Saturday, December 23, 2017

A Different Kind of Christmas

This Christmas my husband and I decided that, instead of giving each other traditional presents, we would choose two things to do for the house and get them repaired. This is a first for us. He chose the upstairs hall light, I chose the kitchen faucet.

Woo hoo, you’re thinking. What could be more romantic.

Yes, I know. O. Henry it ain’t. But for us they are pretty thrilling. Both have probably been broken for over a year and we have just been accommodating to deal with it. No upstairs light? Turn on your phone to light your way in the dark. No sprayer on the faucet? Run the water really slowly and step back in case of possible attack. Or get a towel. Or two.

I chose professionals that I had seen recommended on the Clarksville Happenings Facebook page. Eric Fries (Eric’s Electric) and Ehrhardt Plumbing. In both cases they fit me in right away, and did excellent work. I’d definitely hire both again. And it’s rather embarrassing how excited I am about having a functioning kitchen faucet.

Isn’t it beautiful?

I clearly remember when my parents got to this stage of life. I was a teenager at the time. I could not comprehend that they made the choice to forgo having actual presents to unwrap on Christmas morning. This was proof to me that being a “grown-up” seemed to involve some kind of sellout of one’s inner sparkle. Remember, these are the same people who go to work when they’re sick, drink a bitter-tasting morning beverage, and eat their vegetables. I was sure that that was not going to be me. No sir.

Now I get it.

It’s particularly sweet for me because I have a job that allows me the week before Christmas off, and the necessary funds to make the repairs. And a stable marriage that allows me to use those funds in that way rather than on mere essentials. Every single part of it is a gift. The fact that the amount of money I spent on repairs is far more than what I would have spent on my entire Christmas (including food) when I was a single parent is not lost on me.

Holiday joy takes many forms. It may be in the opening of that special gift, or in a family gathering, a concert, or in a faucet.

If you haven’t already seen it, here’s what the kids would call an “epic” unwrapping video, which takes place at Long Reach High School. My husband, a High School teacher, has watched it about ten times already. Why? Because he sees so clearly the joy in both the giver and the recipient. You don’t need a big red bow on a brand new Lexus to know the spirit of Christmas.

Whatever holidays you celebrate, I hope you find just the right sweetness to salve your soul this season.

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