The Most Special Christmas

I talked recently about my favorite Christmas, but that post got me thinking about my most special Christmas, which was in 2006.

That fall was a busy time. My brother left on a mission trip; I was planning my wedding to my college sweetheart and filling out graduate school applications. Then, in a six-week period, my father died, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my brother became injured and had to return home.

Needless to say, I wasn’t really excited about the holiday. Christmas had been Dad’s favorite time of year and it just wasn’t going to be the same without him. Mom started chemo while I was taking finals. My brother was undergoing heavy physical therapy. We also had our good friends (a mom and her 5 kids) move in with us for the month of December while they were between houses. I just wasn’t in the mood to celebrate and I didn’t see how the holidays this year were going to be anything other than something to get through.

I wasn’t counting on Team Regina.

When Mom was diagnosed, some of her best friends at church created a website called Team Regina to coordinate any help that she might need during her treatment. During the holiday and after, this small group snowballed into something amazing. Pretty soon not only was our entire congregation involved, but most of our small town as well!

One woman helped us decorate for Christmas, since none of us were able to lift the heavy boxes from the basement up to the first floor. Another woman came in January to help put everything away. During Mom’s second chemo session, a lady from town came and decorated our living room pink and left us each a pink present. Other families brought meals, provided rides, knitted hats, and offered massages for Mom’s tired muscles. Someone did the “12 Days of Christmas” for us, leaving a little gift by the front door each day.

I’m sure I am forgetting other acts of kindness, but you get the idea. These families, some whom were dear friends and others whom we did not even really know, were angels on Earth. Never has the true Spirit of the season been so manifest to me and I hope God has blessed them all richly for their acts of pure charity and love.


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8 responses to “The Most Special Christmas

  1. It’s amazing how people will come through for you when you really need it. But I hope this Christmas is full of every day, garden variety joy!

  2. Kristi

    That’s wonderful! It’s amazing how God places the right people in our lives at the right time. He sure knows what He’s doing, doesn’t He? Have a great week Maya. 🙂

  3. Thank you for this wonderful post. Such a good reminder of what the holiday really means. That was a lot for your family to go through in a 6-week period.

  4. It’s often at those moments, when we’re at our lowest, that we receive blessings like this. Hooray for Team Regina! They sound special, indeed.

  5. mom

    I met a new internist this week for the first time. She carefully took my history and then switched to family history. With each added issue she murmured, “How awful…” “That’s terrible” “Oh Dear” Then she said, “your life has been so difficult and…” I could see that she saw me as a series of unfortunate events. But I said to her – there certainly have been difficulties, but that is not all there is. People have been amazing and in the midst of trials there were miracles and a great deal of support.
    We can look around us and chose what we see — examples of charity are often right under our noses. I would take back the trials in a heartbeat if I could. But having had to endure them, I am most grateful for the slew of people who have made the enduring easier, and sometimes, surprisingly wonderful.
    At the top of my list are you, Matthew and Gabriella and now Mark and Miles.

  6. Popped in from SITS to say hi! That story made me tear up. What a perfect Christmas tale.

  7. This really is the true meaning of the holidays! Since my dad lost his job in April, people from our church have been some what mysteriously sending my parents Meijer gift cards and gas cards to help out and the amounts seemed to double as Christmas got closer. Maybe its okay that we don’t know who is giving this kind charity, but its really helped my parents out.

  8. Stopping by from SITS!

    It is amazing the people that will come beside you and help you walk through the tough times!

    Hooray for Team Regina!

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