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.



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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