“Cookies, Cans, and Christmas,” Friend, December 2016
During this holiday season, I’m reminded of a story about my grandma that my mom has shared with us many times.
It was Christmas Eve, and my mom was about 12 years old. She and her mom and sisters were traveling across town to visit family, and it was raining hard outside. Grandma had a tradition of making plates upon plates of Christmas goodies for family friends and loved ones. The car was full, traffic was crazy, and everyone was trying to rush home for the holidays or get their last-minute shopping done.
In the middle of it all was a homeless man with a shopping cart full of cans. He started to cross the street at a red light, and all of a sudden the whole cart fell over. Cans were everywhere! It seemed as though the chaos of Christmas went silent. My mom wondered why no one was helping. An outburst of horns began to honk, as if to tell the man to get out of the way.
To my mom’s surprise, her mom got out of the car and quickly began helping the man pick up his cans. Then other people followed. It was pouring rain, and my grandma was wet when she returned to the car. As they sat in the backed-up traffic, my aunts, mom, and grandma all had a wonderful idea to rush out of the car and give the man a plate of Christmas goodies. In that moment, as my grandma gave the man the Christmas gift, my mom’s heart was touched with the reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
I am grateful for the courage and love my grandma had to go help that man so long ago. I hope that I can show that same love to my family and to those I meet.