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 Christmas is less than a week away!  Are you as unprepared as I am? I sure hope not!! There are times when Christmas rolls around & I lie awake at night,  thinking about all the things I haven't done yet.  Those times are also filled with memories of my childhood & how magical it was for me.  Then,  I worry about Christmas nor being as cool for my son. Then I start to wonder if I need anxiety pills to get me through the holidays because of all the worrying I'm doing!
 All kidding aside,  I  desperately want my son to have good memories of Christmas as good or even better than I do. My parents always stayed up way too late on Christmas eve to make sure there was enough "evidence" of Santa & his reindeer had visited our home.  My Papa & Grandma Lynn always spoiled us rotten. My Grammy started shopping in October to be sure she got everything on our list.  There were several parties to attend & good friends were always near.  That was the one day of the year my sisters & I didn't fight with each other.  (At least in the morning) My Aunt Mel & Uncle Mark would spend the day watching movies & playing Nintendo with us. (Mostly making fun of my Papa. This is one of our favorite family pastimes!) Most of all, I remember how much I just loved my family. Christmas brought us all together & I never wanted it to end.

  The most special of all my memories would be the year my Grandfather won the lottery.  He loved going to the Circle K every week to buy tickets & I loved going with him! Right around Christmas time his numbers were finally called! It wasn't the whole jackpot, but definitely enough to buy something really nice for himself & my Grandmother.
   Before I go any further, there are a few things you must know about this incredible man. He grew up with a single mother & worked most of his life. He went into the army at 17. He started his career as a sports reporter for the local newspaper. From there he went on to own Phoenix International Raceway & continued to be a success from there. This is an incredibly self-sufficient man & didn't need anything "extra". So,  as he discovered he & my Grandma Lynn had been fortunate enough to win the prize,  they knew EXACTLY what they wanted to do with it! They wanted to give it away!!

  They called their pastor & asked if he knew of anyone who was in need for Christmas.  He directed them to a woman who lived with her 3 children in a tiny apartment downtown.  This seemed like the perfect family for us! I recall them going to the store (Smitty's) & filling up at least 3 shopping carts with jackets, blankets, food, toys, a tree, lights & so much more.  They were enjoying the process so much that they even spent more than the total of their winnings! That didn't matter at all to them. This was already turning or to be one of the best Christmases my family had ever had.

  The night was approaching quickly when we were supposed to deliver the goods. I remember not being able to sleep the night before out of excitement! I tried to picture what they would look like & how they would react to what my grandparents had done. I told all of my friends about the impending surprise & I'm sure I didn't say much else!

  That night, we loaded up 2 cars with all of the goods & headed downtown. I remember Papa going up to the door & knocking by himself.  The windows in our car were rolled up when the little lady opened her door, so I couldn't hear what was being said. I just won't ever forget the shock in her eyes when he started to explain the mission he & my grandmother had been on.  I remember her holding her head in her hands as they filed with tears of joy.  As he motioned to us to come in, I flew as fast as I could to grab some boxes from the trunk to start filling that little place. Grandma Lynn asked me for help in the kitchen. She had bought so much food that it wouldn't fit in the fridge & cupboards! She has always been the best cook in our family. I'm sure they were set with delicious meals for at least a year.  My Dad, Papa & Uncle Mark had set up the tree already & my mom was finishing up in the kitchen. My Aunt & Uncle had hauled in the mountain of goodies. My sister's & I stuffed them under the tree while the children watched in amazement. As soon as we were finished, we looked around at her small apartment & how wonderful it looked from all of the things we had brought in.  It was hard to believe that we were done & it was time to leave.  As we turned to leave,  we saw that the whole neighborhood had turned up to see what all the commotion was.  We were so filled with love for this sweet family, that we decided to stay & sing a few Christmas carols. I remember wanting to stay & see them open their gifts on Christmas.  But I knew that it was time to let that sweet little family have time to themselves & enjoy the holiday together.

   I don't remember what Santa brought me that year or what our Christmas feast tasted like.  I know we probably enjoyed our same traditions as we did the years before.  But all I see when I think about that year, are my grandparent's hearts & how they were bigger than I had ever imagined.  We don't know what became of that little family, but they had so much love for them & were so thrilled to do what they did.  That year was so special to me & it's something I could never ever forget. I love my family.  None of us are perfect, but I know our hearts & they are beautiful. Thank you Mom & Grandma Lynn for helping me with details of this sweet story!
 I hope your holiday is turning out to be a great one. Remember to count your blessings & see the good in everything.  Have a wonderful Thursday Mumsies!

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