Monday, December 17, 2007

On a Christmas Mission

I hadn't actually planned on doing this week's "Weekend Assignment" (you may have noticed I've been a little lax with those), but I ended up participating.

Weekend Assignment #195: Do something extra nice for someone you know. Which is to say, something above and beyond your general level of niceness. Could be for a spouse, or a friend, or a co-worker, or a child, or someone you've met randomly as you're walking around the mall.

Sunday, I wake up late, as per usual.  Stumble over to the computer and get an email from an acquaintance in Germany.  The acquaintance is firmly in the column of "friend of a friend" -- I don't know her well enough to be considered a friend herself, but she's a good friend of my good friend and neighbor.

And she's writing about my good friend and neighbor, who has been a bit depressed 'cause it's the week before Christmas and her place doesn't look very Christmasy -- 'cause her husband didn't get their stuff out of storage, and the contractors still have to finish the put-back of her unit, and she's just had some surgery so she's not feeling very go-get-'em right now, and all that.  And I knew all that.  I just didn't think there was anything I could do about it other than sympathize and maybe nudge her husband into getting the stuff out of storage.

But Germany has an idea -- why don't I grab a mutual friend or two and bring over a few Christmas decorations.  This seems like a good idea.  I ring up a mutual friend and she's up for it, so we pile into my car and head off to Target -- with the theme song from "Mission Impossible" vying with "We Need a Little Christmas" in the back of my head.

We check out the garden center.  While we'd like to do a Christmas tree, we can't go full-scale (the whole contractors-coming-back thing), but we think maybe a Charlie-Brown-Christmas-sized tree might work.  Maybe something we can set on a table or something.  Target does not have mid-sized trees.  It's either tiny little foot-high evergreens in pots, or a six-footer.  We re-focus on wreaths and poinsettias, deciding on a nice fresh wreath and a "rainbow assortment" of poinsettias (red, yellow/white, and a yellow one painted blue with little sparkles sprayed on).  We head into the store for stuff.

Long story short, we end up loading up my car with the aforementioned plant-life, three big Christmas stockings and a set of little ones (we thought we'd put our own names on the little ones -- with a shout-out to the lady in Germany who put this together), a Christmas Elf hat for the dog, an animated toy that plays a Christmas song, and three of them little tree-shaped things light up.

After a quick write-names-on-stockings and put-together-light-up-trees session ("Where's this piece go?"  "No idea.") we knocked on her door and delivered Christmas.  We started with the poinsettias and the animated toy -- but we ended up having to make two more trips to bring over the stockings, mini-trees, and wreath -- and to decorate the dog.

I had to go out for a few hours, and one I got back, I couldn't help but notice that the wreath -- which we'd hung on her door -- was no longer on the door.  "Uh-oh," I thought, "she doesn't like the wreath.'  But she invited us over for dinner and I found that she'd moved the wreath inside the house.  She'd glued on some fake flowers, put the mini-stockings on it, and hung it over the fireplace.  It looked terrific, but I was just thrilled that she'd taken the stuff we'd given her and run with it, getting into the decorate-for-Christmas spirit herself, which is really what she'd been wanting all along.


kirkbyj05 said...

Now that's what I call a real friend!
Well done!
Merry Christmas!

cyn4mc2856 said...

What a very nice thing to do.  Bless you!  I'm sure this lady appreciated every bit of what you and your friend did for her.



monponsett said...

Too bad it turned out that your friend's last name was Leibowitz.