Unexpected Gifts Are The Best Kind

Spending time with my daughter and her family took priority over writing a blog post, last week. Laura roasted the Thanksgiving turkey this year; I enjoyed not doing it. Remembering my dietary restrictions, she lovingly bought ingredients for and prepared extra dishes for me, such as a tasty quinoa and sweet potato casserole. That was one of the unexpected pleasures I enjoyed and felt thankful for; others are included in the following list.

  • Enjoying a view of the snow-covered mountains (because of the snowstorm, we did not take our usual route).
  • Shopping for gifts that my grandchildren had placed on their Christmas lists.
  • Receiving this spontaneous complement from my 12-year old grandson: “Your hairdo looks very nice, Grandma!” 
  • Being awakened by my daughter’s pleasant laughter, which I heard from a distant room.
  • Receiving a kiss on the cheek from my 14-year old grandson, who now must bend down in order to kiss me.

To me there’s something special about an unexpected gift–that’s the theme of today’s poem.

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Unexpected gifts are the best kind.
They’re the ones I hoped to find

Underneath the Christmas tree.
I thought my parents, mysteriously,

Could see the thoughts in my head—
Even when no words were said.

One year they somehow picked the lock
And bought me a blue music box.

I treasured it for many years;
Remembering it can bring me tears.

Yesterday’s Christmas—must I leave it?
Not just yet; I’ll, first, rethink it—

(“Eat the fish, discard the bones”—
That’s a proverb my family owns.)

I will keep meaningful traditions—
Adapt them to present conditions.

Look at each Christmas ornament—
And write a verse of sentiment.

Then do some unexpected thing
That will cause a child-heart to sing.

12/1/2016 Jane Ault 

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