12/19/16 A Holiday Lesson


My Dear Friends,

The days are marching toward December 25, Christmas Day and the beginning of Hanukkah and many other Yule celebrations. Things are a frenzy of activity; it seems there is always one more thing to do, or one more thing to add to or cross off a list. It’s a White Christmas for us this year, with lots of snow and below zero temperatures. So far it hasn’t been an easy winter, and it’s not even officially winter yet!

This blog is going to take a winding road; I hope you will all be patient enough to read it, and I thank you for your attention.

Last year, Grandma died, and her house was set to sell December 17. Then it was pushed back to the 27th. Then the deal fell through a few days ago. Dad was disappointed, Mom was very sad. Money is tight this year, and Mom says the gifts will be “thin”. She said she tried to make the gifts meaningful since they are not plentiful.

Last week, Mom mailed out her Christmas cards, which she tells me is a dying tradition. She was delighted to receive some lovely cards in return. She also made up little holiday “thank you” Christmas cards for the people who provide service to the house all year; such as, the garbage collectors, mail person, newspaper delivery, etc.

Dad employs a dry-cleaning service for pickup and delivery. This is very convenient for him since he wears a collared shirt every day for work. Dad likes lots of starch. Mom puts the bag of laundry out on Monday, and it is delivered back on Thursday, when the dry cleaner man places the shirts on the hook on the front door.

Last Monday, Mom put a card on this hook for the man. He picked up the bag and took the card. Mom did not see him Thursday when he delivered the clothes.

This morning, the temperature was again in the negative numbers. Mom and I hovered near the big front window, watching for the white truck. Mom had a “to go” cup ready. When the dry cleaner man came to the front door and picked up the bag, Mom opened it, and inquired if he would like a cup of hot coffee on such a frigid morning. I perked up my ears and wagged my tail.

To our great surprise, he turned fully around, and with a wide smile, said, “No thank you. But I wanted to thank you for your card last week. It was amazing. I have 100 houses on my route and no one ever says, ‘thank you’. You are good people. I see that you put a cold drink out in the summer for the garbage collectors. You made my day, and I can’t thank you enough.”

Mom’s eyes welled with tears. “And you’ve just made mine,” she said softly, and closed the door after the dry cleaner man said, “goodbye”.

Mom hugged me and told me that she didn’t feel so bad now about not having a lot of gifts for under the tree this year. She said the dry cleaner man reminded her of what the spirit of the holiday (whatever holiday you follow) was all about. She said it’s about doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, and having appreciation for each for each other. Too often the holidays are soured by materialistic attitudes and ungratefulness.

That dry cleaner man, with his red hat and white truck, gave Mom the reality check she needed this year about the holidays. It was a great lesson learned.

Happy holidays to you, your family, your pets. I wish for you all the best of health this festive season and in the New Year. I will be taking the rest of the week off, since Mom says she is going to be baking, and I have to supervise her closely in the event a cookie should roll off the table.

Woof! Love, Your friend, Maggie



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