I've written before about that moment each year when Christmas comes.
For me, it has nothing to do with the calendar or the decorations.
It's always a small moment that ignites Christmas in my own heart.
That moment was tonight.
Sloane and I swung into our local grocery store tonight on our way home. We just needed cute candles for her birthday cupcakes tomorrow. She'll be twelve, can you believe it? Anyway, we were going to be quick because Jeffrey was cooking dinner. As we walked up there was a lady playing Christmas music on a keyboard by the front door. Every employee wearing a big smile and manning a booth of food to give away. If they weren't happy to be working after sundown on a Friday night, you'd never know it.
Sloane and I laughed and ate our way through the store. We said hello to old and new friends; it's a small town, remember. We took home a salsa verde kit full of fresh produce and the instructions to mince and add salt. I gave in and bought every snack Sloane asked for as she and I kept on laughing and chatting.
I was already feeling good; happy with life in general. And then Christmas entered my heart.
We were in line to buy our goodies - including 12 adorable star candles for the cupcakes Sloane is making for her party guests. The pianist started playing one of my very favorite Christmas songs. You all know that I am a car-dancing-sing-in-public kind of a girl. So. There I was singing along quietly when I heard her.
The woman two lines behind me was singing, too. Only she wasn't quiet. She was loud, proud, and unashamed. "I wanna wish you a merry Christmas." I started singing louder right along with her. Sloane started singing along. Our teller began to hum and grin. The woman in line behind us looked flabbergasted. I couldn't quit smiling.
Till I teared up. Because I always tear up when Christmas comes.
God bless us, everyone.