This holiday season has been especially blessed and equally difficult. We have all been struggling to hold on to the holiday spirit. It’s a wonder we have any and miracles and angels just keep dusting us with the love. Like I said, blessed and difficult. For myself, no sign came through and my spirit came in wanting to see others smile. Like she did, it was one of her favorite things. Making us smile.

I got up before the sun and hit the stores. Last minute early morning shopping is my favorite. Empty stores. Friendly employees. Stocked shelves. It’s a wonderland really. I had been letting an idea take shape in my mind but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There are seven of us “kids.” Then one part was on sale. I stood in the aisle at Target and held back the tears. Ok. So it’s happening. I drove to my second destination with the holiday tunes blaring and pulled in on the last bars of one of my favorites. I went it and there on the rack were exactly seven of what I needed. I held back some tears to find out that they only accepted cash. At this point I was fully committed so I went to dutifully retrieve the cash. She would want me to, I told myself. Upon returning to the store, the angel who later cried with me when I told her the story, reached back to the stack of replicas I had not noticed before. She scans the uncounted and just grabbed for stack to discover she grabbed exactly seven. This is right about when she went from friendly attendant to angel as my eyes filled with tears and hers followed suit.

It’s silly. It’s trivial. It’s materialistic for sure, these gifts. But they did it to make us smile and to take care of us. The “kids” are all creeping up on 40 or past and don’t really need that anymore.

Except that maybe we do.