Anyone that has been around me for longer than 5 minutes knows that I was struggling with how this Christmas was going to play out. I was struggling with our older two daughters and their husbands, (as well as our new grandson), having other plans/being out of town and the day just being “sad” with missing being together as a family…blah, blah, blah…whaaa.
to all that I wept with or complained to.
With our youngest daughter (18 year old college freshman) at home with us – I used her as my “excuse” to be worried with how the day would play out. While I was concerned over making the day special for Brooke, I was also feeling a little (ok…more than “a little”) weird about having just Tom, Brooke and me sitting around the Christmas tree staring at each other after exchanging a few gifts (all of which Brooke asked for/knew about…one she even bought for me to give to her!)
I was actually surprised, proud and happy when Brooke insisted that we just wait to “do Christmas” till our family could all be together – on January 2nd. So – with that plan in place, we decided to find a place to serve on December 25th.
Having no luck finding a charity/organization to partner with, we prayed about it and then came up with our own plan to reach out to our neighbors (something that’s been heavy on our minds after a recent home fire across the street)! “Operation Bless Our Neighbors/Friends” began a week ago with a “planning meeting” at Panera and included two loooong days/nights of baking!
Christmas morning we woke early, finished one more batch of peppermint patties and packed up the many bags/tins to deliver. We typed up a note to attach for our neighbors…as well as a different one for our friends.
Our second to last stop was totally unplanned and really “different”…while driving past the “Haggard Farm”, Tom decided that he really wanted to stop, offer cookies and thank the family for providing so much joy for us over the years. Our girls have grown up loving all of the animals on the large piece of property (in the middle of Plano) and Tom announced, “If we go by and the front gate is open, I’m going up!” – Keep in mind, we have no idea what “Haggards” actually live there! We were ALL shocked when the large security gate was actually open and so we just made the long trip up the main drive…right to the front door. Unfortunately, Tom knocked…and knocked…and knocked…but no one answered. It was so cute to see him standing proudly at the door (Brooke and I stayed in the car – ready to make a quick getaway…in case security was called!!) with Brooke sweetly whispering, “Please answer…please answer…this is so important to him, I really want them to answer!” (She loves her daddy!)
What I loved about today was the spirit in which “Operation Bless Our Neighbors/Friends” was carried out. Brooke and I spent hours together making lists and baking, baking, baking. Tom joined us this morning as “head of operations”/packing and then navigating us through neighborhoods. We loved taking “group selfies” at the doors with our friends at each stop. We loved saying “Merry Christmas”, in person, to so many people that we love…and hope to grow closer to in the coming year.