Posted by: deerharas | December 25, 2009

Stockings and Snow

Just wondering:  In order for it to be a “White Christmas” does the snow actually have to fall on Christmas Day?  If not, I don’t think I’ve ever technically had a White Christmas, but if so, I can at least remember two.

Five years ago my grandparents chose to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in Corpus Christi, Texas, the destination of many a summer vacation for our family.  With so many fun memories accumulated there, they couldn’t think of a better place to make a few more.  So it was decided … we would have Christmas that year on the beach.  And while we weren’t exactly expecting to go swimming in the ocean, we certainly didn’t expect snow.  But it came.  To the Gulf of Mexico.  Lots of beautiful snow fell and blanketed the beach as if personally commemorating the beauty and rarity of my grandparents’ union.  I don’t think anywhere else in Texas got a White Christmas that year, but my family got to be a part of “The South Texas Christmas Miracle of 2004.”

I was planning to get up and go running with Hurley (parents’ 115 lb. dog) yesterday morning, only to wake up to my mother’s voice asking, “Um, do you run in the sleet and the snow?”  Peeking out the window, I recognized an all-too-familiar Chicago scene, albeit a bit more rare for Abilene.  Thankful for the extra rest, I happily answered that no, I did not intend to go running in this weather.  Instead, I spent a fun morning with my mom doing last minute shopping before joining my dad and brother at the movies.  (I’m pretty sure I’ve watched as many movies over the past two days as I did the entire fall semester, which, considering that would be three and a half, says more about the fall semester than the past two days.)  Unfortunately the weather prompted several Christmas Eve service cancellations, perhaps a wise decision considering that on the way home from dinner we skidded, coming just inches from hitting a truck.  We opted to stay home today as well, rather than venturing out on I-20 to make it to Dallas for a Reed-side Christmas lunch.  It’s unfortunate considering I don’t see that side of the family but once a year, but it’s also nice to have a day with nothing to do but read and watch movies and play games.  And that is what we intend to do.

But first on the agenda for today were stockings.  I love that I am 27 years old and I still get a Christmas stocking.  And it’s always awesome.  My mom finds the most random and useful items to put in our stockings.  Last year I couldn’t wait to show off my new purse hook that keeps your purse off the restaurant floor by allowing it to hang from the table.  Whether it be nail polish, gum, pens, lip gloss, magazines, every little treat is a definite day brightener.  And while my purse hook is pretty fantastic, it can’t even compare to a particular stocking stuffer I received seventeen years ago.

I don’t remember a single thing I got for Christmas in 5th grade.  By this time I no longer believed in Santa Claus, but even though there were no younger siblings to convince of his existence, my parents still went through the Santa motions.  I got up that morning to see whatever it was that Santa had brought (like I said, can’t remember) and then moved on to the stocking.  After I had emptied it of its contents and was no doubt relishing in all the preteen girl goodness, my dad asked me to check inside the stocking one more time because he thought there might be something else.  So I stuck my hand down far into the toe where I felt a small piece of paper.  I pulled the paper out and read “Santa’s note” scrawled in my dad’s handwriting:

“Dear Sarah, I hope you enjoy all your presents.  Your real present, however, will come later this summer: the gift of a new life.  Love, Santa”

I was dumbfounded.  When I was a little girl I used to call myself a “lonely child” instead of an “only child.”  I think I figured that by 5th grade, however, I was probably too old to be getting a baby brother or sister.  I was finally going to be a sister, and I was just a little excited.  We drove to Dallas later that morning, and I made sure to bring along the baby name book and suggest names the whole way there.  I got my “stocking stuffer” seven months later.  Joseph Daniel Reed was born July 12, 1993.

So this Christmas morning as I look out at the snow, I am reminded of that White Christmas five years ago when we celebrated fifty incredible years of my grandparents’ marriage.  And every Christmas morning as I dig in to my stocking I am reminded of that last three person Christmas before Daniel came.  Merry Christmas to each of you, and may you likewise be blessed with special Christmas memories!


  1. Great post, Sarah! I hope you and your family had a very merry Christmas!!

    P.S. I like the new look.

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