Making a List and Checking it Twice | Beaufort County Now | The lovely December moon has risen over the field, supper is cooked and I am in another session of gift wrapping.

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Making a List and Checking it Twice

    Publisher's note: Please join me in welcoming Author Michele Rhem, who presents us with her poignant memoirs of the Rabbit Patch, where her diaries weave tales of a simpler, expressive life lost to many, but gathered together in her most familiar environs - the Rabbit Patch.

    The lovely December moon has risen over the field, supper is cooked and I am in another session of gift wrapping. I am watching "Holiday Affair", another old black and white film. There is coffee in a china cup on my "morning table" and on my frequent breaks, I write- and so for me all is well in my world.

    I make a Christmas list and tack it on the door of my Christmas closet. The closet is actually an old wardrobe. I buy through out the year and so must keep an account of things bought as I find them. Flowers may be blooming or corn growing, when I find something that suits someone on my list, but such conditions do not hinder my Christmas spirit- besides, this habit keeps Christmas a bit less complicated and keeps me from becoming desperate-a state I deplore. I have never once, made a good decision in desperation.

    One year, a long while back, I did not have presents to wrap. The children were all young and while I knew my family would make sure the children had gifts-I just could not shake the despair I felt. At last, I sat them all down to tell them the dire news. They were as quiet as "little church mice" while I assured them that things were bound to improve . My oldest son, Brant spoke up and said "mom, could you just get something for the little boys?" Jenny and Tres loved the idea and were chiming in, in full agreement. Brant was maybe eleven. Jenny was nine and Tres almost eight years old. My heart was touched so that, their goodness caused me to believe that surely my children were as pure as the driven snow. Gratitude spilled out in tears . . .and then Kyle around four, piped in and said "I think that could work!" Oh, "pride does often go before a fall." We all laughed about it then and we still do now.

    A dear friend, Julie, gave me an artificial tree that same year. I put it together, but the thing had the habit of just toppling over at any given moment. It fell one time too many to suit me and when it did, I picked the whole tree up and threw it out the front door, ornaments and all. It was poor behavior and the memory shames me. An hour or so later, Julie came in with the tree and "spoke not a word, but went straight to her work". She corrected my assembly mishaps and the little tree stood upright and steadfast as any "tin soldier ".

    Not always does Christmas come with the best circumstances- This year , as I wrap sweet little tokens and place them under the tree I remember that Christmas. It offered more than broken ornaments . Family and friends reminded us ,that prosperity reveals itself in more than one form. Things did improve, after all-and I have never since had the notion to throw a Christmas tree out the front door.
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