In December 2003 I went in for surgery and was in the hospital about five days.
When I came out I was feeling pretty well; however, I think I overdid things just a little bit and was back at the hospital with a slight complication one week before Christmas. The doctor put me on bedrest and said that I could start moving on Christmas Day if there were no further complications.
I was supposed to host Christmas dinner for my Dad and Sister and we were also preparing two pots of stew for the homeless ministry we were part of for Christmas Day. Thankfully a friend and I had made up packets of all the vegetables and other ingredients so that others could make the stew when I couldn’t. So, making those two five gallon pots was easy for Hubby to do in the morning and he just let them cook.
On Christmas Eve we decided it was best that I not go to Hubby’s parents’ house for the family get-together. I really hated missing but Hubby put me on the speaker phone when his Mom opened the package containing the angel that I had made for her. I couldn’t see her face but could tell she was happy (that was 13 years ago and she still has that doll).
My dear friend Dee and her two boys came over Christmas Eve for a quick visit and she set me up with all the things I needed to put together our 200 packets to go along with the stew and sandwiches for the homeless. Each package contained a pair of socks, a small cross made by one of the group members, an orange, a butter tart (out of the over 400 I made that year for various things), and a little card wishing them Merry Christmas. I spent my evening doing that and watching “Scrooged”, one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies.
In the morning, Hubby got the stews going and I helped stir them a bit. It was nice to be up, but I spent a lot of time on the couch. When our team members came to pick up the packages and stew, Hubby wrenched his back carrying out one of the pots.
So, here we were, one on each couch on Christmas day!
Thankfully we had already arranged with my family to have a very simple dinner. My Dad was bringing a ham which just needed to be heated in the oven, my Sister was bringing some vegetables and we were doing the rest. No turkey or stuffing or gravy were necessary! I think we even just had some of my Christmas baking for dessert!
And it turned out to be one of the best Christmas’ ever! It was simple and no one had to work very hard.
I think God allows certain things to happen to slow our lives down and see what is truly important and what isn’t. In this case, Christmas wasn’t about fancy presents or dinners, it was about us getting together, and also taking care of our health.
Oh, and 200 people had a hot cup of stew, a sandwich and a package of goodies they wouldn’t have had otherwise!