When I lived in New York a roommate of mine used to put a fresh $20 bill in the pocket of her Winter coat every Spring. She would then hang the coat on a cedar hanger and put it back in the far depths of our hall closet where the luggage and empty George Foreman grill box lived. The next winter, when the temperatures dipped below 60 and it was time for winter garb, she would reach back for her coat, put it on, and without fail exclaim, “OH! Twenty Bucks!”

Yesterday Mother got an e-mail from the company that mails you dvds in red envelopes. It alerted her to the fact that a gift subscription that she had purchased for someone two years ago had not been activated and that she needed to either let the person know that they still had a waiting subscription or she should use the subscription for herself.

Our first reaction was !!! because the subscription was something she had purchased for me as either a birthday or Christmas gift and somehow I had neglected to ever activate it. But then I worried that this was one of those things that didn’t get charged until it was activated and the last thing we have a budget for is movie rentals. I called them up last night to double check that this gift was already paid for – that the charge had been made at time of purchase- and was thrilled to find out that it was.

I hung up the phone and Mother said, “Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas”. And then we both kind of smiled. Because this unexpected little treat is 100% the extent of our holiday gift giving. But with so so so much to be thankful and grateful for this year, and a healthy toddler that is not expecting anything we are rich and sated in many ways.

As the world will begin to sparkle and shine and jingle we will take it all in and celebrate that we are still here to enjoy it. We have amazing friends that have shown us love and compassion beyond the bounds that we knew existed and we have each other. And we have hopes that next year we will be in a position to help others.

So thank you Netflix for your unexpected e-mail. And thank you weird back to the future, wrinkle in time, Harry Potter save the dragon, winter coat money moment.

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