dog have come home!

GREAT happy ending.

Belvie said...

What wonderful Christmas stories! I'm so happy Ellie has found her way back to her family.