Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gifts

We had a lovely, quiet Christmas Eve. My husband acquiesced to my family's European tradition and we opened gifts then. I was blessed to receive some things I've long wished for,

and some things I didn't know I wanted but absolutely love!
Then we did chores and watched a Christmas movie before retiring, awaking Christmas morning to the beautiful day I shared in my last post.

On Christmas Day we ended up giving an unplanned gift. Across the lane from us lives an "interesting" family, as my dad would say. When we moved here in '95 it was a woman and her two teenaged kids; now it is that woman and two of her grandsons. The boys, one or both, come over often to see if Brian can play; in fact, they will follow our car through our gate and down our driveway to ask. Many times Brian has school to finish, violin to practice, or chores to do (yes, we believe that old adage that "idle hands are the devil's workshop"), so they will hang around, hoping Brian can play when he is finished. The younger brother sometimes comes by himself (his older brother has a girlfriend and isn't always home), and has taken to sitting on our deck and looking through our windows, watching the family life the likes of which he apparently hasn't had. It is sad, a little creepy, and very uncomfortable for this introvert. He hung around or played here all afternoon Christmas Eve, and was at the front door Christmas morning before Brian was out of bed.

We have maintained certain boundaries for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are the difficulty of keeping Brian focused on his homeschooling and other responsibilities, the known problems of the neighboring family, and my own struggles to keep up with all the challenges of my life. But the heartbreak of seeing a kid acting like a homeless orphan, starving for action or interaction, at Christmastime no less, broke me. I told Brian to invite him in, and they could bake off and decorate the sugar cookies I had chilling in the frig.
Oh, they had a fun, messy time of it. I kept an eye on them while constructing the dishes we would take to our church's potluck Christmas dinner. The neighbor boy would ask what I was doing and comment on how good it all looked, hinting broadly that he might like to go with us. So I finally told Matthew he could go ask his grandma for permission, and invite her and his brother (who had shown up after a sleepover), too. In the end, only Matthew went with us. He was warmly welcomed by the group, got a lot of good food, and seemed to enjoy himself.

Now for a couple "gifts" for you. Sara over at Punkin's Patch has been generating jigsaw puzzles for her readers. I've been enjoying them so much that I decided to generate some of my own. So here are the inaugural Boulderneigh puzzles for your (hopeful) enjoyment, showcasing our Christmas gift of sunshine. (If you click on the bottom right icon of each puzzle, it will open to a full-screen version.)






9 comments:

DianeOart said...

Thanks for the puzzles :D

Susan said...

Looks like your Christmas lived up to its true meaning. I always liked the tradition of opening gifts Christmas Eve - it allows you to enjoy Christmas Day at a leisurely pace.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Great puzzles! Started the second one on the iPad and had a bit of a regret about that but I persevered and finally got it ;-D.

Leigh said...

I would say that reaching out and ministering to that boy was your birthday gift to Jesus. :)

Fiona said...

Now that is what Christmas is!

Ruth Dixon said...

Thank you for sharing your day with the neighbor boy. You have given the best gift of all, hope. So sad that we can't help them all.

farmlady said...

Thanks for the puzzles. I will work on them.
Reaching out to this boy was a difficult thing to do. I admire what you did and hope that this gives him a feeling of happiness that he may not have had at home.

Mary Ann said...

You know that kindness will pay off in thousands of ways in the future.

Fat Dormouse said...

How kind of you to invite this young man to the dinner - I'm sure that he will be grateful for your generosity.