The gift of receiving
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 12:44PM

At church last Sunday night, our Chad's mother, Jane, let me know that she had a Christmas gift for me and TG. It was in her car, having been too bulky to bring inside.

So it was that a little bit later, we were walking to our car and saw that Jane and her husband, Greg, as well as Jane's mother, were in their car but talking to Chad and Erica -- perhaps waiting for us.

We picked up the pace and as we approached our own car, I saw that Audrey and Dagny were chatting with Jane as she prepared to hand over the gifts she had brought.

Dagny, who was wearing a gold striped Christmas dress complete with stiff crinolines, topped by a winter-white fur jacket, plus white tights and shoes of pearlescent white with bows -- she was resplendent and had been curtsying to the floor like royalty all day -- heard Jane tell Audrey that she had something for her.

And for Dagny.

I wish you could have seen what happened next. 

Dagny, decked out like a gypsy princess, bent her knees and extended her arms straight in front of her, as if she were hanging ten on a surfboard. I think the posture meant something along the lines of HOLD THE PHONE!

Because as she crouched and pointed with both hands outstretched toward Jane's car, within the depths of which, it had been revealed, there were presents, Dagny could not contain herself.

She's got something for ME! she shrieked, eyes round as banjos, face glowing, smiling through her smiles.

Never have I witnessed a child more overjoyed at the prospect of a Christmas present.

And that's fully realizing that all kids -- of all ages -- get excited about Christmas.

Jane produced a box wrapped in red and black buffalo-check paper, with a sparkly red ribbon. Dagny cradled it in her arms, enveloped in the wonder of the whole process.

A gift was given to Audrey too, and a charming basket full of goodies to me and TG.

I went home with Audrey because TG had to go somewhere and he'd be fetching me after an hour or so.

When we got to her house, I told Dagny to put the red-checked box from Jane under the Christmas tree, to open on Christmas Day.

Ohhhhhh no. Clouds gathered on the little face. Dark eyes misted and lashes grew damp. Tiny chin rested on sternum and wee white-fur-clad shoulders sagged.

Audrey tried to reason with her daughter that the present was intended to be opened on Christmas.

Dagny was having none of it.

If we'd insisted that she wait, she would have eventually recovered. She wouldn't have had any choice.

But she looked so miserable, and she'd been so good all day, and her reaction in the parking lot had been so spontaneous and authentic, that Audrey decided to let her open the gift.

She had to put on her Peppa Pig nightgown first. I went to the kitchen and made decaf to go with our snack of muffins, while that transformation took place upstairs.

When she was dressed for bed and ready to open the present, we had Dagny sit where the light was good so that I could take pictures and Audrey could make a video.

The box contained not one but two Barbie dolls. To say that Dagny was pleased would be like calling Frosty a snow cone.

She was delirious with joy and overcome with gratitude.

I LOVE IT! I can't believe I got 'em! she exclaimed, over and over. (And variations on that theme.)

She couldn't stop saying Thank You! even though the one who'd given her the gift wasn't there to thank.

I texted Jane and sent her a picture of Dag opening the dolls, and told her what a big hit the gift had been.

Later, after TG had arrived to pick me up, I told Dagny I wanted to recreate her emphatic stance in the parking lot, when she'd learned that Miss Jane had a present for her.

The picture at the top of this post is the best we could do. Except for the outfit and the setting, it's a pretty accurate representation of Dagny's reaction to Jane's news.

Do you remember being overtly thrilled at the prospect of new toys for Christmas?

Me neither.

Just kidding! I do remember. And I am still excited about everything to do with Christmas.

Nevertheless, it's a good thing that we have the precious children to remind us of how much there is to be happy about.

I hope the gift you're dreaming of is under the tree on Christmas morning, and that all of your loved ones are there to see the look of joy on your face when you open it.

And that is all for now.


Happy Wednesday

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