Christmas Reflections 2013


ChristmasPin2013I received this unique Christmas tree pin as a gift this year from my daughter and her boyfriend.  When I unwrapped it, I loved it immediately.  The colors…the sparkle…the shapes and textures.  But the sweetest part of the jewel arrived when they announced, “This gift comes with a story!”

They found the pin in a store at the mall, but didn’t buy it right away.  Instead,  they walked away to see what might be in several other shops before deciding to return to the first store for this special Christmas tree.  When they looked for the blue green tree in the display it was not there, so they asked the clerk if she had more.  They described this special pin in detail, and the sales clerk knew exactly which one they wanted,  but regretfully the pin had been sold a few minutes earlier.

As disappointment settled over  my twenty-something daughter and her boyfriend,  a middle-aged  lady carrying several shopping bags approached them.  She didn’t work for the store, but had been listening their conversation.   She asked if they were the ones looking for the  Christmas tree pin, and when they nodded, she opened a small bag.  “Is this the one you were hoping to buy?”   “Yes!  That’s the one!”

And at that moment, the woman handed the pin to my daughter saying, “Here…take it.  I want you to have it.”

“Really?   Are you sure? We’ll pay you for it!”

“Merry Christmas!  Take the pin,  it’s yours!”

“Let me give you a hug!”   My delighted daughter gave this generous, kind lady a big hug…and after a minute the woman laughed, “Go on now!”

As my daughter’s story unfolded,  her boyfriend’s  sparkling eyes told me that  the experience of this random act of kindness had given  precious gifts to every one of us.  This young couple had received the gift of disappointment transformed to joy.   The lady who gave up her pin received the joy of sacrificing to help someone else.   And I received the precious pin, with all the joys attached to its history…and certainty that  every time I wear my blue-green Christmas tree pin we will all be reminded of  unexpected kindness from a stranger.  

This year I needed that reminder more than any other year.   Our family has suffered heartache in the last several months that I can only describe as devastating.  Misunderstandings and  miscommunications causing anger,   inaccurate perceptions leading to hurtful actions,  unfathomable interruption of close relationships that had seemed unshakeable for a lifetime.   The story of this Christmas  pin seemed like a sign to me that anything might be possible…anger could change to understanding and forgiveness…love could return again at an unexpected moment.

For the rest of Christmas Day,  I pondered the idea that somehow  the kindness of this woman might be embedded in the pin,  and the sparkling light from each stone was streaming love into our home and family.    The heaviness of my sadness lifted for just a little while and I enjoyed telephone conversations with friends and family across the country that afternoon.

I had just finished a  long-awaited conversation with my brother when  I noticed my wedding ring.  The  diamond wedding ring  that has been on my finger for nearly 32 years had a gaping hole in the setting.  Sharp, ugly prongs were there instead of a smooth, deep sparkling stone.   We all searched for the tiny oval diamond…surely it was in the chair where I had spent much of the afternoon…or on the rug…or near the place where we had opened our gifts.


The ring without its familiar  stone reminded me of our incomplete family Christmas…. the symbol of eternal love but with  something missing that cannot be found…and the inability to change the situation as much as we wish we could, at least for today.   Christmas Day 2013 will hold these memories:  a lost stone…and dear ones missing from our family celebration,  the loss of special memories we might have made together.

Today, on the day after Christmas,  we put a new bag in the vacuum cleaner before we started our search for the missing diamond, hoping that the tiny stone might turn up along with dust and dirt.   We turned the chair upside down, wishing to see the stone fall out of the cushion.  It seemed that the diamond was truly lost and we would never find it.   Late in the afternoon, as I was distracting myself with work in the office,   our friend Lucy appeared in the doorway.  “I have something for you!”  And there it was…the tiny diamond from my wedding ring…she had found it wedged in the sink in a corner next to the  rubber mat.  It had been there in the kitchen, in the heart of our home,  just out of sight.

founddiamond  The diamond now has a  small chip in it…so the indestructible stone  will never be exactly the same…but we can remount it into the old  setting or design a new setting with additional stones.   Perhaps now is the time to make some changes to the ring,  just as our lives have changed since our wedding day almost 32 years ago.

I’m so very grateful to the woman in the mall whose generosity and kindness made such a difference for this Christmas Day, and whose story will be remembered in years to come.     I am relieved, knowing that the lost stone is found and can be put back into my wedding ring.   I pray that  the Spirit of Love will soon bring healing to all who are hurting.  May  generosity, kindness, and forgiveness   bring reconciliation to our world  so that loving relationships can be restored to all families.



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  1. That is one beautiful pin and story of generosity. Wishing you a joyous new year, it sounds like you need it.
    Diane (createdbydiane) recently posted..Coal CookiesMy Profile

  2. Mimi,
    I so enjoy your writing!! I’m so glad you found your diamond. Such a sentimental item that you would have kept looking for for years to come.
    I hope you always remember what a special, kind hearted, compassionate and caring person you are!! Love you!! Hugs!!

  3. Aww, Mimi… so glad you wrote about it! Your story brought me to tears of joy and solidarity tonight, knowing so well that losing something so precious and having it returned or found because of a stroke or act of kindness breathes new life into our soul, and it renews our faith that with love and kindness there can always be new beginnings with our family and friends. If we keep our hearts open, there is always room for change. Thank you, Mimi, for reminding me of that! xxxox

  4. What a wonderful story, Mimi, and I love the symbolism of the diamond which found its way back to you, maybe a little chipped but still whole and still precious. I do believe in the healing power of Time. Both your family and ours will mend one day. I firmly believe it. We will never be quite the same but we’ll still be there.

  5. Overjoyed for you, Mimi!
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  6. Beautiful paired stories, beautifully written.

  7. Family can be so painful, and yet bring so much joy, can’t it? I love you my friend. Thank you for such a beautiful post.
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  8. Mimi, it has truly been a blessing watching you find your voice. Love this post, and sending you healing thoughts.
    Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator recently posted..Featured cookie: Butterscotch oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from @RickiHellerMy Profile

  9. What a lovely story about the pin! Because the news tends to always highlight the bad happenings in a day, I love reading positive stories like yours; serves as a good reminder that overall, folks can be decent and kind one to another. Also, so sorry to hear that you have been suffering difficulties this year. Please accept my hopes that the New Year will bring you joys and new adventures.

  10. Love this story, Mimi! It is so easy (and totally human) to be distracted by the negative forces in our lives, especially during the holidays, when everything is supposed to be perfect and happy. What a wonderful reminder that even in sad times, there is still love and hope in the air. I pray that the new year will bring some healing to your family. xxooxx
    Laura @ Family Spice recently posted..Holiday Gift Idea and a Lemon Cake with Basil and PomegranateMy Profile

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