This year I bought a few new Christmas ornaments, as I always do. This year some are really special.
It started in November, maybe event October. I was in Hallmark buying cards and I looked at the Keepsake collection. While all the ornaments are nice, I really prefer more traditional ornaments, most are figures from the nativity, a few from the twelve days of Christmas and the Nutcraker (more on him later) and other traditional Christmas characters as well as the usual collection of balls and other shaped ornaments.
I started buying the tiny snowglobe ornaments a few years ago at Meier and Franks. I have a few sets – and am always looking for more now that Macy’s has taken over the store and doesn’t sell these ornaments. I did find one at Hallmark. It was called "A Gathering of Friends." It wasn’t EXACTLY what I wanted, but close enough so I bought it (full retail – I rarely do that for ornaments!) I also found a silver dove with a heart entitled, "Always Remembered." I thought it would be a nice ornament for my mom, since she does her tree in silver and white and I knew Thanksgiving and Christmas would be tough on mom without Grandma. Grandma’s 98th birthday would have been early this December, so I thought that would be a nice day to give it to her.
It was a hard time for her (and the rest of us too, missing Grandma.) My brother and his wife had Thanksgiving at their house, so mom went there for dinner. Rich and I went to Dad’s, so while different, there wasn’t this aching that something was so wrong as there would have been at Mom’s house. My stepbrother, Eric, is an awesome cook. It did feel odd not to have Nicole (my stepsister) and Troy (her husband) or my nephews Jacob and Logan. Nicole was still in the hospital from the complications from outpatient surgery a few days earlier. Troy was with her of course. The nephews (my other stepsisters boys) were spending Thanksgiving with their fathers family.
The hospital Nicole was at was really close to our home. A mile as the crow flies, 2 miles by road. So while she was in ICU, I would stop in with a card or food for Troy – leaving them with the nurse. Judi (my stepmom) said she was really tired and puffy and really just wanted to rest. At thanksgiving dinner. Nicole called to say she was being moved to a regular room. Judi offered to bring Troy some Thanksgiving dinner (when I stopped in that morning I noticed the cafe near ICU was closed that day.) Nicole said that the dining hall was having a dinner and Troy was going to get some there. After dinner we went to visit. Nicole, while not moving much, was starting to look like herself. We asked Troy what he had for Thanksgiving dinner, he looked at me and said, "Beef Jerkey and Grapes." This was in the snack I left that morning. He really didn’t want to leave Nicole alone to go get dinner. Not to worry though, HIS mom had a plate for him at his house when he got home. Anyway, Nicole’s close call reminded me that we have a lot for which to be thankful. My other thought is don’t forget the spouses when people are in the hospital.
The next weekend we had symphony tickets. Mom took Carl, I was hoping for overnight (we always hope for overnight) but she had plans for the next day, which also happened to be Grandma’s birthday. So I took her the ornament a day early. She really liked it. It matched her tree and had a wonderful sentiment behind it. She was so touched she wanted to get ornaments for all of us, if ok with me. I told her it was – but their might be something better. I poked around the internet, but she didn’t see anything that she liked more. She had ornaments for each of us this Chrismas.
The new snowglobe ornament facinated Carl. I han’t found a hook for it, so it was on the table. On the evening of the 21st, Carl was playing with it an it broke. Major mess. I cleaned it up while Rich checked Carl to make sure he wasn’t cut. Carl was very upset when we told him Daddy couldn’t fix it. (I was really proud of us – we weren’t mad but we did let him know that it was going in the garbage.) He went and put some toys in the closet (where we put his toys for a time out.) Then he closed the gate to the great room to put himself in a timeout.
When we finally got him calmed down, we went to Target to get a few last items and look for a small snowglobe. While there I talked to Carl about taking care of things – that things do break and Daddy can’t fix them. He also talked a little about his feelings on the incident. Some people at the store overheard us. Some people doing last minute shopping took time to help us find a new snowglobe. It was a sweet reminder that there are nice people and really showed Christmas spirit.
So I am now checking the Hallmarks for this ornament. No luck so far, but I am not worried. It is just a thing and in its breaking it taught our family a lot. Its lessons are much more valuable to me.
PS – We found the ornament – last one at our nearby Hallmark!